Governance at Ship

This section addresses standards 4, 5 and 6 which explain how the governance of the university is structured and operates so that the university can fulfill its mission and goals effectively and efficiently.

Standard 4: Leadership and Governance and Standard 5: Administration, talk about the principles of university governance. “The Commission on Higher Education expects a climate of shared collegial governance” where members of all constituencies can participate openly in the discussions of how resources are allocated to fulfill our mission. (quoted and paraphrased from page 12 of the Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education, 2006.) Our governance is structured using many groups: Council of Trustees, Executive Management Team, President’s Cabinet, University Forum, Planning and Budget Council, University Curriculum Committee, to name just a few. The policies and procedures that guide our governance we follow are located in several publications. Some examples are: undergraduate and graduate catalogs, Swataney, University Governance Structure, UCC manual, Program Review booklet, SU manual, Collective Bargaining Agreements (APSCUF, AFSCME, and other unions), Search manuals for faculty and administrative/staff, Distance Education at SU: Recommended Policies, Best Practices and State of Distance Education at Shippensburg University, Faculty Handbook, and Continuing Education Policy.

Standard 6 is titled Integrity. This is essentially asking: Do we follow our policies? Do we have fair and impartial practices for grievances, hirings, and evaluations? Do we follow sound ethical practices? Do we treat constituencies equitably and appropriately consistently? In summary, in fulfilling our mission with our governance structure, do we do so with integrity?

Chapter 5 of the self-study addresses these three standards, not only from a checklist point of view, but also by analyzing the transition in administration that has occurred over the last five years. We went through a period of three years with several interim administrators (President, Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs, Associate Provost/Dean of Graduate Studies, Vice President of Student Affairs, Vice President of Administration and Finance). The fact that the university was able to not only maintain--but in some cases enhance its services and quality of programs--is testimony to our strong shared governance tradition and the integrity in which we operate.

Here is a list of tasks that each member of the Shippensburg family can do to prepare for the Middle States visit and to continue to improve the governance of Shippensburg University:

  1. Consider and evaluate your role in the governance structure with regards to making policy and decisions.
  2. Be able to explain how your unit makes decisions in “a climate of shared collegial governance”.
  3. Think about how you know that you, your unit, and the university operate with integrity.
  4. Be able to explain the procedure your unit follows to review and update policies and procedures.
  5. Think about the governance structures in which you participate. If you have suggestions for improvement, make them to the appropriate parties.