Philosophy of Decision Making

Universities, in order to be effective, must design decision-making processes that allow them to set direction for carrying out their many functions. Decision making is a process for coming to a conclusion from among all the options that could be chosen. For stakeholders in a university the important issues in this process are who makes the decisions and what are the procedures by which the process is implemented.

In a university setting collegiality and participatory decision making are commonly held values. Persons wish to work together to achieve the university mission. For an Anabaptist Mennonite university, these values take on greater meaning. We believe that truth is discerned together within the community. Further, we value equality and servant leadership. This means that bottom-up decision making will be facilitated.

EMU seeks to develop and use decision-making processes that reflect the values of an Anabaptist Christian academic community and that are consistent with its mission. These values call on the EMU community to:

  • Practice creativity, innovation, critical thinking, careful and meaningful research and effective communication
  • Model respect, challenge, passion and compassion
  • Develop institutional structures that enhance human relationships
  • Practice agape love and accountability

Because of these values EMU intends that its decision-making processes will exhibit the following characteristics:

Participation and Communication

  • Broad participation
  • Open communication
  • Respectful listening and responding
  • Response to feedback so that persons know if they were heard accurately


  • Starting and ending meetings on time and promptness in attendance
  • Clarity of purpose, timelines and procedures
  • Accountability to established policy
  • Careful study of relevant issues before decisions are made
  • Adequate time to process decisions
  • Working toward consensus and using voting when helpful in choosing among different options
  • Communication of the rationale for decisions with acknowledgement of dissenting opinions