Redefining problems and solutions in tough financial times

From virtual to real shared governance
in hard times: Making it work, together
Gary Rhoades
General Secretary
American Association of University Professors
Introducing myself, my work
• Professor of Higher Education, Univ of AZ
• Research focuses on restructuring of ac prof
and institutions: (Managed professionals:
Academic capitalism and the new economy)
• Managing to be different: from “strategic”
imitation to strategic imagination.
• Moving up: chasing the rankings.
The trend line in shared
governance the past 25 years
 Academic strategy (Keller, 1983).
 A more corporate model of management; layered
on top of existing structures.
 Entrepreneurial universities (Clark, 1998):
collegial entrepreneurialism.
 Balance between managerial discretion and
professional autonomy; market like behavior.
 Managing to be different: from “strategic”
imitation to strategic imagination.
 That’s what threatens collegial governance.
AAUP historically, & shared
 Where the concept comes from (AAUP, 1915).
 AAUP statement on government of colleges and
univs (with American Council on Education, and
Association of Governing Boards), in 1967.
 Across the country, governance is the issue.
 A sense nationally that this is a decisive moment
and that the challenges we face require more than
catch phrases about getting better & moving up,
that require faculty taking the lead.
Unions and senates: the AAUP
& collective bargaining
 AAUP statement on academic government for
institutions engaged in coll bargaining. 1988
 Senates and unions: Unexpected peaceful
 Recent experience: troubling trends.
 Positive possibilities of shared governance.
What shared governance is not
What real shared governance is
 Shared governance is not sitting in the
audience, participating virtually.
 Shared governance is not a spectator sport.
 Shared governance is not forums in which
faculty ask some questions.
 Shared governance is not sharing some
 Shared governance is not spontaneous,
sporadic meetings and ad hoc committees.
Why a strong, collective faculty
benefits the organization
 Practicality--institutionalization of initiatives,
and securing distinctive organizational sagas.
 Practicality--innovative niche building in an
organization too complex for one person to
understand and see the possibilities of.
 Practicality--coalition building in the
What shared governance can
be, with AAUP
 The support and strength of your colleagues;
you are lucky in Ohio because you can draw
on the expertise and commitment of
colleagues at campuses in the state.
 The intelligence and energy of working and
mobilizing across deptl boundaries in your
own institution.
 The strategic insight of faculty colleagues in
identifying and addressing key issues.
 The AAUP is all that, and more.
Thank you…
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