OSU and Recognized Student Government Commitment on Student Engagement in Shared Governance

University Policy: 02-300 OSU and Recognized Student Government Commitment on Student Engagement in Shared Governance
Last Revised:
Responsible Executive: President
Responsible Office: President's Office
Download the Policy: (PDF)
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1. Policy Statement

1.1. Students have a significant and meaningful role in the institutional governance of the university. This university policy describes the ways in which students will be involved in shared governance and outlines the objectives and guiding principles established for that involvement.

1.2. Oregon State University (“university”) believes that it is important to recognize and appreciate the distinct knowledge and contributions that students bring to decision-making processes.

1.3. The university believes that students are deeply invested in helping it achieve success. For this reason, the university recognizes students as partners in shared governance.

1.4. The university recognizes the right of students to autonomy in the process of identifying and electing their peers who will represent them in the governance structure.

1.5. The university believes that strong institutional leadership built on collaboration between students and the administration is required to encourage and facilitate student involvement in university decision-making.

1.6. The focus and intent of this university policy is to institutionalize the presence of student involvement in shared governance at Oregon State University.

2. Reason for Policy

2.1. It is important that the university concretely demonstrates the value and respect held for the student voice and the crucial role of that voice in the growth, development, and success of the university. In this regard, the university must assure that meaningful student participation is included in the educational process—this includes, but is not limited to, policies and processes regarding academics, student life, university services, and other issues affecting students.

2.2. In 2004, President Edward J. Ray, working in collaboration with Associated Students of Oregon State University (ASOSU), issued the Edward J. Ray Doctrine, which outlined the university’s commitment to student engagement in shared governance. The Edward J. Ray Doctrine established the university’s policy on shared governance with ASOSU and in 2020, the Doctrine was developed into this university policy and officially adopted into the University Policy & Standards Manual. In 2023, the policy was updated to reflect the inclusion of the Associated Students of the Cascades Campus (ASCC) as a partner in shared governance.

3. Scope & Audience

3.1. This university policy applies to university administrators, faculty, staff, and students.

4. Definitions

4.1. Student participation/involvement: Broadly defined as student presence in proceedings regarding educational processes along with the opportunity for student voice and input, which shall be collected with a guarantee of being taken into consideration in decision-making processes. All shared governance members, which are the ASOSU and the ASCC as the recognized student governments, university Administration, and the Faculty Senate, will collectively discuss and strive for consensus on where student voice is appropriate.

5. Responsibilities & Procedures

5.1. Commitment to Student Engagement in Shared Governance

5.1.1. This university policy formalizes the presence of student involvement in shared governance at Oregon State University.

5.1.2. The university commits that students shall have a defined participatory role in the processes related to:

a. University mission and vision;

b. Institutional strategic planning and priority setting;

c. Institutional budgeting and planning;

d. Academic policies;

e. Selection and appointment of administrators, faculty, and staff members;

f. The Code of Student Conduct;

g. Tuition, fees, room and board rates; and,

h. Accreditation

5.2. Recognized Student Governments Participation in Shared Governance

5.2.1. There will be the opportunity for active, formal student involvement that will ensure that student perspectives are incorporated into the following commissions, committees, councils, workgroups, and other university governance structures. The governance structures below are required to request student members through the processes established in the recognized student government’s constitution, statutes, and bylaws, or by consultation of the appropriate recognized student government elected official in cases where no process is available.

5.2.2. President’s Primary Leadership Body. The recognized student government presidents will be standing members of the OSU President’s primary leadership body, which is currently the University Cabinet. This group advises the President concerning policy, leadership, and management issues.

5.2.3. University Policies and Standards. The opportunity for student involvement and input will be part of the consideration of every proposed university policy and standard. This also includes the opportunity for student involvement in developing the Code of Student Conduct, academic regulations, and University Housing and Dining Services policies. It is imperative that the processes for developing university policy and standards provide the opportunity for direct and substantial student involvement to ensure that students can address areas of concern prior to implementation. Accordingly, at least one student is to be seated on the university Policy Advisory Group—and other relevant committees—for policies and standards that impact students.

5.2.4. Faculty Senate. The recognized student government Presidents are to be a standing member of the Oregon State University Faculty Senate, as consistent with the Senate’s bylaws and other governing documents. The Faculty Senate is the official representative voice of the faculty at the university. There are numerous Faculty Senate standing committees, each of which must have student representation. The committees cover a wide spectrum of institutional issues that are pertinent to student life. The President of Faculty Senate is responsible for ensuring that students are represented on Faculty Senate committees and that Faculty Senate leadership understands their responsibility to support shared governance and the active involvement of students. The ASOSU has primary responsibility for recruitment to these positions.

5.2.5. Oregon State University Committees, Advisory Boards, and Commissions. Recognized student government officers and other at-large members of the recognized student governments are to be standing members of numerous Oregon State University committees, advisory boards, workgroups, and commissions, and play a key role in decision-making. This includes the recognized student government Presidents sitting on the University Cabinet.

5.2.6. Search and Screening Committees. Student perspectives will be sought in the screening and selection of candidates for administrative, faculty, and staff positions that particularly impact students’ experience and education at OSU.

5.2.7. Unit, Program, and Institutional Reviews/Evaluations. Students play an important role in the reviews of academic and non-academic units and programs for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of units and making decisions about realignment. Student input will be sought when conducting program reviews of units that impact students.

5.2.8. Accreditation. Students are to play a role in the formal university accreditation process via participation in the Accreditation Steering Committee, Student Accreditation Advisory Council (SAAC), student surveys, and interviews with commissioners during the onsite visitation.

5.3. Minutes, Agendas, and Student Participation

5.3.1. Oregon State University is committed to including student perspectives in its deliberations and decisions. Meeting conveners should be sensitive to schedules and life situations of all members when selecting meeting times. Meeting conveners should also be mindful of the academic calendar by avoiding scheduling meetings during week 10, finals week, and university recognized holidays and breaks to ensure maximum student participation.

5.3.2. Records of all meetings of boards, commissions, and committees shall be made available within the bounds of public records laws. In addition, meeting agendas should be made available to all meeting participants in a time frame that allows all participants the necessary preparation time.

5.4. Responsibility for Ensuring Students’ Role in Shared Governance

5.4.1. The President of the university provides leadership for the institution’s adherence to the principles of shared governance.

5.4.2. Recognized student government leadership will periodically review this university policy to determine the degree to which the university’s practices align with the shared aspirations expressed in this policy. The recognized student government Presidents, OSU President, and Vice Provost for Student Affairs should have a conversation about the importance of shared governance soon after the recognized student government presidents take office. Should specific questions or challenges arise concerning adherence to this university policy, those concerns will be addressed jointly by the presidents of the recognized student government, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, and any other relevant individuals.

6. Forms & Tools

6.1. None.

7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1. None.

8. Related Information

8.1. None.

9. History

9.1. Edward J. Ray Doctrine was adopted in 2004 and amended in April 2017. 

9.2. Formatting and housekeeping revisions were made to the Edward J. Ray Doctrine and it was adopted as University Policy 02-300 OSU and ASOSU Commitment on Student Engagement in Shared Governance on February 27, 2020.

9.3. Revised: University Policy 02-300 OSU and ASOSU Commitment on Student Engagement in Shared Governance was revised and renamed University Policy 02-300 OSU and Recognized Student Government Commitment on Student Engagement in Shared Governance on March 31, 2023.

9.4. Next scheduled review: March 2028.

10. Website

10.1. https://policy.oregonstate.edu/policy/osu-and-recognized-student-govern…

11. Contacts

President’s Office, 541-737-4133. https://leadership.oregonstate.edu/president

Associated Students of OSU, 541-737-6300, https://asosu.oregonstate.edu/

Associated Students of Cascades Campus, 541-322-3143, https://osucascades.edu/ASCC