Shared governance to open doors for communication series beginning Thursday



“Moving forward together” is the theme for the upcoming shared governance event series.

The Shared Governance and Communications Committee has invited nationally renowned shared governance experts Adrianna Kezar, associate director at the Pullias Center for Higher Education, and Terrence MacTaggart, a senior fellow at the Association of Governing Boards, to visit Central Michigan University during these events beginning Thursday.

“The committee feels that it’s most important to have extended conversations and communications about the future of shared governance at (Central Michigan University),” said Jim Therrell, director of The Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching. “It’s about creating a robust dialogue, and these events should just be the beginning of that dialogue.”

Therrell was chosen by SGCC co-chairs Jim McDonald and Jim Hageman to facilitate the project.

Expenses will cost the president’s office an estimated $17,000, according to Hageman.

“The major expense, of course, is for the speakers,” Hageman said. “To have experts weigh in and advise us was at the request of the faculty members and academic deans. We are hoping for good participation from all.”

The series kicks off with an open-speaker session at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Bovee University Center Auditorium.

On Friday, staff and faculty members will meet with Kezar and MacTaggart for various question-and-answer sessions in the Powers Ballroom and the Education and Human Services Building's French Auditorium.

All events with Kezar and MacTaggart will be live-streamed by CMU.

“I think the way we’ve designed (the series) is to maximize time for audience members to comment and ask questions,” Therrell said. “That seems to be a sensible way to really show that the shared governance committee and the president are serious about getting extensive comment from faculty, staff and students.”

Kezar and MacTaggart will return to CMU on Feb. 22 to present their findings and advice in an open panel in French Auditorium.

Prior to visiting Mount Pleasant, the duo has been forwarded various documents from the SGCC and previous committees. Upon completion of the final panel, the recommendations made by Kezar and MacTaggart will be displayed for the community.

“The speakers are speaking about shared governance in a very CMU-oriented context,” Therrell said. “They’re pretty familiar with the CMU context, and part of their mission is drafting some brief recommendations based on their conversations with CMU folks.”

Planning for the series began last semester.

Although Therrell said there have been four major attempts over the last 20 years to move forward with shared governance at CMU, he believes this attempt is distinctive.

“I think it’s unique to bring in two speakers on this topic at the same time,” he said. “I think the committee has identified pretty clearly that the issue (in the past) was in monitoring and maintaining the momentum for shared governance.”

The SGCC is an ad hoc committee, meaning it has been formed for a temporary objective before being dissolved.

Therrell said shared governance is proposing a standing committee to keep from allowing focus and communication to slip as time goes on.


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