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Openness and Transparency at the U - Graduate School Disbands?

Ah, yes, after much discussion an important decision has been made by OurCEO and his band of brothers. It is telling that such moves have lately been made with no community discussion or, apparently, input from those directly affected.

From the Daily:

The University of Minnesota will be restructuring the Graduate School, changing it from a “free-standing� administration to part of the Provost’s Office, effective fall 2010, the University announced Monday.

Senior Vice Provost Tom Sullivan said in a University press release that the change will reduce costs and strengthen graduate education and programs.

A committee, which will include college deans, experienced directors of graduate studies, graduates students, faculty and the Provost’s Office will help decide how to implement the transition. They are scheduled to have a plan ready by April 10.

However, there is indication the change came as a shock to Graduate School faculty, Council of Graduate Students President Geoff Hart said.

“It’s a pretty big bomb,�

he said. “The gist of what I have been hearing is that a lot of the big higher ups in the Graduate School themselves didn’t even know this was happening.�

The Provost's Office will need to determine exactly which positions fit where, University spokesman Dan Wolter said in an e-mail.

COGS President Hart is planning to organize an emergency meeting for Tuesday night so students can discuss the ramifications of the change.

“That is, on the grand scheme of things, is probably as a big of an earthquake as you could have for the Graduate School because they are not going to be there anymore and everyone is kind of having to do their own thing,� Hart said.

Some comments have already been made on the Daily's website:

Of course this leaves the former graduate school operations to the tender mercies of the provost - you know the one who has ambitious aspirations to be one of the top three public research universities in the world.

How's that working out?

Sullivan's Power Grab

Grabbing more power. Students will be left in the lurch, no money is going to be saved by this. Where was the transparent decision-making as the deans, provost, and president sat in a back, smoke-filled room diving the spoils of a college they didn't want. You think they would have learned something when closing the general college. Guess not. This shouldn't happen. Think it's confusing now as a grad student, just wait until this is done.

More empire building ...

Sullivan continues to astound both with his transparent empire building/power grabs and with his outrageously limited and linear view (a lawyer's view, perhaps) of university mission and structure. This "reorganization" translates to the elimination of the University's century-old freestanding Graduate School.

I've heard from a number of people that the new Sullivan fiat to close the Grad School came as a shocker to the GS dean and staff. It's appalling.

big mistake

I'm an administrator in the Graduate School of another flagship public university. This is a pretty stupid move by the Provost at Minnesota. And not an original one. Often a provost wanting to make a splash will do this kind of thing, pretending that the individual colleges can perform these functions more rationally and efficiently. It's just not true, though, and a lot of the places that eliminate the Graduate School rebuild it in the years after because the essential functions of the Graduate School just can't be done more effectively elsewhere. It's usually not a power move just by the provost, though--the other deans are usually in cahoots, thinking they can use redistributed money for faculty and research. The students really get screwed by this kind of "restructuring."

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