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Concepts Which Define Us: Shared Governance

Minot State University values and practices shared governance. The term "shared governance" is used frequently and widely in higher education to denote a process in which campus constituencies participate in governance, communication and deliberations of a university.

"At Minot State University, we desire a campus friendly to students, faculty, staff, and administrators alike. We can achieve this by working together to create change. Shared Governance allows for our three senates — Student Government Association, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate — to come together and share ideas, thoughts and initiatives," said Sarah Perry, SGA president. "Working together has allowed for stronger bonds among our campus leaders and better communication for all involved."

Minot State supports shared governance by encouraging "inclusive" decision making through open forums, monthly Presidentís Reports and monthly meetings of a University Cabinet. In addition to Minot State Universityís president and its four vice presidents, this University Cabinet consists of the presidents of the three senates and all campus supervisors. MSU President David Fuller also meets monthly with the three senate presidents.

Minot State has processes in place to communicate proposals and actions and seek input from all constituencies. An environment of inclusivity and transparency depends on many communications, consultations with governance groups, reports and solicitations for input on initiatives, but most of all, on engaged participation and expression.

It is an unrealistic expectation to expect involvement in all decisions; there are some decisions that deal with routine issues; however, others decisions have a significant effect on all concerned and must depend on active participation and input. Major initiatives that have required dialogue and advise from all campus constituencies have included the tobacco-free campus decision, the required first-year residency requirement, recycling, the various parts of the campus master plan, a Higher Learning Commission self study and Vision 2013, Minot State Universityís strategic plan.

At Minot State, shared governance means that a decision on a significant issue has been fully, deliberately and inclusively considered by the campus and then communicated. It means every effort has been made to fully inform and provide ample opportunities for participation.