A study of faculty, administrative, and staff perceptions of the climate for shared governance at appalachian college association member institutions
A total of 12 different institutions from all five states in the ACA participated in the study. Participants included faculty, staff, and administrators who were identified by their presidents or vice presidents for academic affairs as most knowledgeable about the shared governance and decision-making process on their campus. The survey, developed under the auspices of the AAUP to gauge the climate for governance, was distributed via an online link e-mailed to 480 faculty, administrators, and
... ministrators, and staff during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters. A total of 176 survey responses were received, representing a response rate of 36.66%. The 29-item anonymous survey included three optional demographic questions, allowing respondents to indicate gender, status as tenured or non-tenured faculty member, a cabinet-level administrator or lower-level administrator, a staff member, and years in higher education. The survey used a five-point ordinal Likert scale to indicate level of agreement--including -I don't know‖-with 26 statements about each of the following seven shared governance standards: institutional climate, institutional communication, the board's role, the president's role, the faculty's role, joint decision making, and structural arrangements. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze and describe the survey results for each of four research questions. The results of this study indicated there were different perceptions between tenured and nontenured faculty on a number of the seven standards relative to the climate for shared governance, and between cabinet-level administrators and lower-level administrators, with the latter representing the largest group of respondents (52) in the study. Staff members' responses indicated that they were least informed about shared governance on their campuses compared to faculty and administrators. While the majority of respondents indicated there was a climate of collegiality and respect on their campuses, survey results indicated a lack of knowledge about shared governance at some ACA schools. Recommendations for practice and for research were included.