Shared Governance and the Salaita Case

We reproduce a post from John K. Wilson on Academe Blog, the blog of the AAUP’s  journal Academe.  We find Wilson’s arguments clear and cogently presented.


I spoke on a podcast, This Week at InsideHigherEd, about the Salaita case, along with former Barnard president Judith Shapiro, who argued that the Salaita case indicated the need for more shared governance. I would argue that the Salaita case is a good reason to understand what shared governance really means. Shared governance doesn’t mean that the administration and the faculty share equal power. It means that the faculty control faculty matters, the administration controls administrative matters, and they watch over each other’s judgments and work together whenever possible. So in faculty hiring, it is a faculty matter where faculty judgment reigns supreme and the administration only intervenes when a violation of academic standards and academic processes occurs.

The involvement of the Board of Trustees in faculty matters such as hiring must be even rarer. While I would like to see Boards of Trustees intervene much more often to overrule…

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Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

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