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2005-02-06 - 7:12 a.m.

On Friday I was starting to feel sick and I had to go to my crap meeting in the afternoon from 3-5PM. The male member of the power couple also had to attend because the other part of the department was putting forth a proposal for a new concentration in their program area in something called Le@dership Studies which will now be known as LS cause thatís a pain in the ass to type. Plus I donít anyone googling here and suspecting me of keeping this negative diary filled with smack talk about my less than great department head and her bull headed husband.
The presentation of this LS program didnít go well because of four things. The LS program is too similar to something they already have in place. There was no consulting with the management area about this program and the two are very similar in scope. The power couple provided no evidence that this program change was needed other than we think itís needed. The power couple also didnít bother to offer the two new courses first under the experimental course number to see if there was interest. I think the committee had valid reasons for not passing this thing. Power Couple was angry because he saw it as a pissing match with business. I mean it sort of is butÖÖsomeone made a great point that hey, if whatís the content of this program, where are the skills areas where the students can be leaders. Power Couple came back with that we need to study leadership in these trying times because some of our leaders suck. Not good enough reasoning. I am also not sure what a LS degree would get you. I know most schools that have one are of the Phoenix/online variety and the LS degree is used for people who have already been in a career and need the degree to continue their success. An LS degree for a traditional aged person doesnít sound like such a good idea.
One of the funniest moments of the discussion came when Power Couple tried to explain the difference between the leaders and managers. I think it was something along the lines of leadership isnít management and managers arenít leaders. Then he tried to use our last VP as an example of why this degree was needed. I donít think that was the way to go.
I talked about some of the concerns with Power Couple prior to the meeting. I tried to be as supportive as I could without looking like a dumb ass but it was difficult. I am all for people being leaders in functional areas. I think that this degree would be effective if it was combined with something else. Like the something in the health area or even in our area. The students could be leaders of something instead of those ineffectual managers that happen because they have a degree in something like management or leadership studies.
I do understand the need for people who have management skills or the skills that are needed to handle stressful situations with employees. I also know that to respect a manager the manager needs some practical experience in the area they are in charge of.
Its like, those who canít actually do something manage. If you canít do teach thing.
My ass is going to get reamed on Monday cause this thing has no chance of making it into the next catalog and thatís one of our departmental goals.
In retrospect I should have given a heads up to the Dean about this or been more proactive about trying to get this thing passed but I didnít think everyone on the committee would be so opposed. I also should have read their proposal more carefully. I offered to do the paperwork for them but they insisted on doing it themselves. I also have to wonder about the personal dynamics. I wonder if I had been one presenting if the committee would have been so against it. But I think if this were my proposal I would have put something together like our advertising minor. Equal parts of business and our area. Not the easiest thing from a faculty management standpoint but better from the content standpoint for students. Any suggestions that the students go out the department for any courses is frowned on by the Power Couple.
Now I have my own proposal which I need to redo to clarify some things.
Some background here, this committee is call the Anal Policies (oh yeah great google hit there) committee or for short letís call it AP. The purpose of AP is to make decisions about the content of the catalog thus new programs and any changes are under its jurisdiction. Itís considered the third most powerful committee on campus after the Senate and the RPDevelopment. Thatís why little old associate Prof Forver me is on the committee. It was also the luck of the draw because they needed someone who actually cared about curriculum and program development on that committee. When you get down to it thatís what catalog content is, right?
I find it extremely odd at times that this committee with itís 17 members from different disciplines gets to be judge and jury for what everyone wants for content in area their program area. I understand that some oversight is needed particularly in the area of general education (core liberal arts courses) but sometimes the committee delves into things Iím not sure we have business looking at. I have to remember its oversight and shared governance. I do think thatís a good thing most of the time.
Many people on this committee are anal and take delight in tearing things up for procedural details. One part of me is happy we have these people because they are detail oriented and Iím not. They are the folks who keep order and prevent chaos from reigning in the academic lives of our students. For the most part I would say everyone on the committee is usually supportive and their concern for students in genuine. Some are a bit territorial but thatís to be expected because of the recent turf wars and budget problems.
I have learned many things from being on this committee. I may not like it but itís good for me to be a part of it.
I have now successfully spent twenty minutes avoiding my revision. Arg, I need more cold medicine and something to keep the damn plague dog occupied. Sheís driving me nuts.

 

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