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May 27, 2016 08:07 AM EDT

Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn Attributes Decrease In Faculty Members' Participation In Shared Governance To Uncontrollable Forces!

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Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn holds forces beyond their scope of control responsible for the attrition of faculty members' participation in shared governance.

A budget bill signed into law by Wisconsin Governor Scott last July, not only made it easier to expel those in tenure-track positions, but also undermined the presence of faculty members in institutional governance. With his action, he sparked a debate that has fueled conversations among higher education circles, and also inspired a slew of recent books, including "The Rise and Decline of Faculty Governance" by Larry Gerber, Governance Reconsidered by Susan Resneck Pierce, and Locus of Authority by William Bowen and Eugene Tobin.

Although those participating in this debate are all of the same opinion that higher education in the U.S. is currently going through a profound shift, their opinions on what this indicates for shared governance go in different directions.

While The American Association of University Professors recommends a vigorous reconfirmation of the faculty's role, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), on the other hand claims in order to meet the demands of a new era, acknowledgment and backing of that role is role mandatory, besides substantial upping of executive authority and improved trustee supervision.

The key developments usually considered as causes of higher education's modern conversion are familiar, Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn noted in a post on InsideHighered.

These encompass considerable decrease in state funding for public universities; elaboration of federal involvement with student liability, educational results and tuition levels; and so forth and so on.

Kaufman-Osborn, an educator of politics and leadership at Whitman College noted that this construction supports the benefit of those who argue that, considering higher education needs to comply with the mandate of the 21st century, the ability of faculty members to hinder crucial reforms must be abated.

Several faculty member, presidents as well as governing board are of the belief that institutional governance is so unwieldy that prompt and active decision making is jeopardize, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges noted in a statement.

In addition, more and more administrators nowadays debate that rejuvenating presidential leadership is necessary if higher education is to overcome its most dire challenges.

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