To the Editor:
Is the SIUC chancellor attempting to ultimately achieve what could better be achieved by eliminating underproductive and unneeded departments? Why not bite bullets, implement the inevitable, dismiss faculty and move on?
What is a manageable span of control for academic personnel, especially as more are part-time adjuncts? Can a small number of deans be expected to lead faculty of programs they do not understand? Better that advanced professors (i.e. chairs) help faculty prepare course materials, respond to evaluations, and otherwise improve instruction and student contacts; prepare grant proposals, establish and manage accounts, and prepare articles and conference presentations; and lend a friendly ear when needed.
Who will do what active chairs do routinely? Prepare course schedules, new course proposals, catalog copy, and such? Prepare requisitions for facilities improvements, equipment, supplies, and the like? Work with recruiters to correspond and meet with potential students and parents? Orient incoming students to department specialties, expectations, services, facilities, procedures, etc.? Evaluate transfer credits and select remaining courses? Supervise support staff, interview and hire replacements, and orient them? Conduct inventory checks? Check transcripts against requirements and approve graduation checks? And more?
Where may we see comparable institutions which excel without chairs and deans who know their beans?