Lake Superior State University entered a new era in 2009 with the introduction of a Shared Governance Process designed to elicit input from all members of the campus community and allow for broad participation in the decision making process.
Shared governance embraces the university’s mission. It recognizes and supports the leadership role of the President and Chief Academic Officers, the guidance of the Board of Trustees and the critical interface of the Faculty, Administration, Staff and Students. Broad institutional representation within this body of shared decision making allows the University to be nimble and responsive. Shared governance:
- Creates a dynamic, vibrant and engaged institutional culture
- Provides a forum for faculty, administration, and support staff to address shared concerns
- Provides a mechanism for coordinating policies and where appropriate, provides input into decision-making processes
- Improves the university’s ability to carry out its mission through shared objectives
Shared governance is both a process and a structure whereby the collective good of the University is balanced with the individual good of its divisions. All members collaborate to embrace the institution’s needs, ensuring that policies and procedures work in combined synergy, grounded by the university’s mission.
Shared governance is a deliberative process. It recognizes change as a constant force affecting the function of the university. The institution's size allows pertinent issues to rise efficiently to the purview of shared governance. This concise pathway facilitates deliberation and both rapid and full response to emerging issues, needs, and concerns. Within its deliberative function, shared governance addresses strategic planning, review of academic programs, formulation of policies, appraisal of initiatives, evaluation of student activities, review of budget considerations, and other pertinent issues.
Institutional culture at LSSU is reflected within the university’s model of shared governance. Critical mutual trust along with a shared sense of purpose, combine in the decision-making framework. Shared governance provides a voice to entities throughout the institution. The structure encompasses the colleges, programs, schools, students, faculty, staff and other constituencies through direct representation. Within this framework, the deliberative process is open and transparent.