Shared governance between the administration and faculty has been traditional for most public universities, but varies considerably in its nature and effectiveness. In the United States it probably takes its most structured form at the University of California. There are good reasons for having shared governance, and yet it tends to be poorly understood outside the university environment and to cause substantial tensions within the university itself. Several trends and issues are identified that pose both significant challenges and substantial opportunities for shared governance. Ways of addressing these and advancing the efficacy of shared governance are put forward and assessed.