Dear Colleagues:

Over the past two months, I have been meeting with groups of faculty, students, and staff in an effort to understand what they value about Ohio University, to learn what their proudest accomplishments are, and to hear their uppermost concerns.  I still have much listening to do as I continue my visits to each of the colleges and the campuses, but one theme that has been sounded repeatedly is the need to work on shared governance.

The leaders of our campus constituent senates have confirmed this need.  In consultation with these leaders and with President McDavis, an approach to building a consensus on shared governance has been constructed.  That approach is outlined at the end of this message.

It would be fair to ask, why go through a lengthy process?  Share the governance of the university and be done with it.  The problem with such a modus operandi is that in my discussions with members of the campus community it is clear that there isn’t a consensus on what shared governance should be at this institution.  Before we can share, we need to know what we are sharing.

To enable us to have a conversation across all of our campuses, I have begun a blog on shared governance–Shared Governance@OHIO,  I would like to thank the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for agreeing to co-sponsor the blog.

In order to have a meaningful discussion of the important issues that surround shared governance, your participation is essential.  Please become part of the conversation.


Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost

1.  To have a substantive, university-wide conversation on shared governance.
2.  To use that conversation (conducted in multiple ways) to help construct a shared governance concept paper that will help guide decision-making at Ohio University.

1.  Shared governance blog to be launched in October 2009.  Questions and readings to be posted to help encourage thoughtful and fruitful discussions across all Ohio University campuses.
2.  Campus survey on shared governance to be developed in conjunction with constituent senates and administered in February 2010.
3.  Stakeholder committee to be appointed in March 2010.  Committee to use the results of the survey to shape forums to be held in April and May.
4.  Draft of a shared governance concept paper to be presented for comment to the campus community in September 2010.
5.  Shared governance concept paper finalized and recommendations implemented in October 2010.


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