We don't need no stinking Graduate School...
Er, hold that thought.
In a stunning display of the lack of consultation for which this administration will long be remembered, the CEO and the Provost at the U of M made an abortive attempt at dissolving the graduate school by executive fiat. They are still picking porcupine quills out of their posteriors on this one. First a stacked committee was appointed to vet the decision but even that group showed a collective display of backbone that must be an embarrassment to the masters of Morrill Hall. The president was left with the choice of going along with the Provost's original plan and almost certainly going down in flames or cutting the Graduate School baby in half. He chose the latter.
For an institution with supposed aspirations of being one of the third best yadda, yadda, this whole episode leaves one wondering whether it isn't time for President Bruininks to step aside this year so that a successor can be found. The Regents are prepared for the job of replacing him. The new person could come aboard with a year to get the Good Ship Gopher set for the trip over Minnehaha Falls in 2012.
In the mean time President Bruininks could try to stay out of trouble, bask in the glory of the House That Bob Built, and devote himself to straightening out the EFS mess.
University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks announced his decision Friday on the restructuring of graduate education. The Graduate School will retain its current name and reporting line to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the president's report states. This differs from the University's announcement in February, which said the school would disband and reorganize into an Office of Graduate Education.
Graduate and Professional Student Assembly President Kristi Kremers , who was also a member of the Committee on Graduate Education -- the group charged with making implementation recommendations in February, said the decision is a "step in the right direction."
She said she's glad President Bruininks agreed with most of the recommendations and is allowing more time for decisions to be made.
"It's definitely an area where you can't make swift changes and expect great results," Kremers said.
COGS President Mandy Stahre said she was also thankful the president supported most of the committee's recommendations but had questions unanswered and was concerned with the level of communication between the University and its faculty, staff and students.
"There's still a lot of questions about how a lot of this is going to be implemented," she said. "And I still have questions about how is this going to improve graduate education."