Shared Governance Committee shares, outlines desired future between administration and campus

Jim Hageman and Jim McDonald hope the Shared Governance Committee can share their full report with the campus in February after giving an update to the Board of Trustees Thursday.

The committee, which focuses on how the administration and other campus constituents could work together on decision-making, began meeting in April. The group is working on going through survey data, which was taken earlier this semester, Hageman said.

It was created following a tumultuous academic year in 2011-12, including what the report to trustees referred to as a "lack of trust arising from multiple issues."

They have planned forums about shared governance with experts Terrence MacTaggart and Adrianna Kezar on Feb. 7 and 8, respectively.

"The bottom line is to take some actions that have a long-term impact on increasing clarity about how we shared govern," Hageman said to Central Michigan Life.

The committee proposed that University President George Ross prepare a university-wide "Budget Priorities Committee" to learn the ins and outs of CMU's finances.

As the committee gets closer to the goal of a full recommendation to Ross, McDonald said he hopes the trustees push for shared governance.

He said there have been five Shared Governance Committees in the past 20 years and the evaluations previous committees have submitted were rarely followed.

"There was an agreed-upon process to evaluate deans in 2001; it's been done once," McDonald said.

Hageman said there are differences from the current committee and those done in the past.

"We're doing something better and different than before. There's a certain amount of cynicism on the part of the faculty because they felt like 'Well, we've had these before, we've seen this all before,'" he said. "In their views nothing happened, some things might have happened, but we maybe didn't point to them and say they happened. So it's a question of better communication, too. Some things have happened and we've done it that way but some things, I think, we didn't do quite right and should. We need to clean up your act, if you will."

The committee is listening to definitions of shared governance and is revising based on comments from the various unions and constituencies on campus, Hageman said.

"When we finally produce a report, we want all groups to accept it," Hageman said. "We want everyone to accept it, including the administration"


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