University System Governance and Organization

Topics: University Systems and Governance, Organizational Structures

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Summary

University systems rely on organizational and governance structures to balance the interest, missions, and needs of constituent campuses. This report examines organizational and governance structures of four public university systems.

It explores the organizational structures of governing boards and administrative offices, as well as the role of system offices in coordinating across constituent campuses and protecting mission differentiation.

  • Key observations from our research:


    1. Governing boards oversee system direction and provide final approval over system activities.

    2. Board members are elected at two institutions and appointed at the remainder; contacts report appointed members are preferable because appointment eliminates campaigning concerns.

    3. Chancellors lead system offices that consist of chief officers in key functional areas.

    4. System administrators provide strategic direction, facilitate coordination, and protect constituent institution missions.