Plans to ensure that staff could be moved between campuses and regions only with the consent of colleges have been voted down by the Scottish Parliament's education committee.
The proposed legislation gives regional strategic bodies the power to transfer staff and property to any college, regional college or other regional strategic body.
Colleges Scotland chief executive John Henderson said he was "disappointed" that the amendments that would have guaranteed colleges a say had not been passed, but said he welcomed the commitment of the Scottish government to consider this issue in more detail.
"We would prefer that the movement of staff, funds or assets to other colleges or regions was done by agreement with colleges rather than imposed by order," he said.
Education secretary Michael Russell said he would consider possible amendments for the next stage of the Post-16 Education Bill.
In its meeting on Tuesday, the education committee agreed to amend plans for how higher and further education will be reviewed. The Scottish Funding Council will now have to consult the governing bodies of institutions, as well as union and student representatives.