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Community college governance is a process for distributing authority, influence, and resources among internal and external constituencies. Having evolved from traditional public school bureaucratic and political models that emphasize control and oversight, community college governance is now a dynamic process with a host of participants. Gone are the days when presidents and trustees acted unilaterally on college issues. Although boards retain the legal authority to govern their colleges, prudent trustees now encourage broad-based involvement in governance. Nationwide, the trend is toward more participation and shared responsibility, and some states are codifying the process. For example, the California legistlature has mandated a shared governance system in public community colleges, reflecting the movement toward involvement and transparency. College leaders resist or ignore that trend to the detriment of their colleges and at their own peril.
Interest in community college governance will increase among scholars and practitioners for many reasons. Enrollments are increasing rapidly while funding is not keeping pace. Taxpayer resistance is a reality. Workforce training programs will compete with transfer curricula for resources. Increasing numbers of poorly prepared students will require remediation. For-profit institutions will compete for students. Employee unions will press for better salaries and benefits and meaning participation in governance. Special interest groups will continue electing advocates to governing boards. P-19 initiatives will require close collaboration with public schools. In the meantime, rogue trustees will try the patience of everyone. Traditional governance models will not suffice in this demanding arena. Governance structures that are more collegial, flexible, and inclusive will be essential in the future as community colleges evolve to meet the needs of an increasingly complex and diverse society.
- Community College Governance: What Matters and Why?
- Governance over the Years: A Trustee's Perspective
- Governance in a Union Environment
- Internal Governance in the Community College: Models and Quilts
- The Effect of the Community College Workforce Development Mission on Governance
- Closing the Gaps in Texas: The Critical Role of Community Colleges
- Yanks, Canucks, and Aussies: Governance as Liberation
- Governance in Strategic Context
- Key Resources on Community College Governance
This is the 141th volume of the Jossey-Bass higher education quarterly report series New Directions for Community Colleges, an essential guide for presidents, vice presidents, deans, and other leaders in today's open-door institutions, this quarterly provides expert guidance in meeting the challenges of their distinctive and expanding educational mission.