Shared Governance


We should endeavor to more effectively define and communicate about what shared governance is and means for UMW. What do we believe about shared governance and consequently how does that influence the way we think, talk, and act?  Using the “Great Colleges to Work For” instrument, such a definition would involve clearly stated roles/vision with respect to (a) decision making, (b) planning, (c) collaboration, and (d) communication. In order to make progress in this area, the working group has outlined three strategies:

Recommended Actions


  • Governance interoperability: Are there ways to enhance SAC-UFC through the following: (1) ex officio memberships to support cross-pollination, (2) a reexamination of the mission of SAC, (3) an expansion of SAC to cover all employees, and (4) a regular standing role for the President at SAC meetings (and Chief of Staff attendance in their absence)?
  • Leadership Council: This should be a problem solving body, rather than a reporting forum and there should be a greater institutional awareness that such a group exists and what it does. Reports could be forwarded in advance and the monthly meetings would more appropriately be spent in conversation on challenging issues (e.g. master planning, diversity and inclusion,
  • On-boarding: New employee on-boarding should be enhanced so that all employees understand what UMW believes about shared governance and the ways in which structures such as the Board, Cabinet, Leadership Council, UFC, and SAC function.

Enhance Communication Channels

  • E-newsletter silo: The SAC newsletter should be sent to all faculty and the Provost’s newsletter should go to all employees.
  • Enhanced divisional coordination: Each division should create a communication plan that includes a clear understanding among middle management about the expectations for upstream and downstream and downstream communication.

Executive Decision Making

  • There needs to be a clearer sense of (1) when issues are taken up at the cabinet level, (2) how they are resolved, (3) the ways in which we provide individuals with the language (“why”) they need when a decision has been made, (4) and what is done to assess and judge those decisions to improve institutional effectiveness.