Book Reviews

Book By: Susan Resneck Pierce
Review By: Theresa Duggar
Graduate Academic Services Center
Georgia Southern University



Academic advisors may not be drawn to the title of this book; however, it provides an inside look at higher education.  Susan Resneck Pierce in Governance Reconsidered shares both understanding and current trends of shared governance in post-secondary education.  Pierce utilizes her experiences as a college president, vice president for academic affairs, and consultant among others to shape the argument for senior administrators to evaluate their decision making practices.

It is not spelled out in her recommendations how academic advising units fit into shared governance but much can be gleaned from Pierce.  Governance Reconsidered highlights current challenges facing higher education including contingent faculty, financial pressures, online education, and MOOCs.  Foci at the beginning are on the history and current challenges of shared governance, higher education’s economic climate, and real-world examples.  This provides the novice or administrator a greater understanding of higher education’s background with emphasis on its political nature.

The case studies in this book look at current, relevant situations that have occurred at colleges and universities across the nation.  These examples, both exemplary situations and those that higher education presidents, faculty, and boards can learn from, aid in outlining the roles and responsibilities of senior administrators.  Presidents, faculty, and boards are provided with recommendations in chapters 5, 6, and 7 on shared governance that urge administrators to listen and collaborate.


Governance Reconsidered will prove most useful to faculty advisors or advising administrators that participate in the governance of their institutions.  Additionally, those that are interested in learning more about shared governance will find this book helpful.  While insightful the book does not include opinions of or recommendations for students or staff that do not hold leadership positions.


Governance Reconsidered: How boards, presidents, administrators, and faculty can help their colleges thrive. (2014). Book by Susan Resneck Pierce. Review by Theresa Duggar.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 256 pp. $42.00 (Hardback). ISBN #978-1-118-73849-8.
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |