Grinnell In The News

President Raynard S. Kington discusses the culture of shared governance

Traditionally, [President] Kington said, shared governance on campus was based on a system of “relationships guiding interactions of shared governance toward a transactional model, where every single thing becomes [political] so it moves away from this relationship that every decision is put in the context of the whole and multiple decisions” together into a situation where everyone is trying to win at each turn and best everyone else to score points.

“This is largely determined by culture, and culture’s a hard thing to change and to establish,” he said, adding that the current trend of “shortened tenures of presidents isn’t helping matters, because it takes years to develop these relationships.”

Not only that, but in the culture of every man for himself and individual wins, “there is a tiny little slice of every single constituency that’s not going to be nice, that’s going to send you really mean emails and say really mean things,” and though they’re just a fraction of the overall stakeholder population as a whole, Kington said he’s “seen over and over how that handful can distort the whole convo and sort of recognize that often because, and this is a reflection of the world we live in, people feel authorized to say and do a number of things [via email or social media] that they’d never say to your face.”

Continue reading Finding Shared Governance on Campus

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