Relations between college administrations and their faculties are widely seen as rocky, an impression reinforced by recent high-profile clashes. Faculty advocates warn that shared governance is being undermined by shifts in the higher-education work force. And they lament a loss of faculty influence as administrations scramble to react to competition from online and for-profit education providers.
It turns out, however, that college administrations and faculties actually tend to be getting along fairly well, according to a Chronicle survey of faculty leaders and chief academic officers at four-year nonprofit institutions. Overwhelming majorities of both groups described relations between administrators and faculty members at their colleges as positive and improving.
Moreover, many widely presumed sources of tension, such as efforts by colleges to adapt to changes in the higher-education market, actually were likelier to be characterized by survey respondents as having a positive effect on relations than a negative one. <Read more.>