Shared Governance

From the General Secretary: What the AAUP Stands For

When the passenger next to me on a flight asks what I do for a living, I say I work for a nonprofit association. When he or she asks which one, I am tempted to answer, “The AARP.” One letter makes a big difference. Everyone knows what the AARP stands for. So what does the AAUP stand for?

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.

From the General Secretary: A Faculty Voice

For me, part of the job description of a good professor is exercising a faculty voice, not just in instruction, scholarship, and extramural settings, but also with regard to institutional governance matters. Part of our responsibility, and our service to society, is to speak up and speak out. We must be an independent voice, grounded in our professional expertise and commitments.

Study Reveals Support for Shared Governance

The study demonstrates the continued relevance and power of the AAUP’s concept of shared governance. 

How to Climb Down from Top-Down Leadership

The challenging work to improve on the bureaucratic model of governance at community colleges requires both cooperation from administrators and commitment from faculty members.

Bethune-Cookman Report Now Online

An Association investigating committee report on Bethune-Cookman University in Florida, now published on the AAUP’s Web site, deals with the 2009 dismissal of four professors and the termination of the services of three additional faculty members. The stated reasons for these actions ranged from charges of sexual harassment of students to claims of insufficient academic credentials to the purported need to reduce the size of the faculty for financial reasons.

AAUP Governance Conference Draws Overflow Crowd

AAUP members and others interested in shared governance in higher education came together November 12–14 in Washington, DC, for the AAUP’s Shared Governance Conference and Workshops. The conference featured three days of presentations exploring significant aspects of college and university governance, an opportunity to network with governance leaders from across the country, and expert-led training workshops for governance leaders and those aspiring to positions of leadership.

Crisis In Public Higher Education

Public education in many states is facing a crisis, with sharp budget cuts, unprecedented attacks on faculty status and rights, and swelling enrollments.

Idaho State University Suspension Of Faculty Senate Unjustified

In February, the Idaho State Board of Education (which governs public higher education in the state) voted unanimously to suspend the faculty senate at Idaho State University, on the recommendation of ISU president Arthur C. Vailas, and directed the president to “implement an interim faculty advisory structure.” In justifying its decision, the board referred to an “impasse” between the administration and the senate following several years of conflict over issues of academic governance that culminated in a faculty vote of no confidence in Vailas one week before the board meeting.

Governance Conference

The AAUP’s annual governance conference was held November 11–13, 2011, in Washington, DC. The conference included training workshops for faculty leaders from around the country as well as presentations of papers and research. Workshops focused on ways to make faculty senates effective, the relationship between collective bargaining units and faculty governance bodies, the impact of the US Supreme Court’s Garcetti decision on governance, and how faculty governance bodies can analyze institutional budgets.


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