Friday, October 09, 2009

civility

Yesterday we went to a meeting called by the academic senate executive committee to discuss collegiality, civility, and shared governance. To the dismay of some faculty there, two administrators showed up. Some felt that put a chill on discussion. (In the free speech world, a "chilling effect" is second to "prior restraint" in the list of speech-limitation no-nos.)

I don't think I learned much about collegiality, civility or shared governance, and I don't think the administrators there did, either. There was a little, exceedingly polite, venting of frustration with the way shared governance is being practiced (or not practiced) on the campus.

One thing I did notice was the uneven distribution of faculty representation at the meeting. The colleges of business administration and of humanities and social sciences were over-represented, compared to their population on campus, I think, and for certain the colleges of natural science, art, human and health sciences, and education were under-represented. (No one from art or education.)

I'm left with a question about what the attendance means. Fatigue? Morale so low these faculty don't believe there's any hope? Misrecognition? Lack of legitimacy of current faculty leadership (this one's hard to believe given the overwhelming votes in support of faculty leadership as recently as the fall general faculty meeting)? Fear of reprisals?

3 comments:

Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

We sometimes wrap long wedges of college administrators with long, thin slices of prosciutto . . . but the phenomenological reduction sounds sublime.

Robert Kirkman said...

. . . and don't forget the port. Faculty meetings with administrators always go better with a generous amount of port.

Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

Agreed.