University governance is complex and contested. In view of the seemingly unceasing rise of commercial values within public universities, this contribution argues the case for a holistic, mission-related integrated governance approach for the Australian public university sector. The ‘ABC of University Governance’, as proposed for broad-scope governance within the sector, involves an integrated emphasis on the three key components of governance: academic governance, business governance and corporate governance. Respectively, these components of public university governance are concerned with scholarship, performance and conformance. Placing academic governance first in the ABC of university governance reminds us all of the vital role and importance of scholarship, which should never be downplayed or underestimated in public universities.