Monday, August 07, 2017
This Is What We Call a “Red Flag”
What we have here is a failure to communicate.
Possibly, apropos one of your recent blog posts, an inability to communicate.
What are the odds that a university -- let alone a community college -- financial officer was hired for communication skills? Zero. So they fail to communicate anything about the state of the college's finances to the faculty, and possibly even to the President. After all, what are the odds that the President was hired for the ability to "teach" finance to the college's constituencies? Close to zero. And if you have looked at college budgets in the form they are given to the Trustees, well, you know that the mandated reporting categories make almost no sense at all. Trustees are along for the ride. They can't help.
One thing I looked for and didn't find (I speed read the article, so might have missed it) was how long those CFOs had been on their current campus. Ours has been here for less time than the President and the President has been here less time than most of the faculty. We've had more turnover there than in many other areas. Worse, asking administrators for advice is a poor move if they also don't know very much about the details of the college's operation at the classroom level. I frequently see highly inefficient decisions made by the right hand because it doesn't know what its left hand is doing.
Ah, if only our President had number sense and could "teach" the subject of the long-term and short-term changes in our budget, both income and outgo, with graphs and charts accessible to the English, Humanities, and Social Science faculty. But I've only seen one who could do that. It must be a rare skill. That one could get everyone on board when something needed to be done, and get ideas from everyone along the way.
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What I've read elsewhere indicates that colleges are starting to prefer part-time instructors because they're cheaper and ditchable.
Is a pure OER degree really doing to change that math? I'd like to think that FT, tenured faculty can do something to avoid the fate of being phased out, but creative scheduling doesn't seem like a silver bullet that will offset the price+Longevity factors that push administration to avoid tenured faculty.