Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A & S Meeting

The Provost will make an appearance today at A & S. She will supposedly discuss the Learning Alliance and the roundtables. I suggest those who have been choosen for this august body refer to themselves as Sir.... or Lady.... It might be nice to find out from her Ladyship of Provost how the body was choosen. It might also be nice to get some sort of operational definition of the problem that's actually being solved. So far this looks like a group in search of a problem, rather than a problem solving group. Having read some of Zemsky's stuff words like market smart and public purpose seem to abound. These words can be stuffed into almost any carton of any size. I also remember reading at some point his statement that universities must regain control of the curriculum from the faculty. This concerns me. Whoever belongs to the "choosen" will have to pay fairly close attention so as not to be overwhelmed by abject nonsense. As with many consultants, if there is no problem then he will create one and "solve" it. I am fearful that we have agreed to participate in our own demise.


Odysseus said...

Just for the record, I attended the ASC meeting of Sept. 9 and garnered these impressions:

The Provost's discussion re the Learning Alliance and the round tables, the college review and benchmarking (an old, pre-no-confidence vote preoccupation of this administration that has resurfaced) was effusive but utterly vague, as was the selection process itself for participants. And she said not a word about the deselection process--the people they did NOT ask to participate. Plus, no students! Are we not an extreme student centered university? Maybe that was last week. The round table sounds like maybe an overgrown focus group--but those of you who know focus group methodology know also that a focus group of 35 people is more a crowd than a focus group. Maybe this is all you get for $80,000. Or maybe it's group therapy with the idea of calming us all down. "Adjustment" is what the therapists call it, but we might call it "placation." Plus, re benchmarking, she could not come up with an instance of when the Learning Alliance ever actually helped any college move up in the rankings, since these now seem important again. Nor could she point to a specific instance of the Alliance's work product in tangibly helping some University. I think it very important that we, ASC, monitor this review, that has been called "punitive" but is certainly mysterious, for out of this smokey rite may well be pulled what is known as "fast one."

sir lawrence said...

i can tell you how the anointed were chosen, but we each had our own reasons for why we proposed the names. the steering committee members (anderson, pryor, haggett, poplin gosetti, mcclelland, brady) were given the assignment to come up with 10 names each, without restrictions. at the committee meeting, we went around the table, each presenting one name until we had filled the 29 slots. there were a surprising number candidates that appeared on many of the prepared lists. as one might imagine, anderson and pryor proposed mostly faculty; however, haggett, poplin gosetti, and mclelland also had faculty on their lists. even brady had one or two. brady proposed most of the community representatives, although the rest of us had some too. we also chose with an eye toward divisional representation, faculty rank, chair representation, outspoken candor, cultural and gender diversity, etc, etc. also surprisingly, very few if any of the proposed candidates were rejected by anyone.
as of the 09.09 council meeting, eight slots remained open due to prior commitments of the invitees. the council discussion about student participation encouraged us to try to fill two of those slots with current students, one undergrad and one grad.