Right now, we are the College of Fears and Insecurities. We are given the choice today of choosing between the lesser of two evil plans for restructuring the organization of the A&S College within the University. Both plans are jerry-built upon the same faulty assumptions, which we have as a body failed to challenge. Instead we have before us two “reports” that are reduced to two alternative organizational charts – take your pick – either of which will undermine shared governance at the University of Toledo by disenfranchising in the future the Voices of this College, its Departments (Disciplines) and the tenured professoriate within them.
These two organizational charts are the same. One of the proposed architectures for structural change is vertical and the other is horizontal. The horizontal architecture of the ad hoc committee (whose names are not on the document but appear to be mostly chairs and directors of A&S College) has the same layer cake of new deans as the vertical architecture, yet neither of the plans articulate any clear commitment to continuing the strong tradition of shared governance of the university entrenched in the existing A&S College structure. Moreover, the alternative horizontal structure does not guarantee to strive to be any more “egalitarian” in its distribution of power on campus than the vertically-structured plan. Nor does the alternative horizontal structure promise or pretend to “do no harm” to A&S students, faculty, staff and alumni if implemented!
Both proposals stink. I suggest instead that we who have been rendered fearful and threatened by four years of systematic, intentional and cumulative degradation under the Jacobs Administration use this occasion, which is probably the last meeting of this Arts and Sciences Council, to vote “No Confidence” in the leadership of this university and this college: the Board of Trustees, The President, Provosts past and present, and the Dean.
David Nemeth, Professor of Geography and Planning, Member of the Arts & Sciences Council
Friday, July 16, 2010