Tomorrow, the board of directors of Georgetown University will convene to discuss official business that is relevant to current students, alumni and donors. Unfortunately, except for those in the meeting, hardly anyone will know what is discussed.
When he met with the student media earlier this month, University President John J. DeGioia said, “We offer ways in which the community can engage in our . project of shared governance.” Yet the lack of transparency in the university administration is most apparent when considering the board of directors.
We have previously bemoaned the lack of transparency of the board of directors. Unlike most university boards, Georgetown’s does not publicize its schedule or the minutes from its meetings. In fact, besides its members and its committees, there is very little else provided to the university community about its governing body.
The issue bears repeating, however, not only because it is an unnecessary withholding of information, but also because DeGioia has now addressed the issue of transparency directly. While posting information from the board of directors’ meetings online would not achieve a sufficient level of openness in and of itself, it would be an important first step.
aking information from the board of directors’ meetings available online would enable both students and alumni to engage in the “shared governance” of the university that, according to DeGioia, is a priority on the Hilltop. Greater access would allow more of us to chime in on the discussion surrounding a single yet complex question: Where does Georgetown go from here?
Students would feel more included, alumni would feel more connected and donors would be more willing to lend a hand if they were familiar with the issues facing Georgetown and moving forward. As many universities make such information readily available, we’re sorry our own keeps it under wraps.
DeGioia ought to voice his support for making information from the board of directors’ meetings public. If so, perhaps the shared governance DeGioia swears by could finally extend across the board.
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