The primary mission of Skyline College is to provide quality education to its students in partnership with its community. Participatory governance is a method of college management in which decision makers, whether with primary or delegated authority, are committed to involving affected constituencies in decisions as much as possible. Participatory governance is based upon individuals having a voice in decisions that affect them.
Participatory governance is carefully planned, instituted and evaluated. It is designed to lead to effective participation in decision making that unites constituencies, produces an improved college environment, and draws upon the strength of diversity. Participatory governance includes the structures and processes for decision making that engage students, staff, faculty and administrators in reaching and implementing decisions that further the primary mission of the college–to educate students. The groups formed to address college matters are properly charged and empowered, the members carefully selected, and processes clearly structured. The structures and processes for participatory governance vary according to task.
In order for participatory governance to work, there must exist a covenant of mutual trust, honesty, open agendas, equity, and respect for differing views. Essential to maintaining this covenant are open communications and feedback from all constituencies. All parties must commit to and take responsibility for fostering and maintaining an environment in which participatory governance can occur, as well as being well informed regarding issues.
Members of the constituent groups must commit to participating in the implementation of decisions made through participatory governance processes and to working within legal and pragmatic parameters of decision makers. The partners in participatory governance acknowledge that traditional and legally mandated roles continue within the context of participatory governance; e.g., the publicly elected members of the Board of Trustees have the ultimate legal and ethical responsibility for setting policy and making decisions regarding the operations of the District’s colleges.