The Chronicle of Higher Education
January 23rd, 2015
William Bowen and Eugene Tobin’s new book, Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education, has resulted in much commentary and discussion
about the appropriate roles of faculty members and administrators in
the activities and governance of colleges. Let us assume that the goals
of all concerned are the best possible education for students and the
best possible environment for faculty scholarship and creative
activity. What should faculty members be doing to achieve those goals?
What about administrators?
Too often, discussion of these matters appeals to rhetoric and not to
any sort of evidence. Case histories can help. One is the Pathways
project at the City University of New York, an effort I led when I was
executive vice chancellor and university provost of the CUNY system. The
project, which is described by Martin Kurzweil in Bowen and Tobin’s
book, is a set of policies designed to help students transfer their
credits when they move among the system’s 19 undergraduate colleges. It
shows that major efforts require the complementary skills and knowledge
of both faculty members and administrators.