Shared Governance refers to appropriately shared responsibility and cooperative action among the components of the academic institution. It should foster constructive joint thought and action, both within the institutional structure and in protection of its integrity against improper intrusions. As stated in the AAUP National's Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities,

The general educational policy, i.e., the objectives of an institution and the nature, range, and pace of its efforts, is shaped by the institutional charter or by law, by tradition and historical development, by the present needs of the community of the institution, and by the professional aspirations and standards of those directly involved in its work. Every board will wish to go beyond its formal trustee obligation to conserve the accomplishment of the past and to engage seriously with the future; every faculty will seek to conduct an operation worthy of scholarly standards of learning; every administrative officer will strive to meet his or her charge and to attain the goals of the institution. The interests of all are coordinate and related, and unilateral effort can lead to confusion or conflict. Essential to a solution is a reasonably explicit statement on general educational policy. Operating responsibility and authority, and procedures for continuing review, should be clearly defined in official regulations.

When an educational goal has been established, it becomes the responsibility primarily of the faculty to determine the appropriate curriculum and procedures of student instruction.

The Towson AAUP / Faculty Association adheres to the National policy in approaching issues of shared governance. It is our job to maintain the role of faculty in decisions that concern curriculum development and classroom instruction. Here, as with Academic Freedom, the corporatization of universities often leads to an erosion of faculty voice in these matters. Administrators may forget that shared governance is a fundamental principle, and may treat faculty more like "employees" that can be told what to do.

It is essential to academic freedom and the integrity of the University as whole that shared governance holds strong. Any Towson faculty with concerns about shared-governance issues should contact the Towson AAUP Executive Committee.

For more information, read the full Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities.

2005 Towson University