Shared Governance in Times of Change: A Practical Guide for Universities and Colleges
Today's challenging higher education environment demands a new way of making decisions. Changing business models and methodologies for delivering academic programs present new opportunities (as well as risks) and call for innovative responses. This publication aims to "reboot" dialogues among boards, presidents, and faculties. It creates a roadmap to navigate the complicated new terrain to a better state of shared governance and stakeholder engagement.
Author Steven C. Bahls discusses three traditional (but inadequate) perspectives on shared governance and then advocates for a better way. Pulling on his own extensive experience including his current role as president of Augustana College, Bahls explains why what is really needed is a new perspective of shared governance including a system that better aligns priorities, creating a shared set of metrics to measure success. Key take-away advice includes how to:
- Consistently and publicly remind all constituencies about the importance and value of shared governance;
- Periodically assess the state of shared governance at the institution; then develop an action plan to improve it;
- Support programs to strengthen faculty self-governance;
- Maintain a steadfast commitment to three-way transparency and frequent communication; and
- Respect traditional rules of faculty engagement.
“Excellent, timely and readable. Volumes of helpful advice. Nicely lays out in an orderly fashion the numerous issues relating to shared governance and provides practical ideas to apply to any campus.”
—Darrin Good, associate provost, Gustavus Adolphus College
“Valid issues and good suggestions to improve governance. The sample survey is an excellent tool for truly understanding reality at our institutions.”
—Lyn Trodahl Chynoweth, trustee and former board chair, Moravian College
“Readers will appreciate that practical ideas reinforce the major points. Helpful to use 'as is' or to adapt to their own institutions."
—Carol Cartwright, president emerita, Kent State University
About the author: Steven C. Bahls is the president of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He began his career in higher education nearly 30 years ago. He has written extensively about a wide range of governance topics, from governance in business corporations to shared governance in higher education. He has spoken on the topic of shared governance to audiences throughout the nation.
With special thanks to Northern Trust. Northern Trust is a leading provider of asset management, fiduciary, banking, asset servicing and fund administration solutions for individuals, families, corporations and institutions worldwide. See www.northerntrust.com.