Policy: Shared Governance

The following statement was endorsed by the Clemson University Board of Trustees at their meeting on February 11, 2010:

As a matter of law, final authority and responsibility for Clemson University is vested in its Board of Trustees. This authority is explicitly set forth in the Last Will and Testament of Thomas Green Clemson and the subsequent Act of Acceptance adopted by the S. C. General Assembly. The Board may delegate authority, in whole or in part, to other officers and bodies within the University for the purpose of assuring effective management. However, any such delegation of authority should be reflected in Board policy, resolution or other official action for it to have any force or effect.

Clemson University values and practices the concept of shared governance in the form of transparency, communication and accountability among its Board of Trustees, administration and faculty. The University believes that the exercise of its collective intelligence enables it to make the best decisions and that seeking consensus about decisions enhances unity and creates a stronger University. Shared governance reflects a commitment on the part of the University to work together in a collegial and transparent manner to achieve the goals of the University. The University will utilize consistent and common processes to implement the principle of shared governance. This approach reflects the trust which all members of the University have for each other.

Shared governance requires transparency, communication and accountability at all levels of decision making within the University. The form of expressing shared governance will vary from situation to situation, as the circumstances of each situation vary, but the concept of shared governance should be applied consistently. Similarly, the level or degree of participation in a particular decision by the Board, the administration and the faculty will depend upon the facts of that situation, the rights and interests involved, and the particular expertise required.