An institution’s governance is personal. It is personal to the individuals within it. As such, “governance” is a woven fabric of social, historical, cultural, contractual, academic, legal, economic, and organizational elements. It is unique and not easily portable to or from other institutions. Informal governance structures will develop and evolve on their own out of pragmatic necessity. The best governance structures are those specifically and meaningfully designed by an institution.
In 1975, some 13 years before AB 1725, Dr. Richard Richardson, Professor of Higher Education at New York University, did an excellent job of putting shared governance into context for us. He said that community college governance structures come in three forms: 1) the bureaucratic model; 2) the political model; and 3) collegial model. He pointed out that the bureaucratic model describes a traditional, rule bound, hierarchical power structure, concentrated at the top with a “ruling commander” to whom everyone runs for all decisions – big and small. Richardson describes the political model as one that proposes a perpetual state of conflict between constituencies – trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, and students – each with competing interests. Finally, Richardson describes the collegial model as one that proposes a community with consensual decision-making processes involving all constituencies affected by the decisions.
For about a year, the Executive Governance Council of Continuing Education has been designing a governance structure that aligns with a collegial model and that is personal to us. It has been a tremendous undertaking, involving hundreds of hours work. This document represents the fruit of our labor. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished and how we were able to accomplish it – participatory! We all owe a great deal of thanks to the following Executive Governance Council leaders for their relentless pursuit of openness and excellence and for making sure we developed a structure where we all have a voice in the process:
- Brian Ellison, Ed.D., Vice President, Instruction and Student Services
- Bob Parker, Vice President, Administrative Services
- Esther Matthew, President, Academic Senate
- Paul Richard, Vice President, Academic Senate
- Gretchen Bitterlin, Chair of Program Chairs, Academic Senate (2008-09)
- Ann Marie Damrau, Chair of Program Chairs, Academic Senate (2007-08)
- Rita Avila, President, Classified Senate (2008-09)
- Jose Hueso, President, Classified Senate (2007-08)
- Pat Fernandez, Past President, Classified Senate (2007-08)
- Kim Laramie, Executive Assistant to the President
Thank you for your effort! We made good history in what we have created here.
President, San Diego Continuing Education