The GHC Honors Program is a ‘special academic program,’ not a Club or a Registered Student Organization (RSO), and is housed within Academic Affairs. As such, the Honors Program is subject to the authority and oversight of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
In 2018-2019, the GHC Faculty Senate investigated whether the Curriculum Committee, overseen by the VPAA, had full oversight of the Honors Program or whether a separate (now defunct) board of faculty members had authority. There was a request to reorganize the Honors Program under the oversight of a Committee of the Faculty or a Committee of the College to give a faculty group direct authority over the program. The Senate subcommittee determined that the VPAA & Curriculum Committee existing oversight structure, with substantive changes to the Program requiring approval through the existing structure, was sufficient and as intended in the existing statutes. A subsequent vote of the Faculty Senate, Statutes & Faculty Affairs Committee, and support of the VPAA affirmed that result. The proposal was presented to the full faculty but failed due to extremely low participation in the electronic vote.
The Honors Program has an annual budget assigned from the larger Academic Affairs budget and handled by that office. The funds from this budget support student travel for the purposes or attending or presenting at research conferences, educational and experiential activities on or near campus, recognition for outstanding achievement (plaques, cords, etc.) and office supplies. The Honors Director involves the Honors Advisory Council in discussions about how to use the funds, which are ultimately reviewed and approved by the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The day to day operations of the GHC Honors Program are handled by a GHC Faculty Member specially interviewed for and serving in the role of the ‘Honors Director.’ The day to day operations of the program includes reviewing student applications, communicating with students, faculty, and staff about the program, recruitment and advising activities, website management, contract review, project review, leadership of the HAC, management of the program budget, and administrative functions. The Honors Director role comes with a 4-credit course release as of the 2019-2020 academic year.
Honors Advisory Council
The Honors Director is supported by the Honors Advisory Council (HAC), which is comprised of faculty members representing each School at GHC. Service on the Council is considered to be equitable to service on Committees of the College or of the Faculty. Council members meet monthly with the Honors Director to discuss the Program, expenses, growth proposals, conferences, and project rigor. As needed, Council members are called upon for disciplinary expertise to review certain Project Contracts or completed Projects when the Honors Director is unable to do so.