An intentional approach to decision making can make a big impact on governance and internal school culture.
This is a two-part newsletter series, Part I: Governance, Part II: Faculty Culture
Note: To simplify, I used the decision making mode definitions from The Decider App
Chances are if someone in your school community was asked how decisions get made, they would answer one of two ways — “consensus” (typically said with pride) or “administration decides everything” (typically not said with pride). While I’ve only worked at two schools, I’ve participated in plenty of accreditation visiting teams as well. Faculty cultures often see “consensus” as the desired state, the full expression of a community that is a utopian vision of adults coming together in unison to enlighten the next generation. I remember that vision as a faculty member!
However, if you dig down, often what is meant by the use of the term “consensus” is that every view has a seat at the table and — this is usually vague — “everyone agrees” with the decision. If you ask faculty or staff the role of trustees in school decisions, you will likely get a…