The EBH team has just read the latest copy of Alumnus magazine, Fall 2009, which is put out by the UA Alumni Association. On page 16 is an article entitled, "A Season of Transitions: The Transformation Plan Falls into Place", by Ford Burkhart. In the article, Provost Meredith Hay is quoted as saying, "I think we've come together even closer as a family." Really, Dr Hay; we would suggest that perhaps your ever decreasing, small circle of cronies in the Provost's office has grown closer, but I don't think the rest of the UA community feels close to the administration or much like a family.
We have come to expect this kind of commentary from Hay, but the comments of Faculty Chair, Wanda Howell, are beyond the pale. Howell is supposed to represent the faculty, yet she appears to be firmly in the pocket of the administration. Further citing the Alumnus article who quotes Howell in reference to the transformation , "It's been a winning situation all the way across. We're doing great, and the reason is the whole process was bottom up. That let the faculty do what they do best: generate extraordinary ideas." One can't help but ask Dr. Howell: to which campus and on what planet are you referring? Because your comments have no basis in reality on the UA campus. Furthermore, Howell says that students have been unaware of the changes. Something tells us the students became aware when they walked into huge impersonal classes with no T.A.s, when their student loans were not processed, and when they couldn't get timely and accurate advising.
It has been noted in other postings that there is no consultation with this administration. We are simply informed of decisions from on high. Decisions that are frequently made without the input of those with expertise who are most aware of how those decisions will affect students, faculty, staff and programs. Many of us know the results of questioning a decision by President Shelton or Provost Hay. The questioner is demeaned, marginalized, demoted or fired. To have the Chairman of the Faculty state that the Transformation Plan was created from the ground up with faculty input is just insulting to our intelligence. It's time to tell Dr Howell that she needs to represent the interests of the faculty or we will elect a chairman who will.