Saturday, May 30, 2009

University Politics…

University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
Henry Kissinger
US (German-born) diplomat & scholar (1923 - )

Quote Details: Henry Kissinger: University politics are vicious... - The Quotations Page

I subscribe to a quote of the day via Google Reader and this one resonates with me deeply.

The institution I work for is breaching contract with a partner entity and shutting down our entire office. We serve ten thousand or so children, teachers, and parents across the country, providing them with real school improvement and a different way to teach and learn that focuses on the emotional as well as the intellectual.

Yet, that is not noble enough a reason to continue our program through 2010, as agreed upon in contract, but rather due to a whole slew of poor decisions, bad planning, and complete lack of will and effort on the part of some, our hard work comes to an end in 30 or so days.

Why? The program has been labeled as ‘not central to the college’s mission’ and that it would be fiscally ‘irresponsible’ to support such a program in these economic times.

And so we are cast into the breeze and free to flit about aimlessly, the collateral damage of recession, lack of vision, and poor planning.

What irks me is that this is clearly a financial decision. Solely a financial decision I would be willing to bet, particularly given that our office’s goal is to bring the liberal arts mentality into the K-12 school system, something that is directly aligned with the mission of a small liberal arts college.

And the reason for the quote, you ask? The politics and sideways glances surrounding this botched and butchered transition reek of closed door meetings, fear, and a focus on what has always been done, not what could and should be done in the future.


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