Lessons on Faculty Governance

I am on the my college’s Executive Board for the Faculty Senate. This is my first year on it. I was a senator last year, but I do not have much experience with faculty governance beyond that.

At a recent meeting, and issue was put on the agenda. We had two options, A and B (I am being intentionally vague here). I was strongly in favor for option A, and I was certain that half of the rest of the Board was, too. During the meeting, though, I found that everyone thought that option B was better. Moreover, they all had excellent, well-though out reasons for supporting option B.

The lesson: Bret does not know anything about faculty governance. But I am learning. And I am reminded that it takes time and thinking hard about an issue to become good at it.

4 Responses to “Lessons on Faculty Governance”

  1. Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist Says:

    I’m curious, how many people knew that it was going to be added to the agenda?

    • bretbenesh Says:

      Everyone. The agenda was emailed to everyone a couple of days before the meeting. Bret

      • Andy "SuperFly" Rundquist Says:

        do you think you were out of loop ahead of the meeting? When I’ve experienced situations like this, I find I’m frustrated about not having been involved in larger conversations. That’s not to say I’m unhappy having my mind changed, though.

      • Bret Benesh Says:

        No—I was completely in the loop. The problem was that I had just not thought deeply enough about what the role of faculty governance should be, whereas other people clearly had. I feel a little embarrassed about my thought process, but I am taking it as a learning experience. It was really a nice master-apprentice moment, where everyone else was a master and I was the only apprentice. Bret

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