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A Review of Shared Governance: Confidence Votes Robert L. Miller Eastern Illinois University.

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Presentation on theme: "A Review of Shared Governance: Confidence Votes Robert L. Miller Eastern Illinois University."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Review of Shared Governance: Confidence Votes Robert L. Miller Eastern Illinois University

2 The Mission Faculty are central to the mission of any university. Faculty are central to the mission of any university. Professors are generally experts in their field of study. Professors are generally experts in their field of study. They are somewhat dependent on governing boards and administrators to provide environments conducive to learning and research. They are somewhat dependent on governing boards and administrators to provide environments conducive to learning and research.

3 Conflict Conflict between faculty and administrators sometimes erupts regarding: Conflict between faculty and administrators sometimes erupts regarding: The academic direction of the university The academic direction of the university The allocation of resources The allocation of resources The administration’s management style The administration’s management style

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5 Options? Direct talks between faculty and administrators? Direct talks between faculty and administrators? Town-hall style meetings? Town-hall style meetings? Public statements? Public statements? Media involvement? Media involvement? Direct contact with governing board? Direct contact with governing board? Vote of no-confidence? Vote of no-confidence?

6 Authority? The “Red Book” promotes the sharing of institutional authority among the faculty, administration and the governing board The “Red Book” promotes the sharing of institutional authority among the faculty, administration and the governing board The AAUP model acknowledges that the board is the final institutional authority, but The AAUP model acknowledges that the board is the final institutional authority, but Operational authority is entrusted to the president and the academic officers including deans Operational authority is entrusted to the president and the academic officers including deans

7 Authority? Board President Faculty Support for administrative (esp. academic) decisions, is derived from the board and faculty.

8 Authority? Per the Red Book, faculty retain primary responsibility for academic matters such as curricula, determinations of faculty status, and instruction methods. Per the Red Book, faculty retain primary responsibility for academic matters such as curricula, determinations of faculty status, and instruction methods. Faculty are then seemingly obliged to communicate concerns to the provost, president, or, as appropriate, the board. Faculty are then seemingly obliged to communicate concerns to the provost, president, or, as appropriate, the board.

9 Authority? According to the Red Book, faculty participation may take different forms According to the Red Book, faculty participation may take different forms One may conclude that confidence votes are a form of such participation. One may conclude that confidence votes are a form of such participation.

10 Informational meetings and opportunities for discussion/input are critical and usually precede votes of no confidence Informational meetings and opportunities for discussion/input are critical and usually precede votes of no confidence

11 Authority? On January 22, 2010, the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) approved a “Statement on Board Responsibility for Institutional Governance” On January 22, 2010, the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) approved a “Statement on Board Responsibility for Institutional Governance” provides guidance on governance from the perspective of governing boards. provides guidance on governance from the perspective of governing boards. acknowledges the important role that shared governance has within a university acknowledges the important role that shared governance has within a university

12 Authority? Principle #1 recommends that ambiguous roles should be better defined Principle #1 recommends that ambiguous roles should be better defined boards are encouraged to retain the ultimate authority for all recommendations and decisions boards are encouraged to retain the ultimate authority for all recommendations and decisions attempts to provide clarity in the decision- making process attempts to provide clarity in the decision- making process “the buck stops here” “the buck stops here”

13 Authority? The AGB Statement acknowledges faculty input The AGB Statement acknowledges faculty input More emphasis is placed on the autonomy and decision-making authority of the board More emphasis is placed on the autonomy and decision-making authority of the board

14 To vote or not to vote? Many factors can influence the effectiveness of a vote: Many factors can influence the effectiveness of a vote: Campus size Campus size Campus culture Campus culture Commuter or residential Commuter or residential Media interest Media interest Personality of the governing board and/or president Personality of the governing board and/or president

15 Possible outcomes of a vote The president/board take notice The president/board take notice Public pressure to address grievances Public pressure to address grievances Alumni involvement Alumni involvement Student involvement Student involvement Policy changes Policy changes Personnel changes Personnel changes

16 Possible outcomes of a vote Benign neglect Benign neglect Malicious neglect Malicious neglect Heightened tensions Heightened tensions Damage to reputations Damage to reputations Entrenched positions Entrenched positions If the vote does not result in the intended outcome…what next? If the vote does not result in the intended outcome…what next?

17 Conflict Conflict between faculty and administrators sometimes erupts regarding: Conflict between faculty and administrators sometimes erupts regarding: The academic direction of the university The academic direction of the university The allocation of resources The allocation of resources The administration’s management style The administration’s management style

18 Academic Direction Idaho State University – The faculty voted in April 2010 295 to 95 with 41 abstentions in support of a statement that they have no confidence in the Provost due to several factors including his management style and recent decisions to reorganize several departments on campus. He has been at ISU for less than eighteen months. The President acknowledged the vote as a serious matter and pledged to meet with departments on campus as well as the faculty senate to discuss the vote. Idaho State University – The faculty voted in April 2010 295 to 95 with 41 abstentions in support of a statement that they have no confidence in the Provost due to several factors including his management style and recent decisions to reorganize several departments on campus. He has been at ISU for less than eighteen months. The President acknowledged the vote as a serious matter and pledged to meet with departments on campus as well as the faculty senate to discuss the vote.

19 Academic Direction New School University – President Bob Kerrey received a vote of no confidence from 74 of 77 senior professors in December 2008. New School University – President Bob Kerrey received a vote of no confidence from 74 of 77 senior professors in December 2008. Four provosts in seven years; a new academic direction. Four provosts in seven years; a new academic direction. President Kerrey noted that only a small fraction of the faculty actually voted. President Kerrey noted that only a small fraction of the faculty actually voted. Six months later he announced he would retire at the end of his contract in 2011. The board of trustees unanimously affirmed their support of and commitment to President Kerrey after his announcement. Six months later he announced he would retire at the end of his contract in 2011. The board of trustees unanimously affirmed their support of and commitment to President Kerrey after his announcement.

20 Allocation of Resources Rhode Island School of Design – At the conclusion of a lengthy faculty contract negotiation in 2006, fifteen of twenty-two department heads voted no confidence in President Roger Mandle citing a lack of transparency regarding financial issues at the school. The problem stemmed in part from arguments about how to allocate funds from a very successful $110 million capital campaign. Rhode Island School of Design – At the conclusion of a lengthy faculty contract negotiation in 2006, fifteen of twenty-two department heads voted no confidence in President Roger Mandle citing a lack of transparency regarding financial issues at the school. The problem stemmed in part from arguments about how to allocate funds from a very successful $110 million capital campaign. Mandle was the longest serving president at RISD – 15 years. Mandle was the longest serving president at RISD – 15 years.

21 Management Style Radford University – In this case, the faculty senate approved a no confidence motion in the newly hired Provost by a margin of 29-16 in October 2009. The faculty criticized the administration’s “top- down” approach to governing and the failure to include faculty in important decisions regarding academic changes. Radford University – In this case, the faculty senate approved a no confidence motion in the newly hired Provost by a margin of 29-16 in October 2009. The faculty criticized the administration’s “top- down” approach to governing and the failure to include faculty in important decisions regarding academic changes.

22 All of the Above? Kean University - In May 2010 176 of 212 voting faculty university voted no-confidence in the president Kean University - In May 2010 176 of 212 voting faculty university voted no-confidence in the president Faculty seek assurance of a meaningful role in the decision-making process Faculty seek assurance of a meaningful role in the decision-making process Grievances include micromanaging – flowers Grievances include micromanaging – flowers new rules regarding office hours new rules regarding office hours Creation of new debt Creation of new debt Supporters like his decisiveness Supporters like his decisiveness The board recently granted him a contract extension through 2014. The board recently granted him a contract extension through 2014.

23 Conclusion Votes of no confidence should be used judiciously. Votes of no confidence should be used judiciously. A vote may be the point of no return. A vote may be the point of no return. The campus will benefit from open dialogue and inclusion of different constituencies – especially faculty. The campus will benefit from open dialogue and inclusion of different constituencies – especially faculty.


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