Improved Decision Making — The Road to a Faculty Culture that Nurtures Both School Change and Ultimately Better Morale
Often, the core of confusion around decision making within the internal school community is faculty’s belief in the superiority of a consensus process when the reality, given everyone’s obligations and time constraints, is generally a consultative process. And a big part of this problem is that school leaders are reluctant to spell out that the faculty have a consultative role and consensus is not the goal, leaving faculty to perceive that any process to hear their voice and have their opinions incorporated into a decision is well meaning but futile at best and performative at worst.
And much of the problem is rooted in unspoken assumptions about authority and responsibility. Feeling as if you have responsibility but not the authority is a recipe for disgruntlement.
When I first arrived at Westover, I was told “the faculty vote on everything.” It took years of repeatedly asking long-time folks for me to finally get a handle on what that meant in practice, because the faculty meetings themselves were structured as departmental report outs. My team and I moved the agenda of these meetings to a combination…