WCSU Faculty Handbook : Overview of the Organization

Overview of the Organization

The Faculty Handbook is issued to all full-time faculty in fulfillment of contractual requirements of the collective bargaining agreements between the Connecticut State University and the American Association of University Professors and SUOAF/AFSCME. In the event of discrepancies between provisions contained in the Faculty Handbook and the collective bargaining agreements, the collective bargaining agreements govern.

The Faculty Handbook also contains all Bylaws of the University Senate and its standing committees, plus policy documents adopted by the Senate.

The Purpose of the Faculty Handbook, in addition to meeting contractual obligations, is to provide faculty with an overview of the organization, policies, procedures, and services of Western Connecticut State University. It does not attempt to be definitive, nor does it duplicate material that is readily available in other documents. These documents are available in the Ruth A. Haas Library and other locations, as indicated.

Except for the section on University Governance, the Faculty Handbook is also a reference work for part-time teaching faculty and all other University employees. Full time and part-time AAUP faculty should refer to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Connecticut State University American Association of University Professors and the Board of Trustees for Connecticut State University, August 25, 2007- August 25, 2011, and to successor Agreements. Part-time faculty should refer particularly to Articles 2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.2, 4.6, 4.7.a, 4.13, 4.14, 9.1 – 9.1.3, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4.3, 9.4.4, 9.4.5, 9.4.6, 9.7-9.9, 10.4-10.4.2, 10.7.1, 12.8-12.8.2, 13.9-13.10, 13.13, 14.2.1, 15, 16, and 18.6.

Administrative faculty should refer to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between State University Organization of Administrative Faculty AFSCME-Council 4-Local 2836 and the Board of Trustees for Connecticut State University System, July 1, 2007-June 30, 2011, and to successor Agreements.

Institutional Characteristics and History of WCSU

Since its inception in 1903, Western Connecticut State University has evolved into an institution that comprehensively serves the intellectual, creative, and professional development needs of its community.  The university remains true to its mission, providing a vibrant educational environment and active outreach programs and partnerships that have long-lasting benefits to its stakeholders.

The university’s mission is published online and in print, including undergraduate and graduate catalogs and the faculty handbook.  The mission statement is clear and distinct, defining educational and other dimensions, including instruction, scholarship and public service.  In addition, it forms the basis for the mission statement of each of the university’s schools and departments.

WCSU is one of seventeen members of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU).  As a state university, its mission statement reflects the interests and needs of the people of the State of Connecticut.  It was approved by the Connecticut State University System Board of Trustees in 1998 and affirmed by the current Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR).

University Mission

Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals, and leaders in a global society.

To achieve this, we

  1. Offer undergraduate and graduate programs that weave together liberal arts and professional education and instill a desire for life-long learning.
  2. Sustain a vibrant, inclusive campus that connects individuals through co-curricular programs, cultural events, and service to the community.
  3. Attract student-centered faculty who are passionate teachers and accomplished scholars.
  4. Establish partnerships that create opportunities for internships, research, and experiential learning.


Excellence. We value outstanding achievement realized through persistence, effort, honest feedback, and self-reflection.

Curiosity. We value the questions that drive learning, innovation, and creativity, which serve as the beginning and the desired outcome of education.

Dialogue. We value the conversations that explore diverse perspectives and encourage shared understanding.

Engagement. We value the interactions with ideas, peers, and community that are essential to a vibrant university environment.

Opportunity. We value the possibilities created by affordable, accessible educational environments in which students can grow into independent thinkers and confident leaders.

Respect. We value the right of all people to be treated with dignity and fairness and expect this in our policies, classrooms, and community.


Western Connecticut State University will be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

Approved by the University Senate March 24, 2017


Statewide Organization of Public Higher Education

Board of Regents for Higher Education/Connecticut State Colleges & Universities

The Board of Regents for Higher Education was created by Connecticut State Statute on July 1, 2011, and serves as the governing body for seventeen Connecticut State Colleges & Universities–four state universities; twelve community colleges; and Charter Oak State College, Connecticut’s only public, online, degree-granting institution.

Governance Structure

On the board, there are nineteen total members, broken down as follows:

Fifteen voting members:

  • Nine appointed by the Governor
  • Four appointed by legislative leadership, of whom one is a specialist in K-12 education and the three remaining are alumni of the Connecticut Community Colleges, and Connecticut State Universities, and/or Charter Oak State College
  • The chair and vice-chair of the Student Advisory committee

Four non-voting, ex officio members:

  • Commissioner of the Department of Education
  • Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Commissioner of the Department of Labor
  • Commissioner of the Department of Public Health

The Chair of the Board of Regents is appointed by the Governor and the Board of Regents elects a vice-chair and other officers from among its membership.

Among other responsibilities, the board sets statewide tuition and fee policies; establishes financial aid policies; reviews and recommends any new academic programs; and, in collaboration with institutional stakeholders, conducts searchers for and selects campus presidents.

In addition to governance responsibilities, the board also hold broad responsibilities for development and coordination of statewide higher education policy.