Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Firings, dismissals, demotions

Just Cause for Dismissal? The 5/20 e-mails: Provost Hay – VP Garcia – President Shelton
What does it mean to be "direct"?
Shelton said "Let me be direct. The wording and tone of your email to Provost Hay will not be tolerated." You’re fired.
"With this email I am formally asking for your resignation from your administrative position."
What did he mean by saying, "That kind of wording and tone in an email will not be tolerated"?
What kind of wording and tone did he want?
It looks like he meant, "I will not tolerate wording and tone that are not respectful and polite."
Respectful and polite like the wording and tone of Meredith Hay’s email?
There the wording is at least superficially respectful and hypocritically polite. Calculated to look good, while ruthlessly eliminating an obstacle. Because the content of her email, and her real message is "Get out of my way, I'm taking over. My office is taking over the responsibilities you were entrusted with, so get out of my way." (For Hay's exact wording and tone, see the 5/20 e-mail exchange leaked to the press by Shelton’s office)
By contrast, Juan Garcia’s e-mail, like Shelton’s, really is direct: "I will not acquiesce to a decision that once again has excluded me from the process. At the very least I should have been consulted on a decision that will profoundly affect and infringe on my main area of responsibility."
Now that's direct. But is it just cause for summary dismissal?

[originally posted 8/23/09]


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. President Shelton may have big issues to manage, but why did he choose to resort to public humiliation when dealing with Vice President García?
    What kind of University President behaves like that? What kind of judgment does it demonstrate? What kind of model does it set? What kind of message does it send? To our University, and to our Community?

  3. I am outraged by the firing and treatment of V.P. Garcia. It was unfounded and disgraceful.
    What kind of dictatorship has the U of A become?
    I will not allow my three children to attend the U of A (as my husband and I both did) as long as President Shelton and Provost Hay are employed in any capacity.

  4. The message to the university community is both revealing and chilling: One needs to be civil only when communicating UP the chain of command. If faculty and staff took this message to heart the results would be devastating: The university's largest and most diverse freshman class would also be the most abused.

  5. Robert Shelton came here and generated all of the good will in the world. We are watching this evaporate as Meredith Hay is allowed to move any which way she desires, labeling faculty and administrators liars who disagree with her way of viewing the world or of compiling financial information. I know of no one who supports or respects her beyond President Shelton. Did last year's vote of no confidence walk out of the room??

  6. In response to the last comment: Robert Shelton may have generated good will at the beginning of his tenure as UA President, but he hired Meredith and she is carrying out his agenda. You're right that there isn't a person on this campus that respects Meredith Hay, but getting rid of Meredith will not end the deterioration of this university. Robert will simply hire another Meredith to be his hatchet person. It is his vision for the UA that is so destructive. They both need to be removed.

  7. The "tell" from this particular form of behavior from an executive is definitve: Failed Leadership.

    It is not a good idea to broadcast this to the people you are entrusted to lead.

  8. Abusive? That's polite. If I yelled at people and clearly and intentionally tried to intimidate them, I'd be summarily fired.

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  10. The email exchange is so painfully obvious, and right from the horses' mouthes! Just because Hay uses "diplomatic" language doesn't mean the message isn't clear: "You are going to do what I say. I have no regard for your opinion. I don't respect you." Then Shelton backs it up with a clear "You are nobody." They are playground bullies!

  11. There are a lot of bullies at the U. of A. Why single out Shelton & Hay?

  12. Why single out Shelton & Hay? Well, because they happen to be the President and the Provost. And bullying is not part of their job description.
    That's not an opinion, that's the law; see the passage from the UHAP Manual cited in the "Welcome" post.

  13. Administrators serve at the pleasure of the President, just as chairs serve at the pleasure of the Dean. Firing people at that level is not illegal or against faculty governance. Many posters here don't seem to understand what faculty governance means. It does not apply to administrators being fired. They did not lose their faculty positions, just admin positions.

  14. “JUST” admin positions. Vice President for Instruction is “just” an admin position. And the two deans had “just” an admin position. ( “Hi honey, what happened at work today” – “Oh, nothing, I was fired from my job as Vice President. But it’s OK, it was just an admin position.)
    (For discussion of who those two deans were, refer to the Wildcat coverage).
    As for “serving at the pleasure” of the President... How cavalier (again), and quaint, and archaic, to “serve at the pleasure” of your feudal lord. Which means the president and the provost Serve at the Pleasure of the Regents, doesn’t it. You truly believe that faculty input and public opinion –this is a State university, funded by the people of Arizona— has nothing to do with it? We shall see.
    Second point: It is true (as you say) that firing administrators is not against faculty governance. What IS against faculty governance – this is the point made so eloquently by J.F. in her (or his) post “No Robert, No Meredith, That’s Not the Way it’s Done”— is transformation of the teaching mission of this university by the administration without –or rather against— faculty input.

  15. Read Juan Garcia's white paper.

  16. Look at Graduate Admissions here at the UA for abuse of power. The staff is filled with fear and of course, there is no leadership.Raises given to certain people at home parties is just naming one corrupt action! The supervisors lie and threaten staff into submission. Thi!nk audit

  17. Post a link to Juan Garcia's white paper.