Topic Overview

What is shared governance and how do different people's perceptions of the term influence how the decision making process is defined? Each of the articles this week attempts to define governance and determine what an effective governing structure is, both at educational institutions and beyond. Gayle, Tewarie and White (2003) give insight into identified components of shared governance. They define shared governance as "the mutual interdependence and responsibilities between faculty, administrators, trustees, and outside entities such as state legislators, governors, state departments of education, the federal department of education, congress and educational associations to lead and guide educational institutions(31)." However, as the articles and our class discussions make clear, shared governance is not a ready made or universal notion. Instead it utilizes a social constructivist framework, perpetually being created and redefined by the interplay and tension between the various stakeholders. Each stakeholder plays an integral part in defining this elusive but important term in light of their contextual involvement in the governmental structure.


The case study titled, The Making of an Activist Governing Board by Michael N. Bastedo looks at the workings of an activist governing board. Out of the three states that have activist governing boards, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts, Bastedo focuses on the State of Massachusetts board. He examines the policy-reform process by analyzing the activist board’s leadership and staff. He also discusses the implications of these boards for public higher education governance.

To begin, Bastedo explains that there is not currently a set definition of board activism. He gives a few definitions that exist; however they vary depending on who is doing the defining. The definitions range from the appointment of business-oriented leaders who hold positions on corporate boards to the board consisting of appointed conservative or Republican board majorities. He looks at how the activist governing board differs in their actions compared to traditional regulatory boards. He also defines an activist board for the sake of his paper as, “those who take an independent and aggressive role in the policy-making process, resulting in organizational characteristics that are appreciably distinct from traditional boards" (552).

Bastedo develops and introduces the concept of “institutional entrepreneurship” and looks at recent developments in institutional theory. Institutional entrepreneurship uses the ideas of power, leadership and strategic action in order to understand organizational stability and change. This theory also explains how institutions are much more than organizations in that they hold strongly felt values and beliefs. This in turn affects the actions that can be taken by the institutions. Power and control over the institution is limited by the degree of organization and power in opposition groups.

Next, Bastedo talks about the method of his case study. He explains that his study will investigate the degree the Massachusetts activist governing board has engaged in institutional entrepreneurship. In 1995, the Massachusetts board rapidly moved from a regular board to an activist board. This drastic shift provided Bastedo with an ideal board to use for his case study. He interviewed board members as well as important people within the system, including lobbyists, college presidents, faculty union representatives, and senior admin staff. He also used documents, memoranda, letters, reports and data that were made available to him for this study. He was interested ultimately in the system board but also observed the relationships between campus actors, actors in the external environment and those connected with the legislature and governor’s office.

Bastedo then turns to the details of the Massachusetts governing board. The regular governing logic includes routine control and oversight of the state’s campuses. The activist governing board uses a top-down control system and business-oriented solutions to administrative problems. The BHE, or Board of Higher Education, holds the quite a bit of power, including, the authority to approve and eliminate academic programs, approve admissions standards, set tuition and fees, set presidential salaries and negotiate with employee unions. In 1995, the governor appointed James F. Carlin as the chair of the BHE with the expectations that Carlin would “eliminate waste” in the MA higher education system.

Carlin made drastic changes straight out of the gate. See the included table below of the new BHE policies passed and implemented by Carlin. These efforts passed easily due to the fact that campus presidents were afraid to take on the BHE because of the financial incentives that managed them. The faculty was ultimately worried about tenure issues and therefore could not raise a united front against the BHE. This in turn made the BHE, its staff, and the state government the key players in policy reform from 1995-2000 in Massachusetts. Bastedo talks about how he believes that Carlin used his social skills as a leader and political resources to ensure that his policies were implemented. This ties in with our March 30th class discussion regarding the current issues happening in the four states we looked at as a group. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin as well as the recent Chronicle article on New York state are all facing crises in higher education. Each group in class agreed that the political frame is in use within each state.

Chancellor Koplik, who was appointed two years before Carlin, spent a year proposing many of the changes that Carlin was able to implement merely weeks after his own appointment. Although Carlin was able to get policy’s passed with ease, many campus actor’s did not always agree with his approach to governance. They said it was quite common for the policy to be implemented without any advance discussion but once on the working level, staff found that they would have re-write and re-work the policy in order for it to function properly. Carlin seemed to be interested in drastic change and successful policy implementation rather than whether the policy actually created progress at the institutions. He also would often take all of the credit due to his charismatic personality even though he relied heavily on the board staff for direction and expertise. It was finally realized that Carlin and the staff needed each other to be successful. The staff would often provide the ideas that Carlin would choose to promote. They were also responsible for reining Carlin in when his ideas got a bit too drastic. This teamwork was absolutely necessary for public policy reform.

Carlin’s policies left a huge impression on the Massachusetts public higher education. The policies the BHE implemented made huge gains for access in general, but especially for low-income students attending community college. It also unfortunately created more hurdles for the same low-income students who were not able to meet the higher admission standards set at upper level universities. Carlin was able to create close relationships between people of power, legislators, government staffers and the governor. On the other hand, this close relationship has caused the board and state government to be seen as a state agency. This can be a problem when it is vital that the board retain a sense of independence in order to keep a credible voice for public higher education. After Carlin left office, Mitt Romney came in and severely cut state appropriations for the state colleges. Carlin’s gains were not able to resist the severe budget crisis and political pressures.

In conclusion, Bastedo proved the using the idea of institutional entrepreneurship in order to understand this case study to be successful. Massachusetts essentially copied the practices and politics of California, which is considered a national leader. Throughout the case study, Bastedo talked to people who may have been opposed to how Carlin made thing happen, they had to admit that he did make changes where in the past things had stayed stagnant in the higher education system. The case study also shows that partisan politics agendas will fail in their policy development when run opposite to higher education institutions. The challenge is to find the balance of power between the state board and government in order to successfully create and implement policies. The idea of an activist governing board affects many of us in class as some are already working in the higher education system here in Virginia and others are embarking on a career in this state after graduation.

Admissions standards-Minimum high school GPA for incoming students at four-year colleges raised to 3.0. Percentage of students exempted from the admissions standards cut to 10%. Data monitoring to ensure compliance.

Remedial education- Remedial education limited to 5% of the incoming freshman class at all four-year colleges.

Tuition reductions- Tuition reduced six consecutive years (1995-2001), for a total reduction of 32%. Fees increased, but overall reduction in student costs of 9.5% systemwide.

Joint admissions- Program that allows students to be jointly admitted to the community college and four-year campus of their choice simultaneously, providing for “seamless transfer” if they maintain a 2.5 GPA at the community college.

Tuition advantage- Provides a one-third tuition discount in the junior and senior years to students who transfer from a community college and earn a 3.0 GPA.

Community colleges-“Free” community college tuition and fees for low- income students with family incomes below $36,000.

Mission review- Review of each institutional mission statement to align with state interests. Development of measurable campus priority statements. Use of incentive funds to push campuses to comply with board policies and priorities.

Academic program review- Statewide review of academic programs with low enrollments, leading to the BHE’s termination of 52 programs. Statewide reviews of program in key areas such as computer science.

Special colleges-
Development of Commonwealth College, an honors college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, to attract the state’s highest achieving students. Promo- tion of the idea of “charter colleges” that are released from state regulations but are more closely monitored for performance.


What is the future of shared governance? This is a question that many in higher education will soon ask (if they have not already). The model of shared governance has existed in the higher education community since the early 1900s; however as times and agendas change the relevance of shared governance in modern times comes into question. Crellin’s article seeks to explore whether shared governance can be salvaged in higher education and in what capacities.

The first challenge when exploring the relevance of shared governance is that the term itself is caught in an identity crisis. Gary Olson refers to it as a “floating signifier – a term so stripped of any definitive meaning that it becomes molded around the context a particular person or group decides to give it in the current moment” (71-72). The lack of clear definition is perhaps what has allowed shared governance to rule as the prominent model of governance in higher education for so many years. Since institutions and groups are able to make it fit to their needs, this apparent flexibility may be what has allowed the model to sustain for all these years. However, this lack of definition and flexibility within groups has lead to tension. Crellin explains that tension “exists when constituents come together with competing, and at times, antithetical demands and expectations” (71).

In higher education the two integral groups that often find themselves dealing with tension are faculty and administrators. The problem between these two groups is that because shared governance neglects to define an authority the two groups bring their own agendas to the table and often times find that they disagree on key issues based on their allegiances to their own groups. Faculty believe that they are supposed to uphold the academics of the institution by keeping them as the focus of the university, which then allows the administrators to deal with the less important “managerial labor.” While on the other hand, trustees and administrators view the faculty as “important contributors to the conversation” but that the administration has control over administrative decisions (72). The question that is raised from this tension is one group in fact more powerful than the other?

Peter Eckel and Adrianna Kezar’s Four Changes to Reshape Academic Decision Making (72-73):

1) Relationship between state governments and public institutions: With the increased monitoring of student learning and levels of research the lawmakers are asking a lot of institutions but are not providing necessary resources in return.
2) Decline in public support: is forcing institutions to explore other ways to generate revenue. These include technological advances, sponsored research, and shift towards business-based decision-making skills.
3) Change in leadership style based on increased globalization: As our world becomes increasingly globalized, so too must our institutions. If our institutions are going to change our leaders must follow suit. Finding leaders that can increase global partnerships, add international components, and create joint programs is essential to surviving in this society.
4) The changing academic workforce: and the implications that this has on governance. The number of full time faculty is declining while adjunct faculty is on the rise. The problem is that as the number of full time faculty decline there are going to be less faculty members that have long-term commitments to institutions, so when these faculty members face pressure from administrators they are more likely to give into these pressures rather than take the side of a full time faculty member. *What does this mean for us as future higher education administrators and or faculty? How does our awareness of this potential problem make us view shared governance differently when we are put into these roles?

While there are plenty of critics, shared governance has managed to keep up with the times by (73):
  • Integrating new technologies
  • Establishing joint programs with industry
  • Offering external degrees
  • Retooling academic disciplines to better meet the demands of employers

Examples of Shared Governance in the Global Age:
Southern New Hampshire University has managed to implement some of the above techniques through their College of Online and Continue Education (COCE). COCE has been a very successful program, it has received many awards and attention in the business world, and additionally it has generated revenue for SNHU as well.

When COCE first began the main leadership included a management team and part-time, adjunct faculty members taught the courses. COCE hoped that it would be able to provide a variety of courses and offerings, similar to what was offered at the university college (UC). However, as COCE gained popularity the UC faculty began to question the content and delivery of COCE courses. The tension grew, as the faculty governance was slow to make decisions and push content through the COCE, and the administration made quicker “business-like” decisions. These opposing methods caused added stress and raised the question that are new technological advances like COCE forced to step away from traditional governance roles so that they can fully grow and develop?

In response to the lack of shared decision-making President LeBlanc, a supporter of COCE, and Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Lynott proposed a procedure for approving UC programs for COCE instruction which included several means of collaboration but most importantly allowed for “multidirectional flow of ideas and suggestions to pass through both entities to address their concerns and refine changes to coursework” (75). Faculty members are to be involved in course reviews and can provide feedback and comments as a way to monitor the quality of the courses, which was a major concern for many faculty members.

Was LeBlanc’s strategy successful?
LeBlanc was able to include faculty in these decisions, which is important not only to maintain the legitimacy of the COCE programs, but also to allow them more time to “buy in to” the COCE. The faculty still remains skeptical in some aspects, but the dialogue has started so there is opportunity for continued discussions about COCE and improving its programs.

Does tension between faculty who prefer traditional on-campus experiences and administrators that want to explore innovative and revenue-generating experiences cause a reversion to pre-shared governance days? How much of this is based on symbolism versus the faculty’s lack of trust in the administration?

“A central method to improving the model of shared governance may be found in promoting understanding and fostering deeper, more systemic cooperation between faculty and administrators” (77). This improved method will help relieve some of the tensions that arise in shared governance. Understanding and acknowledging how group distinctions bind people within a group but separate them from others in outside groups should help group see where tension stems from and how to handle it.

Additionally, Pittinsky’s theories, which Crellin addresses in the article explore the idea that it is not sufficient to just, bring the different groups that are involved together for the discussion. The leaders should appreciate the diversity of the group without trying to disregard it (78). This was particularly relevant to our class discussion about states such as Wisconsion and Ohio and their dealings with unions. When a group is distinguished based on their union identification then they stand out and the divides between group grow larger. However, if the groups that come to the table all acknowledge their differences from the beginning and embrace everyone’s different viewpoints then no one will be ostracized even more based on these differences.

To summarize, shared governance has a certain history in higher education and is quite symbolic in many ways, so it is no surprise that as higher education attempts to innovate there will be some hesitation when shared governance also makes strides to change. Crellin ends the article with a call to action to “re-endow the term ‘shared governance’ with new meaning and definition” (80).

Gayle, Tewarie, & White

What exactly is university or shared governance? Gayle, Tewarie and White define it as a "mutual recognition of the interdependent and mutual responsibilities among trustees, administration, staff, faculty and students for major institutional decision making relating to mission, budget, teaching and research." They also point to the fact that the state and the federal department of education, state governors and legislatures, congress and outside educational associations all play a role in this web. Using a diagram of concentric circles, they show how each of these entities overlaps and connects with each other to form an intricate but dense structure which is charged with leading higher education institutions.

First, the authors give a detailed examination of the terms commonly used in university governance; they highlight the terms governance, management and leadership. Governance is the structure and process of authoritative decision making. Management is the implementation of decisions. However, it is the term leadership that is of truly critical importance, and the authors devote a considerable section to a discussion of various philosophies of leadership. Here, the authors admit that while "academic leadership remains a subject partly shrouded in myth," a true academic leader will nonetheless exhibit certain qualities, such as deferment of judgment, active listening, ability to see shades of gray and not absolutes, and the ability to act with incomplete information. These leaders are better able to navigate the uncertainties of organizational life, especially in a loosely coupled, decentralized structure such as university governance. They label this type of leader as an "authentic leader." The tenets of this authentic leader elide somewhat with Cohen and March's vision of a leader. They specifically speak of deferring judgment and being inconsistent. However, Gayle, Tewarie and White seem to give much more power to a leader to guide a university than do Cohen and March.

Next, the authors shift from a discussion of individual leadership to a discussion of institutional structure. Understanding institutional culture is so crucial because in many ways, culture determines behavior, it prescribes expectations and norms for people to follow. These behaviors will have a major impact of the governance of a particular university. The authors outline a variety of different university cultures, with varying emphasis on administration, faculty, and the market. They note how disparities in interpreting governance may stem from the structure and culture of a university. As we have discussed in the readings and in class, the old adage "this is the way we do things around here" seems to be a nice short hand for culture. This particular way of doing things must be taken into account in governance decisions. Harkening back to our earliest discussions, many leaders assume a positivist/universal stance toward their organization, namely they believe what works for one will work for all. As we have read and discussed, this can be disastrous. A potential leader should perform a "cultural audit" and determine the nature of the culture of the organization. One way this can be done is by using Schien's tripartite framework of artifacts, values and assumptions, to reveal the physical, portrayed and assumed cultural ideas of a university. Only when this is discovered can a true vision for direction be implemented.

They then tackle the actual concept and definition of shared governance. Traditionally, the practice of shared governance has revolved around the concepts of academic freedom and peer review. Included in this are the notions of admission policies, curriculum questions, procedures for student instruction, standards of student and faculty competence and ethics as well as the maintenance of the learning environment. However, what these terms actually mean and who gets to decide is open for debate. This relates directly to Mintzberg's concept of a professional bureaucracy. The power, at least for an individual university, resides in the operating core (i.e. faculty) due to their expertise. However, while the operating core needs a high degree of autonomy to run, this autonomy can make leadership of that operating core tricky and it can stymie change because the autonomous professionals almost always have an aversion to supervision (the adage "all chiefs no Indians" is applicable here). When situated in the web of federal and state government, trustees and outside organizations, the potential for clear direction and effective leadership are daunting.The authors admit that this clumsy structure can inhibit the progress of change in an organization. At worst it can cause paradigm paralysis, which is an institutional paralysis in the face if external situations and conflicts. Recognizing the tendency of paradigm paralysis and the slow moving nature of university governance, the authors pose the startling question: how can an organization seriously consider decisions about its future and structure if those questions threaten the actual reason for that organization's purpose and being? They identify this as a serious obstacle of change. And in many ways, it is not just a structural challenge, but also an existential challenge that drives through the core of American Education.

In the next section, the author's delve more deeply into the idea of university governance, and what they illustrate by this is that the term is an ambiguous, multifaceted notion that means different things to different stakeholders. For one, there is a great divergence of level of governance between trustees and faculty. Since the 1960s, serious attempts to nail down a coherent vision of what shared governance by various entities, notably the AAUP, ACE and AGB. The general rule of thumb was shared governance was mutual interdependence of trustees, faculties and administrators. However, in the late 1990s, AGB, broke with this assessment and declared that ultimate responsibility rested with the governing boards. This sparked a heated debate which still rages. However this is a debate of degree. The debate also extends to one of kind. Shared governance encompasses many things, but as mentioned previously questions of curriculum and academic freedom are central to it. However, as the authors point out, academic freedom is most elusive. For students it may mean the liberty to choose courses, select topics for papers and post material on the internet. For faculty it could mean the ability to pursue controversial topics without fear of reprisal (see attached article link) and for administrators it means institutional autonomy. It is obvious that shared governance is a contentious issue, depending on who defines it. Yet the authors are optimistic, because while they recognize the divisive nature of the term, they point to how it remains a real possibility to transform this divisiveness into a potential for progress by employing some of the tactics of an "authentic leader," namely by active listening, delaying judgment and tolerating a degree of uncertainty and ambiguity. This also elides somewhat with the post-modern paradigm, which calls not for the extinguishing of differences, but using difference and conflict as a means to progress.

The authors identify the biggest challenge for shared governance in the future as the practice of accountability. By the late 1990s, taxpayers, state legislators and parents began to demand tangible results of their universities. Universities were increasingly scrutinized; this scrutiny was aimed at funding policies, admission practices and even the curriculum. The rage is as strong as ever and will only continue into the 21st century. In many ways, this can be interpreted through the symbolic lens, accountability is a symbol to constituents that higher education is efficient. Reminiscent of the Katz and Kahn article, the question is whether the university can absorb this new input of accountability from the outside environment and maintain a new state of equilibrium and what this new state will look like. In this high stakes climate, the authors note that shared governance, mainly in the form of faculty participation, may be eroding. We have discussed this prospect in class. With the increasing reduction of full time faculty, is the university moving closer to a machine bureaucracy, which is characterized by top-down managerial decisions and not the autonomy of the operating core? Under pressure from state legislators and taxpayers, college administrators tend to assume more unilateral control of all facets of the university thereby marginalizing faculty. The authors contend that if faculty are brought into this process as meaningful participants, they can add to it and create a rich variety of institutional accountability and evaluation.

Shared governance can be interpreted through the various frames we have learned, however, from our class discussions on higher education in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and the article on New York, it would seem the most relevant is the political frame. Various coalitions in each state (i.e faculty, state legislators, governors, taxpayers, administrators etc) are battling over funding and resources , much of the gains and losses are determined through the battles and negotiations of the competing groups of stakeholders. However, it can be argued that the groups do not posses equal power (i.e. state governments able to slash funding by millions of dollars but universities not able to drastically raise tuition) so there is cause for concern. Finally, this political frame also elides with the symbolic frame. Governors slashing budgets, requesting emails and not allowing tuition increases have very real political effects, but they are also are very symbolic to different groups of constituents, and this symbolic effect can be felt more dramatically than the political effects. In short, university or shared governance is a shared web of interdependent and loosely coupled entities with varying responsibilities, but all charged with direction and leadership of a university. However, this direction can be viewed through a variety of frames and lenses, which leave us with a multifaceted, yet complex and ambiguous structure to grasp.

Term or Concept

shared governance
recognition of the interdependence and interrelated responsibilities among trustees,
administration, staff, faculty and students for decsion making relating to mission, budget,
teaching and research.
pg. 31

structure and process of authoritative decision making across issues
pg. 24

implementation of decisions
pg. 24

roles through which individuals seek to influence decisions
pg. 24

institutional structure
specific culture of a university which helps to structure norms and behaviors
pg. 28

academic freedom
a very elsuive term, usually taken as the ability for faculty to pursue topics of writing without
reprisal, but also has meanings for trustees and students
pg. 34

notion that universities must produce tangible results, usually entails various types of quantitative
observations and examinations
pg. 35-40

Questions for consideration:
1. The notion of accountability has helped to redefine shared governance over the last 20 years. It has become a non-negotiable of sorts in university governance. How can the notion of accountability be interpreted through the political lens, with specific attention paid to goal formation through competing coalitions? How can it be interpreterd through the symbolic lens?
2. Academic freedom is an elusive concept. In many ways the structural/positivist frame fails to do it justice. How can the social constructivist paradigm, with an emphasis on the notion of intersubjectivity be of use in defining academic freedom? Similarly, how can a post-modern paradigm with an emphasis on highlighting conflict be of use here as well?


How has unionization affected academic governance? Hartley presents a case study that examines the governance system of an urban community college to understand the relationship between unions and administration in the decision making process. In the study, Hartley found conflict is always present, but that there are a number of factors that can help to diffuse conflict and allow for friendly decision making. These include utilizing personal ties between members of the administration and union, sharing data and working together to understand facts, and establishing an institutional norm that encourages solutions instead of political power.

Conflicting Views of Unions
The primary motivator of unions is for members to have a strong voice in institutional matters. Critics of unions have argued that they constrain organizational efficiency and slow down the decision making process. Supporters however, believe that unions help to create a clear set of rules of communication between key decision makers and also offer protection to faculty members. In this study, Hartley examines the relationships of Eric Community College's faculty and administrators to identify the factors that promote or deter collegial decision making.

Union Development at ECC
After years of unilateral decision making by the president, the faculty overwhelmingly voted to develop a collective bargaining unit. What emerged with a governance system that gave faculty the ability to have a say in management issues, therefore requiring all important policies to go through the governance structure. The president was devastated by the faculty's decision to unionize causing relations between the union and administration to become distant. According to Hartley, active participation in the union today is difficult to gauge (326). The founding members of the union continue to be dedicated and engaged with the institutional matters, while others only become active in the union when salary is involved. There is even a rift between the younger engaged members of the union and the founding members, with each holding different views of the union.

Relations Between Administration and Union
As Hartley states, "Most members of the administration see the union leadership as committed to the well being of the institution albeit with different notions about how to achieve that goal" (327). Administration finds the faculty slow or resistant to change, while the faculty feel that to administrators are too politically motivated. The union has historically kept the administration at arm's length and relations are often tense during decision making sessions. Bargaining between the union and administration is seen as very predictable. One member of the administration went so far to say that a bargaining session was like a "very ritualized performance" (329). Neither the faculty nor the administrators want to give up any power to make it look like the other has won something. In these cases, Hartley found that individuals called "informal intermediaries" are essential in improving communication between the two groups.

Current Challenges
Due to decreasing contributions from the city, ECC's administration has been feeling more pressure to become increasingly more efficient and to generate new revenues. This need for greater efficiency and flexibility are seen as threats to the faculty's sovereignty. In addition to the already distant relationship between the faculty and administration, ECC is finding that the needs and wants of the two groups are not in line with one another.

Findings and Implications
After studying ECC, Hartley found that there are levels of conflict and factors that regulate these levels of conflict.
  • Levels of Conflict: There is a constant strain in the relationship between the administration and the faculty with both sides attempting to position themselves to achieve a desired outcome, yet Hartley found that some decisions are made collectively. The article states that there are three types of conflict: fights, games, and debates.
    • Fights: Opponents seek to coerce or even inflict punishment on another party with little concern over the consequences.
    • Games: Maneuvering oneself to gain the most advantageous position.
    • Debates: Attempts to genuinely work with the other side and to use the power of ideas to shape the decision making process.
  • Factors Influencing Conflict: According to Hartley, distance (structural, conceptual, and emotional) is the most significant influence on conflict. This distance helped to create organizational subgroups that hold their own sets of values and norms, which may conflict with another groups values and norms.
  • Factors Mitigating Conflict: Looking at the case study of ECC, Hartley points out practical ways in which more collective decision making can occur.
    • Identifying connectors who have close professional (or personal) relationships with individuals from another subgroup.
    • Utilizing informal venues to create greater flexibility in the decision making structure and to foster two-way communication.
    • Being transparent with information, including budgets and fiscal constraints.
    • Having connectors with the other group to analyze information jointly in order to arrive at a shared interpretation of the facts prior to discussion.
    • Making an explicit institutional commitment to finding common solutions rather than scoring political points.
    • Pay attention to shifts in personnel to identify others committed to collaboration.

By establishing alternative avenues of communication, ECC has found ways to create flexibility in the decision making process. In order to reduce the distance (structural, conceptual, and emotional) visible in the current state of ECC's organizational system it is important to find informal intermediaries to represent all voices during decision making sessions. This goes along with the one of the elements that contribute to defining shared governance that was discussed in class: the dissipation of competing tensions.

Key Terminology

Informal Intermediaries - Individuals who have close professional or personal relationships with individuals from a number of subgroups. This individual acts as a negotiator during sour relationships.
Fights - A term used when opponents seek to coerce of even inflict punishment on another party, often with little concern over the consequences. Derived from the work of Anatol Rapoport who has argued that there are three types of conflict in interpersonal, organizational, and societal contexts- fights, games, and debates.
Games - Much like a chess match, games consist of maneuvering oneself (and attempting to maneuver the other player) to gain the most advantageous position. Also derived from Anatol Rapoport's work.
Debates - Attempts to genuinely work with the other side and to use the power of ideas to shape the decision making process. Debates are a continuum of behaviors that reflect greater or lesser organizational conflict.
Distance - Could be structural, conceptual, and emotional. Distance is said to be the most significant influence on levels of conflict at ECC (and many organizations).

President Royce Engstrom, University of Montana

Click on the picture to view video.

Do you believe that the University Council is an effective form of shared governance? Do you agree with President Engstrom's view on shared governance and if so, how could the administration and faculty at ECC adapt his view to help with communication issues?

Class Notes

Class Agenda
Housekeeping--Semester time lines
Defining Shared Governance
AAUP/AGB governance documents--discourse analysis/debating points
(While we did not discuss this in class you can get more information from the Gayle, Telwarie and White Article)
The case of the activist board--a multi-frame perspectiive
(Similarly this was not discussed, but information presented in Bastedo adresses
Current cases in the news--Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania

Task 1: In all the articles for this week saw multiple ways that shared governance was defined.

(Think/Pair/Share) Shared Government is...

I.e.:The dissipation of competing tensions utilizing a plethora of organizational agents in order to facilitate a sphere of optimal effectiveness.

Elements that contribute to defining Shared Governance
* Collaboration
*Sharing of power and control over organization, academic structure, and resources (trustees, president, faculty, administrators)—State gov’t or other accreditation bodies.
* Mutual duty/responsibility—make major institutional decisions.
* Loosely coupled system with many autonomous points that must direct an organization. All chiefs, no Indians.
* The dissipation of competing tensions.
* Recognition of subgroups of subject matter experts—making informed decisions; providing opportunity for those groups to play a role in decision-making

Task 2: Current issues-- State by state case studies

Standard Governance-- Shifting Sands of Context

Governance Structure
Current Issues
Frames in Use
Strong Republican Governor:
University of Wisconsin System: Board of Regents
18-total, 16-serve 7 year terms
2-student members, 2-year terms--> One non-traditional
"Passing the buck":
"Intimidating protestors":
"No Collective Bargaining":
"Dismantling Established System":
Bureaucratic: Political: "Democratic": Authoritative
University-system: Chancellor (Govenor Appointed)
Board of Regents - 9 People (Gov w/ senate) 2-- ex-officio legislative
Each School Board of Trustees
Helping low income Ohioans; Votes to Deny Public Bargaining Rights; Move for Efficiency
Lack of Human Resources; Bureaucratic; Structural
Republican Governor... Penn State's 32-member Board of Trustees is composed of the following: Five trustees serve in an ex officio capacity by virtue of their position within the University or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They are the President of the University; the Governor of the Commonwealth; and the state secretaries of the departments of Agriculture; Education; and Conservation and Natural Resources. Six trustees are appointed by the Governor; nine trustees are elected by the alumni; six are elected by organized agricultural societies within the Commonwealth; and six are elected by the Board of Trustees representing business and industry endeavors. (
Huge Cuts to University budgets… post-tax break; movement of funds to correctional, increase of tuition:
Bureaucratic: Political


SHEV-- Oversight body that makes recommendations that goes back to Governors

Example from William and Mary-- The Board of Visitors (BOV) is the governing body for the College of William & Mary. The Governor of Virginia appoints individuals to serve four year terms in the service of the College.The seventeen members of the Board of Visitors gather in Williamsburg several times each year to discuss matters of long-term planning and budget for William & Mary. (

2005-restructuring act in Virginia
-Capping out-of-state students
-Transfer from 2-4 years
-Tuition Rates
-Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
-Secondary to Post-Secondary

Political: Bureaucratic: Structural; Symbolic

New York (Based from Pam's e-mailed article... link below)

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the State University of New York. It consists of 17 members, 15 of whom are appointed by the Governor, by and with consent of the New York State Senate. In addition, the president of the Student Assembly serves as student trustee and the president of the University Faculty Senate serves as an ex-officio trustee.
Among the authorities of the Board of Trustees is the power to:
-Appoint its own officers, the chancellor, and System Administration senior staff.
-Appoint the president of each state-operated institution, and approve the appointment of statutory and community college presidents by their respective boards.
-Grant all degrees, diplomas and certificates for the completion of studies at any state-operated campus, including honorary degrees.
-Regulate the admission of students, and prescribe qualifications for their continued attendance.
-Regulate tuition, fees and charges, curricula and all other matters pertaining to the operation and administration of each state-operated campus.
-Establish new campuses.

-- Budget decreases of over $1.4 billion over 4 years
-- Excluded budgetary adjustments that were lobbied for from system representatives (I.e tuition policy changes)

Political; Bureaucratic
NY Information:

Assuming a new inputs in Wisconsin and Ohio… reflects on information similar to the decreasing collective barganing... Senge's "Two levels": "What are we assuming through untested assumptions…. What are we still carrying with us?"

Looking at the Frames in use it is quite apparent that there is a lot of bureaucratic decision making and that politics plays a large role in the decisions (as the governor appoints a large portion of the state universities' boards). What are the implications for this, especially as the amount of money that is provided to the school by the state decreases? How can this be addressed at the current time?

External Resources

Gary Olsen is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Idaho State University. In this article, he discusses how the term "shared governance" has become misunderstood by faculty administrators. Olsen argues that the term is become an empty signifier- a term so devoid of determinate meaning that it takes on whatever significance a particular speaker gives it at the moment. Olsen says that once a term arrives at that point, it is essentially useless. He believes that although not every individual will always get to participate in every stage, everyone still has some role. After reading the entire article, would his interpretation work at every college or university? What kind of setting would this be ideal? Difficult?
This article was in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The Wisconsin GOP is requesting to see the emails of a professor at the university of Wisconsin-Madison. They feel he may have sent inappropriate and politically charged messages under his university email account. The article centers on the notions of academic freedom. While it is permissible for his emails to be opened under the disclosure act (which holds that any records keep under a state entity, such as university emails, are public documents and hence can be viewed) the question is how much this should apply to a professor, who is supposed to enjoy some immunity as a scholar (the intent of the law was not to go after professors, but public officials). This article highlights the political battles of academic freedom and how it is interpreted differently by different parties.
This article, relating to the situation above, is an editorial found on the NY times. Being an editorial, it is very biased. The author lambastes the Wisconsin GOP, essentially equating their actions to witch hunts and thought police. We debated on putting this article up, as it is controversial and possibly politically offensive, however we decided to leave it because again, it illustrates, rather forcefully, how battles of academic freedom can be viewed through the political lens, and just how nasty they can become.
This article was in the Washington Post, and it deals initially with the Wisconsin GOP, however it situates this event in a much larger context, that of the intersection of academia and politics. The author argues that as academic freedom has expanded during the 19th and 20th century, this had led to the politicization of academia, as professors have become involved with the political aspects of their subjects. And while this is to some extent unavoidable, the author laments that this takes time away from actually teaching students. This also elides with an earlier article we had read this year, which examined the progression of women's studies and how these academic studies were also political, and how this complicated their mission in the eyes of colleagues. Overall, it shows how once again, higher education and academic freedom can be interpreted through the political frame.
This article was on the NY Times. It has to do with academia in read that right, academia in Libya. Mommar Ghadaffi is not just a crazy old dictator, but a revolutionary! He authored a revolutionary work called The Third Revolution which hit the shelves in 1976. Afterwards, a study center was set up in Libya, which was supposed to be dedicated solely to dissemination and discussion of the ideas found in this work. During the 1980s, the Liyban government sponsored academic conferences in Libya and aboard in an attempt to spark debate over the book and spread it to a worldwide audience. It has also been translated into many languages. By the late 1990s and 2000s however, there is not much debate about it anymore. The study center is still open but not many people come to it (not even Ghadaffi), and its budget has been slashed. However, the work is still the subject of many thesis's and dissertations of Libyan graduate students. While the article does not talk about academic freedom directly, and while an extreme case, the article does illustrate some of the dangers of the political frame in academia. In the worst cases, it can blur the line between academia and propaganda.