Friday, January 23, 2015

CUNY’s Pathway to Shared Governance

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.

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