Principles of Shared Governance at Saint Anselm College

All stakeholders at Saint Anselm College are committed to the principles of shared governance in their mutual stewarding of the college’s Catholic Benedictine educational mission. “Shared governance” in the context of a higher education institution is the structure and process of decision-making that involves different constituencies within the institution in appropriate ways. The shared governance model at Saint Anselm College includes the Benedictine members of the corporation, the board of trustees, the administration, and the faculty, each bringing a distinct perspective and role to the process. 

These different constituencies work together to make decisions and set the institution's direction. Each constituency has specific areas of responsibility and, as such, has a voice in the process; major decisions are typically made through a process of consultation, reflection, and compromise, manifesting mutual respect among all participants. 

Shared governance can be a complex and sometimes contentious process, as different constituencies may have different priorities and perspectives. The principal documents where these responsibilities are spelled out are the Bylaws of the College, the MOUs between the members and the board, and the Faculty Handbook and the Faculty Senate Constitution. 

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the essential responsibilities within shared governance:

  1. Benedictine Members of the Corporation: At Saint Anselm College, the Benedictine monks in solemn vows (the members of the corporation) play an important role in governance reflecting the institution's Catholic and Benedictine mission and identity. In addition to reserved powers for certain aspects of mission and identity, they also have certain reserved powers regarding the selection of Member-appointed trustees, the sale of property, the construction and siting of new buildings, and reviewing proposed changes to the bylaws. 
  2. Board of Trustees: The board of trustees, being the legal governing body, has ultimate responsibility for the institution, including stewarding the institutional mission, appointment of administrative leadership including the president, strategic direction, financial oversight, and legal compliance. They also have the role of proposing changes to the bylaws, evaluating the president’s performance, and selecting and appointing the majority of new Trustees. 
  3. Administration: The administration includes the president, the vice-presidents, and their teams. They are responsible for leading the key areas of the college to create an outstanding student educational experience for our undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students. In collaboration with faculty and other stakeholders, they also are responsible for developing and implementing strategic priorities and initiatives. 
  4. Faculty: Faculty are responsible for the excellence and outcomes of our educational programs. They are responsible for the creation and ongoing adjustments to the curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, academic research, faculty status, and those aspects of college life that directly relate to the educational process. In creating, designing, and implementing educational initiatives and curriculum, they do so in alignment with the strategic direction of the college. In areas of shared governance, they work primarily through their elected representative body, the Faculty Senate, to provide input and approvals regarding the educational program of the college. 

Updated: June 4, 2024