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Shared Governance Principles


Principles to Guide Shared Governance


The principles that follow were first developed by Senate and Administrative Leadership in August 2018 to guide collaboration on projects and issues of shared concern.  Per the final paragraph, it is their hope the principles can be used to inform planning across the university. A PDF version of the principles may be found here.

Purpose: Through shared governance, the faculty Senate and Administration engage with each other and the broader community to uphold the educational, research and service mission of the university; promote the welfare of all members of the university community; and ensure the sustainability of the institution to provide for future generations. 


  • Grace: Courteous good will informs our interactions.
  • Clear Communication: Communication is open, robust, and follows process.  The bias should be to over-communicate, rather than under-communicate.
  • Trust: Trust that both faculty and administration are doing what they feel best serves the institution, focusing on the greater common good.
  • Respect: Ensure that dialogue is respectful of differences.
  • No surprises: Consultation begins early in a process, is iterative, and informs the solution.
  • Inclusive: Consultation should be comprehensive and not exclude stakeholders.
  • Roles: Roles and responsibilities are explicit, well communicated, and understood.
  • Process: Process is goal-oriented, timely, transparent and predictable; timelines and parameters are clearly defined.
  • Framework:  The decision-making process is grounded in the historical context and current information of an issue and guided by agreed-upon assumptions that are agreed-upon in the current instance.
  • Commitment and Accountability:  Participants own and support decisions that are made, and those responsible for implementing action provide feedback and follow through.


In applying these principles, it is important to consider that consultation may engage different levels of university organization, with some initiatives engaging all levels, others a subset. Levels to consider include school, campus, and university. For faculty, these levels are respectively departments and/or graduate groups and school executive committees; the Academic Senate (which can also include school executive committees); and the systemwide Senate. It is also important to note that governance structures and consultation pathways may change with the stage of an initiative - development and review vs. implementation vs. maintenance vs. sunset. 



Reviewed, Aug 22, 2021