Friday, May 29, 2009

Who is in charge here, anyway?

Like lots of academic institutions, we're having some financial "issues" due to the downturn of the stock market.

It's interesting to see how the response is unfolding. So far it's consisted of the president and dean asking for a institution wide 10% budget cut and not filling sabbatical leaves with replacements, and several warnings that bigger things are to come.

What I don't understand is that during strategic planning, the faculty are regularly consulted to figure out what to spend more money on, but when the crunch is on, we're not asked where we think cuts can be made without sacrificing the program.

It's definitely revealing who is in charge. It's not the faculty or students, that's for sure. It's not the president or dean, either. The trustees are definitely the ones calling the shots. And while they're very experienced in business matters, academia isn't a business.

I wonder what it's like at other institutions--who calls the shots?

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