Deliberative Decision Making
Deliberative Decision Making (DDM) is an approach to deliberation designed to promote best practices for process quality and authenticity in decision making and introduce strategies for running meetings to increase participation and equity for all participants. This approach grew out of the 2019 DU Creating Collaborative Department Cultures and Chairs Symposium.
This is a simple approach that can be learned and implemented quickly and primarily consists of:
Pre-decision deliberation on criteria
Interaction norms that ensure all members have equal speaking time and that counteract the effects of formal and informal power differences between committee members
Assigned roles—facilitator, timekeeper, and process monitor
Why Use DDM?
These are a few concepts and strategies that we have seen first-hand help groups make better decisions and ensure that all members feel they have been fairly treated and authentically empowered. There is a wealth of research evidence demonstrating that these strategies can produce better decisions and create programs and policies that have lasting impact.
A department’s ability to make high-quality decisions is dependent on the quality of deliberation that precedes the choices made as a department. There is considerable historical and empirical evidence that the quality of interaction is the single most important determinant of the decision-making success or failure as a group. This is because the way group members talk about the problems, options, and consequences affects the way they think about those problems, options, and consequences, which ultimately determines the quality of final choices they make as a group.
How to Use DDM
There is an evergreen asynchronous virtual training on how to use DDM in PTR decisions available through Academic Impressions.
To access all materials, including the recording:
1. Go to the Academic Impressions website. Here you will be prompted to login to your user account if you aren’t already signed in.
All DU faculty and staff have free access to Academic Impressions materials and information. To learn more about how to activate membership for faculty, see our blog post about Academic Impressions.
Knowing When to Use DDM
DDM can be used in any department meeting, especially where informal interactional norms are a concern or priority. That said, it is particularly impactful in common discussion points and even contested or challenging department decisions such as:
Curricular, Policy, or Bylaw Revisions
Promotion & Tenure