Inclusion in Governance Task Force
In a 2009 blog post in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Gary Olsen writes, “True shared governance attempts to balance maximum participation in decision making with clear accountability…. Genuine shared governance gives voice (but not necessarily ultimate authority) to concerns common to all constituencies as well as to issues unique to specific groups.” Shared governance is an evolving concept in academia but it rests on the idea that various stakeholders participate in decision making processes for an organization. In the University of Illinois Library, existing governance mechanisms such as the Executive Committee and the Administrative Council are primarily composed of faculty. Although there are processes in place to gather feedback and input from other employment classifications including academic professionals and civil service staff, these mechanisms are often insufficient for creating an inclusive shared governance structure in which all employment classifications have a representative voice in decision making processes in the Library.
The Library is charging a task force to explore how the Library can be more inclusive across employment classifications in governance and decision making. The task force will gather data on existing governance structures within the Library, governance structures in other units on campus, how other academic libraries promote inclusion in governance, and how individuals within the various employment classifications would like to be involved in governance and decision making. The task force will develop a set of recommendations to institute inclusion in Library governance, to be shared with EC, L-CAP, and LSSC by December 22, 2021.
The Inclusion in Governance Task Force will have one representative from the Library Executive Committee (EC), one representative from the Library Committee of Academic Professionals(L-CAP), and one representative from the Library Staff Support Committee (LSSC). There will be one additional representative from each of the three employment categories, and a representative from the Bylaws Committee.