The relationship between organizational governance and faculty governance in higher education: A national study of shared governance


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A dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR of EDUCATION in EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Shared governance and its effectiveness continues to be debated among scholars. This study examined the relationship between higher education organizational governance and faculty governance. It was based on two theoretical frameworks: four organizational governance models; and four faculty governance models. Both have been accepted and cited in higher education literature (Heaney, 2010). However, no study has examined the relationship between organizational governance with faculty governance as shared governance. There were 615 faculty senate leaders contacted nationwide according to institutional type: 207 doctoral; 208 masters; 200 baccalaureate. A total of 71 faculty senate leaders responded: 33 doctoral; 22 masters; and 16 baccalaureate. The study was ex post facto where participants completed the researcher-developed Higher Education Shared Governance Instrument. Data were analyzed according Cronbach’s alpha, descriptive, correlational, t-test, and MANOVA statistics. Results revealed that shared governance is alive and well across colleges and universities, but strongly influenced by a state’s political environment. The shared governance model that emerged is a political/influential model regardless of institutional type. It indicated faculty and administrators need to build coalitions to establish a power base for decisions while dealing with policy and policy change. The results indicated several implications and insights for future research. State political environments drive how organizational governance models and faculty governance models interact for shared governance. Current lack of resources have forced faculty and administrators to band together in various types of coalitions to build power structures to be more competitive for resources such as budget allocations, ownership of policies and procedures, curricular decisions, and accountability measures. Thus, shared governance perspectives should be expanded to include senior administrators on campuses. Additionally, although shared governance is present on campuses, information regarding how much sharing takes place and in what areas is lacking. Overall, across the spectrum of shared governance for operations and academics, research should examine the extent to which faculty are involved in decisions pertaining to academics and operations, as well as the extent to which administrators are involved in decisions pertaining to operations and academics. The issue is not so much as who is in control, but how are limited resources distributed?
Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development