“The University Council represents a meaningful and positive change at Willamette, embodying the spirit of the Joint Agreement which calls for more robustly deliberative, inclusive and consultative decision-making processes,” said Seth Cotlar, professor of history and a faculty representative on the committee.
The University Council is designed to serve as an advisory body with broad representation — including students, faculty and staff from all schools. The group is charged with ensuring that faculty, staff and students play a meaningful role in guiding the strategic direction of the university.
The University Council also provides informed and representative advice and input to the president and senior administration regarding programs, policies and initiatives that affect the common interests of faculty, staff and students. It is also a forum where faculty and student leaders can introduce and discuss academic or student life initiatives that may have broader impact on the university community.
“This is a great opportunity to involve students voices in important university decisions,” said Liz Gill, 2016–17 ASWU president. “Though I am the official representative from the CLA student body, I will consult with and include my fellow students in the work of the University Council.”
The University Council is expected to become the central coordinating body for the various groups charged with shared governance of Willamette. Members of the council are expected to consult with and communicate back to the groups they represent about matters considered by the council.
“I look forward to consulting with this broad group of campus representatives as we work together on our shared goals as an institution and expand shared governance,” said President Steve Thorsett.