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Statement On Shared Governance

AGB Consulting

Submitted November 28, 2019


The high aspirations, vision, and mission of California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) necessitate the meaningful contributions and participation of the entire campus community in decision making through a process of shared governance. Shared governance is most effective when it recognizes that the institution benefits from joint decision-making, consultation, and a spirit of collegiality, emphasizing mutual respect and mutual responsibility. Governance of CSUSB is shared among the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and students. Communication is a key component of genuine shared governance, and when groups are kept informed of and understand developments occurring within the University, the process will work best.  

The California State University , the California Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act , and the American Association of University Professors , all recognize that shared governance is a fundamental operating principle in institutions of higher learning.


Shared governance is a set of practices under which administration, faculty, staff, and students participate in significant decisions concerning the operation and welfare of CSUSB.

The President maintains primary administrative responsibility for the university.  In areas where primary responsibility rests with the faculty, the faculty’s opinions, recommendations, and advice are routinely sought by and conveyed to the President in a manner consistent with shared governance. As defined in HEERA and “Tenets of System Level Shared Governance in the California State University,” shared governance refers to a process of joint decision-making and consultation between administration and faculty on matters in which faculty has primacy. The faculty is also consulted on fiscal matters that affect the instructional program of the university. At CSUSB, the Faculty Senate is the primary consultative body for instructional and academic related professional matters on campus.

The CSUSB Staff Council and the Associated Students, Inc. are also important consultative bodies at CSUSB. Each of these bodies should be involved in the consultative process to provide input and insight based on their knowledge of University operations and student perspectives.

It is understood that there may be occasions when institutional leaders must act in the best interest of the institution on major issues affecting the campus, or respond to an external request, without following the full consultative process. In such cases the representative bodies shall be informed in a timely manner and be given an opportunity to comment on the issue.


Consultation is the key component of effective shared governance. Consultation between faculty, staff, students, and/or administration within this context is defined as a mutual exchange of information, ideas, opinions, and recommendations starting from the initial formulation of policy and procedures affecting those stakeholders where the decision will have impact.  It is understood that broad participation in decision making adds critical expertise and perspectives that will strengthen decision making. The consultation shall take place in a timely manner before final decisions are made. Consultation requires a commitment to thoughtfully consider the input and recommendations of those consulted, and that consulted parties may have a reasonable expectation their input will influence the eventual outcome.

Effective and meaningful consultation should be characterized by transparency in communication, collaboration, inclusiveness, collegiality, fairness, honesty, integrity, and accountability. Above all else, a mutual commitment and respect for the process must be observed if consultation in the context of shared governance is to be successful.


CSUSB will continue to monitor and evaluate its progress through the Shared Governance Steering Committee. It shall develop written procedures that explain how to ensure appropriate collaboration and communication between and among administration, faculty, staff, and students. Members of the committee shall be elected by their constituencies, except for Presidential appointees. The Steering Committee should meet frequently enough to conduct its business in a timely manner. The parties acknowledge that this roadmap to a robust system of shared governance is the beginning and not the end of the process.