Exploring New Governance Models for Professional Advisory Committees: Interview Questions

NYU Administrative Management Council: Exploring New Governance Models for Professional Advisory Committees

Interview Questions

This component of the research activity will center on the effectiveness of the new platform in engaging Council representatives and the ability to facilitate deliberation and decision-making. The objective is to identify leading practices in collaborative technology innovation in voluntary governance bodies, to provide lessons and best practices for similar bodies considering the implication of new collaboration platforms, and to identify barriers to their use.

Core issues:

  • how can online collaborative platforms be used to facilitate the work of voluntary committees so that not only their processes are more effective, but they can conduct governance activities that are perceived as more legitimate (especially by the members of that committee, but also but by external actors who look to that committee for guidance)?
  • can governance that is currently conducted by representation move towards full participation – i.e., does the collaboration and voting platform scale up to the level of a large population? What are the scale barriers? Can expertise within a large organization be targeted so that deliberation is focused on members having the most relevant expertise related to the issue?


  • The estimate number of public servants to be involved is approximately 5.
  • The estimated time to complete the interview is 20 minutes.
  • Potential interview candidates will be contacted by email, inviting them to participate in a research interview. Should they agree, a mutually convenient time involving the respondent and two members of the research team (Justin Longo and Tanya Kelley) will be set up.
  • The interview will be conducted using Internet web conferencing technology (e.g. Skype). The interviewers will take notes and no recording of the interview will be made.
  • Consent to be interviewed will be affirmed verbally by the respondent following their reading of the Short Consent Form.
  • At the conclusion of the interview, the web conference connection will be closed

1. Impressions of open collaboration and innovation

The experiment sought to move past email as a primary mechanism of information exchange, and the need for in person meetings for the exchange of views, in order to take advantage of new technologies for open collaboration and innovation. Do you think our current technology is capable of achieving this?

Follow-up probes:

  • What have been the positive impacts of this move?
  • Have their been challenges or barriers to operationalizing this move or to achieving the desired impacts?
  • What advice would you give a colleague embarking on a similar move?

2. Reflections on the AMC Experiment in Online Collaboration

The experiment represented a movement away from small group, in person interaction to online full group interaction. Would you characterize the experiment as a success?

Follow-up probes:

  • What have been the positive impacts of this move?
  • Have outside actors (e.g., Senate) responded?
  • Have their been challenges or barriers to operationalizing this move or to achieving the desired impacts?
  • Has their been senior admin support for this?

3. Thoughts on the role of voluntary advisory bodies like the AMC within larger governance settings like NYU

While it may be too early to tell, do you think the experiment can lead to greater effectiveness and legitimacy for the AMC?

Follow-up probes:

  • What is your impression of these experiments? Have they been effective in yielding positive results?
  • What are some of the benefits?
  • What are some of the barriers?
  • Have these innovations been effective?
  • Perceived benefits of new technology, functions not possible before?
  • Does broadening the mechanisms for input into AMC decisions mean that other bodies such as Senate will see those decisions as more legitimate and reflective of the views of the entire AMC membership?

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