Commenced in January 2007
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Presidential Interactions with Faculty Senates: Expectations and Practices

Authors: Michael T. Miller, G. David Gearhart


Shared governance is an important element in higher education decision making. Through the joint decision making process, faculty members are provided an opportunity to help shape the future of an institution while increasing support for decisions that are made. Presidents, those leaders who are legally bound to guide their institutions, must find ways to collaborate effectively with faculty members in making decisions, and the first step in this process is understanding when and how presidents and faculty leaders interact. In the current study, a national sample of college presidents reported their preparation for the presidency, their perceptions of the functions of a faculty senate, and ultimately, the locations for important interactions between presidents and faculty senates. Results indicated that presidents, regardless of their preparation, found official functions to be the most important for communicating, although, those presidents with academic backgrounds were more likely to perceive faculty senates as having a role in all aspects of an institutions management.

Keywords: College faculty, college president, faculty senate, leadership.

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