(Pix © Larry Catá Backer 2015)
Faculty governance depends, in large part, on the willingness of administration and faculty to bear the burdens of cooperation, consultation and compromise in furthering the mission of the university. That, in turn, is based in part on a further burden--the burden of undertaking institutional governance. For faculty, especially that involves the burden of collective governance responding to and assessing administrative actions, as well as in the traditional domains of faculty governance--courses, curriculum, and faculty tenure and promotion. In other words, while administration is institutionally designed for efficient operation, through the institution of hierarchical chain-of-command based operation, faculty governance is institutionally designed for inclusion and engagement in a necessarily inefficient meeting of relative equals gathered for collaborative decision making, consultation, action, and calling administration to account (see, e.g., here and here).
Those foundational differences in institutional organization and operation cause conflict in collaboration, consultation and accountability. Administration is built for speed, faculty governance is not. Most often, that produces incentives to end run faculty (on efficiency grounds) or to cabin its engagement to those matters with respect to which administration views as of little importance to its leadership and command role (discussed here).
But faculty have also been socialized to belief in a hierarchy of values in governance that place efficiency and command and control structures well above the value of collaboration, debate and the processes of holding administration publicly to account. To the extent that faculty view the logic of its own organization and operation as inefficient, it contributes to the undermining of its role in effective faculty governance by conceding that faculty impede rather than enhance governance by the very logic of its operational modes.
This post includes a hypothetical example of the sort of complicit undermining of robust faculty governance that results when individual faculty seek to undo the core methods and techniques that are central to faculty governance. The method is simple--importing values of efficiency and chain-of-command to faculty governance. The tragedy is that this may be done without thinking through implications or rather perhaps unconscious of their socialization into administrative cultures,or it may suggest the sort of systemic corruption that is itself something that may undermine faculty governance more profoundly still.