The role of the lay faculty in academic governance in Catholic colleges in Indiana
The purposes of the study were to examine: (1) the opinions of the lay faculty and the administrators regarding the role of the lay faculty in academic governance; (2) the importance of selected internal devices and impediments that facilitate or hinder lay faculty participation; and (3) the influence of the Vatican II decrees regarding lay faculty participation in governance. The population for the study consisted of 154 full time lay faculty and 31 administrators from 5 Catholic colleges in Indiana.The principal research instrument was a seventy item questionnaire directed at obtaining responses to a series of forced-choice decisional activities and encouraging written commentaries illustrating some basic issues in Catholic college governance practices. A visit to each college and a review of the college publications supplemented the responses received in the questionnaire.The principal analytical method employed was a t-test of independent groups at .05 level of probability applied to the means and standard deviations of the response on the decisional activities in Part One of the questionnaire. Percentages and the means were calculated for the responses in Part Two which was concerned with the importance of selected variables that facilitated or hindered lay faculty participation in governance. Percentages were also used in Part Three, demographic information, to construct a profile of the lay faculty and administrators at Catholic colleges. A review of the literature supplemented the statistical analysis of the data.The data were reported under the following divisions:1. Part One - The responses on the twenty-nine decisional activities concerning academic affairs, student affairs, personal and financial affairs, and public-alumni affairs were statistically analyzed to examine the difference in opinions between the lay faculty and the administration.2. Part Two - Means and percentages were employed in ranking the importance of selected variables that facilitate or hinder lay faculty participation in governance.3. Part Three - A profile was constructed using such factors as age, sex, highest degree held, years at the college, and rank to compare the lay faculty and the administrators at the Catholic colleges in the study.4. Narrative summaries supplemented the data reported in tables in each part of the study.The findings of the study support the following conclusions:1. The faculty and administrators indicated that the faculty role was more predominant in the academic affairs than in areas of student affairs, personal and financial affairs, public and alumni affairs.2. The administrators felt that the faculty role in academic governance was greater than the role indicated by the faculty.3. There were similarities in the findings of this study as compared to the findings in the Archie Dykes and American Association of University Professors studies Similarities were noted in the predominance of the faculty role in academic affairs and the predominance of the administrators role in the area of financial affairs.4. In rating the usefulness of the participatory devices, the most important finding was that, except for departmental meetings and faculty senate, none of the devices were rated very high in providing opportunities for meaningful faculty participation.5. Ranked last among the devices, the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, was nonetheless, viewed as having some usefulness in affecting faculty participation.6. The feelings that too much time was spent in meetings and committees belaboring various points, and faculty apathy, were ranked as the two most important factors inhibiting faculty participation in academic governance.7. The Vatican II decrees were viewed as exerting a mild influence upon the implementation of faculty participation in academic governance.8. The governing boards of the Catholic colleges were viewed, by the majority of the respondents, as being unavailable to the faculties.9. A majority of the respondents indicated that they were not aware of the colleges adopting the American Association of University Professors Statement on Governance.