« If you repeat something often enough, maybe people will start to believe it... Graduate School Reconstruction will save money and improve graduate education? | Main | Eroding Our Intellectual Infrastructure »

Do the Minnesota Regents have the authority to require that the U of M administration follow the rules?

Guess not..

The Executive Board of the Council of Graduate Students wrote a letter to the Board of Regents last week asking that the administration be held accountable for policies it broke during the quick decision to restructure the University of Minnesota Graduate School, but the board will not be acting on the request.

“[Senior Vice President and] Provost [Tom] Sullivan’s plans — revealed abruptly under the guise of an internal ‘restructuring’ rather than a major academic unit/centralized administration closure requiring approval — bypasses proper governance channels for major academic units and central administration units,” the letter read, which COGS President Geoff Hart said was mailed directly to the regents last week.

The Daily reported on the breach of the University Senate Policy on Reorganization , listed in the letter, earlier this month, and Provost Sullivan denied in an interview any wrongdoing on behalf of the administration.

Simmons said whether the policy was breached is not something the board will address, because it is a different governance body’s policy.

The Faculty Consultative Committee would be responsible for acting if the policy was broken.

The letter also cites the Graduate School Constitution and the Board of Regents Policy on College Constitutions , which specifies that colleges have the authority to govern their own “educational and administrative affairs.”

The Graduate School’s constitution states one of the Executive Committee’s responsibilities is to “consider proposals for and recommend policy, implementation of policy, and changes in programs or administration of the Graduate School .”

There is no indication that the Executive Committee was asked to consider the policy before the announcement last month.

Sullivan confirmed in a previous interview Graduate School Dean Gail Dubrow , who is on the committee, was not included in the drafting of the policy because of “personnel matters,” though she was given a chance to sign on prior to the announcement.

Did he make her an offer she couldn't refuse? Ah, Tom, you are such a kidder.

But seriously, folks this is a no-brainer. As a regular correspondent pointed out to me this morning, it should not be necessary to inform the Regents that they have the authority to govern the University.  


Charter of the University of Minnesota Territorial Laws 1851, Chapter III, Section 4 (confirmed by the Minnesota Constitution at Article XIII, Section 3)

"The government of the University shall be vested in a Board of twelve
Regents . . . ."

Bylaws of the Board of Regents

Article II

"The government of the University of Minnesota shall be vested in a Board
of twelve Regents . . . ."

Article VII Section B

"All matters relating to the education and administrative affairs of the
University, consistent with actions or policies of the Regents . . . are,
for the purpose of effectuating the government of the University under and
by the Regents, committed to the President, the University Senate, and the
several faculties . . . ."

See the Board of Regents Policies website.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)