Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness: Core Component 5.B

5.B - Core Component 5.B

The institution’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission.

  1. The governing board is knowledgeable about the institution; it provides oversight of the institution’s financial and academic policies and practices and meets its legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
  2. The institution has and employs policies and procedures to engage its internal constituencies—including its governing board, administration, faculty, staff, and students—in the institution’s governance.
  3. Administration, faculty, staff, and students are involved in setting academic requirements, policy, and processes through effective structures for contribution and collaborative effort.


5.B.1  The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) is the governing board for the state’s public universities: Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. The Board provides policy guidance in such areas as: academic and student affairs; financial and human resource programs; student tuition, fees, and financial aid programs; university capital development plans; strategic plans; legal affairs; and public and constituent outreach. Detailed reports on each area are provided annually. The Board and Committees meet five times each year, with occasional additional special meetings. 

5.B.2  Arizona Revised Statute 15-1601(B), revised in 2016, requires that ABOR, the President, and the faculty share governance of Arizona’s universities. At ASU, governance of the institution is a shared responsibility carried out by ABOR, ASU’s administration, and the faculty acting through their representatives. Students and staff employees also provide input through their elected representatives. ASU employs policies and procedures to engage its internal constituencies—including ABOR, administration, faculty, staff, and students—in the institution’s governance. The administrative, faculty, staff, and student leadership functions are discussed in turn here, with a sketch of how those groups function as part of the collective decision-making process of the institution. ABOR is described in the following subcomponent discussion. 

Since 2002, the semi-autonomous administrations of ASU’s physical campuses have been consolidated into a single administration for all programs and operations. That administration is led by the President, with two additional officers who are appointed by and report directly to the President: (1) the Executive Vice President and University Provost and (2) the Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer. The President officially represents the university to ABOR. 

ASU policy ACD 112-01 outlines and defines the authority by which faculty members and academic professionals of ASU participate in governance and administration and in the development of policy. ACD 112-01 provides for three organizations -- the Academic Assembly, the University Senate, and the University Academic Council.  

  • The Academic Assembly is composed of all faculty in a tenure-eligible or tenured position; academic professionals with full-time multi-year, probationary, or continuing appointment positions; the President of the University, and the Executive Vice President and University Provost; all full-time faculty with fixed appointments (i.e., instructors, lecturers, senior lecturers, principal lecturers, clinical faculty, research faculty, and professors of practice); and members of the Emeritus College. The Academic Assembly normally exercises this power through its representative body, the University Senate. The president hosts an Academic Assembly at least twice a year. 
  • The University Academic Council (UAC) serves as the executive board of the University Senate and is composed of the senate presidents, presidents-elect, and immediate past presidents of each campus. 

The classified staff and university staff employees are represented through the ASU Staff Council. The Executive Board is comprised of Staff representatives from each campus. Committees reporting to the Executive Council (e.g. Health and Safety Committee minutes) advise the University President on the working climate for staff employees, as well as make recommendations on improving the employment environment, policies and procedures affecting staff, and the general welfare and equal opportunities for staff members; enhancing internal communication among staff on all campuses, other universities within Arizona, and local communities; and promoting organizational and professional development. 

Several layers of student governance at the college, campus, and university levels represent undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Arizona State University. The highest bodies in student governance include:

  • An Undergraduate Student Government (USG) on each campus provides advocacy services and representation for the undergraduate student body. Comprised of both elected and appointed officers, USG leaders work with university administrators on their respective campuses to enhance the student experience at each location in accordance with student priorities. The USG Student Senate, comprised of elected representatives on each campus, meets regularly.
  • The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) provides support and services to the graduate and professional student community of ASU. All registered post-baccalaureate students with graduate, professional, or non-degree seeking status are members of GPSA, which has both elected and appointed officers, including one Director representing each of the campuses. The GPSA Assembly, comprised of elected representatives from each of ASU’s colleges meets monthly, and student leaders of the GPSA routinely meet with senior university administrators (including the Graduate College) to discuss and address matters of importance to the graduate and professional student community. 

The collective voice of the student body is represented in the Council of Presidents. Comprised of each of the four undergraduate student body presidents (from each campus) and the Graduate and Professional Student Association President, the Council meets routinely with senior university administrators, including the President to discuss and address student priorities. 

5.B.3  ASU’s commitment to shared governance has been argued in 2.A and 5.B.2. The Provost and faculty oversee academic requirements, policies and procedures. New programs are initiated at the department level and gain approvals from college curriculum committees (e.g., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, college Deans and the Curriculum and Academic Programs Committee of the University Senate (example minutes); final approval is by vote of the University Senate. The University Senate Personnel Committee serves in a policy-forming and advising capacity in the study, clarification, and formulation of policies and procedures affecting faculty and academic professionals. The Student-Faculty Policy Committee, with representatives from undergraduate and graduate student governance serves in a policy-forming and advising capacity in matters governing student conduct, in matters concerning student organizations, and in other matters related to students. Undergraduate and Graduate student governance committees also raise issues of academic policy through student representatives, as argued in 5.B.2.