Subscribe to RSS

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

“No Confidence” in the University’s ability to change.

I have never met the president of New York University. I don’t know much about John Sexton, other than the faculty of NYU voted “no confidence” against him last week. What I do know is this is an acute illustration of how poorly structured universities are to tackle the dramatic challenges they face.

As post-secondary education enters a watershed moment in its modern history, there is no way around it. There are going to be changes – big ones. It’s simply not possible that the traditional approach to campuses and colleges can sustain the current demands of the modern student and the modern salary.

Universities have to find new ways of teaching and new ways of paying for it. The problem is not new ideas, as there are plenty floating about. The problem is it’s still “old school” in how decisions are made for a bold new era.

University presidents and leaders act and work at the pleasure of the faculty. I remember once seeing a VP Academic in Canada look forlorn after a Senate meeting that he said was critical to his university’s future. The upper administration proposed big cuts to traditional Arts and Social Science programs they could no longer afford. Not surprisingly, the faculty which comprises the bulk of the Senate votes, nixed it. They argued for academic ideals, but cutting through their protests, simply put they were protecting their jobs. They were successful, and many of those classes continue with little student interest.

How often is it said that new Deans in office quickly run up against a professoriate resistant to change. Almost always, the new Dean is entrusted with a task of enhancing efficiencies and cutting costs. Sure, not all ideas are good or will even work, but how many proposals which streamline salaries are going to pass ? Very few Deans take on the very people who voted to hire them, and can vote to get rid of them.

University presidents make annual salaries in the hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars. But unlike their distant corporate cousins, a university CEO is commonly hired, and often fired, by its own employees. It’s a strange dynamic, and in a world calling for dynamic change on campus (and questioning the existence of a campus) – such serious and painful decisions have little chance in a system steeped in self interest and status quo.

REFERENCE:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/16/education/no-confidence-vote-for-head-of-nyu.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=1&

0 comments

Add your comment

Nickname:
E-mail:
Website:
Comment:


+ 2 = 4

Other articlesgo to homepage

Canada makes a mess of it.

Canada makes a mess of it.(3)

There is nothing like spending a week talking to students in India’s Punjab to bring a focus to what a mess Canada has made in a market that has spilled over to international recruiting around the globe. Prospective students in Punjab are like sheep in how easily they follow advice on study abroad, whether from

Canada’s int’l edu strategy: Low-lying fruit

Canada’s int’l edu strategy: Low-lying fruit(1)

Two weeks ago I met with an excellent engineering degree graduate in India whom I counselled for a master degree in Canada. He was dubious about this study pathway and asked me point blank: “Sir, why then do most Indians go for Post Graduate Diplomas ?” This question and the answer reveal where Canada is

Is Canada and India brewing in the same kettle ?

Is Canada and India brewing in the same kettle ?(0)

In the recent University Affairs, Professor Douglas Parker of Laurentian University critiques his teaching experience in India. He claims in turn for high tuition fees at private universities, expectations were that regardless of how students did, they passed. Point well taken. But aren’t some of our Canadian pots the ones calling the Indian kettle black.

The Rankings Rankle

The Rankings Rankle(2)

The latest Maclean’s university rankings came out last week. It’s a big seller for Maclean’s and biggest con in Canadian post-secondary education. In Canada, where virtually all universities are public, funded to a similar base per student, and regulated to maintain the same standards, it’s a manipulation to make hay with rankings. I remember sitting

Doubling the number of international students in Canada. Is it nonsense ?

Doubling the number of international students in Canada. Is it nonsense ?(1)

Doubling the number of international students in Canada in the next ten years ? Adding more than 200,000 new international students to Canada is called a realistic goal by the federal government commissioned report on Canada’s international education strategy. Realistic ? Or nonsense ? It all depends on how you look at it. It’s nonsense

read more

About Mel

Mel has consulted universities, colleges, governmental and non-governmental organizations in the field of international education since 1997. He is co-founder of Higher-Edge, the parent of Overseas, Overwhelmed, and a director of the Canadian University Application Centre. He is a former award-winning CBC reporter and holds a Masters degree from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.

Other sites from the publishers

Canada123
zi xiu tang
Higher-Edge
Website by Site Nova
© Copyright 2012 Overseas Overwhelmed All rights reserved.

Warning: include(img/settings.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /u/m/mdbazaar/www.overseasoverwhelmed.com/wp-content/themes/gadgetine_2011.11.25/gadgetine-theme/footer.php on line 84

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening 'img/settings.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:') in /u/m/mdbazaar/www.overseasoverwhelmed.com/wp-content/themes/gadgetine_2011.11.25/gadgetine-theme/footer.php on line 84