Supporting Your Institution’s Shared Governance with Online Voting
By Jake Mahr on April 18, 2023

Supporting Your Institution’s Shared Governance with Online Voting

Gathering insights for informed decisions


Higher education institutions across the United States and around the world have long employed systems of shared governance in order to help develop policies and inform decision-making. While exact definitions and models for shared governance vary, it generally provides a framework with which governing boards, faculty, and administration, sometimes alongside staff and even students, come together to offer input and perspectives that can help guide decisions that affect the institution.



For example, while the governing board or board of directors may take the lead in planning the long-term financial plan for an institution, faculty will also be consulted to ensure they have the resources necessary to complete their duties.


Let’s explore two primary ways that institutions can use an online voting solution to both simplify and increase the effectiveness of their shared governance processes:



Surveys & Evaluations

Since gathering insights and feedback is central to shared governance, surveys, questionnaires, and evaluations are often conducted. Deploying an online voting system offers a few concrete advantages over collecting this information in person during a board meeting, for example.


First, distributing an online voting survey means that eligible voting members can participate from any location, and on their own personal devices. This opens up the capacity for participation from members who are not able to attend a meeting and allows your institution to accommodate the growing trends of online and hybrid meeting environments.


Second, depending on bylaws and regulations, an online voting system could also be used to extend the voting period, helping to boost participation as well. While the collection of feedback in person might be limited to just the time allocated for a meeting, an online survey can be live for days or weeks at a time, giving voting members the opportunity to participate when it is most convenient. With greater participation, more insights can be gathered, ensuring any resulting decisions are both effective and informed.



Finally, collecting votes through an online voting platform can greatly decrease the time needed to tabulate results and to provide concrete feedback to the decision-making entity. Typically, results from the voting or surveying process can be calculated in a manner of minutes, and they even come with intuitive and visual graphics for instant interpretation.



Elections & Appointments

At some institutions, groups like faculty, administration, staff, and students might be represented by specific groups, senates, or boards. An online voting solution can easily be implemented during the election or appointment procedures for these groups to ensure all eligible voting members have the opportunity to choose their representation. You can learn more about online voting for university elections in the following articles:

In addition to helping increase participation and the effectiveness of shared governance processes, along with streamlining the entire voting process, a proper online voting solution will also ensure the security of both your decision-making procedures and every ballot cast. Invote Pro is an online voting system that comes with all the features your institution needs to conduct any kind of survey or vote. To find out more, visit our website.

Published by Jake Mahr April 18, 2023


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