SPSU is a state university in the University System of Georgia (USG), thus, is subject to policies of the Board of Regents (BOR), which give the president of the institution broad powers. (See Section 2.5 in the BOR policy manual.) The president, for example, is the ex-officio faculty chair, and may preside at faculty meetings. At SPSU, though, we have a tradition of shared governance, that is, governance shared by faculty, administrators, students, and other parties with a major stake in a given decision.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has among its purposes the advancement of shared governance. Its Committee on College and University Governance composed AAUP's first statement on the subject in 1920, ``emphasizing the importance of faculty involvement in personnel decisions, selection of administrators, preparation of the budget, and determination of educational policies.'' (See http://www.aaup.org/issues/governance-colleges-universities.) In 1966, AAUP published an update of its original statement.
The primary mechanism through which the SPSU faculty contributes to shared governance is its standing committees. These are ongoing committees of the faculty as established by the University Statutes.
The standing committees for 2013-2014 are the Faculty Senate, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC), the Undergraduate Student Status Committee (USS), the Graduate Programs Committee (GPC), the Student Life Committee (SLC), the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC), and Faculty Council.
Standing committees operate independently of one another and independently of the general faculty, which convenes several times a year. Standing committees make recommendations to the general faculty, which in turn, makes recommendations to the president. The president is the final authority on all policy matters.