Responsive Academic Decision Making: Involving Faculty in Higher Education Governance

Key Information

Responsive Academic Decision Making: Involving Faculty in Higher Education Governance, By Michael T. Miller

1999 [ISBN: 1-58107-020-9; 182 pages, soft cover, 5.5-by-8.5 inch] $19.95


RADMwebCovProblems in education that are difficult to dispel remain obvious in academic cultures beset with unique histories and management practices. The product of these practices has not satisfied the public, either locally or nationally. Their opinions are based upon perceptions of poor management and a lack of agreement among responsible people. Are process and management the problem? Are committees vaporous and participants ubiquitous? Where is consensus on the issues of institutional management? What is the problem? Is it the decision or how the decision was made? What process did educators bring to the table in their deliberation of those decisions affecting programs of remediation, changing traditional grading, distance learning, and academic credit for prior experiences? Are these the product of a consensus process agreed to as a method of improving the product? Or, to the contrary, do they conjure up the perceptions of unbridled internal processes within the management structure, with little regard for standards and interactions, and high regard for body count? These writings provide a thematic examination of how faculty are involved in the governance process in different areas of higher education management. Although this text offers different styles and tones in various chapters, the discussions of involvement in academic and student affairs, athletics, advancement, and institutional effectiveness and planning are helpful to all of those interested in a setting where group input is valued and respected. Administrators, faculty, and policy makers will find this discussion useful and meaningful.


“I think this is an important book, and use it to teach my graduate course in Organization and Administration of Higher Education. Essentially, the book provides a breakdown of how decisions are supposed to be made and how they are actually made in the college environment. The chapters are easy and quick to read, and provide an excellent foundation for discussions of team work, decision-making and priority setting, and human resources. I strongly recommend the book for both the practitioner and scholar.”

Dr. Beverly Dyer, Professor of Higher Education, University of Alabama

“This is an excellent resource for faculty senate presidents and committee chairs. We all need to understand the ‘big picture’ of faculty led decision-making and governance. An excellent practitioner resource that every bookshelf should have!”

Dr. Richard Newman, Chair, Department of Physical Education, Presbyterian College


“The three chapters in the second section address faculty involvement in academic affairs, athletic administration, and institutional fundraising. The discussion of academic affairs contains a brief, but stimulating, examination of the question: ‘student affairs: an academic area?’ This illustrates the complexity of co-governance. Although we usually think in hierarchical terms (e.g., faculty and administration), we must also think in horizontal terms, (e.g., faculty and student affairs personnel). The area of athletic administration is more likely to be relevant to four-year than two-year institutions. Finally, Thomas A. Bila presents a convincing argument as to why faculty should be involved in fundraising. The increasing recognition of fundraising within the community college makes this chapter one of the most timely and relevant in the volume.”

Mark Oromaner, Hudson Community College, In Community College Journal of Research and Practice


The Contents

Section 1: Considering The Co-Governance Issue
1. Conceptualizing Faculty Involvement in Governance, by Dr. Michael Miller, University of Alabama
2. Benefits and Barriers to Shared Authority, by Dr. Jennifer P. Evans, University of Alabama
Section 2: Faculty Co-Governance at Work
3. Faculty Involvement in Academic Affairs, by Dr. Michael Miller, University of Alabama, Dr. Richard Newman, Presbyterian College, and Mr. ToddAdams, University of Toledo
4. Faculty Involvement in Athletic Administration, by Dr. Richard E. Newman, Presbyterian College and Ms. Jane G. Bartee, University of Alabama
5. Faculty Involvement in Institutional Fund Raising
by Dr. Thomas A. Bila, Coffey, Bila, and Associates

Section 3: Making Use of the Shared Governance Process
6. Faculty Involvement in Evaluating Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, by Dr. Thomas F. McCormack, Marion Military Institute, and Dr. Exir Brennen, Alabama A&M University
7. Putting it all Together: Effective Faculty Governance, by Dr. Kathleen Randall and Dr. Michael Miller, University of Alabama
Appendix 1: Letter of Faculty Appointment
Appendix 2: Listing of Institutional Governance Committees
Appendix 3: Sample Administrator Rating
Appendix 4: Pyramid Concept of Academic Alumni Giving
Author Notes


The Author

Dr. Michael T. Miller is currently Associate Dean of the College of Education at San Jose State University in San Jose, California. In this capacity he has responsibility for faculty and staff development, fund raising, budget and planning, and human resources. He also serves as a faculty member in the Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education.

He has served on several faculty senates and was a member of the steering committee of the University of Alabama Faculty Senate, and served two terms as Vice President of the College of Education Faculty Forum also at Alabama. He has served as a consultant on faculty co-governance, and was a founding member of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Nebraska.

During the past 15 years Dr. Miller has published over 300 articles and manuscripts in such journals as Journal of Staff, Professional, and Organization Development, Planning and Changing, Journal of College Student Affairs, Academic Leadership, and the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. His primary area of research and writing is faculty involvement in governance, although he also works in student affairs assessment, and is currently editor of the Journal of College Orientation and Transition.

His former positions include coordinator of the Higher Education Administration Program at the University of Alabama, Director of the Nebraska Research and Development Unit for Vocational Education at the University of Nebraska, and Director of Annual Giving at Southern Illinois University. He is also author of Academic Leadership in Community Colleges (University of Nebraska, 1994) and International Dimensions of Higher Education Administration (ANU, 1999).


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