Principles as approved by the community

Fall 1995

Implementation Procedures as approved by the community

May 1998

National Technical Institute for the Deaf


Rochester Institute of Technology



All members of the NTID college community--faculty, staff, administration, and students--have a right and a responsibility to participate in the governance process.

Implementation Procedures:

The right and responsibility to be part of shared governance must be included in the expectations of all members of the college community. Administrators/Managers must create an environment which supports the participation of those under their supervision in the shared governance process.

Each person who wishes to participate as a representative on any of the Institute's constituent governing bodies must have an opportunity to do so. Accommodations in work schedules for individuals duly elected/appointed to any of the Institute's constituent governing bodies shall be documented.



Members of the NTID college community must have open, equitable, timely access to all information pertinent to issues and decisions under consideration.

Implementation Procedures:

Responsibility for sharing information rests on all members of the college community. Likewise, all members have a responsibility to keep themselves informed. Meaningful dialogue and quality decision making depend upon open and timely access to information. Effective shared governance relies on information flowing quickly and efficiently both "top-down" and "bottom-up."

Administrators are responsible for sharing information with faculty and staff regarding current and upcoming issues under discussion. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, some of which are: timely dissemination of info memoranda, distribution of agendas before meetings, dissemination of minutes after meetings, dissemination of draft documents, group discussion of issues during department and Center meetings, and other paper or electronic alternatives.

Faculty and staff elected to serve as representatives on NTID Faculty Congress, RIT Academic Senate, Staff Council, and other such groups have a responsibility to disseminate information to the college community, as appropriate, and to seek feedback as necessary.



Decision making must include open, equitable, timely and fully informed communication and dialogue that is accessible to all members of the college community.

Implementation Procedures:

Dialogue should be used to help identify issues which need to be addressed, as well as to contribute to the decision making process. Administrators responsible for making decisions should ensure that all persons involved or affected have equal opportunities to access, discuss and respond to the issues under consideration. A variety of opportunities for dialogue should be provided before decisions are made.

Adequate time should be allowed for discussion and/or feedback before deadlines. Opportunities for dialogue should be flexible and designed to accommodate a wide variety of faculty and staff schedules and communication channels. For example, some dialogue may be accommodated during regularly scheduled department, center, and Institute meetings. When this is not feasible, alternative methods should be used, e.g., vax conferencing, small group meetings, open forums, as well as individual conferences.

Additional dialogue can also occur through consultation with formal representative groups such as Faculty Congress and Staff Council, and informal groups, such as Deaf Professional Group, student advisory groups, advisory boards, etc.



Shared governance includes procedures and processes to protect all interests against the misuse of power.

Implementation Procedures:

Diversity is our strength, but only to the extent that such diversity is allowed to help shape and define our community as a whole. Individuals in leadership roles (whether faculty, staff, administrators, or students) have the responsibility to protect the right of expression for individuals and groups representing diverse perspectives regarding issues before the college. Beyond protection, leaders have the responsibility to seek out and encourage these diverse perspectives. This can be accomplished through a variety of strategies accessible to all, some of which are: formal meetings, round table discussions, open forums, written/electronic communication, and informal communication.



The interpretation of RIT policy in the establishment of guidelines and procedures to implement policy are shared responsibilities of the constituent groups of the faculty, staff, administration, and students.

Implementation Procedures:

Institute-wide policy is established by appropriate RIT governing bodies (Academic, Senate, Staff Council, etc.), as delegated and authorized by the RIT Board of Trustees. Each college interprets and implements RIT policy in accordance with its particular mission. Members of the college community should participate in the interpretation and implementation

of policy issues. At the college-wide level, it is the dean's responsibility to determine and communicate to the college community the process of policy interpretation and implementation in accordance with these principles of shared governance. Center and department administrators likewise should follow these principles of shared governance in determining and communicating the process of policy interpretation and implementation at their respective levels.



Administrators are accountable for making decisions, and the process through which they make those decisions will be clearly established in consultation with appropriate governance structure.

Implementation Procedures:

Shared Governance does not remove accountability from administrators. Administrators are responsible for making decisions and dealing with the consequences. Good management requires that a decision-maker seek information and input as a basis for quality decision making. Administrators should establish and share in advance the procedures to be used in their decision-making process. Procedures should incorporate shared governance principles.



Shared Governance includes a system of checks and balances that protects legitimate and necessary roles within the college community.

Implementation Procedures:

Elements of the RIT governance structure currently exist to protect the interests of faculty, staff, and students, e.g., RIT Academic Senate, Staff Council, Grievance Committees, Academic Conduct Committees, etc. An additional element of the RIT checks and balances structure is the role that administrators can serve as independent decision makers at successive organizational levels. Members of the college community have a right to utilize this element to the fullest extent necessary.

A critical element of checks and balances is the establishment of procedures for community endorsement of proposed college-wide policies and procedures that are put to vote. Normally, a minimum of 33% voting participation shall be required for these proposals. In the event that a 33% participation is not obtained, a second ratification vote must be conducted, in which a majority of those voting will be determinate.



Members of the college community shall participate in the search and selection of those serving the administrative positions.

Implementation Procedures:

Defining the nature of, justification for, and qualifications required for administrative positions shall be a shared governance process, involving appropriate representation of the college community.

Members of search committees will be directly elected, or chosen from a pool of individuals nominated from those units with a legitimate interest in the administrative position to be filled.

In cases where an acting or interim administrator must be appointed, consultation with standing governance groups and affected units will occur, as appropriate, before an appointment is made. Whenever possible, search processes should start simultaneously with such appointments, with acting or interim appointments normally lasting for not more than two years.

The Vice President/Dean, who is charged with the final decision to appoint, will review the recommendations of the search committee. It is expected that the Vice President/Dean will make an appointment from those candidates recommended by the search committee; however, if there is a rare instance where this is not the case, the Vice President/Dean will provide a complete rationale regarding the reasons for such a decision to the members of the committee. The search committee will then have an opportunity to provide feedback to the Vice President/Dean, who will fully consider it before making a final decision.

RIT/NTID search committee processes exist. Such processes should be universally applied to all searches for administration throughout the institute.



There will be annual performance reviews of all faculty and staff administrators that include upward and administrative input. Further, there will be a comprehensive summative five-year review of each faculty and staff administrator that includes upward and administrative review, and review across units outside of one's primary area of administrative responsibility as appropriate. On the basis of this review and the annual performance reviews, the dean will make a determination regarding continuing appointment as an administrator, in accordance with these principles of shared governance.


Implementation Procedures:

There will be a comprehensive summative five-year review of each administrator that includes upward appraisals, annual performance reviews, and input from other NTID/RIT areas as appropriate. On the basis of this five-year review, the dean will make a determination regarding continuing appointment as an administrator, in accordance with the principles of shared governance.

The Dean and other administrators will conduct the reviews as a part of their administrative responsibilities.


Implementation Procedures:

Upward appraisal is vital to the spirit and the implementation of shared governance at NTID. All annual performance reviews of NTID administrators will include upward appraisals. All members of the college community have a responsibility to participate in the upward appraisal process. An upward appraisal process and instrument have already been established for the deans of all colleges of RIT. This annual process and instrument, with minor modifications, can be effectively applied to all levels of NTID administration. The specific instrument used to collect upward appraisal information may vary from Center to Center, but must conform to the following conditions:

- The instrument must include items related to the administrator's adherence to the Principles of Shared Governance.

- The anonymity of all respondents must be protected.

- The administrator must share a written summary of upward appraisals and a resultant plan of action in a timely fashion with the members of the organizational unit. These documents should be included in the administrator's year end self-appraisal (Summary of Accomplishments).



The principles of shared governance will be implemented at every level of decision making, i.e., program, department, center, and college.

Implementation Procedures:

It is not the intent of this principle to establish parallel systems of governance within the college or to foster additional bureaucracy. In many instances, implementation of shared governance principles will require revisions and modifications to currently existing structures and procedures, not necessarily the creation of new structures or groups. Administration, faculty, staff, and students at each level will work together to evaluate and modify existing practices and procedures in light of the principles of Shared Governance.