Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Faculty Governance

at the University of Minnesota

is an Oxymoron

Despite an overwhelming vote (90%+) by the medical school faculty for a dedicated dean, President Bruininks today said no. In his statement, available for download, he makes the claim:

Since that change, I have heard broad consensus that integrating a vice presidential role with the dean of the Medical School is critically important...
This simply isn't true and the president knows it. Broad consensus? More than 90% of the med school faculty disagree and this is a broad consensus? Among whom is this consensus to be found, Mr. President?

As the chairman of the Medical School Faculty Advisory Committee pointed out to all of us
including the President:

Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Dear Medical School Faculty:

Many thanks from the FAC to all the faculty who recently voted on the FAC motion concerning the administrative structure of the Medical School Deanship as a search begins for a new Medical School Dean.

The motion was:

The Medical School should have a Dean whose sole responsibility is the optimal function of the Medical School and the Dean of the Medical School should report directly to the President of the University.

Vote / Absolute Number / Percentage

In Favor / 327 / 92.4%
Opposed / 18 / 5.1%
Abstain / 9 / 2.5%

The results of the vote are striking - see the attached graphics. The FAC was very pleased that there was a very large faculty turnout - even responding to the single email request. This indicates a faculty that is engaged and very interested in the plan for the School's leadership going forward.

The FAC has sent a letter sharing the results of the faculty vote to President Bruininks, the Board of Regents and Drs. Cerra and Paller...

As George Orwell famously said of the technique known as the Big Lie:

“To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed....”

Really Bob, this is too much. Even for you. I am very disappointed. Recall another thing you said:

"I think we need to put ourselves in the position of acting according to the highest ethical principles. I believe our people do that now and I believe our people will be doing that in the future as well." President Bruininks (Daily: 6-18-08)

Sadly, I conclude that it is too late.


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