Shared Governance

PSS Chair Domenic J. Licata with President Tripathi (right) and Provost Zukoski (Left) at a meeting of the Executive Committee, November 5, 2015.

PSS Chair Domenic J. Licata with President Tripathi (right) and Provost Zukoski (Left) at a meeting of the Executive Committee, November 5, 2015.

“Shared governance is the bedrock of higher education in the United States”

— National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers

Governance is the name commonly given to the processes by which the faculty and staff express and exercise their governance authority and responsibilities in support of the University at Buffalo. It is most often accomplished within the context of what we called “shared governance,” a distribution of authority to various campus and system constituencies based upon law and its mandates and the degree to which each is engaged in that particular area of institutional governance.

Shared Governance is a collaboration between faculty, staff, students, administration and governing boards in carrying out the paradigm of shared governance. This collaboration includes but is not limited to: trust, collegiality, dialogue, mutual respect, sharing perspectives, listening, a shared sense of purpose, and shared accountability; always being mindful of diversity and inclusion; always remembering some of us have certain privileges and experiences of life that others have not; remaining humble, recognizing differences while remaining open to finding common ground and transparency of information. In essence, it boils down to “effective and constructive” engagement by the administration and trustees with the faculty, staff and students. Not just effective and constructive engagement, but also timely engagement. We need to be proactive, not reactive on important issues. We all need to be at the table, with a voice and a vote.

The PSS and Shared Governance

The SUNY Governance Handbook defines shared governance as the “structures and processes through which faculty, professional staff, administration, governing boards and students participate in the development of policies and in decision making that affect the institution.” Policy is not something that “just happens,” but rather should involve those with specific areas of experience and expertise who are directly impacted.

The general membership participates in shared governance by (including but not limited to) electing senators to the PSS; serving on committees of the PSS, UB Faculty Senate and other university committees; and by consulting with faculty, administration, governing boards, and the student assembly to aid in the development of policies and decisions that affect the University.

PSS committees that regularly address this area include:

  • Policy and Governance
  • Constitution and Bylaws
  • Budget Oversight

The Five Pillars of Shared Governance





Councils & Alumni

SUNY Shared Governance Resources