An Academic Shared Governance Model for Leadership in an Academic Setting

Monday, 9 November 2015: 10:20 AM

Ruth Ann Bridges, PhD, RN-BC
Non-traditional program: RN to BSN and Second Degree, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing, Lubbock, TX, USA
Carol Boswell, EdD, RN, CNE, ANEF
Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Odessa, TX, USA
Patricia G. Francis-Johnson, DNP, RN
School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX, USA

A West Texas university school of nursing (SON) has experienced tremendous growth over the past 14 years in three strategic areas – student enrollment, geographic locations, and program offerings. Currently, the SON has students and program offerings in multiple locations throughout central and west Texas. The SON Leadership Team has committed to continued growth to meet the need for a highly educated and well-trained nursing workforce in Texas and the nation.  This high level of organizational complexity has created challenges in communication and engagement of the faculty and staff.

       As a result of these driving forces, a Faculty and Staff Shared Governance Taskforce was appointed to evaluate the school’s process of faculty and staff governance. This task force was charged to ensure efficient and effective operations designed to support the principles of partnership, equity, accountability, ownership and self-regulation across a multi-campus system. This taskforce supported the belief that faculty and staff thrive in an organization where core values are agreed upon and a meaningful structure for communication exists. Taskforce members conducted an extensive investigation of shared governance, a review of the current/ideal state of governance, and an analysis of the work of the faculty and staff to develop a well-organized shared governance process.

      Based on this investigation, the Faculty and Staff Shared Governance Taskforce developed 1) a process of shared governance to include faculty and staff; 2) a values statement from an engagement survey; 3) a professional practice model for nursing education; and 4) a seven-step implementation plan and timeline to operationalize the faculty and staff shared governance process. The model for shared governance was based on the Magnet Hospital model of councils as designed by ANCC.

      Inherent in the process was the need to develop effective strategies to develop the leadership capacity of the individuals willing to serve as officers and members of the councils.  Staff and faculty alike expressed the need for training and/or refresher courses in parliamentary procedure, conducting effective meetings, and successful strategies for working together. Staff members had no previous experience in governance in the school of nursing and were especially in need of leadership training and mentoring.

            Strategies identified, such as training sessions, effective tools, and development opportunities, will be presented. Challenges encountered, barriers addressed, and opportunities for growth will be presented to showcase alternatives which could be used in other academic settings to advance transparency, leadership and shared governance.