Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Last Colony in Shared Governance

AAUP National
May/June 2015


My first opportunity to hear women’s studies professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall talk about her experience of shared governance at Spelman College, a historically black college in Atlanta, was in spring 2008. She spoke that year at Medgar Evers College, the unit of the City University of New York where I teach. As I listened, I found myself saying “amen” to her talking points again and again, as if they were my own. What she described had an uncanny resemblance to the governance history of Medgar Evers. Reading her piercing piece in the November–December 2006 issue of Academe, “Shared Governance, Junior Faculty, and HBCUs,” further convinced me that she had stumbled upon an important truth—at least for Medgar Evers, but probably much more broadly—related to the “president-centric” nature of many black institutions.

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