Fredonia campus receives first SUNY Shared Governance Award

ALBANY – State University of New York Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher presented SUNY Fredonia with the system’s first Shared Governance Award, which will be conferred annually to one campus in recognition of advancing shared governance throughout SUNY.

The award was presented at the SUNY Voices Conference on Shared Governance, which brought together faculty, students, administrators, trustees and council members from campuses across the state to discuss how systems of shared governance can work toward achieving sustainable and innovative colleges and universities. Participants explored traditional and emerging models of shared governance and how they can be used to best meet the needs of SUNY’s institutions, faculty, staff and students, as well as New York’s communities.

“This award underscores SUNY’s commitment to academic excellence and public good through collaborative models of governance,” said Chairman McCall. “Congratulations to SUNY Fredonia on receiving our first recognition, and thank you to all of the campuses who participated in this week’s conference in order to advance shared governance practices across SUNY.”

“Shared governance is critical to the effectiveness of systems of higher education like SUNY, ensuring that all of our stakeholders – from students and faculty to community representatives and elected officials – have a voice at the leadership table and are committed to working together,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “SUNY Fredonia serves as an excellent model not just for SUNY colleges and universities but for those nationally.”

Criteria for the SUNY Shared Governance Award includes effective engagement of campus administrations and trustees with students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the community and elected officials on issues and policies that impact SUNY. Engagement can include shared and timely decision making, shared accountability, collaborative dialogue and open communication.

Shared governance in higher education refers to the structures and processes through which administration, faculty, professional staff, governing boards and students participate in the development of policies, and in decisions that affect the whole institution.

Carried out effectively, shared governance serves as the foundation for a sustainable system of higher education that is operating at its highest potential in service to each of these groups as well as its other stakeholders in government, businesses and communities.