Approved by Executive Council: December 8, 2008
Posted: December 12, 2008
Policy Topic: Academic Affairs
Administering Office: Office of the Provost
As a regional, comprehensive university operating in the 21st century, Western Carolina University will increasingly encourage, solicit, and accept gifts of money and property to support and augment its mission of teaching, research, and service. However, as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the accrediting agency of the University of North Carolina, and the University Code place primary responsibility for the curriculum with the faculty, it is appropriate that provisions be made for faculty peer review of any conditions relating to such gifts which might have curricular impact.
All such external gifts to public institutions—including, but not limited to, those from foundations, corporations, and individuals—are governed by the laws of North Carolina and the United States. In addition, universities have a unique set of ethics with regard to academic programs and content. This policy establishes a process for faculty peer review of any gifts to Western Carolina University that might affect the curriculum. Gifts that include restrictions, conditions, implications, and/or suggestions with regard to academic content will be subject to the following procedures that govern their review and acceptance.
These procedures shall be followed in all cases, regardless of how initiated, in which entities external to Western Carolina University, by means of a donation or otherwise, might influence academic programming, planning, course offerings, specific course requirements, or other material aspects of the WCU curriculum.
If a proposed gift has curricular implications, that is, if it contains any restrictions, conditions, implications, and/or suggestions with regard to academic content, the Chancellor, or his/her designee, will immediately be informed and will inform Legal Counsel. The Chancellor, or his/her designee, will then appoint an ad hoc committee of five faculty members to review the curricular implications of the gift and to make specific recommendations regarding the acceptability of such implications. One member of this committee should be drawn from the curriculum committee of the affected department, one should come from the curriculum committee of the affected college, and two should come from curriculum committees from other academic units. The committee will be chaired by the Chair of the Faculty, or his/her designee, providing that the committee chair is not a member of the potentially affected academic unit. The chair will serve as a voting member of the committee. This ad hoc gift review committee will act with consideration of the need for confidentiality and speed in the negotiation process. It will make recommendations to the Chancellor concerning the implications of the gift on the curriculum as well as the need for any further review or modification of any proposed agreement.
Any new course offerings, specific course requirements, faculty appointments, or other material aspects of university curriculum proposed as a condition of gifts, grants, or donations shall undergo the normal and established procedures governing campus-level review, revision, and approval, and the documentation submitted for such review processes shall include detailed description of the origins and the conditions, if any, attached to such proposals.
Any final agreement should be reviewed and approved by the Office of Legal Counsel prior to final signatures.