Examples of Definitions of 'Shared Governance':
-->From AAUP website: "This statement was jointly formulated by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). In October 1966, the board of directors of the ACE took action by which its council "recognizes the statement as a significant step forward in the clarification of the respective roles of governing boards, faculties, and administrations," and "commends it to the institutions which are members of the Council." The Council of the AAUP adopted the statement in October 1966, and the Fifty-third Annual Meeting endorsed it in April 1967. In November 1966, the executive committee of the AGB took action by which that organization also "recognizes the statement as a significant step forward in the clarification of the respective roles of governing boards, faculties, and administrations," and "commends it to the governing boards which are members of the Association." (In April 1990, the Council of the AAUP adopted several changes in language in order to remove gender-specific references from the original text.)
This statement is a call for mutual understanding regarding the governance of colleges and universities. Understanding, based on community of interest and producing joint effort, is essential for at least three reasons. First, the academic institution, public or private, often has become less autonomous; buildings, research, and student tuition are supported by funds over which the college or university exercises a diminishing control. Legislative and executive governmental authorities, at all levels, play a part in the making of important decisions in academic policy. If these voices and forces are to be successfully heard and integrated, the academic institution must be in a position to meet them with its own generally unified view. Second, regard for the welfare of the institution remains important despite the mobility and interchange of scholars. Third, a college or university in which all the components are aware of their interdependence, of the usefulness of communication among themselves, and of the force of joint action will enjoy increased capacity to solve educational problems."
--> AGB Statement on Institutional Governance (Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, 2001) Excerpts: "Just as administrators and boards should respect the need for individual faculty members to exercise academic freedom in their classrooms and laboratories, boards should avoid the temptation to micromanage in matters of administration. And just as responsible faculty participation in governance places good institutional citizenship ahead of departmental or personal professional interest, so should individual board members avoid even the perception of any personal or special interests. In the case of public institutions or systems, trustees and governing boards should not be seen as advocates for their appointing authorities or of certain segments of the electorate. Board members as well as faculty members should avoid undermining their administrations."
"There should be a conscious effort to minimize the ambiguous or overlapping areas in which more than one stakeholder group has authority. The respective roles of the administration, faculty, and governing board in faculty appointments, promotions, and tenure illustrate the principle of collaboration. For example, although the board may wish to exert its ultimate responsibility by insisting on approving individual tenure decisions, it might choose to delegate other kinds of actions to the administration, which might, in turn, delegate some authority for some decisions to an appropriate faculty body. Clarity does not preclude gray or overlapping areas of authority, but each group should understand whether its purview, and that of others in the governance process, is determinative or consultative. Moreover, the board and the chief executive should ensure the systematic review of all institutional policies over time, including those affecting internal governance.
" 'Communication,' 'consultation,' and 'decision making' should be defined and differentiated in board and institutional policies. Governing boards should communicate their investment and endowment policies, for example, but they may choose not to invite consultation on these matters. Student financial-aid policies and broad financial-planning assumptions call for both communication and consultation with stakeholder groups."
"In institutions with faculty or staff collective-bargaining
contracts, internal governance arrangements should be separate
from the structure and terms of the contract. If a collective-bargaining
contract governs the terms and conditions of faculty and staff
employment, the board should consider a formal policy regarding
the role of union officials in institutional governance."
-->San Francisco State University Faculty Affairs Committee statement of 1/30/01: "Shared governance centers around 'a collegial system of shared decision-making uniting the responsibilities of those who oversee, administer, instruct at, study at, or have graduated from the CSU' (Principles and Policies: Papers of the Academic Senate, The California State University, Vol. 2, 1999, p. 21, PDF p. 27). It rests upon relationships of mutual respect and trust, especially among faculty and administrators."
Also quoted: Report of the Board of Trustees' Ad Hoc Committee on Governance, Collegiality in the California State University (PDF p. 47) adopted by the Board in September 1985: "Collegiality consists of a shared decision-making process and a set of values which regard the members of the various university constituencies as essential for the success of the academic enterprise...
"Collegial governance assigns primary responsibility to the faculty for the educational functions of the institution in accordance with the basic polity as determined by the Board of Trustees. This includes admission and degree requirements, the curriculum and methods of teaching, academic and professional standards, and the conduct of creative and scholarly activities. Collegiality rests on a network of interlinked procedures jointly devised, whose aim is to assure the opportunity for timely advice pertinent to decisions about curricular and academic personnel matters."
->American Federation of Teachers (AFT): "...
[S]hared governance is a set of practices under which college
faculty and staff participate in making significant decisions
concerning the operation of their institution..." This means
"Participation in shared governance should be expanded, ensuring that all faculty and professional staff have suitable arrangements for their voices to be heard and given proper weight in decisions that affect the mission and operation of the institution.
"Unions, representative assemblies and faculty senates all should have significant roles in shared governance."
->UC Riverside statement on Shared Governance: "The University has a dual-track system of authority and responsibility which presumes that faculty members are best qualified to chart the University's educational course, while administrators are most competent to direct its finances and organization. In practice, these domains are overlapping and interdependent. To function successfully together, faculty and administrators depend upon a high degree of consultation, trust, mutual respect, and a tradition of collegiality."
-->President Richard Atkinson's excerpted Statement on Shared Governance to the UC Regents on September 20, 1996: "Shared governance is not a single or simple concept. It is an intricate tapestry of rules and relationships, practice and policy. An institution of our size and complexity needs, from time to time, to step back and take a look at how it governs itself in light of the nature and purposes of the university."
-->President Mark G. Yudof, University of Minnesota, excerpts of speech, "Making shared governance work": "In a functioning university community, the students, staff, and faculty work for the institution as a whole. In that kind of atmosphere, civic responsibility, civility, and tolerance flourish. In that environment, we do not treat each other as stereotypes of our institutional roles."
"Members of the campus community intellectually understand the need for a 'collegial atmosphere,' but in reality the atmosphere on college campuses is too often one of distrust, envy, cynicism, and self-advancement. We forget that we are all in this together."
"...We need to suspend cynicism, the lack of trust, the fear of other opinions, and other needs. This will take time; we collectively have experienced some rough seas in recent years. But it is well worth the effort. I believe deeply in shared governance, but shared governance means shared responsibility, empathy, candor, and reciprocal relationships."
"Professor Putnam [author of Making Democracy Work] ... writes that a democracy requires a civic community, composed not so much of altruists, but of individuals who 'regard the public domain as more than a battleground for pursuing personal interest.' It requires a concept of equal citizenship that emphasizes 'horizontal relations of reciprocity and cooperation.' And, most of all, it requires virtuous citizens who are 'helpful, respectful, and trustful toward one another, even when they differ on matters of substance.'
We all lose if we insist on win/lose scenarios. We all win if we establish a trusts that enables us to sort out our differences, to compromise, and to solve problems cooperatively."
-->Texas A&M University: "The traditional concept of shared governance ... reflects a general commitment on the part of the faculty, the staff, and the administration to work together to strengthen and enhance the university, and it reflects a mutual respect in the university community for the contributions that all of its members bring to the educational enterprise."
->USC Researcher James Minor on the results of a survey of six doctoral granting universities on their definitions of shared governance (unpublished manuscript): As a result of his study, he found that faculty and administrators had a great deal of confusion over the definition of shared governance. "Concerning the concept, structure, and function of shared governance, the analysis of the data led me to two major propositions. First, substantial ambiguity exists surrounding what exactly shared governance is, and what it means for the particular campuses in this study. The second proposition is that employing shared governance with stratified decision-making is an effective approach for managing universities."
He found these two definitions to sum up what the participants described as shared governance:
"Democratic governance- All constituency groups should be meaningfully involved in the decision- making process. Many respondents defined shared governance as the structure and process by which each constituency group (i.e., governing boards, the administration, faculty, and students) work together to make institutional decisions. This definition of shared governance grants decision- making power to each campus constituency regardless of decision-type.
"Stratified decision-making - Different constituency groups have authority over specific areas of the institution. This definition of shared governance assumes that the decision type dictates decision- making authority. In other words, governing the institution is shared because each constituency group has sovereign authority in particular areas."
Unpublished paper supplied by author.
-->University System of Maryland, Policy on Shared Governance (excerpts):
A. Final authority and responsibility for the welfare of the USM and its institutions rests with the Board of Regents. The Board may delegate to the Chancellor and the Presidents portions of that authority for the purpose of assuring the effective management of the System and its institutions.
C. Shared governance requires informed participation and collaboration by faculty, students, staff, and administrators.
D. Faculty, staff, and students shall have opportunities to
participate, appropriate to their special knowledge and expertise
in decisions that related to:
E. The Presidents and other institution-wide administrators shall consult regularly with the institution's elected representative body or bodies. This consultation will be in accordance with the accountability plans developed collaboratively by the participants.
H. Effective implementation of shared governance shall be a component of evaluations of the Chancellor, the Presidents, and other administrators as designated by the Chancellor for the USM Office, and by the President for the institutions.
I. In keeping with the Principle II.C., all participants share with their Presidents and the USM leadership responsibility for:
1. Being informed on issues that confront higher education,
the USM, and the institutions;
J. Given the dynamic nature of institutional governance, it
K. Faculty and staff who do not hold administrative appointments, and all students, may express their opinions freely on all shared governance matters without retaliation. Administrators, including faculty holding administrative appointments, may also express their opinions freely during policy discussions, without retaliation, but once a decision is reached they are expected to support and implement policy as determined by the institutional leadership.
M. While participation in governance by faculty, staff, and students is necessary and important for the well-being of the USM and its institutions, the final responsibility for decision-making rests with institutional Presidents, the Chancellor, or the Board of Regents, who are ultimately held accountable by the public and its elected leaders.
->AUSTIN [Texas] COMMUNITY COLLEGE DRAFT STATEMENT ON SHARED GOVERNANCE (excerpts):
People are Austin Community College's most important resource. The College is fortunate to have an excellent and dedicated faculty and staff, to have students who perform as well or better than those who begin their education at a four-year college or university, and to have the solid support of the business community which recognizes the quality of our graduates and the critical role ACC plays in economic development for the central Texas region.
The challenge of taking advantage of the collective wisdom of faculty, staff, and students to further advance the core missions of ACC is significant. Our college is quite large, it is very complex, and its operations are geographically dispersed over an eight-county area. Maintaining open communication and access to information are goals which the College has addressed with varying degrees of success, and represent commitments which the College must value as essential to maximizing its effectiveness.
As ACC continues to refine its Comprehensive Master Plan, to undergo its reaffirmation of accreditation process, and to navigate through difficult resource issues it is appropriate and necessary that we engage in a serious examination of our communication processes and that we dialog about the issues collectively referred to as shared governance.
We have a College which merits the dedication and passion of its faculty, staff, and students. We have a community which is enriched by the unique role we play in the educational spectrum of this region. By focusing on improving how faculty, staff, and students can work together to address community needs, we will be an even stronger College in the future.
The College has had several district wide open meetings to discuss shared governance and will continue to work toward development of Board policy and administrative rule by the end of Fall 2002. In the meantime, a draft administrative position statement follows.
o Establishes the culture of the institution by defining the expectations for dialog, listening, and collaboration between faculty and staff and the administration and governing board
o Reflects the values of the institution
o Requires distinctions between input and accountability
From web site: http://www3.austincc.edu/evpcss/orgref/sharedgov.htm
Some Random CSUN Faculty Members' and Administrators' Definitions of Shared Governance:
1) Shared governance in an academic setting should mean that faculty should have responsibility for academic matters and for peer review of colleagues, but it also means that they have to share and temper that responsibility with administration and with students. I do not think that academic matters are solely the province of faculty, but I do think that faculty have to have as much say as administration does.
2) Rules set up so that not all "power" lies in the hands of either the faculty or the administration. Regardless of the rules, fear of reprisals and administrative fiat are less desirable (effective) than openness and leadership by persuasion (although at times unpopular decisions are needed).
3) When both administration and faculty have an opportunity to review, reflect, and discuss the implications of a proposal, and although administrators must ultimately make the choice, it is clear that it is done after hearing, and carefully considering, the faculty position, followed by an explanation of why the option selected was chosen.
4) Empowering the respective members of the college community to be involved in decision-making processes that shape and address the goals of the college.
5) In shared governance, all interested or involved parties are asked for input. Consultation must be widespread, with all parties invited to participate. Participants must commit to being open about concerns and not blindside the process. All concerns must be taken into account in the decision making process. However, the person or body charged with making the decision actually makes the decision. It is important that everyone understand that consultation does not mean doing what everyone who is consulted wants. It means listening.
6) A University community working together to achieve important common goals. It is focused on the broader issues---excellence in student learning and shaping a strong and sustainable future for the university. It is a collaborative strategy among people who share institutional purpose and good will. It is a strategy based on mutual trust and respect for the different areas of expertise and responsibility each member of the University community brings to the collective conversation. Shared governance draws together the multiple perspectives that the campus comprises to create the broader wisdom of the University community as a whole so that the University may more wisely define problems and shape viable solution alternatives that guide those different individuals and groups who have the primary responsibility for enacting solutions and strategies depending on the nature of the challenge at hand.
7) Shared governance requires an understanding of the roles and responsibilities in the decision-making process. It is a matter of respect not only for the opinions of others but also for the process itself. For issues subject to the collective bargaining process (wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment), there is not shared governance-- there is negotiation and contract. Concepts of 'shared governance' could actually serve to undermine the collective bargaining process. Shared governance on other issues is more of a challenge. It should not be the result of adversarial negotiations but rather a shared understanding of issues and how decisions are made as well as respect for the expertise and viewpoints of others involved in the process. For some matters, shared governance involves clear communication of decisions that were made at an administrative level along with communication of the rationales for the decisions. Examples include matters which are mandated by law (FERPA violations, discrimination, criminal law) and avoidance of risk (public safety, tree removal). For other matters such as the curriculum, faculty voices should predominate. Some issues require consultation and thus more extensive faculty, staff, and student input in the decision-making process. To tell people that they are being 'consulted' when they are really being told about the decision and how it will now be implemented, probably should not be referred to as 'consultation' but rather for what it really is---communication and explanation of a decision already made. It may be that as we examine the issue of shared governance, we will develop a new vocabulary as well as a shared understanding of the words in that vocabulary.
8) For me shared governance means being at the table where discussions are held and lead to decisions which result in university policy, process and practice. Being at the table gives ownership of the decision making process and the decision itself. Shared governance can eliminate the need to sell a pre-conceived decision, which should lead to a more effective implementation process. Being at the table only means that you are part of the conversation and that your position will be heard although not always agreed with. Everyone in the community (some more than others) is impacted by these decisions. Ideally the decisions should be by consensus. This requires that all those around the table have access to the information and that there is a base line understanding and agreement of the goals and mission. There also needs to be basic level of mutual trust and respect--that each member understand his/her and each others individual function, responsibility and the inter-dependence between those around the table. Honest communication is a prerequisite to shared governance. Leadership should exercise caution when articulating their perspective without appearing to dictate the desired outcome. Subordinates need to feel comfortable in sharing their views without fear of ridicule or reprisal.
9) Shared governance is a process whereby faculty and administration share their views about issues facing the institution "pertinent to curricular and academic personnel matters." (CSU Collegiality Statement) The process is collegial, can be deliberative and requires respect for all participants.
10) I prefer the term 'participatory governance,' in which each of us has a role to play. If any constituency fails to participate (e.g. nods off until voting time), the system does not work.
11) ... More challenging and I think at the heart of where the problem occurs is what is meant by consultation. In theory, consultation means that we seek advice and guidance on a matter from people whose opinion we respect. ... Most definitely, consultation is not asking for opinions on a decision already made. Consultation means that the group being asked can influence the outcome.
12) For shared governance to exist, a requirement of checks and balances must exist. If the administration has no checks by the faculty (as a collective voice) then there is not shared governance. This is not to say serving in advisory capacity is not important. Making advisory proposals is an important function of senate committees, as well as department and college committees, but some sort of limited power beyond a passive advisory role is necessary for shared governance.
13) Shared governance is where all decisions at the University affecting the education of our students are made jointly between the faculty and the administration.
14) Consultation; two-way dialogue and information flow; respect for one another's areas of expertise and power/authority; openness and honesty.
15) Operational-a structure that is essentially for show.
Advisory to administration. Faculty should be a vital and true
participant in academic matters.
Issues Facing Shared Governance and Universities:
->American Council on Education/EDUCAUSE article entitled Distributed Education and Its Challenges: An Overview, 2001: "Although higher education strives to be responsive to learners' needs, many of our processes and traditional timetables make us anything but nimble.... To be competitive and successful, distributed education [technology-mediated education] will require a governance model with a level of dynamism and flexibility dramatically different from traditional faculty governance models."
->From "Saving higher education's soul," by
Frank Newman in the Sep/Oct 2000 Change: "As
change accelerates, enormous opportunities lie ahead. It is likely
that the forces now changing higher education--virtual instruction,
the computer and its effects on pedagogy, the for-profit ventures--will
not manifest themselves in only their pure forms. Rather, the
system is likely to encompass all sorts of variations and mixtures.
The opportunities are, as a result, stunning in their scope.
The real threat to higher education is that it will focus only
on the short-term gain that these new forces offer, that we will
search for ways to maximize revenue at the expense of the longer-term
purposes that have formed the backbone of higher education for
The Critical State of Shared Governance
The AAUP's first annual Neil Rappaport Lecture focuses on
what happens to academic expertise and the academic freedom of
faculty when governing boards and administrators look to the
corporate world for organizational models. By Joan Wallach Scott
The Role of the President:
->AAUP statement on the Presidency: The president, as the chief executive officer of an institution of higher education, is measured largely by his or her capacity for institutional leadership. The president shares responsibility for the definition and attainment of goals, for administrative action, and for operating the communications system which links the components of the academic community. The president represents the institution to its many publics. The president's leadership role is supported by delegated authority from the board and faculty.
As the chief planning officer of an institution, the president has a special obligation to innovate and initiate. The degree to which a president can envision new horizons for the institution, and can persuade others to see them and to work toward them, will often constitute the chief measure of the president's administration.
The president must at times, with or without support, infuse new life into a department; relatedly, the president may at times be required, working within the concept of tenure, to solve problems of obsolescence. The president will necessarily utilize the judgments of the faculty but may also, in the interest of academic standards, seek outside evaluations by scholars of acknowledged competence.
It is the duty of the president to see to it that the standards and procedures in operational use within the college or university conform to the policy established by the governing board and to the standards of sound academic practice. It is also incumbent on the president to ensure that faculty views, including dissenting views, are presented to the board in those areas and on those issues where responsibilities are shared. Similarly, the faculty should be informed of the views of the board and the administration on like issues.
The president is largely responsible for the maintenance of existing institutional resources and the creation of new resources; has ultimate managerial responsibility for a large area of nonacademic activities; is responsible for public understanding; and by the nature of the office is the chief person who speaks for the institution. In these and other areas the president's work is to plan, to organize, to direct, and to represent. The presidential function should receive the general support of board and faculty.
-->UC Berkeley Excerpted Highlights of the Report of the Governance Advisory Group on the Office of the President: "The President is the leading spokesperson for the University in dealing with the Regents, the legislature, and the public at large. The President both shares the credit for the accomplishments of the campuses and shares the blame when things go awry. The future of the University is partly the product of its history and campus achievements, but it is further significantly shaped by the vision, management skills, moral leadership, and political adroitness of the President."
"There are some matters where the University needs to speak with one voice. That voice is the President, in consultation with the faculty, Chancellors, and others in the Office of the President. In the end, the President needs to make the hard choices...."
"Before announcing changes in policy, the Office of the President should consult with the appropriate individuals on each campus charged with implementation of the new policy. The faculty should be provided with the opportunity to advise on all significant appointments at the Office of the President, especially those that deal with academic matters and report through the Office of the Provost."
Three Case Studies for Discussion:
CASE STUDY 1:
For the past twenty-five years, a major responsibility of Department X has been to provide instruction in a series of service courses required of majors in five disciplines spread among three colleges. The constant complaint from faculty and students in most of these disciplines is that Department X does not sufficiently instruct students to handle the courses in their disciplines for which they are supposed to be prepared.
The Chairs of Departments Y and Z approach the Chair of Department X to voice their concern. Department X holds a faculty meeting and the faculty agree unanimously that the problem is in the unevenness of the student's preparation prior to enrolling at the University. Department X faculty feel that they are doing the best they can with the students that come to them. All three chairs talk to their deans: Y and Z demanding that X be ordered to improve its teaching, and X asking for protection from these unrealistic expectations. The deans adopt these positions and go to the Provost.
Who has responsibility to 'fix' this situation? What are
the steps that should be taken? Who should be consulted? What
should be the roles of the "players" in this situation?
What factors should be taken into account in settling this situation?
Who should make the final decision?
CASE STUDY 2:
There is growing concern among faculty and administrators
that the College of Intelligentsia at the State University is
too large to function effectively. It is made up of disparate
departments with many students in each. Consensus is building
that the College is too big and should be divided.
CASE STUDY 3:
The Board of Trustees for a public multi-campus system has asked the individual campuses to produce a strategic plan for shared governance. The Board has supplied a table that lists some of the decisions and responsibilities that are part of the day-to-day running of the university. It has left space for each campus to designate other duties and areas for which there is shared responsibility.
The goal of this exercise is to determine who has decision-making authority over the items listed in the attached table. You will see 10 items with columns that follow with the names of the 'usual suspects' involved in decision-making on a campus. You may add columns and groups/individuals if you wish. Please use the key below for assigning the various roles played by the different constituencies. For example, place a 'D' in the column that corresponds to the individuals/groups that have decision-making authority. Use 'R' and 'C' to indicate the parties you feel should have recommending and/or consulting authority, and 'I' for those who are informed of decisions after they have been made, or as they are being decided.
If you have comments about this page, please contact Randy Reynaldo
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