Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Observations on the Board meeting

So I am not one who enjoys waiting for six hours while the BOT decides how to proceed in cleaning up the toxic waste site created by a singularly incompetent administration. I do know however, that the Board is constrained by several factors. 
The first is a state statute called the Open Meetings Act. If three or more trustees were to meet to talk about university business, it would be considered a meeting under the act and therefore, notice would need to be posted, an agenda prepared, and that meeting opened to the public etc. This means that the four new trustees cannot meet before the meeting to map out strategies on moving forward. They need to wait until the executive session and discuss whatever needs to be discussed there. They may not reach resolution. They may not have enough information to decide. They may be split in how to proceed. They may wish to get counsel from they legal advisor. Whatever the reason, the discussion in executive or closed session may not lead to a clean outcome at the end of the day. 
The second factor I alluded to above. The board may be divided on how to proceed. The university community has witnessed the board of trustees enable administrators whose gross incompetence has cost the university millions of dollars. What goes on behind closed doors won't be known. What is known is that senior administrators whose abysmal performance has been documented here and in other outlets are still in place. That can only be because the Board has not given the soon to be ex-interim president direction to clean house. They clearly denied the former president the opportunity to clean house in the month that he was allowed to be president. 
The third consideration is that three of the new trustees are attorneys. My experience with attorneys is that the good ones tend to be methodical and deliberate. They ensure i's are dotted and t's are crossed. They don't make up arguments on the fly or pull alternate facts out of the air and expect others to believe them. These trustees are moving with all deliberate speed. They will stumble. They will not be as clear as they could be. And I believe they are endeavoring to do the right thing. 
In creating the new position of Chief Administrative Officer, they are giving themselves another option in using a turnaround specialist. The only problem I see with that configuration is that at a university, executive authority is vested in a president. The monstrosity, the Management Action Committee, created last year by the Board has been well documented by this humble venue. I hope the Board realizes the "unity of command" is critical especially during a crisis. This new crisis manager should report to the President who reports to the Board. Otherwise, why have a President. 
The final consideration for the absence of aggressive action is that there might be accreditation implications for a restructuring and the Board may have needed time to determine if the upheaval that should happen would further damage the university. This is similar to the financial exigency declaration that led to a sanction by the Higher Learning Commission. It was unfortunate that the university was willing to accept this sanction in order to protect senior administrator's jobs at the expense of everyone and everything else.
So when looking at anything at CSU, don't take things at face value. Situations, events and people  are never quite what they seem, which is something the new Board members will discover for themselves quickly.
The university community has been patient since the last time the Board made a significant leadership decision. Patience must be be paired with action in order for confidence to be made high. Let's all be patient until it's time not to be.

7 comments:

  1. As a member of the larger community, I and many others, will not support CSU until the last of the former administration are officially dismissed from the university. Confidence will never be rebuilt as long as Cage, Henderson and Mitchell remain on the campus. Recruitment of students and funds to support a foundation, scholarships, etc., will be difficult to to increase until the remnants of the Watson administration have been removed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you think people in your community would respond to a concerted effort to reinstate Dr. Calhoun?

      Delete
  2. Dr. Calhoun reached out to a number of people. I had an opportunity to talk with him on a few occasions. I was very frank with him and told him that many saw him as a member of Watson's team. He was appalled and after further discussion, I honestly felt that he was at CSU for all the right reasons. I think he should be reinstated and given the opportunity to lead the university with full authority. I think people, in general, will see that as a positive first step! A search for an interim isn't necessary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your response. As you note, he was about as far away from Watson's cronies as it was possible to be. The vast majority of the university community agrees with your assessment.

      Delete
  3. Let's hope the BOT will agree too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Quite nice details from board meeting!! I really liked reading this post. This meeting would have been very beneficial for everyone. At some domestic meeting space San Francisco I also have to organize an annual business meeting. So if you have any professional tips then please share.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great content indeed.
    Very Useful post.
    Thanks for providing it
    โกเด้นสล็อต
    Great content indeed.
    Very Useful post.
    Thanks for providing it
    โกเด้นสล็อต

    ReplyDelete