Navigating the way to success through good governance
Tory Cliffe | Governance Officer | University of Lincoln
Lisa Baker | Deputy University Secretary / Head of Governance | University of Lincoln
Sustainability starts and finishes with governance. A University cannot flourish without adherence to its principles. As the higher education sector becomes increasingly business like and consumer focused, governance is being subjected to the bright light of public scrutiny. BBC News has reported on the reluctance of universities to “see themselves [as] having to become consumer-friendly businesses with millions of young customers who are keenly aware of how their money is being spent”. Governance is a train that has left the station and universities need to ensure they are on it for a multitude of reasons, not least because of the expectations of students, parents and the Office for Students.
Governance informs and facilitates good decision-making which, in turn, enables a University to grow and prosper. Students should be the beating heart of a University’s strategy and ethos and in the minds of colleagues charged with making decisions that impact on student experience and education. Poor governance has consequences; exposure to significant risk (which might not be amenable to mitigation), potential personal liability and reputation damage to the University. This means it is incumbent on institutions to ensure that their governance frameworks proactively address the new regulatory environment and increasing public interest.
Coupled with accountability and transparency, governance (as an overarching framework) enables a University be sustainable in the long-term. More transparency around governance can show those holding universities to account how decisions are made, the factors influencing those decisions and the full context of the decision-making process
Navigating the way to success through good governance is a working session at the AUA Autumn Conference 2019. Here our session speakers talk about the journey that lead to this point.