This site provides both a history of how the University of Utah came to have an Academic Senate and a guide to navigating the U of U’s modern shared governance system. It was authored by Allyson Mower and Paul Mogren. Paul and I both served as Presidents of the Academic Senate—2008-2009 and 2013-2014, respectively.

When I started my term in May 2013, I had excellent mentors, but no historical perspective on why the University had an Academic Senate or what the broader role the Senate intended to fulfill. Other than recent and immediate past-presidents, my main source of information became University policy, particularly the policy on the Academic Senate. Knowing the rules turned out to be incredibly informative and helpful when it came to managing the Senate, but they certainly did not tell a story.

Given the significance of the Academic Senate as well as its historical progression, Paul and I wanted to write a public history that went beyond the rules and regulations to illustrate the Senate’s broader role. We offer this information to current Senate Presidents, members of the Academic Senate, the University community, and anyone interested in the history of the University of Utah, tenure, and academic freedom.