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Shared Governance at Wentworth
Institutional governance in higher education has come under scrutiny in recent times and as a result of these conversations has undergone substantial change in recent years. From this national dialog, the philosophy of shared governance has emerged as the consensus “best practice” in the industry. As part of its ongoing fiduciary responsibilities, the Wentworth Board of Trustees has recently engaged in facilitated dialog amongst its members to become informed with respect to the principles of shared governance and to understand and assess the current state of institutional governance at Wentworth. As a result of this effort, the Board at its November 16, 2017 meeting passed a resolution “…directing the President and Provost to create a Task Force led by the Provost for Shared Governance to develop recommendations for next steps in achieving a shared governance future.”
In response to the Board’s directive, and with the support of President Pantic, the Provost has announced the launch of a community-wide initiative to define, build consensus and establish a plan to develop a unified model of shared governance that best aligns with Wentworth’s long-standing educational mission, the guiding principles of the Leopard’s Oath and the Board’s commitment to the highest standards of fiduciary responsibility.
Update and Next Steps - March 2018
Dear Wentworth Colleagues,
I am writing to share the outcomes of the first phase of our community Shared Governance (SG) initiative and to outline the next steps of the process through the spring semester.
Each of the six Stakeholder Groups (Students, Faculty, Staff, Trustees, President’s Advisory Council, and Academic Leadership Team) has participated in a workshop/forum facilitated by Dr. Ellen Chaffee, Senior Fellow of the of the Association of Governing Boards for Colleges and Universities (AGB). At each session, the principles of effective Shared Governance have been presented, discussed openly, and authentic feedback has been solicited and collated to inform the Shared Governance planning process. Community participation in this key initiative has been well represented by each Stakeholder Group.
Next steps in the Shared Governance initiative include the following:
- Constituting a Shared Governance Steering Group (SG2);
- Conducting an online Opinion Survey to solicit input from all stakeholders concerning Decisions & Decision Makers;
- Scheduling the next round of Stakeholder Group meetings; and
- Planning for a Community Forum on Shared Governance.
Please review the attached document about the Shared Governance Steering Group and please consider applying to join the group by sending an email to Jane Allen firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, March 22. This information is also posted on the Wentworth Shared Governance website at SG Link.
With the support of the Board of Trustees and President Pantic, I thank you for your engagement in our Shared Governance initiative to date, and I strongly encourage you to continue your active participation as we advance our community commitment to developing our model of shared governance, the Wentworth Way.
Calendar of Events
Wentworth has engaged the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) to guide this key effort by facilitating multiple stakeholder workshops over the next few months. Our community stakeholder groups are represented by the Board of Trustees, President’s Advisory Committee (PAC), academic administrative leadership, the faculty (full time and contingent), the staff and our students. The Board and the PAC have recently participated in AGB-led workshops on shared governance.
- March 22, 2018 - Apply to serve on the Shared Governance Steering Group
- March 23, 2018 - Random drawing to determine representatives and alternatives
- March 27, 2018, 3-5 pm - Initial Shared Governance Steering Group meeting
Background and Documents
To learn more about shared governance, please visit the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) at www.agb.org.
More documents, reports, and resources will be forthcoming.
To guide and coordinate this process to a successful outcome, a Steering Committee will be constituted shortly with member representation from each stakeholder group, the AGB senior fellow and the Provost. Further details regarding the workshops will be forthcoming, as will additional plans for ongoing inclusive and transparent dialog and considerations that will lead to convergence on a best-fit, unified model for shared governance at Wentworth.