AAUP-LUC Provost Discussion Points -Please Comment

AAUP-LUC Discussion Points about Provost consolidation decision

    • Governance: the decision to create one single Provost – the administrative leadership position which most directly impacts faculty, research, and students – was apparently made and without any input from the faculty, much less through consultation with any representative body that could present the concerns of faculty and students.  We worry that this decision fits with a broader pattern of unilateral decision-making.  Accepting this decision might indicate that faculty and students are comfortable with future unilateral decisions that could deeply shape the nature of our institution
    • Resource-allocation: Loyola’s different institutions need different types of resources, and make different types of contributions to the institution.  We worry that having one single Provost might overly centralized decision-making about which parts of the institution are deserving of which types or resources, and might lead to using criteria are valid for one part of the institution – for instance, bringing in research grants or partnering with private enterprise – to assess the “value” of other parts of the institution.  We worry that if narrow and monetarily-driven criteria are used to allocate value and distribute resources, the humanities and social sciences, and the CAS more broadly, might suffer deeply
    • An institutional shift towards pre-professionalization:  the Health Sciences Division and the University, including the College of Arts and Sciences, share the goal of educating Loyola’s students so that they can make positive contributions to our common national and global communities.  They, of course, do this with different types of emphases, and encourage the development of different sets of intellectual skills. We worry that a single Provost might further a tendency to view the mission of the University, and the College of Arts and Sciences in particular, through a lens that emphasizes pre-professional skills at the expense of the goal of encouraging life-long critical thinkers and learners.
    • Impact on undergraduate teaching: while the Health Sciences Division and the University are both committed to educating students, they pursue this mission very differently and serve different types of students. If, as is now possible, the future Provost is someone with a medical or nursing background, who might have little or no direct experience in teaching undergraduates, we worry about how well this person will be able to assess, reward, and shape the teaching of undergraduates, which might negatively effect the College of Arts and Sciences
    • Internal resource allocation: while creating one single Provost might seem like a cost-savings measure, we worry about what sort of administrative infrastructure this position might require.  Overseeing such a large and diverse set of institutions might require the creation of a large administrative infrastructure of Assistant Provosts and other second-tier administrators.  We worry that this might, in fact, lead to the needless and costly allocation of the institution’s resources away from teaching and research and towards the expansion of an administrative bureaucracy
    • Mission: Loyola’s stated mission is to “expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice and faith.” Loyola’s mission also promises a commitment to promoting justice and encouraging values-based leadership. This decision threatens to restrict the mission a more narrow focus on pre-professional training, and seems indicative of an internal leadership style that does not prioritize a collective discussion about the institution’s values.​
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