Chancellor Bruce Leslie’s increasingly poor decisions over the last year have put him in a position where he has lost the trust of faculty, staff, students, other administrators, community members and the Board of Trustees. He has no one to blame but himself and yet that hasn’t stopped him from blaming, well…pretty much everyone else. (See The Ranger article, “Chancellor to address communication problem: A lack of communication may stem from college presidents, Leslie says.“)
Our colleagues from PAC AAUP agreed to let us share their response to The Ranger article and Leslie’s Wednesday morning missive on “Participatory Leadership.” Here we go:
Interesting article in the Ranger. First of all, why has it taken this long to realize and acknowledge that there is a communication problem (6 years plus)? Why is the blame pushed off to yet another group?Do not worry about these questions just yet. For now, let’s welcome the newest culprit into the CIRCLE OF BLAME.The College Presidents!We must now pin them to WIG #2 Scorecard – Blame Someone Else 1x Week (topic: Removal of Majors)Previous Culprits:-SACSOC (“they are requiring us to…”)-THECB (“they changed the rules and we must adjust…”)-Other Colleges (“they’re all moving in the same direction”)-Texas Legislature (“Legislature has not required universities….”)-Employers (“they don’t really look at the major on the transcript, only the skills acquired…”)-Universities (“they are inconsistent in their requirements…”)-Faculty (“they are old farts”)-Students (“they just don’t understand…”)Please help me welcome the newest culprits to all-that-goes-wrong at the Alamo Colleges:The PresidentsFrom the Ranger on the topic of poor communication: “Leslie said there is an ‘expectation that presidents and vice presidents will communicate with faculty,’ based on the information they receive in meetings with Leslie and the vice chancellors.”In all fairness to our Presidents, you really can’t blame them for misunderstanding the communication that comes down from District. For example, today’s email from the Chancellor on Participatory Leadership has this wonderful insight on human behavior that is well recognized by all psychologist, philosophers and neuroscientists:“With people, slow is fast and fast is slow.” (from Covey’s The Speed of Trust)What does this mean anyway? What could a President possibly think this means?By the way, the last time I saw a phrase like this one (“slow is fast and fast is slow”) was in high school. Do you remember?“War is Peace” “Freedom is Slavery”These contradictory statements are called doublethink.“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”Groupthink is when you swallow the Kool Aid and don’t want to share it with anyone outside of your small group but you want to tell everyone that it is delicious! (Anonymous)While I’m at it, here’s another wonderful George Orwell quote:
Additionally, what is “participatory leadership?” There is a little something called SHARED GOVERNANCE that Bruce Leslie has paid a lot of lip service to but has never really engaged in. So instead of “shared governance” we’ll now be following his plan for “participatory leadership?” Sounds like he’s reinventing a wheel into a square.
And speaking of squares, we’ll just end this post with another quote – for Bruce: