What if the Faculty Really Do Assume Responsibility for the Educational ProgramReport as inadecuate




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Liberal Education, v93 n4 p6-13 Fall 2007

The governance of most colleges and universities is shared among the board of trustees, the administration, and the faculty. Most four-year institutions endorse the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities (1966), which asserts that the faculty has primary authority over the academic area, including such matters as the curriculum, standards of faculty competence, and standards of student achievement. In this area, the governing board and administration should concur with the faculty judgment except in rare instances and for compelling reasons which should be stated in detail. The board and administration, the statement says, should have primary authority over mission, strategic direction, physical plant, and fiscal resources. In these areas, the faculty has secondary authority and should be consulted and informed about major decisions. Oddly, the AAUP statement is largely silent about faculty responsibility for programs of study and the learning of students. Faculty members are hired to implement programs of study, not just to conduct their own research or to teach their own courses, and such programs are intended to lead to student learning. Both of these factors change the dynamics of shared governance in ways that were not envisioned during the early and mid-twentieth century, when basic governance agreements were devised. With regard to the area over which faculty have primary authority, the educational program, there are two problems that need urgently to be addressed. The first concerns the apparent disconnect between authority and accountability. The second problem concerns the tendency of faculty and administrators to invent faculty governance over a wide array of programs on an ad hoc basis. In order to advance thinking about how the faculty can provide more effective oversight for the educational program and improve student learning, the author offers five recommendations for strengthening faculty governance, which institutions can modify in light of their particular missions and circumstances.

Descriptors: Governance, Governing Boards, College Faculty, Organizational Development, Power Structure, Administrative Organization, Change Strategies, Intellectual Disciplines, Role Perception

Association of American Colleges and Universities. 1818 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: 800-297-3775; Tel: 202-387-3760; Fax: 202-265-9532; e-mail: pub_desk[at]aacu.org; Web site: http://www.aacu.org/publications/index.cfm





Author: Gaff, Jerry G.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=7120&id=EJ790431







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