We are going to put some stuff on the line here.
Is there a problem with shared governance at Missouri Southern State University? We think so. Surveys undertaken by the university indicate as much.
But Boo Boo is back. In the next few days, Dr. Jack Oakes and Cheryl Dobson will wow the Board of Governors with a positive spin on that survey. They are on the Board of Governors’ retreat agenda. We know the truth. The Chart covered it and we can read numbers.
A faculty satisfaction survey by the Faculty Senate is under siege by an administration hell bent on squashing it. That is the prevailing policy of this “team.” Destroy dissent.
If people ask questions, threaten them. This is what we hear is happening in at least two departments.
If students don’t like their decisions, administrators blame their teachers for misguiding them and threaten to remove those educators. This is what we hear is happening in at least three departments.
There should be a good and vigorous debate about tenure. Bring it on. But don’t give tenure to people the appropriate committees deem unqualified and then threaten to deny it to those who won’t play ball. Dissent isn’t being disloyal. It is asking questions.
Here is the straight dope. We are a consortium of faculty, staff, students and alumni who care a great deal about Missouri Southern. Stop trying to assign our writings to a single source or even a few. We are legion. And we believe that an environment where questions are asked and answered and all parties engage in effective debate is the cornerstone of higher education.
But, this weekend, you will likely hear that students come first. They should. And maybe these folks feel they do. But maybe they only hold that maxim until the students disagree or show opposition. Then the administration might go after their teachers, or threaten them. We hear stories like that every day.
We only hope the brave reporters at The Joplin Globe and The Chart re-engage their critical thinking. Otherwise, no one will know.