Responsive Academic Decision Making

Responsive Academic Decision Making

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Title: Responsive Academic Decision Making
Author: Michael T. Miller
Description: Problems in education that are difficult to dispel remain obvious in academic cultures beset with unique histories and management practices. The product of these practices has not satisfied the public, either locally or nationally. Their opinions are based upon perceptions of poor management and a lack of agreement among responsible people. Are process and management the problem? Are committees vaporous and participants ubiquitous? Where is consensus on the issues of institutional management? What is the problem? Is it the decision or how the decision was made? What process did educators bring to the table in their deliberation of those decisions affecting programs of remediation, changing traditional grading, distance learning, and academic credit for prior experiences? Are these the product of a consensus process agreed to as a method of improving the product? Or, to the contrary, do they conjure up the perceptions of unbridled internal processes within the management structure, with little regard for standards and interactions, and high regard for body count? These writings provide a thematic examination of how faculty are involved in the governance process in different areas of higher education management. Although this text offers different styles and tones in various chapters, the discussions of involvement in academic and student affairs, athletics, advancement, and institutional effectiveness and planning are helpful to all of those interested in a setting where group input is valued and respected. Administrators, faculty, and policy makers will find this discussion useful and meaningful.
  1. Section 1: Considering The Co-Governance Issue
    1. Conceptualizing Faculty Involvement in Governance
      by Dr. Michael Miller, University of Alabama
      • Leadership and Administration
      • Modeling Involvement
        • Legislative Model
        • Watch-Dog Model
        • Ladder Approach
        • Six Perceptions Model
      • The Research and Teaching Paradox
      • Legal Parameters of Involvement
      • For Discussion
    2. Benefits and Barriers to Shared Authority
      by Dr. Jennifer P. Evans, University of Alabama
      • Current State of Decision-Making
        • Group Process and Communication
          • Decision Making Process
          • Communication
        • Group Leadership
        • Organizational Influences
        • Keys to Success
      • Struggles with Authentic vs. Inauthentic Employee Involvement
        • Historical Perspective
          • Classical Approach
          • Human Relations and Resources
          • Contemporary Perspective
          • Evolution of an Ethical Organization
      • Benefits to Shared Decision-Making
        • The Empowerment Issue
        • Empowerment and Risk Taking
        • Benefits in Academe
        • Contemporary Research on Faculty Involvement
        • Empowering Faculty
        • Ideal Governance Process
      • Improving Organization Conditions for Faculty Involvement
        • Change
        • Conflict Management
        • Communication Skills
        • Successful Meeting Skills
        • Time Management
      • For Discussion
  2. Section 2: Faculty Co-Governance At Work
    1. Faculty Involvement in Academic Affairs
      by Dr. Michael Miller, University of Alabama, Dr. Richard Newman, Presbyterian College, and Mr. ToddAdams, University of Toledo
      • Who is Involved in Academic Governance?
        • President
        • Provost
        • Deans
        • Chairs
        • Program Coordinators
      • Issues and Trends
        • Authority and Accountability
        • Budgeting
        • Tenure and Promotion
        • Evaluation
        • Program Management
      • Student Affairs: An Academic Area?
        • Purpose of Student Affairs Administration
        • Student Affairs/Academic Affairs Dichotomy
        • Faculty Involvement in Student Affairs
      • A Balancing Act
        • The Empowerment Issue
        • Trust and Mistrust
        • Communication and Propaganda
        • Seeking Success
      • For Discussion
    2. Faculty Involvement in Athletic Administration
      by Dr. Richard E. Newman, Presbyterian College and Ms. Jane G. Bartee, University of Alabama
      • Controlling College Sports
        • Historical Control Measures
        • Current Control Measures
      • Sharing Authority Effectively
        • Positive Impacts of Faculty Involvement
        • Non-Involvement Impacts
      • Involving Faculty: Methods for Collaboration
      • For Discussion
    3. 5. Faculty Involvement in Institutional Fund Raising
      by Dr. Thomas A. Bila, Coffey, Bila, and Associates
      • Who Raises Money?
      • A Basic Fund Raising Philosophy
        • Guiding Fund-Raising Principles
        • Principles in Action
          • People Give to People
          • People Want Happy Experiences
          • People Want to Help
          • Partnerships May be Formed
          • Annual Giving Provides a Beginning
          • Trust is Developed Through Stewardship
          • Donors Expect Recognition
          • Involvement is Vital
          • Ninety Percent Comes from 10 percent
          • Donors Give Based on Interests
      • Involving Faculty in Development
      • For Discussion
  3. Section 3: Making Use of the Shared Governance Process
    1. Faculty Involvement in Evaluating Institutional Effectiveness and Planning
      by Dr. Thomas F. McCormack, Marion Military Institute, and Dr. Exir Brennen, Alabama A&M University
      • Is There a Need to Change?
        • Public Calls for Accountability
        • Accrediting Agencies' Roles
        • Federal and State Impetus
        • Faculty Tradition and Ambition
      • Changing from Within
        • Measuring Effectiveness as Accountability
        • To Do the Impossible
        • Creating Distinctiveness
      • For Discussion
    2. Putting it all Together: Effective Faculty Governance
      by Dr. Kathleen Randall and Dr. Michael Miller, University of Alabama
      • The Involved Faculty
      • Assessing Inclusive Decision-Making
      • For Administrators
        • Administrative Strategies for Encouraging Communication and Citizenship
        • Recognition Strategies for Enhancing a Shared Governance System
        • For Faculty
        • Responsibility
        • Democratic Ideals
        • Integrity
        • Role Definition
        • Willingness to Lead
      • Visioning the Future of Involved Governance
      • For Discussion


Appendix 1: Letter of Faculty Appointment
Appendix 2: Listing of Institutional Governance Committees
Appendix 3: Sample Administrator Rating
Appendix 4: Pyramid Concept of Academic Alumni Giving

Author Notes


"I think this is an important book, and use it to teach my graduate course in Organization and Administration of Higher Education. Essentially, the book provides a breakdown of how decisions are supposed to be made and how they are actually made in the college environment. The chapters are easy and quick to read, and provide an excellent foundation for discussions of team work, decision-making and priority setting, and human resources. I strongly recommend the book for both the practitioner and scholar."

Dr. Beverly Dyer, Professor of Higher Education, University of Alabama

"This is an excellent resource for faculty senate presidents and committee chairs. We all need to understand the ‘big picture’ of faculty led decision-making and governance. An excellent practitioner resource that every bookshelf should have!"

Dr. Richard Newman, Chair, Department of Physical Education, Presbyterian College


"The three chapters in the second section address faculty involvement in academic affairs, athletic administration, and institutional fundraising. The discussion of academic affairs contains a brief, but stimulating, examination of the question: ‘student affairs: an academic area?’ This illustrates the complexity of co-governance. Although we usually think in hierarchical terms (e.g., faculty and administration), we must also think in horizontal terms, (e.g., faculty and student affairs personnel). The area of athletic administration is more likely to be relevant to four-year than two-year institutions. Finally, Thomas A. Bila presents a convincing argument as to why faculty should be involved in fundraising. The increasing recognition of fundraising within the community college makes this chapter one of the most timely and relevant in the volume."

Mark Oromaner, Hudson Community College, In Community College Journal of Research and Practice

About the Author:

Dr. Michael T. Miller is currently Associate Dean of the College of Education at San Jose State University in San Jose, California. In this capacity he has responsibility for faculty and staff development, fund raising, budget and planning, and human resources. He also serves as a faculty member in the Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education.

He has served on several faculty senates and was a member of the steering committee of the University of Alabama Faculty Senate, and served two terms as Vice President of the College of Education Faculty Forum also at Alabama. He has served as a consultant on faculty co-governance, and was a founding member of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Nebraska.

During the past 15 years Dr. Miller has published over 300 articles and manuscripts in such journals as Journal of Staff, Professional, and Organization Development, Planning and Changing, Journal of College Student Affairs, Academic Leadership, and the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. His primary area of research and writing is faculty involvement in governance, although he also works in student affairs assessment, and is currently editor of the Journal of College Orientation and Transition.

His former positions include coordinator of the Higher Education Administration Program at the University of Alabama, Director of the Nebraska Research and Development Unit for Vocational Education at the University of Nebraska, and Director of Annual Giving at Southern Illinois University. He is also author of Academic Leadership in Community Colleges (University of Nebraska, 1994) and International Dimensions of Higher Education Administration (ANU, 1999).

Details: 1999 [ISBN: 1-58107-020-9; 182 pages, soft cover, 5.5-by-8.5 inch]