Academic governance

Giousmpasoglou, Charalampos ORCID: (2017) Academic governance. In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Online Education. Sage, pp. 7-14. ISBN 9781483318356

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Governance is a highly contested concept that concerns the exercise of collective control towards common goals. In higher education institutes’ (HEIs) context, the concept of governance refers to their internal structure, organisation and management. Simply explained, academic governance is the way in which universities are operated; it concerns both the internal (institutional) and external (system) governance of the institution. Internal governance refers to the institutional arrangements within universities (e.g., lines of authority, decision making processes, financing and staffing) whereas external governance refers to the institutional arrangements on the macro- or system-level (e.g., laws and decrees, funding arrangements, evaluations).
The principal academic governance model for both public and private universities, until the 1980s, was based on a collegial shared form of governance. The tradition of shared governance rests on the assumption that faculty should hold a substantive role in decision making alongside the institution’s key stakeholders; these stakeholders include the university Rector/President/CEO, and representatives from the management, administrative staff, and the students. The most visible vehicle for faculty involvement is typically a faculty senate or a similar body with a different name; such senates currently exist in more than 90 percent of colleges and universities in the U.S.A. and with small variations in Europe and the rest of the world.
During the 1980s the idea of the so called corporate or entrepreneurial university emerged; it was based on the notion that, even non-profit public universities should be run as a business in order to address both the society and market needs and be able to control their own budgets. In practical terms this meant that universities should develop relationships with the industry, secure external (other than government) funding, and be able to at least break even in terms of managing their finance. Today, both models co-exist in a delicate balance: the traditional model advocates for free public higher education (HE) for anyone at any cost, whereas the new model argues for a market-driven performance-led university for those who can afford it. This entry is about the existing models of academic governance, their structure, key issues, and the current and future perspectives.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Education
Depositing User: Babis Giousmpasoglou
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2016 13:48
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:06

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