In autumn 2014, the board of trustees of Multnomah University adopted a new statement clarifying the roles of the board, the president, and the other stakeholders in the university’s system of shared governance.
Shared governance is a topic of frequent confusion and misunderstanding in higher education. This statement offers an example of how one school has defined shared governance and identified each of its principal stakeholders. It makes clear that the ultimate responsibility for the institution lies with the board of trustees, but it also explains the president’s “delegated authority” and the faculty’s “delineated authority,” both under the board’s final authority.
In this document, “delegated” means that the board has empowered the president to act with the backing of the board’s authority within broadly specified parameters, such as in hiring faculty and staff. “Delineated” refers to more focused authority in particular areas, such as the faculty’s responsibility for curriculum design.