ACADEMIA & The Principles of Shared Governance by IWU President David Wright

Shared Governance, excerpted from a presentation by President David Wright PhD sponsored by the University Faculty Relations Council, Bob Whitesel PhD chair.  This presentation was given to new senators of the Faculty Senate, Nov. 2013 (full PowerPoint presentation available from IWU University Senate).


“The AAUP recognizes the de jure authority of the governing board—and, secondarily, of the president—for governance of all aspects of the institution. However, according to the 1966 Statement, faculty judgments should ordinarily prevail in three areas. These areas are (1) curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, and research; (2) matters of faculty status (e.g., hiring, dismissal, retention, tenure, and promotion); and (3) those aspects of student life that relate to the educational process.  Although the president and the governing board may override the faculty’s judgments in these areas, standards dictate that they should rarely do so.”  (Indicators of Sound Governance, American Association of University Professors [AAUP])


Handbooks, Policy Documents (Primary Responsibility: Determined by scope and context)

•Faculty Bylaws, Faculty Handbooks/Policy Manuals, University Catalog

Academic Personnel  (Primary Responsibility: Faculty Peer Review and Recommendation, Final Decisions by President)

•Faculty hiring, contracts, rank promotion, review

•Selection, review, and retention of academic administrators

Budget/Advancement/Infrastructure (Primary Responsibility: President,  Administration)

•Tuition Policy, Advancement and Fund Raising, Faculty and Staff Compensation and Benefits

Intercollegiate Athletics (Primary Responsibility: Administration)

Student Development and Discipline (Primary Authority: Administration)

Shared governance works best in a community with shared values:

•Informed and inclusive decision-making
•Transparency and clarity of operations and decision-making
•Open lines of communication between and among all components and members of the VSU community
•Mutual respect and trust

(more at


If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive.

If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative.

See also