The Role of Committees in the Decision-Making Process in Nigerian Universities

  •  Christiana Ogbogu    


Universities are complex organizations because of their myriad activities. This has led to the institutionalarrangement of committees to facilitate the decision-making process. This paper therefore examined the rolecommittees play in the decision-making process in Nigerian universities. It also ascertained the extent to whichdecisions made maintain a democratic process for the representation of views. This was done with a view toassess the extent to which the Committee System affects the effective and efficient management of Nigerianuniversities. Data for the study were solicited from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data wasderived from the administration of questionnaires on 474 randomly selected members of committees from sixFederal universities located in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. This was done to ensure that one universityfrom each zone had the chance of being represented in the sample. The study revealed that committees are vitalinstitutional arrangements that facilitate and improve internal decision-making in Nigerian universities. Theyserve as an avenue for expressing, communicating and recommending policies and curriculum changes to theFaculty, Dean, Provost, Vice- Chancellor and other Heads of Units of the universities. Results of the studyfurther revealed that the use of committees enhance university governance and management because thedecisions made guide the judgment of university administrators. The study however found that although thedecisions made by the various committees are derived from a democratic process, the committees’recommendations do not sometimes influence the final decisions made by the University Council and Senate,particularly if they are in conflict with those of the university administration. The study concluded thatcommittees are vital tools for university administration, although the decisions made by them are sometimes notimplemented because of the overbearing structure of university management.

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