Organization and Governance

Organization and Governance Working Group


  • Erin Konkle
    Co-chair; Program Director for Civic Engagement, Career Education
  • Casey Rothschild
    Co-chair; Norma Wilentz Hess Associate Professor of Economics
  • Casey Bayer
    Director of Media Relations
  • Heather Bryant
    Lecturer in the Writing Program
  • Jen Ellis
    Clerk of the Committee on Faculty Appointments
  • Tiffany Garcia
    Class of 2021
  • Diana Lam
    Class of 2020
  • Erich Matthes
    Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Ryan Quintana
    Associate Professor of History
  • Ravi Ravishanker
    Chief Information Officer and Associate Provost
  • Inés Maturana Sendoya
    Associate Dean of Students for Inclusion and Engagement
  • Andrea Sequeira
    Professor of Biological Sciences

Strategic Rationale

The decision-making structure at Wellesley is unclear or poorly understood, which has eroded engagement and trust and hindered effective and efficient decision-making.

Self-Study/Re-accreditation Lesson

“The College’s overall governance structure is highly inclusive…but it appears to lack committees with sufficiently broad purview and power to assist in effecting institutional change…This approach tends to lead to a great deal of time being spent in committees on managing routine tasks that are commonly done by administrators at other Colleges… [The result is] a system that is biased toward deliberation over action and routine allocation over strategic planning.” [Accreditation Site Visit Report, p. 7]

Working Hypothesis

Our work—including teaching, research, learning, administration, student support, and student leadership—has evolved; our organization and governance structures have not optimally adapted.  

Key Questions

  • How should our governance structures be organized to help us make decisions with the right balance between participation and speed?
  • How will we codify decision-making authority, responsibilities, and accountability?
  • How do we develop among our students the capacity to participate effectively in college governance?
  • How will we communicate transparently and share information and knowledge to create engagement and trust in our decision-making?

What We Are Working On Now

The working group is assessing the current state of Wellesley’s organization and governance in order to inform recommendations about how those systems and structures should evolve in the future.  

  • A description of our current shared governance structures
    • How have they changed over time?
    • How do they compare with those of our peer institutions? 
  • An evaluation of recent committee work of Academic and Administrative Councils
    • Where and why has it been particularly effective? 
    • Where are there redundancies and real or perceived “make-work”? 
  • A description of our current organizational structures (on both the faculty and administrative sides)
    • How have they changed over time to end up at the current state? 
    • How do they compare with those of peer institutions?

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