Friday, June 26, 2009

Divide and conquer

Here at Vision 1920, we've always known that we could count on some of the faculty to know who is really in charge. This was circulated at the end of last week, but although it's described as an "open letter", Vision 1920 only got a copy this afternoon.
Date: June 19, 2009
To: Open Letter to the Faculty Senate
From: E. Fry, Head, Department of Physics
R. Juzaitis, Head, Department of Nuclear Engineering
M. Pishko, Head Department of Chemical Engineering
D. Russell, Head, Department of Chemistry
M. Scully, Director, Institute for Quantum Studies
Re: Common sense

Conservatively speaking TAMU is experiencing difficult times; however, there are reasons to believe that proper handling of these issues can lead to a stronger, more resilient administration/faculty working relationship. The Chancellor, BOR, students, former students, friends and faculty all aspire to similar goals, specifically quality education, preeminence in research, and an environment that fosters a high quality of life for all members of the “AGGIE family.” Such aspiration cannot be realized from combative, antagonistic dialogue between the administration, students, and faculty. We feel that the appointment of Dr. Loftin as interim President constitutes a good first step by the administration toward reconciliations with the faculty. He has a strong academic background, e.g., was an Aggie undergrad, Rice Ph.D., a successful research career and an exceptional track record as Galveston President.

Having the members of the Board of Regents take us into their confidence to explain why the previous search committee’s input was not satisfactory to them is encouraging. They care deeply about what we think and how we can work together. They also care deeply about the university, about its standards of excellence, its traditions, its students and its former students. Improved communications would enhance interaction and result in a more timely exchange of information. The recent meeting of the Chancellor with the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate is another positive step forward. We thank the Chancellor for sharing his thoughts with us and encourage a continuation of such positive actions toward defining and resolving problems. We should put an end to counterproductive activities, and focus on solutions rather than problems. For example, the suggestion of faculty representation on the BOR is a positive suggestion.

We also note that Chancellor McKinney has been an excellent friend to the University in many ways, not the least of which is his support for our efforts to both attract and retain exceptional faculty. He will be an even stronger advocate if we work with him and forgo this current indulgence of bitterness and acrimony. In the interest of common sense, let’s turn our attention as a faculty to the things that we do best to enhance the stature and standing of this great University. Namely let’s focus on our own research and teaching and let the present situation evolve in a sensible and constructive fashion.

Finally, we recommend following a suggestion from our colleague John Junkins that has been made to the faculty senate concerning a possible committee formed to advise the Board of Regents, the chancellor, and the university administration at their pleasure.
Vision 1920 applauds Fry, Juziatis, Pishko, Russell, and Scully for volunteering for a Committee to Pleasure the Administration.

No comments:

Post a Comment