Friday, June 01, 2007

Aren't the professors who speak up more valuable?

Every once in a while, someone comments here or writes a letter to the editor of the paper, that states that professors should shut up and do as they are told. Personally, I wish that more professors would stop hiding in their offices and care enough to speak up.

The question for the day, are professors who speak up about the problems more valuable? Should they shut up and hide in their offices? Which has worked better so far?


Anonymous said...

As far as SIU-c "management" is concerned, professors who speak up are an agitators and as far as SIU-C profs are concerned, excellence by their peers is a threat.

Been there done that, got tenure, promoted, and an SIU T-shirt. Got smart and left before the ship sank.

Anonymous said...

I have not had any trouble with personal retribution even though I spoke out strongly while on the Senate and in various meetings with administrators.

Some of my colleagues assumed that my dean's negative recommendation on my promotion was political. But, I never had any disputes with him. I had had disputes with the provost, but he over turned the dean!

My colleagues in my department do not always agree with me, but I have only had one person get a little sour and I think he'll get over it soon.

Sometimes people assume something bad that happened was because some administrator must have been trying to get them. These stories get circulated and and taken at face value. But, rumor control is something good management has to get right. Even if rumors of retribution are false or inflated
they reflect on the quality of the leadership.

MS (Stuck on board for now.)

Anonymous said...

Hey, ship is still floating. You left and SIU didn't sink, hard to believe it carried on without you.

Why is it that when things don't go right for some people they blame everyone but themselves. Why do I see that in academia more than any place else?

Peter in Carbondale said...

I have no idea what this last anonymous comment means, but what else is new?

I agree about blame, responsibility and academia. Maybe this is why guaranteed employment for life is a bad idea?

Anonymous said...

Well, the person who posted the first comment here said he got smart and left before the ship sank. I say the ship's still floating, perhaps he wasn't needed anyway. I'm glad he's smart now, guess he wasn't smart when he was at SIU. Maybe that's why he wasn't needed.

Anonymous said...

SIU-C decided it didn't need a lot of things, among which were Delyte Morris (Sloan House anybody?), R Buckminster Fuller, Marjorie Lawrence, Paul Shilp,Herbert Miller,(and the program that brought them here. SIU decided it didn't need a nationally ranked womens or mens gymnastics team, mens swimming team track team or wrestling program. SIU decided it did need to spend money on liquor for the Presidents House, and a few simular stunts about that time.

Since the late 1960s SIU-C has not had much in the way of institutional leadership, passing over those who had leadership and were already at the University to search for "new Blood" that always turned out to be a bit thin for the job.

It is fair to say that over time SIU has been battered by storms and weathered them poorly. The ship may still be afloat, however, with a few notable exceptions, she is a tramp steamer without a reliable compass.

SIU-C has not grown smarter as it grew older. SIU-C has failed to fulfill the expectations that it had for Southern Illinois. SIU-C has wasted a lot of time, money and effort in recent years becoming less than it once was.

Anonymous said...

I do not put much weight on the first poster's comments. But, let's be honest, SIUC is taking on water - i.e., losing students. It won't sink because the state will still shovel money our way even if it less than we "deserve".

My plan for SIUC is to break from SIUE and join the UI system. It may be the only way to get good management.

In the corporate world poorly managed companies are - if they are lucky - bought out be people who know how to manage.


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at "anonymous," who criticized hiring from outside and thought we should promote talent from inside. He or she must not have been here during the Guyon years, when it seemed everyone was promoted from inside, and virtually no one was brought in from outside. That has got to be the most dismal period of our history, when a culture of cronyism developed and management was so bad that the faculty organized a union. It takes a lot to get faculty to organize. It takes desperation, in fact. It wasn't primarily their (our) wretched salaries that that made unionizing attractive. It was incompetent and apparently corrupt administration -- from the level of the deans (and in many departments, chairs) to the Board of Trustees. When the BOT tried to appoint consummate insider John Jackson as Chancellor after they fired JoAnn Argersinger, Peter's father named them accurately: Clones of the Eastern European dictators. But he said it far better and more eloquently.

Whatever Wendler's deficits, and he had some serious ones, he understood research universities and worked to re-establish SIUC as one, after decades of erosion.

With the new leadership from Poshard, the new BOT, the new chancellor and most of the higher administration, perhaps this battered university will be refurbished and once again move forward with vigor. I certainly hope so!

Anonymous said...

SIU-C made a huge mistake when it passed over Don Beggs for the top job a few years back.