Concept of Governance

Governance is a collective effort, through smooth and suitable processes, to take actions that advance a shared purpose consistent with the institution’s mission. (Chait, R. P., Holland, T. P., & Taylor, B. E. (1996). Improving the performance of governing boards. Phoenix, AZ: American Council on Education).

Governance is not management.

It is the distribution of legitimate authority to influence and enact policies and decisions; it defines who has the power, who is in charge, and who is responsible; its primary roles are setting the direction, ensuring adequate resources and overseeing the health of the organization. (Trower, C.A. (2010). Govern More, manage less. Harnessing the Power of Your Nonprofit Board. 2nd Edition: Board Source)

Collegial Governance


Collegial governance is a system of governance that depends heavily upon the participation of colleagues to establish and realize a shared purpose. It provides an opportunity for citizens to participate in decision-making and is the hallmark of academic decision-making. (Adapted from Governance 101: University of Alberta)
A key principle of collegial governance is the meaningful involvement of faculty and other campus constituencies in deliberations that contribute to effective institutional governance. (AGB, Board Responsibility for Institutional Governance, 2010).


Bicameral Governance

Grant MacEwan University governs itself with a bicameral governance structure (governance in two chambers). The two senior governing bodies are the Board of Governors and the Academic Governance Council. Although the Board has the ultimate authority, the Board and AGC share and balance power within the University. The Board has senior oversight of the institution and concerns itself with long-range planning and business affairs. Academic Governance Council, subject to the authority of the Board, is responsible for the academic affairs of the University.