Internal Government Is Based Upon the Structure Case Study

Pages: 8 (2390 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Internal government is based upon the structure of the university as a corporation, collegium, and community. This "trinity" is addressed by James Downey (1996, p.74), in its capacity as contributing to the central "idea" of the university. This is a particularly important aspect of my University. Internal government is therefore focused upon achieving a unity among these three aspects via central internal governance.

At the center of internal governance is the Senate (Birnbaum, 1989, p. 427). The University's senate follows Birnbaum's model as "a forum for the articulation of interests and as the setting in which decisions on institutional policies and goals are reached through compromise, negotiation, and the forming of coalitions." (p. 427).

The integration of the various governance levels is therefore important. The University as "idea" is an integrated whole served by its various levels of governance. None can be said to be more important than the others, because they all need each other to exist.


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As mentioned above, the institution is organized around the academic trinity of the corporation, the collegium, and the community. At the corporation level stands the senate at the head, with the Dean at the level below it. The Dean's level is followed by heads of faculty, who in turn are served by the head of each department at the college. Each department then has its own governance structure, with leaders and employees in the different divisions. Depending upon the department size, there can be various levels of leadership. At the lowest general level are the learners, who are viewed as clients at the collegiate level.

Case Study on Internal Government Is Based Upon the Structure Assignment

At the community level, the various positions are not necessarily seen in a strictly hierarchical structure. Instead, open communication is encouraged among the levels in order to ensure that the goals and mission of the University are met. There are however channels of communication required to ensure that such communication is effective and suggestions implemented. Students for example communicate directly with lecturers, who in turn communicate with their heads of department, and so on until the highest level is reached, if this is indeed necessary.

Organizational Chart


My institution follows a participative model of management. It is accepted that participation in governance is central to the success of the University. Birnbaum (1989, p. 428) notes that such a participative structure is generally accepted as essential to the success of the University's goals. Faculties and departments are for example required to make significant contributions to the overall output and service delivery of the University as a whole. Communication occurs by means of faculty and department meetings. These follow a loosely hierarchical structure, where information from faculty meetings are relayed to department leaders by each head of department. In this way, it is expected that each member of staff should be aware of his or her position at the University as a whole, and also how this contributes to the goals and mission of the institution. It is believed that this gives a greater sense of work satisfaction by contributing meaning to each day's work.

Meetings are held to ensure the continuing participative contributions of each faculty and its associated departments. This occurs by a system of communication to ensure that each individual is aware of his or her role in such participation. Faculty and departmental meetings are for example structured in such a way that time is allocated for creative suggestions and/or complaints and problems. If issues raised at departmental meetings warrant higher-level attention, these are brought to faculty meetings.

Faculty meetings also follow this structure. Time is allocated to encourage creative suggestions and solutions to problems raised. In this way, the collective expertise of faculty and department employees are brought to the table for the benefit of the institution as a whole.


There are many types of leaders at the University, with a variety of leadership styles. The Chief Operating Officer will then be the rector. Hierarchically, this position is the highest at the institution, and commands a certain sense of respect from other members of staff. According to Bensimon, Neumann, and Birnbaum (p. 216), the transactional theory can be useful in examining the relationship between academic leaders and their followers.

For the position of rector, specifically, a combination of authoritarian and situational leadership is suitable. Because the University is such a large and diverse institution, some degree of corporate authority is necessary to ensure that all functions are smoothly integrated. On the other hand, he or she should also be open to communication and suggestions from departments, and implement these as necessary. In such a case, the rector would use a situational style of leadership, applying the style that is most suitable to the situation.


The institutional planning process is steered by the collective body of the senate, by means of meetings at the faculty and departmental level. Primary planning is done by the senate, and discussed via faculty meetings. Heads of departments are allowed to make contributions and discuss the viability of the various planning processes suggested.

According to Downey (76), the corporation section of the University relies on hierarchical authority. This is then also the level of primary planning as done by the senate. This entails all large-scale planning projects such as general marketing of services, the mission and goals of the University. Academic planning is done at the collegiate level in each department. Heads of department consult with lecturing staff members regarding their individual academic goals. These are then incorporated in departmental teaching programs.

It is important to structure planning in a very thorough and logical way. It occurs by means of both a top-down and bottom-up strategy. In terms of the latter, each department does its own planning, including its own vision and goals. These are then discussed and integrated with other departmental plans during faculty meetings. Finally, all faculty plans are integrated and discussed at the senate meeting. Here it should be taken into account that each department's plans will be very specific to that department's nature. Within the faculty of Natural Sciences, for example, it cannot be expected that the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Mechanics will have a large amount of common goals. It is however important to ensure that the larger-scale goals integrate with the general goals of the University.


The budgetary process is handled at the hierarchical, corporate level. The University has financial officers who handle all aspects of income and budgetary requirements. These are not negotiable. When the planning process is complete at all levels, each department submits its budget requirements for the year. These requirements are drawn up by departmental financial officers.

The requirements are then submitted to the chief financial officers, who allocate funding according to the requirements, or according to the ability of the budget to support the requirements. All requirements also need to be fully motivated.

The budgeting process is integrated with the general planning process, in that the University needs top quality equipment and venues in order to fulfill its academic goals. Indeed, academic goals are the primary purpose of the learning institution. Equipment such as visual aids, electronic equipment, library equipment are needed, along with logistical services such as parking and building maintenance.

A parking problem was for example experienced as a result of unmitigated student growth over 2007 and 2008. The budget therefore had to provide for the needs of these students in terms of venues, personnel, parking, and other equipment. Such problems are experienced at the departmental level. Departments then communicate the problems to faculty leaders, who take them to the highest levels of decision making.

Once again, Downey's "trinity" idea plays an important role here. Decisions are made at the corporate level. Problems are however experienced at the community level and communicated via collegiate channels.


The most formal committee that is involved with planning at the University is the Senate. The organization and governance of the institution follows a very specific procedure that involves planning, implementation, problem, and conflict resolution. These have to be handled at many different levels, as the University consists of many different departments and performs a variety of functions. The communication system is vital in this process.

In planning, communication is generally done in a hierarchical fashion, from the top down. The Senate and financial officers do the planning and request budget requirements. Faculties are then engaged in finalizing the plans. These are then handed down to the departments for further suggestions. Final plans are then drawn up and provided to each department. The role of the Senate and chief financial officers are then to administer the planning process and facilitate the budget requirements to make the plans a reality.

Governance also entails conflict resolution from the bottom up. If staff members or students experience conflict situations, they are required to first communicate these with the person involved, such as the head of the department or colleague. If the conflict cannot be resolved, higher levels of authority are consulted until a resolution is found.

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