The organizational structures that American colleges and also universities differ distinctly, depending on institutional type, culture, and also history, however they also share lot in common. If a personal liberal arts university may have actually a large board the trustees, and also a public study university nested in a state system no trustees that its own, the vast bulk of public and also private universities room overseen by an institutional or system-wide administer board. This somewhat paradoxical combination of distinctiveness and also uniformity mirrors the unique features of separation, personal, instance colleges and also universities, and the shared-task atmosphere (including strategy planning, fiscal oversight, curriculum planning, and student affairs) usual to American postsecondary institutions. Scholar of higher see many elements of private colleges and universities as substantially different 보다 public universities. However the reliance on administrative organizational structures and the id in research, advanced instruction, and also service in ~ both types of organizations shape many elements of public and also private university governance structures in a fairly uniform manner.

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The organizational structure the colleges and universities is vital guide to institutional activity, however not the just one. Scholars of higher have emerged a selection of multi-dimensional models of organizational habits that additionally shed significant light on college and university structure and also process. Multi-dimensional models seek to define organizational behavior across institutional types, and in assorted institutional activities. The models vary somewhat in the number of dimensions incorporated, native J. Victor Baldridge"s 3 dimensions (bureaucratic, collegial, and also political) and also Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal"s four-cornered framework (structural, human being resource, political, and also symbolic) come Robert Birnbaum"s 5 dimensions (bureaucratic, collegial, political, anarchical, and cybernetic). These models space quite valuable in thinking about organizational structure and procedure within colleges and also universities. The same institution may evidence a bureaucratic, hierarchical decision-making procedure in its main administration, and a collegial process in its academic senate. The is a mix of business structure and procedure that forms college and also university behavior.

Public and also private colleges and also universities the all species incorporate vital authority structures, consisting of a administrate board, a president or chancellor, a cohort of administrative leaders, and also an academic senate. In public organizations these core business entities collaborate v such exterior authorities together state and federal politics leaders, ar organizations, and members the the public, and business interests and philanthropic foundations. These outside organizations routinely interact with and shape the policies and procedures that the university"s internal organizational structures.

The degree of energy in private and also public college and also university organizational structures has been shame by the nature of requirements on the postsecondary system due to the fact that the mid-twentieth century. Although the an essential governance frameworks of colleges and universities were current prior come the rotate of the twenty century, the full scope of the university"s multifaceted business structure, most scholars agree, was not realized till after the rise of the research university, in the wake up of civilization War II. In 1963 then-president of the university of California system, Clark Kerr, described the postwar American college as a multiversity. The term recorded the increasingly complicated organizational and also governance structures required to negotiate that is ever-expanding job environment.

Governing Boards

A university"s governing board, also known as the trustees, regents, or plank of visitors, possesses fundamental legal authority end the university. The authority of the governing plank is vested in it by the state within the school resides or, specifically in the case of older, personal institutions, by legally binding imperial or early american charters. Both public and also private administrate boards room generally comprised of citizen trustees. In the public case those trustees are frequently political appointees that serve as a fundamental link between the institution and state and national politics structures.

In the United says the tradition of lay monitor of colleges and universities have the right to be traced to the founding of Harvard university in 1636. Subsequent private colleges adopted this kind of governance, i m sorry the U.S. Supreme Court reputed constitutional in its Dartmouth university decision of 1819. Public colleges and also universities adhered to suit, return on the public side the duty of governors in trustee appointments and also the vital role of legislative resources in institutional breakthrough has supposed that the claims play a central role in the governance of the institutions. The federal federal government has influenced the organization of higher generally through legislation–the morrill Acts, the greater Acts, and also the G.I. Bill, because that instance–that reinforced decentralized governance and, hence, the authority of institutional administrate boards in ~ both public and private institutions. As man Millet noted, "It has long been noticeable that that is the state governments rather 보다 the federal federal government that carry the major authority and responsibility for greater in the united States" (p. 1).

Governing plank members in ~ public institutions commonly arrive in ~ the trustee table by one of 4 paths: straight appointment by the governor; ex-officio appointment; gubernatorial appointment topic to approval of the state legislature; and less frequently, election by popular vote. Public college board members stand for the citizens of the state and the terms and conditions of their organization are often defined by institutional charter or state constitution. Exclusive boards are usually self-perpetuating, with new trustees favored by the member of the standing board. While exclusive colleges and also universities advantage considerably native public subsidies and support, exclusive boards are not topic to the same level of external scrutiny or intervention as are public boards.

The formal responsibilities of university governing plank are significant even as they are couple of in number. They incorporate preservation the the university charter; institutional performance evaluations; fundraising; liaison with exterior agencies and political bodies; budget plan approval; oversight of campus policies and investment strategies; and, perhaps most important, rental and evaluating the ongoing performance of the university president.

Because of your visibility, symbolic importance, and control over policies with far-reaching political salience, public college boards became subject to increasing obstacles from a selection of interests in the critical two years of the twentieth century. These difficulties were add by needs for non-partisan board appointments and also trustees the are more representative the the wider society, and also calls for increased scrutiny of potential problems of interest. Board were additionally challenged through governors and legislators concerned about issues ranging from rising costs to faculty ideology. A response to the heightened pressures on administer boards was a push for enhanced trustee and learning programs in several says in the search of more open and effective governance processes. Given its myriad responsibilities and also powers, a solid argument can be made the the plank is the most powerful governing certified dealer of the contemporary university.

The President

The liaison between a postsecondary institution and also its governing board is the highest ranking executive, management officer, a president or chancellor. The chairman provides in its entirety leadership come the institution and presides end its academic and bureaucratic bureaus. The president generally works closely with a provost, that is responsible for scholastic affairs, and also a cook financial officer, who oversees the institution"s fiduciary operations. The chairman serves together the lead fundraiser, and also as a crucial representative the the university and its scholastic community to external agencies and also actors. Presidential duties encompass fostering a positive public image of the institution as a site of higher learning, preserving a close partnership with the institutional governing plank to additional the president"s agenda, and also forging clues of usual cause and also agreement v the whole university community and its constituents.

Since civilization War II the job of university president has become considerably more complex, and also in plenty of ways an ext constrained. Presidential authority has been eroded together boards and also external actors have actually gained much more legitimate functions in college governance. Presidential satisfaction has actually declined, and also the average presidential tenure is much shorter than prior to World war II.

No duty consumes the contemporary president"s time and also energy much more than his or her role as the institution"s major fundraiser, a job made especially challenging because that requires comprehensive time far from the institution. While presidential fundraising has actually been a function of exclusive universities for centuries, the introduction of significant public university fundraising in the 1980s and also 1990s is a major development. Fueled by to decrease state and also federal assistance in current years, publicly universities have been compelled to take on a more far-ranging share that their own funding, with advance playing a major role in this process.


The official governing human body of the faculty at the institutional level is the scholastic senate, a human body generally comprised of tenured and also tenure-track faculty native the various disciplines and professional schools. The faculty senate and its attendant committees administer elected faculty liaisons to the college board and also president. A primary role of the senate is to represent the voice of the faculty in problem of college governance.

Each college or college within a college is under the direction that a dean. A chairperson or room head supervises individual departments the instruction. Faculty members space ranked, in diminish order, as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and also instructor. Faculty of miscellaneous ranks may or might not be tenured, relying on the institution. Faculty members deserve to be dismissed from their articles unless and also until they have actually been granted tenure, a ax denoting a measure up of scholastic job security that is earned v a mix of prove teaching, research, and also service contributions. The faculty typically has far-ranging influence over the hiring of new faculty members, tenure and promotion procedures, the university curriculum and graduation requirements, and admissions criteria.

While the function of the faculty in administration was at one time largely advisory, gradually the faculty has become increasingly involved in policy formation. In many instances the faculty possesses far-reaching authority over scholastic affairs. Faculty representatives space often found on governing boards, in officially or unshened (non-voting) positions. The formal government of the faculty might be codified in institutional charters or in the standing rules of institutional administrate boards.

A variety of other factors and informal agreements shape the level to which faculty are involved in institutional affairs. Countless colleges and universities ties have a commitment to a process of shared administration that incorporates the faculty in various facets of institutional decision-making. A collegial relationship between the faculty senate and the college or college president is a key component of common governance, as is the relationship between the faculty senate and the institutional governing board. Faculty government is additionally shaped by the strength and also reputation of the institution"s academic departments and also departmental leadership, and the faculty"s symbolic prestige as teachers and producers the knowledge, and the legitimacy detailed by separation, personal, instance faculty member"s experienced expertise.

National organizations also contribute to the legitimacy and also organizational stand of the American professorate. Among these, the most significant is the American combination of university Professors (AAUP). Established in 1915 to development the cumulative interests, ideals, and standards the the fledgling university professorate, the AAUP has since that time come to be best known for its function in the defense of scholastic freedom and tenure. The AAUP"s clearest coupling of this duty can be found in that declaration, statement of ethics on scholastic Freedom and also Tenure (1995). Gradually the AAUP has occurred initiatives ~ above other elements of faculty life, including shared university governance. In the critical two decades of the twentieth century study on faculty turned fist to the rapid expansion in the percent of non-tenured and also non-tenure monitor faculty in colleges and also universities, a transition with significant implications for the organizational structure and also governance the those institutions.

Administration and also Staff

Internal university management is composed of 2 interrelated governmental cohorts: one is responsible for the monitor and management of academic affairs; the various other is charged through institutional administration. The scholastic and institutional managements are often in problem with one another. The growth of the institutional bureaucratic cohort after world War II has led to what some researchers perceive together disproportionate influence on the component of the institutional administration. The raising growth and autonomy that the institutional administrative cohort likewise challenges the timeless perception of the as whole mission the the university"s management as one of academic support and also facilitation. As Amitai Etzioni (1964) has noted, over there is an essential tension in establishments such together colleges and also universities that are driven by professional expertise however led through administrators. This has created demands for a cohort of administrative leaders that can bring professional and also credentials to institutional managerial practice.

Within the academic administration, the president presides end a hierarchy that generally consists of a number of senior officers, including a university provost, and the deans of individual colleges and also professional programs. Academic administrators room traditionally drawn from the faculty ranks, wherein departmental management positions offer as preparation for university-wide scholastic leadership roles.

The managerial cohort of the institutional administration is led by a chief financial officer and various an elderly executives. The chef financial officer offers leadership and direction to a host of administrative functions the generally has student services, institutional support, maintenance and also operation of the physical plant, and auxiliary enterprises. This individual systems in turn incorporate smaller department responsible for more specialized services. The latter part of the twenty century witnessed enhanced demands for higher efficiency, productivity, and also entrepreneurial management at colleges and universities. Efficiency initiatives in particular, including outsourcing of institutional functions and also the rental of adjunct faculty, engendered far-ranging internal conflict in between the managerial and academic administrations.


Historically students have not had a far-reaching role in the organizational structure or administration of colleges and universities. During most of the nineteenth century, college administrations followed a exercise of in loco parentis, one stclairdrake.netal ideology that led college administrators and faculty members come oversee the scholastic advancement and an individual conduct of their students very closely. Over time a gradual loosening of the institutional academic and society oversight occurred, a result of the university"s organization of the German university design that emphasized higher student and also faculty freedom. The heightened social and also intellectual autonomy obtainable to undergraduates urged students come seek higher involvement in college governance and administrative affairs.

Student interest in college organization and governance increased significantly in the 1960s. In the results of college student unrest and also demands for raised student authorized in campus affairs, a level of college student participation on university boards, find committees, and also faculty senates has become commonplace. Countless colleges and also universities include a student representative in one of two people an advisory or voting position on the plank of trustees. In addition, students regularly have their very own network of parallel undergraduate and graduate administration organizations headed by a student body president and also elected representatives the have call with college officials, such as the president and also the board.

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Future Prospects

As the American college moves right into the twenty-first century, a number of factors, consisting of the increased complexity of institutional functions, an altering student demographics, demands for business man behavior, technological innovations, and increases in outside interest group interventions will significantly difficulty existing organizational structures and processes. The rapid development in demand for proceeding and the provision of street programs through colleges and also universities in certain has tested traditional notions that the content and delivery of postsecondary A number of vital political shifts, consisting of a farming retreat from public funding of colleges and universities, demands for privatization the college and also university services, and also the use of the university as an tool in broader national politics struggles, will additional complicate organizational arrangements. This political shifts entail considerably more institutional outreach come legislatures, governors, and key interest groups at the state and also national levels, too as extr staff in governmental and public relations. Finally, the climb of what Richard T. Ingram state "activist trusteeship" and increasingly interventionist stances taken by public and private institutional administrate boards may require increased collective action by inner cohorts. In bespeak to maintain institutional autonomy and also shared administration in a time of boosting political conflict, effort will also need to be directed to creating an ext effective business bridges in between colleges and also university leaders and institutional administrate boards.