How does the specific academic meaning of shared governance, in which the faculty is accorded primary responsibility for certain areas based on their professional status, relate to the broader topic of ensuring that the college is a wisely managed enterprise that empowers all employees to contribute their insights and initiative?
When administrative or Board business relates to the specific disciplinary expertise of a subset of the faculty, is consultation with those faculty members a matter of shared governance or just a smart idea?
We often hear about the “problems” or “conflict” caused by shared governance (we did in the opening faculty meeting). What are the benefits of shared governance? How does shared governance strengthen the institution? What would an institution like Gustavus be without it?
Does the Board think that the Gustavus tradition of shared governance has prevented the institution from moving forward? If so, how? Has it prevented the Board from increasing the endowment? If so, how? Has it prevented the Board from hiring a quality President? If so, how?
The HLC report indicated that the institution needs to address governance concerns. When ask about exactly what the report said at the opening faculty meeting, Provost Braun did not remember exactly but said it was a brief and vague statement. So, what exactly did they say and could they have merely been indicating that the conflict between the current President and Faculty was hurting the institution and needed to be resolved?
Does the board have any questions for the faculty? What do they want to know of our perspective on about shared governance?
Does a college have to run like a corporation to survive? Or do we have a unique opportunity to set a standard of shared governance as a "better plan" for society?
How has shared governance worked (and not worked) at other institutions?
How does shared governance influence/inform policy and community and culture?
There is a need for a clear process for priorities for the future that includes all constituencies.
What is the Board’s opinion of and commitment to shared governance? To what extent do they value transparency? Some faculty feel that the greater the degree of transparency, the more faculty are empowered, the more invested they are in decisions, and the more responsibility they take on for decision-making. Are these benefits recognized by the Board? Do we need some kind of insurance that the Board will not try to revise the by-laws to dissolve the faculty manual?
A Role-Playing game could provide a way to discuss topics in order to better understand varying perspectives from differing stakeholders. Each member of a discussion could take on the role of a different position, such as president, provost, faculty, administrator, etc.