Not an easy question to answer and many institutions are trying to answer this.
“Casually ask faculty members at Emory how they define faculty governance, and two themes emerge. First, most seem to focus on faculty governance at the departmental or the school/college level, in which their appointment is housed. Second, they view faculty governance as a mechanism to oversee the curriculum and guide decisions about the promotion, and if applicable, tenure of a colleague. From our perspective, the need for engaged faculty governance at the university level deserves at least as much consideration, though. Such attention is especially essential during this era of the rapidly shifting landscape in higher education”
Faculty Governance in Higher Education: “Faculty members in higher education should have primary responsibility to:
1. Determine the curriculum, subject matter, methods of instruction, and other academic standards and processes.
2. Establish the requirements for earning degrees and certificates, and authorize the administration and governing board to grant same.
3. Exercise, where the faculty deems it appropriate, primary responsibility for determining the status of colleagues, especially appointment, reappointment, and tenure.
4. Establish procedures for awarding promotions, sabbaticals, research support, and other rewards or perquisites.” http://www.nea.org/home/34743.htm
It I s also referred to as “share governance” http://agb.org/trusteeship/2014/3/how-make-shared-governance-work-some-best-practices
While not everyone is going to agree on what it is or on how it is supposed to get done, everyone should be agreeing that it needs to be done.
If faculty and administration cannot come together and create a program worthy of teaching, then it is the students that suffer. If faculty, who are the experts, are feeling like their expertise is being minimized in favor of agendas, then it is students who suffer. If the administration does not have an avenue to discuss concerns with faculty, then students suffer. There are numerous examples of schools failing because of this reason (private non-profit, for profit, and public schools alike).
Need some ideas? The ETeam is happy to help!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III