No Free Set of Steak Knives: One Long, Unfinished Struggle to Build Education College Faculty Governance

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Ishmael Munene
Guy B Senese


In this paper we work to describe the star-crossed six-year process of establishing a common college governance model, in a College which operated with few College or department level policy documents. The two authors were active and instrumental in developing a new interdepartmental governance model, and had a front row seat in the drama than unfolded. Without many other dedicated and responsible faculty, working to change minds toward voice, and away from passivity and avoidance, the project would not have succeeded. This paper discusses issues attendant to strengthening governance in a College of education where an old “normal school” culture of conservative custodialism, in a conservative state, worked against developing a more vigorous, if surely not radical mode of college governance. Yet with persistence, this effort was successful, if not perfect, and exists as the only such institution in a university of many colleges.

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Author Biographies

Ishmael Munene, Northern Arizona University

Ishmael I.Munene isassociate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at NorthernArizona University. He is the past-president of the College Council in the College of Education at NAU.  He teaches Educational Research and Foundations of Education.  He has research interests in Higher Education, and has published widely in this area.  Originally from Kenya, he was deeply involvedin the quest for the establishment of the University Academic Staff Union(USAU), the collective bargaining arm of public universities faculty in thecountry.

Guy B Senese, Northern Arizona University

Guy Senese is professor of Educational Foundationsin the Department of Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University.  He haswritten extensively on American Education Reform, Social Foundations of Education, and American Indian Education. He is currently president of the re-established chapter of AAUP at NAU.