Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We've Been Looking for Wanda Howell to Represent the Faculty!

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.


  1. The faculty leadership has just announced a public forum. I hope those of us expressing concerns here will take the trouble to show up and bring our colleagues. Similar forums last year were very poorly attended -- we can't expect the faculty leadership to represent us if we don't tell them what we think.

    Here is the text of the email announcement:

    Open Faculty Forum with Faculty Governance Leadership: Kiva Auditorium, Student
    Union, Wednesday September 9, 1-3pm.

    Mike Cusanovich, Wanda Howell, Robert Mitchell, J.C. Mutchler and Lynn Nadel
    will answer any and all questions about current events at the UA, and how
    faculty governance is, and is not, playing an appropriate role.

    All Faculty Members are invited, indeed encouraged, to attend to voice their
    opinions and ask their questions in a frank and open setting. Members of the
    Central Administration and Deans will not be present.

  2. It would be my belief that Wanda DOES do a good job, as did Miranda Joseph last year.

    The fact is, unfortunately, that no matter WHAT faculty leaders say or do, the Provost simply does whatever she wants.

    The Provost simply has NO concept of shared governance or the value of consensus building.

    Hay's own inexperience in the job and her insecurities lead her to make decrees rather than take honest and thoughtful input and criticism from people who collectively have hundreds of years of experience in higher education and have dedicated their careers to this institution.

  3. Then why isn't she speaking up!