Insights that offer a pathway for universities to cultivate longer and more impactful presidential tenures, resulting in greater stability, improved institutional performance, and strengthened relationships within the academic community.
Our institutions of higher learning must begin embracing a new model for higher education governance and shared governance. As change continually buffets colleges and universities, higher education boards are increasingly finding themselves in the hot seat. Trustees are facing challenges such as the pandemic, the enrollment cliff, declining state funding, and increasing online learning that ultimately will make or break the institution they govern and are responsible for.
As academics, we believe that shared governance is the structural underpinning of the top-down, bottom-up approach that is needed for effective higher education. With the rapid changes in higher education, how can shared governance continue honoring academic traditions while transforming into a higher-functioning system? Let’s look at the different aspects of accomplishing a balance while meeting goals and objectives.
Fifty years ago, three organizations, the American Association of University Professors’ Committee on College and University Governance, American Council on Education, and Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges collaborated to publish their 1966 Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities which called for shared responsibility among the different components of educational institutions. Thus, shared governance was born.