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Shared Governance

  • By: John S. Levin, Evelyn Morales Vázquez & Marie C. Martin
  • In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education
  • Edited by: Miriam E. David & Marilyn J. Amey
  • Subject:General Education, Higher Education (general)

Although shared governance is a term and concept fraught with complexity, it is also understood and implemented in various ways. Shared governance is a familiar concept and practice adopted in some national higher education contexts, particularly in the United States and Canada. For some scholars, shared governance refers to formal decision-making practices within a higher educational organization; for others, it refers to the locus of authority within a college or university.

For practitioners, shared governance is either a practice within their college or university that represents the role of academics in university operations, or a fiction or ideal that is not in effect in their college or university. For other policy makers and administrative practitioners, shared governance connotes a slow and anachronistic decision-making practice based upon ...

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