Shared governance does not mean shared decision making.
Over the course of my career, I’ve observed two speeds of governance: foot-on-the-brake for everyday business and pedal-to-the-metal for existential decisions. I’ve also grappled with how to honor the process of shared governance without slowing decision-making to a crawl, especially in situations that require immediate action. A first step is to make sure that everyone understands that the sharing in "shared governance" isn’t equally distributed, nor does it imply decision-making authority. That authority is held by the president and the board, the ones who are accountable for both results and shortcomings.
Originally published: August 13, 2018
Author: Scott S. Cowen
Position: President Emeritus
Institution: Tulane University
Published by: The Chronicle of Higher Ed