Retrenchment, Day 13

Today is startup day at Bemidji State University and day 13 of my Retrenchment Odyssey. 268 days until my position is eliminated. I'm going to avoid the President's kick-off breakfast meeting and the Provost's academic affairs update, which will free up my entire morning. In the afternoon, I will be attending the Deans' reorganization meeting. So I'll see a lot of colleagues and I'll hear how the university might be altered in a way that makes it more sustainable. The Dean's hope, which she expressed to me at breakfast a few days ago, is that these changes might save retrenched jobs like mine. I appreciate the sentiment, although I'm skeptical that a turnaround could happen that rapidly. Even so, I'm looking forward to hearing more about the plan and to seeing other faculty (the ones who will be around to implement it or not) react to it.

I do think it's significant and worth mentioning that the plan for this reorganization was apparently developed almost entirely by the three Deans. I haven't heard that there was really any collaboration or support or sharing of the work on this, by the executive-level administration. Or, now that I'm mentioning it, from the faculty union. It certainly seems to me that the administration above the Dean level, which costs BSU over $3 million annually, is a bit behind the curve on suggesting positive changes in addition to retrenching faculty. And the union is always talking about shared governance. I think it means a bit more than veto power.

In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing what the Deans have come up with and I hope it's good and that people get behind it. We need changes, that's obvious. I'll let you know what I find out.

Link to YouTube: