Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Academic Governance, Higher Education, Faculty Engagement


During the past decade, River’s Edge has engaged in organizational change due to neoliberal reforms permeating the higher education sector in the province. Chronic under-funding and annual budget cuts have directed change efforts towards commodifying service, education, and research to generate revenue from public consumption. Like other higher education institutions, River's Edge responds by positioning itself to become a driver of economic development rather than a force for social change. The mandate and strategic priorities of the provincial government is the primary driver of institutional change. The mandate holds the institution accountable by setting key performance indicators to serve the interests of the private-for-profit sector to ensure a source of skilled labour. Therefore, what gets measured gets done, and what is not mandated does not. The institution fulfills its mandate by sharing in decision-making to approve new programs and credentials to provide quality skilled workers. Academic governance, as legislated, is democratic by being inclusive of internal stakeholders, including faculty, students, and administrators, in decision-making. However, it excludes engagement and participation by external stakeholders whose interests are not being served. As agents of the crown, stakeholders have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of those not represented. The organizational improvement plan aims to address the problem of practice of low faculty engagement and participation in academic governance. Through their roles of teaching, research, and service, faculty are the means by which the institution will achieve the end of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Keywords: fiduciary duty, reconciliation through education, stakeholders, faculty engagement and participation, shared academic governance