Academic Day continued

Roger Fortin summarizes his remarks. | November 15, 2007

Most importantly, through collaborative governance the administration and faculty play a central role in implementing the institution’s mission and in determining its well-being. What has become clear during Michael Graham’s presidency is that collaborative governance is critical to the future success of the University. It is essential in three ways: (1) to maintain the moral legitimacy and core values of the institution; (2) to sustain and nurture the University’s teaching and learning culture; and (3) to promote greater effectiveness and efficiency in the management of the institution. When governance is less collaborative, it places the institution’s mission at risk.

I am personally witnessing significant changes in the manner in which the president’s cabinet, the president’s administrative council, and the provost council collaborate and conduct their meetings. In a more open, collaborative environment, new and veteran administrators and faculty wrestle with ongoing challenges in a way that respects tradition, on the one hand, and welcomes new perspectives, on the other. Whether we’re talking about new administrators interacting with veterans, or new faculty and staff mingling with seasoned colleagues within or across units and divisions, these individuals should be viewed as having an equal voice in the dynamics of collaboration and change. Heads of divisions, supervisors of units, and chairs of academic departments should continue to foster a culture of collaboration and shared planning. It is not enough for individuals to communicate with one another or collaborate in the sense of simply sharing information. They need to continue to collaborate toward the goal of assessing information and arguments and making the right decision. I’m talking about true collaborative partnerships, where information is shared, commented on, evaluated, discussed, further evaluated and discussed, leading to a decision.

As I mentioned yesterday, we are all contributing to a special moment in the history of Xavier University. As President Graham reminded us in his State of the University address, Xavier will be forever grateful for all that you do for our students and for the mission of the University.