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Shared Governance Spotlight: UCCS Rhonda Glazier

Rhonda Glazier | UCCS Faculty Council Budget and Finance Committee Assistant Dean, Kraemer Family Library

1. What does shared governance mean to you? Why is it important?

Shared governance is an important cornerstone of higher education. It promotes diversity of thought and allows a variety of voices to be heard. When faculty members are included in decision-making processes, it ensures that everyone has a stake in the outcome. This sense of ownership fosters a shared responsibility and commitment to the institution’s success. When shared governance is consistently practiced, it promotes transparency and accountability in decision-making processes. Personally, I now understand the broader picture as to why some decisions are made. And with that understanding, I can articulate to others why a decision was made and the broader implications of decisions. The more faculty who can participate in this shared understanding, the more robust shared governance will become. 

2. Tell us about your role on the Faculty Council, how long you have served in this role, and what your initial motivations were for engaging in this type of service.

I have been on the Faculty Council Budget & Finance (FCBF) Committee since 2018 and became chair of the committee in 2021. While being a part of FCBF was interesting, it was not until I became chair that I had an opportunity to observe and understand the role of the Faculty Council. As chair, I attend the Faculty Council meetings each month. Becoming chair and attending Faculty Council meetings helped me understand the role of Faculty Council in shared governance. This past year there were concerns about how the system office managed the strategic planning money and the loss of this money to the campuses to fund strategic initiatives. Several members of the system administration met with the budget committee and members of the Faculty Council to answer questions about how the shortfall happened. This indicated how important it is for faculty to be on committees, such as FCBF, so that the administration can bring forward information about initiatives and concerns related to faculty. 

3. Lastly, what are your thoughts on the effectiveness of shared governance work? Does it actually work? If so, can you provide specific examples?

As I said earlier, shared governance is critical. It does work. There are things we could do better. For instance, getting information out to each campus and making sure that faculty who are not part of shared governance receive the information and have opportunities to ask questions and to learn more. It is important that there is diversity in representation from each campus and that those who have not served on the Faculty Council or participated in shared governance are given opportunities to gain experience in this area and are welcomed into the governance structure. Before becoming chair of FCBF, I never knew what the Faculty Council did. And I certainly did not know what issues were being discussed between the campuses and the administration.  But if we continue to promote transparency in decision-making by openly communicating the decisions being made through shared governance, we can create a more inclusive and engaged environment. 

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