Statement of Purpose

Home Members Purpose Guiding Principles Steps of Process Changing of Committees References/Tools Joint Statement Meeting Notes

Shared governance has been a distinctive tradition in higher education since early in the twentieth century. This tradition assumes that faculty should have a substantive role in decision-making[1].

Going beyond this tradition, the American Association of University Professors, American Council for Education and Association of Governing Boards joint Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities[2] holds that all affected constituencies should be appropriately included in university decisions. Wilkes University recognizes the wisdom of this statement because such inclusiveness leads to enhanced understanding of and commitment to university decisions and produces more sound decisions that, in turn, ensure the long-term success of the University.

The process outlined in this document, “Steps to Excellence”, which was developed by the University Process for Decision-Making & Change Committee (UPDMC), is intended to guide committees charged with major university decisions and change efforts in their work so that they are more inclusive of affected constituencies and produce more sound decisions. Indeed, we believe “Steps to Excellence” can serve as a reference not only for formally charged committees, but to any group or person at Wilkes making a decision or affecting change. 

The purpose for establishing this process is tri-fold:

1. Clear articulation - Decision-making processes are most effective when they are clearly articulated and easily understood. The current decision-making process needs to be clarified to reduce confusion over the roles, responsibilities and authority of those involved;

2. Representation - In a system of shared governance, decision-making power is shared with those most affected by the decision. Wilkes community members need to be appropriately represented in the decision-making process when they will be affected by the outcome. 

3. Communication - Clear lines of communication need to be established before, during and after decisions are made, to ensure proper flow of information to and from decision-making bodies.

[1] Referenced from ‘Challenges for Governance: A National Report’, Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, USC Rossier School of Education, April, 2003.

American Association of University Professors. (2006). Statement on government of colleges and universities. In AAU Policy Documents and Reports (10th ed.) or online at: .