Edited By Carrie Rogers, Kofi Lomotey and Adriel Hilton
Chapter Fourteen: Reconceptualizing Campus Shared Governance and Leadership in Higher Education: The Role of Midlevel Administrators (Hugo A. García / Kim Nehls / Kimberly M. Florence)
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Reconceptualizing Campus Shared Governance AND Leadership IN Higher Education
The Role of Midlevel Administrators
HUGO A. GARCÍA, KIM NEHLS, AND KIMBERLY M. FLORENCE
Postsecondary institutions are complex hierarchical organizations with a shared governance structure as its hallmark. Unlike the other economic sectors of the United States, where there is a strong top-down management system, higher education institutions are comprised of various actors embedded within a loosely-coupled system where shared governance is espoused. Gayle, Tewarie, and White (2003) state that “University governance refers to the structure and process of [collaborative] decision making across issues that are significant for external as well as internal stakeholders within the university” (p. 1).
Much of the literature on leadership and change in higher education focuses on traditional governance roles such as presidents, chancellors, and provosts (Kezar, 2012; Kezar, Carducci, & Contreras-McGavin, 2006). Other research focuses entirely on the role of faculty within the shared governance structure of higher education; indeed, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has from its inception in 1915 stressed the importance of faculty participation in the decision making process (Tierney & Lechuga, 2004). With strong foci on ← 211 | 212 → positional leaders and tenured faculty, shared governance may present challenges to midlevel staff and administrators. Various higher education associations have stressed the importance of staff involvement in the decision making process and inclusion in shared governance (e.g., Ackerman, 2007).
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