Board of Trustees Recognized by AAUP for Shared Governance

Posted on June 11th, 2015 by

AAUPThe American Association of University Professors (AAUP) announced Monday, June 8 that the Gustavus Adolphus College Board of Trustees, including President Rebecca Bergman, would receive the Association’s Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance.

The Faculty Senate, chaired by Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Max Hailperin, nominated the Board and the President for the award for having “revitalized the College’s previously strained shared governance culture, at the same time documenting elements of the process, which could serve as a model for other institutions facing similar challenges. Starting from a situation in which the College had received attention for conflicts around governance, the trustees engaged the faculty and the administrative staff in a collaboratively planned, sustained, open dialog about shared governance. This process resulted in greater understanding as well as endorsement by all parties of a statement reaffirming and explicating shared governance principles. The results are already apparent in the College’s functioning, even as the parties continue to collaborate on a process to clarify specific shared governance topics identified as needing joint examination in greater depth.”

Both President Bergman and Board Chair George Hicks expressed their sentiments on how recent conversations regarding shared governance have moved the College forward in positive ways.

“The articulation of the principles of shared governance has been particularly useful in creating a deeper and commonly held understanding of these principles among the members of the Gustavus Board of Trustees, faculty, and administration,” President Bergman said. “In addition, we have outlined several areas of ongoing work that will help us put these principles into practice. The hallmark of Gustavus over the years has been the existence of a tight-knit community and this process has certainly strengthened our community.”

“The successful implementation of a collaborative process to explore and better define the roles of the Board of Trustees, faculty, and administration in shared governance has been rewarding and beneficial to the College,” Hicks said. “On behalf of the Gustavus Board of Trustees, I want to thank the Faculty Senate and Max Hailperin for this nomination and AAUP for recognizing Gustavus Adolphus College with the Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance.”

The Ralph S. Brown Award is given to American college or university administrators or trustees in recognition of an outstanding contribution to shared governance. It was established in 1998 in memory of Ralph S. Brown, who served as AAUP president and general counsel and headed many AAUP committees, not least among them the governance committee when the seminal 1966 Tripartite Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities was formulated and then adopted as AAUP policy. The award is not conferred annually; the Association reserves the distinction for those occasions when some accomplishment in the area of shared governance is truly outstanding. Gustavus is the seventh institution to receive the award, and the first since 2011.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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