University of Southern California
Rossier School of Education Excellence in Higher Education
Bruce Johnstone
University Professor of Higher & Comparative Education,

Mary Burgan
Former General Secretary
American Association of University Professors

Ellen Chaffee  
Valley City State University

Tom Ingram
Association of Governing Boards

David Ward 
American Council on Education




For over a generation academic governance has been a topic about which many have expressed dismay, befuddlement or anger.  There remains, however, a paucity of information or research-based models about the best way to enhance decision-making and governance in higher education.  

This project began in September 2001 and will conclude in Fall of 2005; we analyzed and recommended ways to improve shared governance in four-year colleges and universities.  We focused on ways to improve decision-making so that a more deliberate, determined, and fast-paced structure better suited to the needs of the 21st century would be available to institutional leaders.

By way of a series of institutional and comparative analyses we developed a series of recommendations regarding changes in strategic leadership and reformulations about how colleges and universities undertake structural decision-making at the faculty and Board levels.  

The project involved an overview survey, site visits to representative institutions, and emblematic case studies of governance structures that work and those that do not.  Through the involvement of an Advisory Board composed of leaders of diverse constituencies, as well as a handful of engaged intellectuals who served as an experts panel, we disseminated findings and recommendations that shed light on the problems that exist and how they might be overcome.

For more information on this study, please contact William G. Tierney.



2002 Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis all rights reserved
Location: Waite Phillips Hall, Room 701 Phone: (213) 740-7218 Fax: (213) 740-3889 Email: