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February 10, 2020


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Tamara Piety

Much the same thing is happening at University of Tulsa. It has a very Orwellian cast where we are urged not to "resist change" even when that change is manifestly absurd, unworkable, and is not supported by the evidence. It is baffling how university presidents, people who ought to have some idea of how bankrupt this is, seem to have an endless appetite for consultants of every sort and for these sorts of "pep rallies." They fail miserably when not seen as genuine or truthful, which they will not be if you attempt to tell the very people who are protesting a plan that the plan is "theirs," that is was the very epitome of shared governance. When 161 people out of about 350 or so, vote no confidence in the provost, that is some indication that your plan lacks buy-in and cannot be called shared governance at its finest. Daniel Markovitz did a great piece in The Atlantic called "How McKinsey Destroyed the Middle Class" that identifies some of the pathology of that culture. The Disneyfication of the university is an example of that pathology. Highly recommended reading. It is distressing because these are some people with some of the most sterling credentials, yet they do not themselves seem to understand the value of the academic enterprise.

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