President Harvey Kesselman on Expert Panel Crafting National Statement on Shared Governance

For Immediate Release

Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman is one of 13 experts chosen by the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) of Universities and Colleges to help shape a new national statement on shared governance, principles designed to promote collaborative and inclusive decision-making at institutions of higher education.

“The original national statement on shared governance was developed in 1966, and does not deal with the complexities of modern higher education,” Kesselman said. “It was developed before community colleges and some state universities, included Stockton, were even created - and a lot has changed.”

“Shared governance is one of the basic tenets of higher education, and yet there is considerable evidence that it is not generally well understood by its primary participants—faculty members, presidents, and members of boards of trustees,” according to an AGB report on shared governance earlier this year.

The need for a new statement has been “years in the making,” Kesselman said. It will build on a recent AGB report which provided 10 case studies including one at Stockton, and input from focus groups “conducted at the annual meetings of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (faculty), the American Council on Education (presidents), the American Association of University Professors (faculty), and AGB’s National Conference on Trusteeship (board members and presidents).”

The panel met April 24 in Washington, D.C. to provide advice and input on a prospective "AGB Statement on Shared Governance." The group will continue to meet over the next year, with a target date for the new statement in January 2018.

Kesselman, who has been a leader in state and national higher education policy, formed a Task Force on Shared Governance at Stockton which includes a trustee and faculty, staff, students and administrators. It is designed to create opportunities for joint planning and communicating decisions with all stakeholders in the university and the larger community.  The task force held a series of open forums for faculty, staff and students to share their concerns and perspectives with board members and Kesselman, helping to foster a collaborative culture.

A second task force, on Atlantic City Initiatives, was integral to developing the public-private partnership that is now building a Stockton residential campus in Atlantic City.

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