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Management Department Heads page 5

 
 

Review
It is time to review the present organizational structure and definition of responsibilities by position. Hopefully, there can be some enlightened modifications to the present system that will better balance operational and educational matters, and establish a more favorable situation for faculty. Reform can only benefit the educational environment for faculty, students, and in the end, the university itself.

It appears that the departmental system is being eliminated for reasons based on financial considerations and establishing greater administrative control. It is more reasonable to make decisions that favor the institutional mission of education. There can be no question but what each program should have appointed or elected leadership, some degree of financial autonomy and some restricted studio space. The conditions are essential and most conducive to the best interests of faculty and students. It can be presumed that what is beneficial for faculty and students should result in a more productive faculty and effective educational experience for students.

 

Notes
For the sake of brevity and in order to better communicate the larger picture, I have only touched on many aspects of the situation described. I have not provided a detailed outline of events and conditions leading to, or resulting from, changes nor a complete description of the impact on education, students and faculty. These matters have been dealt with more thoroughly in other papers.

If faced with the situation of no program leadership or spokesperson, my strategy today would be to borrow from history the Revolutionary adage, United We Stand, Divided We Fall. The first step would be to bring the faculty together to ask if they are willing to unite. If so, the next action would be for faculty members to elect a spokesperson and next a secretary. Using Roberts Rules of Order as a guide for conducting meetings, the faculty would meet on a regular basis to discuss all matters pertinent to the best interests of the educational program. It is important that the Director does not attend. All issues would be voted upon, and minutes recorded for each meeting. The minutes become a very important paper trail in dealing with administration if any future difficulties occur.

The faculty would request a meeting with the Director where the faculty action would be communicated, and the Director would be informed as to whom was the spokesperson for the program and faculty. A copy of minutes from every meeting would be sent to the Director. It is of utmost importance that the Director be forced into dealing with the faculty as a whole as it pertains to program matters. This protects any individual faculty member who might be more outspoken or critical than others. It is extremely important that the Director not be able to manipulate or divide faculty members.

Regarding important issues, the entire faculty should request a meeting with the Director so that it is totally clear that the Director must deal with the entire faculty and not just the spokesperson. Whenever the Director becomes intransigent on an important issue, I do not think it to be out of line to ask the Director to set up a meeting with the Dean, Director and faculty members.

   
 

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