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5.1 History of the Academic Council

Approved by Academic Council on October 12, 2000

Prior to 1967, Faculty governance on the Stockton campus was through a Faculty Council composed of Full Professors and Deans and chaired by the Academic Vice President and through monthly meetings of the full Faculty.

There was much criticism of the unrepresentative nature of the Faculty Council by the Faculty. A large number of new faculty had received appointments to the University during the 1960's as a result of the opening of the cluster colleges and hiring of new faculty in the other schools and colleges in order to meet the needs of the increasing number of students coming to the University as a result of the "baby boom". Full Professors at the time were almost all members of the College of the Pacific. The Faculty Council was an inadequate representation of the full range of interests and concerns of the faculty within the various ranks and units of the University.

At the same time, because of the increased size of the Faculty, it was becoming increasingly difficult to both raise and resolve matters of Faculty concern at meetings which involved all members of the Faculty. As a consequence, at the regular Faculty meeting on January 11, 1966 there was a discussion concerning the desirability of establishing a representative body to act on behalf of the Faculty. At the end of the meeting a motion was offered to develop a plan for such a representative body. The motion was passed by a vote of the Faculty.

As a consequence, a committee was established to develop a more representative body, one which would represent not only the different ranks, but also the various schools and colleges. The committee worked with a variety of models, eventually resulting in the form found in the current Academic Council. It opened membership on the Council to faculty from all ranks and it gave proportional representation to the different schools and colleges.

Part of the change which took place was to make the Council the official voice of the Faculty. While the Academic Vice President was an ex-officio member of the Council, it was decided that the Council should be chaired by a member of the Faculty in order to be independent of the University Administration, although consultation with the administration about matters to place on the agenda of the Council would take place. The role of the Academic Vice President was a resource and a liaison between the Faculty and administration. The meetings of the Council were to be open to attendance by any Faculty member.

The proposal to establish the Academic Council as the representative governing body of the Faculty of the University was adopted by a vote of the Faculty in the Spring of 1967. The Council began functioning as an elected body in Fall of 1967 with Professor Richard Reynolds of the Department of Art as the first Chair. It has been the official elected and representative body of the Faculty since that time.

In the Fall of 1992, questions were raised about whether to keep the form of Faculty governance which had been adopted in 1967. A series of open meetings were held and alternative forms of Faculty governance were considered. After much discussion over the Fall semester, the conclusion was to keep the form of Faculty participation in the governance of the University that the Academic Council provides. The central role of the Academic Council as the representative voice of the Faculty of the University was reaffirmed at that time.

In May of 1995, the Academic Council established a Committee on Bylaws to revise and codify the practices of the Academic Council. In September of 1996 the Regents adopted the University of the Pacific Policy Statement on Governance which described the role of Faculty in University governance. These principles provided the frame work for Faculty governance and were integrated into the Bylaws. Over a three year period numerous drafts of the Bylaws were considered by the Academic Council,the Faculty and the Administration. The Bylaws of the Faculty and the Academic Council were approved by a full Faculty vote on November 30, 1999 and by the President on March 6, 2000.