How decisions are made

The last two weeks certainly have been some of my most discouraging days as a faculty member at UF. Part of that is due to the economy’s impact on UF and our College. But there’s much more to it — the process by which decisions are being made.

I had been moderately hopeful that through the College Faculty Senate, we’d be able to work with the Dean regarding the budget cut proposals he would submit to the Provosst.

I was involved in three different meetings with him after he announced his plans for cuts — College Faculty Senate, Senate Task Force on Budget Cuts, and a meeting of two of us from the Senate with the Dean.

His initial list was to lay off seven faculty members before sending back a retiring faculty member’s line (and that wouldn’t affect his retirement) and two vacant faculty lines. In each of those meetings we urged the Dean to send back the two vacant faculty positions and the retiring faculty member’s position before laying off any faculty members. We were, I thought, reasoned and persuasive.

He defended his position in the first meeting…and the second meeting…and the third meeting. And the list remained unchanged. He sent his list to the provost.

Certainly a telling comment about the future of “shared governance” in our college.

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