Faculty and Administrators Talk about Shared Governance
At a time when shared governance can sometimes seem like an endangered species, the more than 230 professors, deans, and college presidents who showed up in October for the joint conference sponsored by the AAUP and the American Conference of Academic Deans (ACAD) proved that collaboration can and does work. As Eliza Reilly of ACAD noted, the Washington, D.C., conference, like its name, "Toward the Common Good: Faculty and Administration Working Together," turned out to be "more than a forum for affirming our common commitment to the principles of shared governance"; it also "involved real work."
For two days, the participants, many of them delegations of deans and faculty members sent by their institutions, listened to speakers and participated in fourteen workshops on everything from crafting effective hiring procedures and developing faculty leadership to evaluating professors and administrators and involving faculty members in budgetary decisions. Many of those sessions featured reports from teams of professors and administrators who had worked together on these issues within their own institutions. In one such panel, Ann Ferren, Radford University's vice president for academic affairs, and Susan Barnard, a faculty member at the university, described how they had collaborated in the painful process of merging two departments. Mutual trust, they concluded, had been crucial to their ultimate success.
Trust was a common theme throughout the conference. In his keynote address, ACAD president Philip Glotzbach urged administrators and faculty members to "trust but verify." At the final plenary session, St. …