How We Work Together

How the culture of shared governance plays out in communication among the various constituencies of the College community.

November 8, 2013, 2:30–4:00 pm, Three Crowns Room (JC 219)


  1. Moderator's introduction (5 minutes)
  2. Talk with a neighbor about which subtopics you are interested in commenting on and in what way. (5 minutes)
  3. There is a spectrum of shared-governance interactions, including the following:
    • One body has the responsibility to make a decision without even consulting others.
    • One body deliberates and makes the decision after consulting other bodies for input prior to deliberation.
    • One body deliberates and makes a preliminary decision after receiving input; another body is expected ordinarily to ratify that decision.
    • One body deliberates and makes the decision, iteratively consulting with other bodies at multiple points within the deliberation.
    • Multiple bodies jointly deliberate and then one body makes the decision.
    • Multiple bodies jointly deliberate and jointly reach a decision.
    When is each model appropriate? Are there others? (15 minutes)
  4. How do we manage disagreement when it naturally arises? (15 minutes)
  5. How do we agree upon expectations for information sharing and, conversely, for confidentiality? What are the boundaries? (15 minutes)
  6. The most basic sense of "accountability" is being expected to justify decisions. What should accountability look like within Gustavus's shared governance? (15 minutes)
  7. Open discussion (20 minutes) – continue any of the above or address other aspects of "How We Work Together"

Related Specific Topics

Suggested by trustees, administrators, and faculty members.

Suggested Readings

Notes From the Open Session

Notes from the November 8, 2013, open session

More Ideas? Couldn't Attend?