FLORENCE---Fred Carter, president of Francis Marion University, will be presented a distinctive award by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) at its 88th annual national meeting June 8 in Washington, D.C.
The Ralph S. Brown Award for Outstanding Service to Shared Governance is given in recognition of outstanding contribution to shared governance, preferably during the preceding year.
The award is not given every year and was last given in 1999. The award recognized Carter for working with the faculty to restructure the institution's governance system so that it gave the faculty a meaningful role in making decisions. This is the first time that someone from a South Carolina institution has received this award.
"I am extremely pleased that President Carter has been chosen for the Ralph Brown Award,” said Mary Burgan, AAUP’s general secretary.
Citing a visit she made to the campus, Burgan said, “The faculty responded to Dr. Carter’s openness and also to the fact that he takes issues of governance with a philosophical seriousness that is rare in university leaders. He understands the implications of what we do in academia for our democracy as a whole."
B. Robert Kreiser, associate secretary of AAUP, said the selection committee was impressed both by the substance and spirit of the governance system now in place at FMU. The nomination stated, “With amazing rapidity, Francis Marion has gone from the AAUP sanctions list to a model of what shared governance ought to be. Although many groups and people contributed to this process, the great difference between then and now is Dr. Carter.”
Restoring faculty participation in shared governance has been a concerted effort of Carter, the Board of Trustees and the faculty. The FMU chapter of AAUP, which nominated Carter for the award, includes many faculty members who are actively committed to shared governance.
Charlene Wages, elected chair of FMU’s general faculty, praised Carter’s role in re-establishing shared governance on campus. “This award signifies to the nation that the administrators at Francis Marion University are committed to shared governance and working in harmony with the faculty,” she said.
“It is professionally satisfying to have a president who is concerned with the education of students and the professional development of faculty, actively involving the faculty in each process. Dr. Carter’s approach helps to ensure that colleges and universities continue to be places where knowledge is created through discovery and analysis, debated and shared,” said Wages. “Students who have the opportunity to learn in such an environment are very fortunate.”
The award comes just five years after FMU was placed on AAUP’s governance sanctions list in 1997. That action came after the FMU Board of Trustees dissolved the faculty senate and set aside the faculty constitution. When Carter was named president of FMU in 1999, he made it a priority to get FMU removed from AAUP’s sanctions list, created in 1994 to cite those institutions that seriously abridged the role of faculty in the governance of an institution. FMU was removed from sanctions in a vote of delegates at AAUP’s annual meeting on June 9, 2000, becoming the first institution to have been sanctioned and then redeemed by the AAUP’s governance committee.
The faculty constitution and bylaws of the faculty senate re-established the faculty as the unit of the university that is responsible for the conduct of curricular and faculty affairs. The new governance document also provides for a committee structure that allows faculty to make recommendations in management areas, including budget and planning.
Founded in 1915, AAUP is a national organization of university faculty members, administrators, graduate students and the general public that defends academic freedom and tenure, advocates collegial governance and develops policies ensuring due process. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AAUP has chapters in 450 accredited colleges and universities across the nation, including FMU.
#175 / 6-7-02