Plan Reviews

Reviews of College and School Plans of Organization

The University of Maryland Plan of Organization for Shared Governance states that each College or School, department or other academic unit, and the Library (all referred to as "College" throughout these webpages) shall have a Plan of Organization that will govern its operations. These Plans must embody the principles of shared governance and reflect University policy. The University Plan allows amendments to be made at any time, but also requires that these College Plans of Organization be reviewed every ten years.

The University Senate must review and approve any revisions to each College Plan of Organization before a new Plan can go into effect. The Senate Elections, Representation, & Governance (ERG) Committee and Faculty Affairs Committee take responsibility for reviewing Plans of Organization in detail before they are submitted to the full Senate and President for approval.

The following forms and documents are listed here as a guide for Colleges and Schools as they work to revise their Plans of Organization. Click on the links below to download the relevant University policies or the checklists used by the ERG and Faculty Affairs Committees when reviewing Plans. Colleges/Schools may also submit the University Senate Plan of Organization Tracking Form with their revised Plan, if they wish.

*A complete list of current University policies can be found here

Senate Review Process

Please review the following information and guidelines as you prepare for a Plan of Organization review.

College-level Review

The University of Maryland Plan of Organization for Shared Governance states that an elected committee within the College must review its Plan of Organization every ten years. The College should revise the Plan according to the procedures outlined in its current Plan of Organization.

The University Plan also states that each College must have a unit-wide assembly that includes faculty, staff, and students in shared governance (this body is referred to as the "College Assembly" throughout this webpage, but the name of the body may vary by College). Before a newly revised Plan of Organization can go into effect, it will need to be approved by this College Assembly, the University Senate, and the President of the University.

University Senate-level Review

  1. Plan Submission:
    • The College sends its revised Plan of Organization to the University Senate.
      • The Senate recommends that each College submit a draft revised Plan that has not yet been voted on by the College Assembly. Often during the review process, revisions become necessary, and submitting a draft for a preliminary review allows the Senate and the College to work out any revisions. With this approach, Colleges can avoid asking the College Assembly for multiple approval votes on different versions.
  2. Initial Review:
    • The Elections, Representation, & Governance (ERG) Committee is charged with reviewing college Plans of Organization. The Faculty Affairs Committee will review the Appointment, Promotions, & Tenure (APT) and Appointment, Evaluation, & Promotion (AEP) sections of each Plan.
      • Please note that colleges may choose to include brief APT/AEP section that refer to more comprehensive APT/AEP policies. In these cases, the College should also submit the separate policy to the Faculty Affairs Committee for review. This policy must be approved with the Plan of Organization.
      • The Senate committees welcome dialogue and input at the committee review level and will often welcome representatives from the College to committee meetings to discuss major questions or concerns.
  3. Additional Revisions:
    • Once the ERG and/or Faculty Affairs Committees have completed their initial review, they will communicate any concerns or requested revisions back to the College.
      • Often the committees make suggestions about specific sections of the Plan of Organization and will request revisions. The Colleges are responsible for revising the Plan or, in lieu of revisions, responding to the specific concerns of the committees.
  4. Senate Committee Approval:
    • After all revisions are made and the Plan is found to be in compliance with University policy and best practices of shared governance, the ERG and Faculty Affairs Committees will vote to approve the Plan of Organization and APT/AEP sections contingent on final approval of the College Assembly.
  5. College Approval:
    • Once the Plan has been approved by the two committees, the College Assembly will need to vote on the final revised Plan of Organization. This vote should take place in accordance with the procedures outlined in the College's current Plan of Organization.
  6. Senate Approval:
    • The revised Plan of Organization must be reviewed by the Senate Executive Committee (SEC), and subsequently approved by the full University Senate.

Further Steps

  1. Presidential Approval:
    • Each College Plan of Organization must be approved by the President of the University following approval by the University Senate. The Senate will transmit the approved Plan to the President and inform the College when the Plan has been officially approved.

To initiate a Senate-level review, please email your revised Plan of Organization to the Senate Office for review to at any time. For guidance on the Plan review process, please contact one of the individuals listed below:

Senate Staff

Senate Office 
Senate Staff 
Phone: 301-405-5805

Elections, Representation, & Governance Committee

Gene Ferrick
Chair of Elections, Representation, & Governance Committee

Faculty Affairs Committee

Robert Sprinkle
Chair of Faculty Affairs Committee


College Plan Review FAQs