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Showing posts from March, 2010

The Failure of Corporatized Higher Education

Different social organizations require different organizational structures. Corporations, militaries, and religions benefit from a hierarchical command-and-control organizational structure, where the leader is believed to have special skills and the greatest expertise of any other person in the organization to make difficult decisions and exhibit vision.
This sort of hierarchical command-and-control organizational structure is not appropriate for other social organizations, such as democratic bodies. In democratic bodies, there is no one person whose judgment is considered absolute and definitive.
Institutions of higher education are the latter type of social organization. Inappropriately and unfortunately, at UVU and across the nation, administrations have adopted the former model. This is a grave error, because leadership on campus based on corporate style command-and-control snubs the expertise of the faculty. Professors are professionals whose judgment ought to be trusted, and inter…

Don’t ACHE/WCHE/ICHE Me! The Workload Policy as Procrustean Bed

When AAUP President Cary Nelson visited Utah last fall, my wife Anina and I had the pleasure of taking him out to Antelope Island (“I thought the salt lake was in the middle of the city”). On the drive there, I told Cary about the workload policy (ACHE, WCHE, ICHE) that had been implemented at our institution as the result of a task force chaired by deans Henrie and Rushforth. I remarked on the absurdity of foisting a mechanistic metric on the faculty workday and the antithetical nature of such a corporatized practice in the Academy. Cary agreed, noting that the type of person who gravitates towards academe and away from corporate America typically likes the flexibility and freedom of self-directed employment, rather than punching a time clock and sitting in a cubicle 9-5 under the eye of a watchful boss.And therein lies the difference in worldview between our academic affairs administration and the faculty: we look upon ourselves as members of a wider academic community who participa…