Effective shared governance increases collaboration creates useful links between constituencies and builds needed partnerships.
What is shared governance?
Specifically, Education Code Section 70901(b) required the Board of Governors to adopt regulations setting “…minimum standards governing procedures established by governing boards in community college districts to ensure faculty, staff, and students the right to participate effectively in district and college governance, and the opportunity to express their opinions at the campus level and to ensure that their opinions are given every reasonable consideration…” shared governance, then, is a complex web of consultation and decision-making and responsibility that translates goals into district policy or action.
Participatory governance is a responsibility and classified senates/councils, and other classified governance bodies have eagerly risen to that challenge. The 4CS strongly believes that classified staff participation is essential in providing valuable information and input because of their expertise and experience. Classified staff are involved in every area of our colleges and are committed to the belief that input from classified staff, the people in the trenches, provide essential contributions to the institution’s ability to make sound “educated” decisions with the best available information. It is also essential that support for participatory governance be recognized and practiced at the state level on councils, task forces and groups as well as at district/college levels.
Shared (Participatory) Governance
As defined by the California Ed Code, section 70902 (b) (7), participatory governance is:
Minimum standards governing procedures established by governing boards of community college districts to ensure faculty, staff, and students the right to participate effectively in district and college governance, and the opportunity to express their opinions at the campus level and to ensure that these opinions are given every reasonable consideration, and the right of academic senates to assume primary responsibility for making recommendations in the areas of curriculum and academic standards.