College and University Governance

From the Editor: Governance in a Time of Financial Crisis

Calls to resist the corporatization of higher education and for faculty control over educational issues go back at least to Thorstein Veblen’s publication of The Higher Learning in America in 1918. However, as many of the articles in this issue demonstrate, the current economic crisis has greatly intensified threats to the practice of shared governance.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Administration Violated Academic Good Practice

An AAUP investigating committee reports that, in suspending the faculty senate and refusing to grant governance rights to contingent faculty, the administration of RPI “contravened basic principles of shared academic governance.” 

College and University Governance: Idaho State University

Report, prepared by the Association’s staff, concerning the decision by the Idaho State Board of Education to suspend the operation and bylaws of the faculty senate at Idaho State University and to direct ISU president Arthur C. Vailas to “implement an interim faculty advisory structure.”

College and University Governance: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Report concerning the action taken in summer 2007 by the board of trustees and the administration of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to suspend the faculty senate and replace it with a “transitional structure of faculty governance.”

College and University Government: Miami-Dade Community College

Report concerning the action taken by the administration of Miami-Dade Community College to abolish the existing system of academic government at the institution following a faculty vote in favor of collective bargaining and to replace it with a wholly new system of governance.

College and University Government: Lindenwood College

Report concluding that conditions for academic governance at Lindenwood College are truly deplorable.

College and University Government: Elmira College

Report dealing primarily with conditions of academic government at Elmira College, particularly relations among the faculty, the chief academic officers, and the governing board.

College and University Governance: The University of Virginia Governing Board’s Attempt to Remove the President

This report documents a major breakdown in governance at UVA, focusing on the role of the board of visitors and its rector, Helen Dragas, who initiated the effort to force the president’s resignation. It finds that the events at the university resulted from “a failure by those charged with institutional oversight to understand the institution over which they presided and to engage with the administration and the faculty in an effort to be well informed.”

Report of the Committee on College and University Governance, 2012–13

The Committee on College and University Governance has been active in three areas this past year: a governance investigation at the University of Virginia, the publication of three policy statements, and the holding of a governance conference last fall.

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