Good governance is about removing the obstacles to effective decision-making. 

An Introduction to
Strategic University Governance

Effective governance is now more important than ever to ensure that universities preserve the autonomy fundamental to the important role they play in our society. These exciting institutions are at the forefront of research and teaching and are expected to be drivers and facilitators of social and technological change, innovation, commercialization, and knowledge transfer. As educators and recipients of significant public funds, they are the focus of public opinion, close financial scrutiny, and must work to comply with ever-changing government policy and increasing regulation.

This book is for those who want to learn more about and to participate in university governance.  The governance context for universities is unique.  To play a positive and effective role in university governance requires understanding this uniqueness: important concepts, the complex stakeholder context, decision-making structures and, the allocation of responsibilities within the university sector.

An Introduction to University Governance is a resource to support current and prospective university governance professionals, those serving on university boards and academic governing bodies, and will be of interest to members of government, consultants, lawyers, mediators, arbitrators, and others who work closely with universities. It is intended to be an accessible rather than an academic book written to encourage more engaged university governance participants and more effective university governance within Canada’s more than 150 universities.


Read what people are saying about the book here »


What People are saying about the book

The chief governance officer of a Canadian university writes:

“I … have read your book, An Introduction to University Governance, which is an extremely useful guide for governance professionals and board members. Thank you for writing it; it is a much-needed resource”.

Senior Chief Legal Officer and University Board Member wrote:

As part of my orientation, [the university] provided me with a copy of your recent book.  I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading it, and appreciated your governance insights in this unique space.

A longstanding board member at one of Canada’s largest universities wrote:

“I read your book on the weekend and found it quite helpful in a number of areas, despite my 7 years as a … Governor. … I believe your book will assist a great many new and existing governors for years to come – well done!”

A chief governance officer at a small Canadian university wrote:

“I was in attendance at your presentation … and received a copy of your book, Introduction to University Governance….which is brilliantly written, by the way.  It addresses so many important issues and concepts that are so important for Board members to know and understand.  Kudos to you for taking these conversations and putting them in terms and language that do not need an interpreter to translate them.”

A former university president and well-respected thought leader in university governance wrote:

“I have now read your book. It is excellent! I think a copy should be made available to every new board member in Canada.”

The chief governance officer at a large Canadian university wrote:

“First, let me just say – wow, wow, wow!  I really enjoyed reading this and I think you have done an OUTSTANDING job of capturing the most relevant information and communicating it in an understandable, but not ‘dumbed-down’ way.  I also think you have done an excellent job of appropriately flagging some of the more political issues…”

“The more I read the more I knew that [our] Secretariat will be one of your first customers – I think this is a book that I will want every one of our governors to have when they take on the role, regardless of their ‘constituency’.  This is going to be an invaluable asset and will undergird and reinforce the on-boarding and ongoing board education that we offer.”

A chief governance officer and thought leader in university governance wrote:

“I really enjoyed it and think that it will be a great resource to our sector.  I can see myself buying stacks of these to share with board members and administrators alike!”

Contact Cheryl to Discuss Your Governance Questions