Wednesday, June 25, 2014


At most institutions, where the faculty does not have extraordinary reputational strength, the deans or the provosts do what they will within a wide range, as long as they follow procedures. For a reasonable fraction of cases, any dean or provost can arrange procedures to get what they want. I don't know why faculty think they will prevail. I'm not saying this is good, but until the faculty are strong enough, they have no real power. I assume that the Nobel Prize winners and some others will be effective advocates to the provost, but they tend to be careful not to use their power unless they believe it is really needed.

A colleague wrote back to me: FACULTY WITH REAL POWER CAN BE SCARY. My only response is that there are usually countervailing powerful faculty.

I am not much impressed by faculty committees and protest groups. It's not that they are in the wrong, for often they have identified real problems. But they do not have the requisite bureaucratic and political savvy, and they tend to go ballistic and offer manifestos. Again if the committees and groups are populated and led by the faculty with the strongest reputational assets that may be different.

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