On Thursday, April 18th, the Academic Department Chairs Organization (ADCO) met to discuss the proposed process that will be used to realign several faculty lines among various academic departments across campus. On behalf of the ADCO, I would like to thank Provost Levine for the time she has taken to meet with departments this past academic year and her willingness to listen to faculty and staff concerns during her visits. We are also very appreciative of the goal of the currently proposed process: a collaborative effort used to address current workload inequity among departments across campus. While the specifics of this particular process were meant to be a one-time occurrence, its collaborative nature is meant to be ongoing. In the end, Provost Levine has the unenviable task of addressing workload inequity with no additional (and possibly decreasing) state support.
Following a fairly length and rich discussion, our group came to the conclusion that despite all of the best intentions with which this process was envisioned, the ADCO is unable to fully endorse this process at this time. There were a number of reasons contributing to our decision that include the data base and set of metrics upon which these decisions will be based that not only contained discrepancies but also portrayed an incomplete picture of departments. A thorough outline of our pros, cons, and suggestions has been sent to the Provost for consideration and we encourage everyone to talk with their department chair to gain their perspective on this situation.
Our recommendation included delaying these important decisions until accurate and relevant qualitative and quantitative data can be obtained. Furthermore, we believe these decisions are within the purview of the Deans and their subsequent communication with the Provost. Therefore, the ADCO has decided that we will not engage in the ranking of departments but we will supply the qualitative data and any additional relevant information about our departments, including proposed corrections to the quantitative data, to our respective Deans. We will be meeting on May 2 to provide this portion of our feedback.
Based on our conversations we are also encouraging all faculty, staff, and the faculty senate to abstain from ranking departments in this process. Rather, we ask your assistance toward acquiring and providing appropriate and accurate qualitative and quantitative data about your respective departments.
We would like to thank Dr. Lori Braunstein for the time and effort she has invested in compiling the data used in this process. With minimal resources at her disposal, we believe she has done an excellent job at creating the foundation upon which we can now move forward. For this, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude.
Finally, we would also like to thank Provost Levine. Although we disagree on the specifics of the proposed process, we greatly appreciate her intention at taking immediate action to address faculty and staff concerns raised during her visits to departments and to initiate a collaborative process across campus, involving various stakeholders in an attempt to make an informed decision based upon feedback from a diverse set of viewpoints and perspectives. For us, this captures the spirit of shared governance.
Chair, Academic Department Chairs Organization