Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vote of no confidence coming up!

As you have all probably heard, at the latest IUN Faculty Organization meeting the faculty voted to place a motion calling for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor's leadership on the agenda for November meeting. We hope to use this blog to allow interested parties to discuss this issue and hopefully come better equipped with facts to our next meeting. Tell us what you think. What are the possible benefits and what consequences would this motion bring forward?

Click on the title above to view comments. Click on the "comments" to add your own comment (anonymously if you wish).

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please elaborate on the reasons for this vote - what exactly has the chancellor done or not done?

hopefully come better equipped with facts to our next meeting

Anonymous said...

For starters, I think the fact that we have lost another VCAA indicates that this chancellor is unable to share power or even lead his team at the top. The lack of consistent academic leadership has set the school back significantly. The professoriat has a reputation in the system as being contentious, yet a reliance on interim VCAAs and the quick exit of those we have had are not because of protest from the teachers but from lack of support at the top.

Anonymous said...

I have supported the Chancellor's initiatives for nine years, even in the face of withering criticism from more senior faculty members.

I lost confidence in the Chancellor's judgement when he chose to leave for his vacation the day that Dr. Hass-Birky died. A leader who truly cares about his organization would have made the decision to postpone his trip to care for the people under his leadership.

Instead, he left the campus under the leadership of Dr. Aggrey, who did a spectacular job guiding us all through the grieving process. Six weeks later, the only real leader in our administration has resigned due to an inability to work with the Chancellor, who has run through how many VCAA's in his nine years? How can we continue to be confident in his leadership?

Anonymous said...

Although the chancellor has insisted that we have more faculty now than we had earlier, this is not the case, unless you count visiting appointments and replacement of tenure-track lines with lecturer positions. COAS, in particular, has lost positions as faculty retired. We are losing our status as a quality academic institution, based on a strong liberal arts education, and beocming geared to provide university-level vocational/professional programs.

Anonymous said...

Any "no confidence" motion needs to include the grounds for that motion (see the US Declaration of Independence for a brilliant example of this). It might be useful for someone to post a draft motion here.

Anonymous said...

What's the objective of the "no confidence" motion? Do we expect the Bloomington administration to do something as a result? Do we expect Bruce to resign immediately?

Anonymous said...

Because he has failed to keep a permanent Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs during his entire tenure here
Because he has maintained a pattern of engaging expensive and extravagant outside consultants who have produced little good work while the fiscal state of the university has eroded
Because he has raised little money
Because he has consistently undercut the notion of faculty governance publicly and privately
Because when the campus needed communication, his voice was often silent, as for instance almost two weeks into the most recent flood
Because he has constantly and pointlessly shuffled the structure of the admnistration, for example the shape and size of the cabinet, at times delaying decisions and putting up obstacles to efficient running of the university
Because he has set up cumbersome and protracted hiring policies which have pushed academic hiring into the end of the spring semesters, often into the summer
Because he has undercut the morale of the teachers and staff of the university through inconsistent decision making. For example, last spring the charge of the Strategic Planning Team was cut 60 % with little word, and in the past month has been cancelled altogether.
Because he has exacted capricious decisions upon the teaching function of the university, such as cancelling developmental courses with little advanced word; math courses were cancelled at the end of semester even once they were printed inthe bulletin
Because he cancelled two year degree programs and medical technology even though these were supported by the faculty and were self-supporting
Because he applied academic decisions arbitrarily, such as tying new Arts and Sciences appointments to revising the Gen. Ed. standards, even though this was never discussed previously
Because he attempted to divide the faculty by favoring certain divisions and departments, such as granting raises out of proportion to the Fine Arts Department
Because he insisted upon putting in place assessment for the faculty, such as the reasigned course for research policy, while avoiding any assessment for administration, no dean or vice chancellor of which has been evaluated in the last five years
Because recent admininstrative hires were made without the requisite searches
Because although we have heard “I take full responsibility” frequently, we have come to learn that this means nothing
Because he has consistently set the university time-consuming tasks, such as writing the Vision and identifying areas of foci that have yielded little tangible result
Because belt-tightening and meager raises are unevenly exacted upon staff and teachers, with proportionally less sacrifice among administraton

Anonymous said...

gee the poor faculty's morale is low. want to boost it? look at your paychecks and the hours you're required to be on campus ... then stfu and stop your whining ...

Anonymous said...

I was about to post a whine, but following my colleague's advice, I went first to look at my paycheck. I'm not sure, though, what I was supposed to conclude: is it merely the fact that I have one? I also added up the hours I'm required to be on campus, carefully excluding the hours I'm on campus when, strictly speaking, I'm not required to be there, and the hours when I'm working off-campus, because they're clearly of no relevance. So again. I'm not sure what to conlcude. I should just generally stfu because the terms and conditions of my employment obviously and implicitly include silent compliance with whatever goes on?

Anonymous said...

I think I could "overlook" some of the problems as being a clash of personalities etc if I saw some real results in other areas such as raising funds for infrastructure improvements (the sculpture garden is pretty but it doesn't seem to benefit students in the way that new desks on the 4th floor of Hawthorne might). The President of my previous university hustled for money 24/7 and the campus benefited from his efforts. Sadly Bruce has shown no leadership in even this simple arena.

Anonymous said...

The major problem facing the campus when Dr. Bergland came here was a declining student body. That affected everything: fewer students means that the number of courses that carry decline, which tends to limit our offerings (and to make the faculty lives insecure, as one never knows if what you have prepared for will carry). Dr. Bergland evidently did not consider this as a problem, as at various occasions he said he did not care if we became a much smaller institution. Until quite recently, he did little or nothing to recruit students, but by ending the associates degrees when few other comparabler institutions were doing so, he inevitably limited our enrollments, and in doing so contributed to the original problem that he should have been trying to solve.

Moreover, he has diverted resources away from academia to create a large (and expensive) administrative apparatus which has not evidently improved things having to do with academia.

Chancellor Bergland has shown contempt for the faculty in a number of ways, not the least of which is his inability and unwillingness to retain a Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs: the person who is the chief academic officer on the campus. In 9 years time, we have had no more than 3 of them with this position functioning. He has stated that he had no respect for the Faculty Organization, and this year has proven it by refusing to attend virtually all of our meetings.

Chancellor Bergland has frequently been asked to show the faculty what he is doing with the campus resources, to show what per cent has gone to faculty and what to administration, but he has refused to do so.

Just the very fact that all these comments are anonymous indcates that there is a sense of fear of what retribution he might take for the faculty raising these issues.

Anonymous said...

There are those in this faculty who have been hoping their entire careers to be able to “push the nuke button” and have a vote of no confidence. Now that they are old and tired they can’t stand the thought of ending their careers without the chance. Problem is, the nuclear fallout will affect us all. This Chancellor only has a year and a half left—the only thing this vote of no confidence will accomplish is to let the public and Bloomington know that we are undisciplined, whiny, arrogant dipshits. If this vote is successful, we will never, ever be able to attract an administrator (let alone a leader) of quality to this campus again. Somehow people think this VCAA was sent from above—the truth is he is an indecisive, visionless coward who has a string of failed, short term administrative appointments under his belt. Many faculty on this campus would have us believe we need to go back to some idyllic time when students sat around with their professors reading poetry and thinking great thoughts. Well—news flash! That time never existed here and even if it had, it doesn’t now. People come here to get an education so they can GET A JOB! If faculty would spend less time whining about the “good old days” and more time doing their jobs we would all be better off. And yes, I agree with the earlier writer—people need to get off their dead 2-day-a-week asses, do some real work for a change, and STFU!

Anonymous said...

Does one have to be a ivory tower idealist to think that stfu sinks below the level of discourse one should expect in an exchange at a university?

Anonymous said...

For the person who declared that our current VCAA is "an indecisive, visionless coward", I can only conclude that you have been on vacation for the last two months. You clearly haven't been around IU Northwest during that time.

That "coward" as you call him, led our campus with compassion, courage, and integrity through the tragic loss of key campus personnel and a natural disaster that closed campus for two weeks.

I can only conclude from your use of the word "visionless" that you are clinging to the hope that IU Northwest's Shared Vision will continue to move forward. I used to cling to that also, but it is clear that any hope of a "Shared" Vision under this Chancellor has long since died.

And I freely and unashamedly admit that, as an untenured faculty member, I live in fear of how my comments would be taken and what the repercussions could be, which is EXACTLY why I am posting anonymously.

Anonymous said...

First, I will not post anonymously.
This discussion saddens and sickens me. So this is what we have come to. In the 24 years I have been at IU Northwest, this is the lowest point to which I have seen us sink. Let’s face it—IU Northwest is known for drama, but this goes way beyond that. Everyone knows I worked for the Chancellor directly for 2 years in my role as Faculty Assistant to the Chancellor (a role created at the request of faculty). In that time I have seen a lot and learned a lot. Has this Chancellor been perfect? No. Has he gone out of his way to engage faculty in the process of decision making and setting the course for the future? Yes. Why must this negativity and hostility continue? What have been the unforgiveable sins? Many of us go about our day to day professional lives hoping that the long hours and stress will make a difference. Then, we go to a Faculty Org meeting and find that our hard work is viewed as an “imposition” by others. A year ago, a task force of faculty and staff from all over campus sat around a table and decided collectively that the College of Health and Human Services was a good thing for the campus—that it could help us define our niche. Now, all I hear is complaining about others not “getting their billboard.” Why can’t we all understand that we cannot be all things to all people? Why is it that we demand accountability for the Chancellor but refuse to accept it for ourselves? I don’t get it. I won’t even try to defend the things that I see as the good the Chancellor has done because I know my words and thoughts will be belittled. I do applaud the VCAA for helping us get through Robin’s death but, unfortunately, being able to attend to the details of a short term crisis is not enough for an Academic Vice Chancellor. That job requires setting goals and working with faculty through their deans to accomplish those goals. Being VCAA is not a popularity contest—sometimes it requires making hard, unpopular decisions and working to help people understand their necessity. I have provided more service to this campus than I care to recount, but lately everywhere I go I am faced with negativity, anger, hostility, and hypocrisy. Way back when, I had a real job in the real word—I was a critical care nurse. There I learned that it was the silent victories that mattered, not the imagined heroics of people who thought only of their own self interests. We are rapidly becoming irrelevant to our community. I agree with the writer who said that we will have very little chance in the future of attracting any kind of quality leadership to this campus. Who in their right mind would risk their career to come to IU Northwest? Regardless of what is said, the reputation of the faculty here is well known and it is not a well kept secret that it is difficult if not impossible to succeed as an administrator at IU Northwest. If a vote of no confidence is allowed to succeed we will seal our own fates as pompous, irrational failures. I only hope that there are enough thinking, rationale people to consider the future implications of this action. Think our enrollments are down now? Wait!

Anonymous said...

I posted the last comment--it would not allow me to enter my name. I do not wish to remain anonymous--Linda Delunas

Anonymous said...

Linda, do you not see how your comments would seem negative and hostile to someone who sees things otherwise than you do? Is it inevitable that dissatisfaction with the chancellor is unthinking and irrational? Many people in the university are working hard at many things, and for many reasons think that their work is not properly valued or supported, and it seems unfair to suppose that they are pursuing merely self-serving ends while you have only the interests of the university, like those of a sick patient, at heart.

Anonymous said...

Excuse the language, but Mr. Bergland has been an a** for years. Many faculty have openly stated that they are job searching or are contemplating it. The morale around these parts has never been lower. I say that we run this guy out of town at the first opportunity!

Anonymous said...

We HAVE to take a stand here!! BY doing something.....anything, someone down in Bloomington will notice, and that matters enough. If we sit on our hands like a bunch of freakin' pansies, we deserve this guy to be in charge forever.

Anonymous said...

You know, the students do not even know this Chancellor (where does he hide anyhow?), he does not care about the smaller academic programs, and he really dropped the ball by not being a "leader" earlier this fall. Oh, and another 1000 reasons can be listed here why this guy deserves to be canned.....I have worked at other universities, and while no leader is perfect, this guy has been a spectacular failure.

Don Coffin said...

Look, we can be as upset as we want to be about Bruce's leadership, or lack thereof. A lot of things have gone wrong, and a lot of those have been a failure of leadership, and not exclusively Bruce's leadership.

My questions are these: So we have a motion of "no confidence." We pass it. (1) To whom is that motion addressed? My presumptive answer is McRobbie, so correct me if that is wrong. (2) What do we want as a consequence of passing such a motion? I've thought a lot about this since the prospect emerged, and I still can't quite figure out what the answer is. (3) Are their any unintended consequences? I agree with Linda that it's possible that this will send a negative signal to potential chancellor/VCAA candidates, and I worry about that. I worry about the signal it might send downstate.

I worry about the next year-and-a-half with no changes in leadership, too.

Don Coffin

Iztok said...

The reason I made up this blog is to allow people to vent their frustrations on both sides of this issue. This issue came up at the last Faculty Org meeting and there is no avoiding it now. Hopefully by the time we have our next meeting in November we will have vented enough to have a constructive resolution and act calmly in the best interest of the campus. We should carefully examine possible outcomes and decide what is the best course of action for our campus future! What do we hope to accomplish? Kwesi mentioned at the last meeting that the problem is also structural/organizational, and not rooted in personalities. Let’s examine that and make sure that by the time we hire our next Chancellor and VCAA, that structure is changed. I am not sure how or what to change – but let’s start a discussion.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what kind of a message a NC vote would send!!! Are we that weak as faculty to just sit back and do nothing??? Come on people? If this is the kind of place where I am working, I might have to go out on the market and seek something elsewhere. I mean, come on!!! OK, so a NC vote will not hold weight. Yawn. OK, so the folks in Bloomington might ognore it....so what??????? Have we no say or power at all to express our opposition to the way that things are run around here? If we are that weak, like a previous post mentions, we deserve all of the misery that Bruce has brought us. ALSO, I found it interesting that someone mentioned enrollment and Bruce in the same sentence. I cannot tell you how many meetings where I mentioned to Bruce that enrollment was something that demanded our immediate attention. And what did Bruce do? Shrug me off, as usual. Yet, we all wonder why students head down the street to PUC.....a more forward-looking campus, a place where students are treated better by the Bursars Office AND ESPECIALLY by the Financial Aid office, and better leadership. While PUC has its own issues, at least they as a campus are heading in the right direction, and are not being directed by such a moron, and that is the nicest thing that I have to say about Bruce. After working directly with him for so long, I have more than a right to say that. Some leadership!!!! Vacation while the campus is reeling......what a guy!

Anonymous said...

Looking over these comments, one thing we need is a BRIEF statement of what we object to in our Chancellor. One reason IUN faculty gets bad press is bitchy, whiny, complaining behavior. That's ok with me, since arguably we have something to complain about. But to avoid the stigma, we should do it briefly and effectively. The laundry list is good in the thinking stages, but go back to the Declaration of Independence model. State the problem. State the three or so worst offenses factually, without "chip-on-the-shoulder" tone, and see what people think.

Jack Bloom said...

This is Jack Bloom. I made the original motion calling for a vote of no-confidence in Chancellor Bergland. I regret having done so. That move was, I believe, mistaken. I came to this conclusion after a great deal of consideration, for a number of reasons.

First, we should have asked Chancellor Bergland to respond to Vice-Chancellor Aggrey’s statement. That is a minimum of courtesy that would be due, and also important to hear how he perceived what happened.

But, more important is that it is not at all clear to me what we would accomplish by following this course. As I have followed the blog that Dr. Hozo established for us, I have been dismayed by the vitriol that I have seen. We are tearing ourselves apart for no evident reason. It is not good for us, and it is not good for the campus. Many of us—as the blog has demonstrated—have deep disagreements with much of what the chancellor has done and how he has done it. However, it is unlikely that he will change his course of action, and unlikely that he will be replaced. He has only some 18 months left in his term, and there is little value in carrying out what appears to amount to a civil war.

What I should have done would be to suggest that we begin the process of discussing what we would like to see in a new chancellor: what goals we think he should pursue, what kind of relations we believe he should have with the faculty. That will be both a more productive pursuit and will accomplish more for us and the entire campus.

I think that the chancellor ought to take note of the considerable discontent that has become manifest in the discussion on the blog and at the Faculty Organization meeting. Unfortunately, I doubt that he will.

I am aware that the motion I proposed was adopted by the Faculty Organization, and my change of heart does not stop it. But I am dropping the issue and will vote against it coming up, and I encourage others to do the same. I propose instead that the FO, or the executive committee of the FO, adopt a motion setting up a committee that will bring recommendations to the faculty concerning what we would like to see in a new chancellor, and what goals we would like to see him accomplish.

don coffin said...

I want to thank Jack for his statement. We need to think seriously about the future. And, as Iztks said, we need to consider whether there are structural issues that make it difficult for us to make progress on the issues that matter to us.

This is not to say that personal performance issues don't matter, because they do. And issues of the sorts of experiences and attributes (both in the records of the candidates, and in their affective characteristics) that we need matter a lot.

Whether this happens formally, or informally, within the faculty governance bodies or more widely, I would join the call for a serious, in-depth look at the things that have created divisions (both structurally and personally) and how we can resolve them. Doing that--and reporting on it to McRobbie--will position us as a faculty to shape what happens going forward.

I hope we can also take what we have seen and read here as an indication that we need to think about our own relations with our colleagues. It looks to me like there's some work to be done there as well.

Don Coffin

Anonymous said...

I find it remarkable that one of our colleagues who is housed in a college that has a "billboard" is admonishing her colleagues in schools, departments, or programs that do not have one. I must say I find this to be disingenous, self-serving, and dare I say it, hypocritical. Billboard is a metaphor for a policy of pursuing three areas of excellence which suggests that other departments, programs, or schools must be less than excellent, perhaps just good, or poor, or simply invisible.

Anonymous said...

The Declaration of Independence, by the way, lists 27 grievances.

Anonymous said...

Come on everyone!!!!! Why don't we all have a backbone and stand up for the university for a change!! This Chancellor is a real idiot in so many ways (and I actually like the man), but come on......look around at other universities our size, and just compare them to us. I respect what Jack has to say, but come on!!!! We have to take a stand meaningless as it might be. A stand is a stand. If you all vote against the vote of NC for the sake of "harmony," that would be the ultimate in "wimpy-ness," if that is a word. Why should we just "tow the line" and not speak our minds????? That is EXACTLY what is wrong with the situation as it is! WE have sat back long enough. STAND UP!!! Here's an idea: Ask the students what they think about teh Chancellor, especially those involved in Student Government. It is no wonder that he hides from the students, as they cannot stand the man, and frankly, they are right.

Anonymous said...

IUN Students stage sit-in, April 2008

Esperante said...

Let's address the real core root of our hostilities amongst ourselves and the anger directed at the Chancellor: there is a perception (whether real or imagined)that Dr. Bergland has routinely elevated several schools on campus while routinely diminishing the accomplishments of the College of Arts and Sciences. He approved the removal of Continuing Studies from COAS to Business (a move that remains highly questionable) and, more recently, he has taken the Supplemental Instruction/Critical Literacy programs out of Academic Affairs and put them under the VC of Student Affairs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are ACADEMIC programs, aren't they? These are just two of his decisions that make little to no academic sense.

Personally, I like Dr. Bergland. But I have lost confidence in his ability to make sound decisions without showing favoritism, lead the campus during a crisis, and be the chief fundraiser for the university. More than 80% of those voting on this page seem to agree. So are we to acquiesce to the minority and sit on our hands until Bruce finally retires?

I respect Jack's comments greatly, but 18 months is an eternity in academia, and I don't know that we can wait. We're talking about at least two more search and screen cycles for much-needed faculty in departments all over campus. And even if Bruce stays until his appointment is up-an appointment, by the way, that was made unilaterally by our president (doesn't THAT sound familiar?)-when will we be allowed to begin a search for his replacement? Will we get ANOTHER interim? I think THAT'S more ridiculous and makes us look worse than being a faculty that is willing to stand up and say, "Incompetence will no longer be accepted here!"

Anonymous said...

I was about to post a nasty response to the previous post, but decided it's not worth it.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you can post a thoughtful and cogent response, then please do...this blog was created so that we could engage in conversation, not so that we can snipe at each other needlessly.

If you are unwilling to engage the discussion professionally, perhaps it's better that you decided it's not worth it.

Delunas said...

Regardless of what our views are (and obviously we have a lot of disagreement), it is heartening to see that (at least it seems like) we have vented our anger and frustration and are now settling in to a serious discussion of the issues. The central questions to me are: What is the best course for IU Northwest's future (short and long term)? And, what are the consequences of a successful/unsuccesful vote of NC (short and long term)? I suppose these are really the same question. I am grateful to Iztok for creating this blog; I believe it will make the next Faculty Org meeting much more productive.

Anonymous said...

Having spent much time serving on various task forces and committees that simply vanished for reasons never clearly articulated, I speak as one who has purposefully detached from such service on this campus. I came to the realization that what I do best is teach. But teaching seems to be valued by the chancellor only in certain programs. Further, I came to realize that my first responsibility is to my students, and that that responsibility is not served by meeting after meeting spent producing paper, paper, and more paper for initiatives that never come to fruition. Again, my focus on my students does not seem to be shared by the chancellor--unless they are in the three "excellent" programs on our campus. Should we vote no-confidence? A better question is, why shouldn't we?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm - this is not exactly convincing - "We have to take a stand meaningless as it might be".

A vote of no-confidence would be meaningless (we are probably not going to get Bruce out before he retires - and would not have time for a search even if we could get him to leave early. If he did leave early I am guessing we would most likely get a short term fill in appointed by IU).

What has been accomplished? Some people who are hurting got revenge? You cannot get revenge on someone on his way out. And revenge will not make up for the hurt. I am not downplaying the very real damage done to people, but a basically meaningless gesture will not undo it, much as one might wish to believe otherwise. Better to think in terms of what will help people heal.

A vote would accomplish nothing in the way of change, would divide the campus, and damage the public image of IU Northwest.

Far better to forget the idea that the originator has reconsidered and come up with a better plan - some have been suggested.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the Exec. Cmte informed the Chancellor that he should think about leaving in 2009. It appears that that request was ignored and that the President and he decided that he should stay two more years, instead. Perhaps the Chancellor should now gracefully acknowledge that whatever he thinks, his leadership is no longer wanted. Perhaps a thoughtful statement could be drafted--requesting he reconsider imposing his leadership on us. Hopefully, he can and will leave with dignity--it makes little sense to impose oneself when one's leadership is not wanted by a significant number of the people whom one is trying to lead. It should not be personal. It happens. Hopefully, the Chancellor should just take him money and go. That may be better for eveyone in the long run--including him. Then there would not have to be a no NC vote.

Anonymous said...

I truly am concerned that a "tone of fear" has been created at IUN with this administration--this tone preceded the arrival of Dr. Aggrey. Yet it the faculty's right and duty to question--so thanks Dr. Hozo for providing this blog forum. Hopefully Dr. Aggrey will not be "hounded" for trying to provide more transparency. Things have deteriorated because of the silence that may be expected from the top. Whatever the excuses, going through six VCAAs in little more than 6 years is symptomatic of a larger problem. It may be the style or philosophy at the top. PUC and even Ivy Tech are progressing while IUN yet flounders. This was true when Dr. Helm was here and remains more so today. Now another VCAA has given up, even though his short tenure was longer than most--a sad record for IUN. I am happy that what may be called "insubordinate" by some, could be called the kind of civil disobedience that improved things in the long term for Ghandi and MLK. Of course, our problems and responses are not that "deep." Yet, insisting that key, long term positions require searches, that academic affairs should primarily control academic degrees, and that the Chancellor should communicate directly and often with a VCAA who has lost a dear Assistant for moral and work support reasons would be reasonable expectations.

Anonymous said...

Will the staff get to vote or have a voice in some way? They should also have a voice, in a safe manner.

Esperante said...

I must admit that the idea of the Chancellor retiring early would be a reasonably graceful way to end his tenure at IU Northwest, but I do not think he will do so, primarily because I have come to realize that he simply does not understand the depth to which he has injured so many people.

The tipping point came for me earlier today when he sent out an e-mail to the campus explaining why he went out of town the day that Dr. Hass-Birky died. I appreciate the fact that he gave his side of the story, but the dispassionate tenor of the e-mail and his comments make it clear to me that he just doesn't get it.

This was not JUST the death of one beloved colleague. This was the loss of a third person from the IU Northwest family in 14 days. If Bruce had delayed his own personal departure by even a day or two and come to campus, taken the mantle of leadership that belongs to him, and lead us through those first few devastating days, it would have gone a long way toward showing the campus community that he cares about what happens here. No one has suggested (to my knowledge) that he should have canceled the entire trip or kept the other members of his traveling party from leaving on time. But HE'S THE CHANCELLOR! If this "important community member...and significant donor to IU" was as fully committed to IU Northwest as I feel we are being led to believe, they would have more than understood why Bruce had to delay his trip for a couple of days.

As for the trip itself, Bruce is entitled to vacations, just as we all are-but a 17-day trip out of the country that takes him away from campus during the beginning of an academic year? That's another case of poor judgment, in my opinion...

No, I do not believe that the Chancellor will take the opportunity to exit gracefully. But I do believe that he is going to find it extremely difficult to accomplish anything of great value during the remainder of his tenure. It requires the efforts of many to move the campus forward, and I believe that Bruce no longer has the influence necessary to motivate any kind of worthy progress...not a good situation for an Organizational Leader.

Anonymous said...

Would it really be useful to put together a committee to discuss what we want in a new chancellor? I assume we would want someone who had strong academic credentials,
someone who is dedicated to a strong liberal arts tradition,
someone believed in the value of teaching, research, and service,
someone who would be able to and was willing to be an open communicator with the faculty and staff,
someone who would share responsibility and get input on decisions,
someone who is committed to diversity,
someone who could come up with innovative ways to incorporate CHHS, Business, SPEA, Education, A & S with the needs of the community,
someone who believed in the faculty and staff and would work to support them,
someone who could raise money.
We want what we want, and we get what we get.

don coffin said...

I want to address a couple of comments in an earlier post (by esperante). My reason for doing so is that I think we need to be sure we have our facts clear as we address the issues that we face. These two things are, in themselves, not very important, but knowing the facts is very important.

Here's what is in the post:

"He [Bergland] approved the removal of Continuing Studies from COAS to Business (a move that remains highly questionable) and, more recently, he has taken the Supplemental Instruction/Critical Literacy programs out of Academic Affairs and put them under the VC of Student Affairs."

Continuing Studies is, and has been since before I came here in 1987, a part of the University-wide School of Continuing Studies. It has never been, administratively or in any other way, a part of COAS. The long-time director of CS is tenured back to (and has returned to) a COAS department. CS is not now a part of the School of Business. The present director (now a part-time rather than a full-time position) holds a faculty position in the School of Business. It's not clear to me why this is, or should be, an issue.

The Critical Literacy program was directed from its inception by Dr. Florence Sawicki. When she retired, the School of Education was not given authoization to hire a replacement for her. Doug Swartz (English) handles curriculum issues. So, yes, the Critical Literacy program in managed in Student Services, but only because the SoE could not replace its former director. (As I recall, their request for a replacement was ranked well down the list of position requests both by the faculty's Academic Priorities Committee and by the Dean's Council; I could easily be wrong about that, and welcome a correction. I take no position about whether that ranking was correct.) Again, I'm not sure I see anything nefarious here, but perhaps someone closer to the program could comment on this relocation from the point of view of the School of Education.

Let me reiterate that I do not consider (what appear to me to be) these factual errors as significant. But I do believe that if and as we make a case for changes in the way the administration of IUN operates, we need to make sure that we have our facts straight.

don coffin said...

And let me support, and suggest an expansion of, the suggestion by anon (10/24, 12:57 PM), about forming a group to identify the characteristics we might seek in hiring a new chancellor.

I think we should take the initiative in doing so, and not wait for such a suggestion to come from Bloomington. I would expand that somewhat, to consider the administrative structure at IUN. I know that Kwesi has suggested that there are some structural issues that have made management of academic affairs difficult, and one thing that has occurred perhaps too often, has been a reshuffling of administrative responsibilities (we are, for example, on the thrid or fourth iteration of what has been, under one name or another, the chancellor's cabinet).

It'd be real nice if we could go to McRobbie with a clear, well-considered recommendation about the qualities we value in a chancellor AND a set of recommendations about how to structure the tasks of administrative decision-making.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot of respect for Don Coffin, so I hate to disagree with him. But there is a need to clarify the issue concerning Continuing Studies.

A few years ago when the former director of Continuing Studies moved to the Bloomington Campus to serve in an interim capacity, Continuing Studies was moved under the administrative direction of COAS. The following year, the interim VCAA, who was formerly (and is currently) the Dean of Business, removed it from COAS and placed it under the direction of (at that time) a Business faculty member.

At the time, there was concern voiced about the purpose of this move, as well as questions about an appearance by the interim VCAA of favoritism toward SOB. None of those concerns were ever directly addressed.

As far as Critical Literacy, yes, it WAS under Dr. Sawicki in the School of Education. The School of Education remains under the direction of Academic Affairs. And Doug Swartz, as an English faculty member, is also under the direction of Academic Affairs. So why has it been moved out of Academic Affairs and under the VC of Student Services?

I personally feel that this is another example of the Chancellor undermining the office of the VCAA.

Just my opinion, such as it is.

Anonymous said...

Accountability to our campus and the community is important. Why delay truly moving ahead? At least an interim would signify promise. So I would agree that having the Executive Committee ask for a graceful exit would probably be the best for the institution--avoiding a NC vote.  It is already going to take years to recover. An interim may not block things or interfere with Academic Affairs by participating in hearings for Course Releases, solely appointing Academic Deans, etc. Delay will not make things better, it will only postpone the inevitable. How are we expected to truly move ahead while the old leadership in on campus so long? We will have exactly what we have now--which is not terrible, but we could and should do a lot better.  The campus and community members do not deserve delay.  Anything that the current Chancellor puts in place at this point will most likely be viewed as questionable--this is true of almost anyone with "lame duck" status. I agree with the opinion that it would be better for him, the campus, and the community at this point to move on.Unfortunately, the dissatisfaction seems to have been festering for several years. Folks are just now risking to talk about it. Change now or later will not be easy, but it is necessary.I am sorry for our campus and for the Chancellor.  But it's time.

Anonymous said...

While it seems that most folks now agree that a NC vote should be tossed, the key questions now seem to be--should he be somewhat formally asked to leave by the faculty body now or later? Or should he be allowed to stay around almost two academic years? I do not know the definitive answers, but I believe these are now among the the pivotal questions. Can he really lead effectively and do so now in limbo status for that length of time?--maybe he can or can't.

But we must get real, move beyond emotionality, and answer these questions honestly. The future of our students, campus, and community depend on it. The sooner we settle this, and do so in the right way, the better.

Milton Friedman's Ghost said...

Wow. It is pretty obvious why IUN has an enrollment below 5,000. Ineffective administrative leadership, victorialic faculty still "fighting the revolution" and a complete lack of knowledge about the type of student we are to surve in Northwest Indiana. There is plenty of blame to go around.

I can understand why some in COAS are upset. They have become a service to the students and little more. As the fall credit hours indicate there were almost 24,000 credit hours at the 100-200 level in COAS. What do their majors (300-400)contribute to the bottom line? 4,400 credit hours. Let's face it. This campus could heavliy market varous COAS majors to Northwest Indiana but the fact is there simply is no market.

Of course one can easliy call out the business school in this game of class warfare but I beleive in the town hall we were told it was the Weekend MBA which contributed over 100,000 to the reduction of the current deficit. Yes, these faculty do make more money but then again they understood supply and demand. There is nothing that says anyone could have gotten a PhD in Finance, Accounting or any of the other very in-demand majors. Of wait, this is a bit too market driven for the "red brigade" of our campus. I mean where else can you engange in "community organzing" not have to pubish and get over 40k a year?!? Classic socialism. "I want to have all the students and get the best pay but I want someone esle to do all the work for me and deliver it to me." I wonder if we could take a deep look at COAS books what we would find?

Remember, there are bascially two ways top fund this operation. One is via taxpayers and the General Assembly. This, of course, is a long shot. Second, is tuition revenue. It is a pipe dream to think anyone will give a large sum of money to this campus. Just look at all the posts here blog for a reason.

No, this campus will continue to flounder until Bloomington either decides to take over (which they should) or we finally merge with Purdue. This is likely the best solution for the funders of this enterprise.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

Anonymous said...

I do not see discarding the no confidence vote as a foregone conclusion. I believe it can serve a number of purposes. First of all, IUN is now known as the place that chews up and spits out Academic vice chancellors. A vote by the faculty would suggest that the faculty will stand behind a vice chancellor and will now finally oppose the chancellor who has been the reason for our losing vice chancellors.
Secondly, I do not believe that McRobbie will give any attention to our requests, if we do not have anything to back it up. When the Bloomington campus had a NC vote, the president withdrew earlier. The Board does not like to see bad publicity.
Third, if we do not have a NC vote, the Chancellor will continue his current practices unchallenged, including appointments without search and screen affirmative action procedures.
The faculty is not being petty or mean-spirited in taking such a vote. The fact is that under the present chancellor, IUN has become a less friendly, less student-friendly, less supportive campus. Funding has not gone into academics and hiring tenure-track positions.In contrast we have increasing numbers of lecturers and visiting appointments.
Our relationships with the community deteriorated, and both the community and the faculty and students were ignored even as we toiled in the strategic planning process.
Tens of thousands of dollars went to consultants, when we have better expertise on our faculty.
The most unfortunate part fo the past years has been an increase in fear and a decrease in transparency and honesty.
There should be no reason for academic faculty to feel they have to post anonymously on an academic campus where freedom of speech and differing perspectives should be valued. They are not.
The campus has become more and more like a corporate environment, from the luxurious retreats with open bars, to the chocolate fountains and hundreds of gifts when what we want is funding for positions, recognition of academic needs and accomplishments.

Michelle Stokely, Anthropology said...

"I can understand why some in COAS are upset. They have become a service to the students and little more". As a COAS faculty member who does indeed teach 100 & 200 level classes I take personal offense at this unprofessional remark. I believe I offer my students an education, not just a "service." If you feel that students only want to get a job (and not a well rounded an education) then perhaps IUN should consider being transformed into a trade & tecnical school. I don't disrepect your classes or contributions and ask you not to disrepect mine. This attitude that some people are more important than others is endemic to the problem; all of us have an important role to play in providing good quality education to our students. Most of us work hard to be well prepared and enthsuistic in helping to meet student goals & expectations. Teamwork & cooperation are important elements in meeting such goals; sadly some have become disillusioned and this may happen to junior faculty soon as well. If so, there are plenty of job ads that we can consider. In the meantime I will continue to work for my students and would hope (and expect) all others to do so as well. You are welcome to email me directly if you think my paycheck of $40k (less than my OU classmates are now earning at other institutions)is a significant waste of the University's resources and I encourage you to attend my classes to see if I am just a "service provider". How do such unprofessional remarks aimed at COAS faculty help to resolve the difficult issue at hand?

Anonymous said...

We shouldn't take a NC vote because it will divide the faculty? Have you read these postings? This faculty is already divided, and that division has been fostered by the chancellor.

If B'ton can take a NC vote and come through unscathed, why can't IUN? If our fear that this would cause us to appear unprofessional or petty or vengeful is accurate, then we have much larger problems systemically, and will have lost little by taking a stand.

The chancellor is fond of business models. What would happen to an executive whose leadership results in a constant turnover in assistants, a steady decline in morale, and consistent financial loss? Might he be asked to step down?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should also open this up to staff as well. Many of us have strong opinions as to Dr. Bergland's leadership or the lack thereof. This in not just a faculty issue. I think if you engage staff for comments you might be able to show that this is not just faculty (one-sided) concern. It's a concern for the whole campus.

Anonymous said...

Most of us who complain about the administration at IUN are not just whining. We have seen too many tenure-track positions eliminated, classes cancelled, and students announcing that they are leaving for PUC and other area schools. This administration has placed more priority on expanding the adminstration itself, and raising its salaries, than on providing academic options to its students. Adminstrative programs and excessive raises, and "excellence" centers, have not provided a better education to our students; rather, they have damaged academic programs by draining them of class sections and tenure-track apppointments. The clearest indicator of this are our longstanding woeful overall enrollments. Thus, the "corporate" model at IUN has mostly been a failure, and this is unacceptable. When the time comes, we should search for a new chancellor who has clearly proven that s/he is not a zealot for the "corporate" model.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify the fact on an earlier post:

The following year, the interim VCAA, who was formerly (and is currently) the Dean of Business, removed it from COAS and placed it under the direction of (at that time) a Business faculty member.

The for-credit courses were to be administered under COAS and the non-credit courses were to be administered by business.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the immediately preceding post:

It is the FOR-credit courses that generate credit-hour revenue for the college, is it not? They were removed from COAS and placed under the School of Business...your clarification reinforces the earlier point.

Anonymous said...

The corporate model, if applied appropriately could actually be beneficial in higher education, but not the way this Chancellor has been administering. I would not even necessarily state that he has used the corporate model...frankly I'm not sure that he's used any model except the Bergland Model which explains his inconsistency in most everything.

Anonymous said...

TO reference definition of 'Corporate Moedle' in Higher Education see: An Organizational Model for the 21st Century: Adopting the Corporate Model for Higher Education. An opinion paper by Bruegman, Donald C.

Abstract: An organizational model for higher education institutions that follows the corporate model is proposed. It strives to eliminate overlapping responsibilities among vice presidents, minimize organizational conflict, and empower the deans and academic program directors to make decisions. The system is intended to refocus the institution on its primary role: teaching.

Sorry not, the detract the topic at hand, but with the right leadership in place this could be an effective model.

Anonymous said...

Yes, many of the actions of this chancellor reflect (wittingly or not) a "business" model, in the worst sense of the term, prevalent in our time: the all-powerful and deified CEO proclaims "We must cut, cut, cut," but those cuts rarely or never affect upper management, who continue to grow in stature and wealth, and who somehow are more deserving than the rest of us. A chancellor of a small state university should be in his job to improve the education of students, not to make a killing; of course, while we cannot avoid the reality of ridiculous salaries for chancellors, we can try to identify candidates with a very high degree of proven interest, involvement, and administrative success with regard to academics, rather than a history of an oversized focus upon downsizing academic units to meet a supposed "bottom line", and at all costs, while leaving administration out of the equation. At this point, in the actual academic units on this campus we have had more than enough of that to last a number of years, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

The thought that speaking up is a waste of time, or will result in negative press, or will result in the potential that others, outside of the IUN campus, will view IUN as "whiners", is exactly the type of fear process thinking that seeks to control the one who speaks up.
Those who view dissent as "part of the problem", are the very same who receive benefit from shutting up the dissent.

In an academic environment, it is amazing that someone would think that speaking up or speaking out is a negative thing. Would you rather have poor leadership prosper through the silence of those that are being led? Would you rather any and all decisions, made by the "leadership", go unquestioned, and be given false approval through silence caused by fear of reprisal?

That would be anti-intellectual and counter to the spirit of inclusion and shared communal responsibility. Why should we be silently complicit in an institution that receives bad press and negative community perception? We also should be allowed and expected to express the very same concerns as the greater community when we the employees are not happy as well.
Are we to sit in silence, giving our unintended approval for the way things are run, by virtue of that silence?

It's not amazing, in the least, that those who disapprove of dissent are the very same people who were given an opportunity, and greater income, to be part of that very administration that so many disapprove of. If the dissent is unwarranted, the please state why.
Simply saying an NC vote is bad is not enough to convince.

Here are some scenarios and reasons as to why I'd give an NC vote, or ask the Chancellor to reconsider his role.

The current Chancellor came to IUN in 1999. Since that time, what has improved? How many are happier with the current state of affairs compared to those who are not?
The majority of faculty and staff have received a real pay cut due to the pay "adjustments" that were below the cost of living increase.
The majority of us, employed at IUN, earn LESS today than we did before the current Chancellor arrived. A leader can be judged on the happiness or discontent of those he/she leads.
It is not lost, on many of us, how much larger in size and budget the current administration and administrative departments are compared prior to his Chancellors arrival. The bulk costs money and puts a large dent in the budget.
The Chancellors income has more than exceeded inflation, and can adequately be called a "raise" giving reward for services rendered. Why should the leader be rewarded while those he leads are asked to tighten their belts, and provide same or more service with less resource.

We have a garden that was promoted as NOT taking away from IUN's budget. Really? It was said that the money for the project came from "donations". Well, it is "donations" that the Chancellor is expected to attain for the university. If a donor gives, or is guided to give, to a pet project, then in effect, that money is now not available for the general university need as it is earmarked for a different project from a "different budget".
It was bad form that that project appeared, to me, to serve the vanity of an individual related to the Chancellor, rather than serving the greater need of the university such as; new desks or grant money for students to be able to attend university and add to enrollment.
That may seem personal, but, yes I felt it personally.

The attempt to answer a criticism, for not being there when a dear IUN community member was taken too early, serves to raise even more questions rather than provide adequate rationale for the departure and absence. The vacation was painted as a business trip where the Chancellor and his wife were simply victims of circumstance who had to serve as "travel guides" to another couple of monetary means, who may donate to the university.
How much has that couple donated?
Which budget will that money put in to? Who paid for that trip?
Or was the donation given also used to pay for the trip to entertain the donation giver? I don't know, but I am asking.
I hope the donation exceeded the cost of the long trip to Europe for 4.

A leader must take responsibility for the perception that the majority have. Some may say that it's not all his fault. Maybe so, maybe not. However, as a leader, it is incumbent upon him to take the criticism and answer for it.
If the fault lies not with him, then he can give evidence to the contrary and set things straight.
If taking that responsibility is too much to handle, then the leader needs to question his commitment and ability to lead.
Saying, "I'll except responsibility" is easy when there are no repercussions or any consequences. Well, there are consequences, one of which is the need to explain certain things that may be uncomfortable to answer.

Someone referenced the Declaration of Independence. If the naysayers to that declaration were to have won, then, we the people would be living in a country flying a different flag and wondering how many pounds a pound of something costs.
How very un-American it is for free thinking thinkers to be admonished for speaking up even if it may be uncomfortable to do so.

From what I've read on this blog, and from what I've seen and experienced on this campus for over a decade, the NC sentiment isn't a personal vindictive display. It comes from a conviction and desire to do better, to provide better service, to provide an educational experience that we believe the citizens of our community deserve.
After all, a bit over 50% of our operational budget comes from OUR tax dollars, from IUN employees and from IUN students and from Indiana taxpayers.
There is a real concern that we do well for ourselves and our communities.

An NC vote, or a call for the Chancellor to reconsider his role, won't self serve any one person.
It can, however, show a unified concern that we are concerned and that we want a leader. If that scares off a would-be administrator, then we've done well.
Why would we want a leader that can't take the challenge.
Why expect less then we are willing to give.

I think all of the comments expressed by everyone here can be used to move forward. It's great that faculty wants to come together in some way to improve the state of IUN.
Also, I agree with the few posters who feel that staff need to be heard as well.

Anonymous said...

Early in this conversation Linda noted "I won’t even try to defend the things that I see as the good the Chancellor has done because I know my words and thoughts will be belittled." I'm sorry that she feels this way (and in all likelyhood she is right that many would add remarks); personally I would like to know about Bruce's positive contributions and wish we could really see both sides of this issue. There are always diverse perspectives on any topic and likely he believes he has done a good job here (or perhaps he is unaware that significant problems exist). Maybe now that we are all having this conversation he will be more open and receptive to the faculty viewpoint and try hard to correct any errors during the remainder of his time here. Maybe he can turn himself (and IUN) around if given the chance; but if he is unwilling to try then it would be best to step aside and let someone else lead us out of these difficulties. Perhaps those who support him can help him to better understand the importance of this matter; if you do I think we will all be very appreciative!

Bert Scott said...

I have been directly involved in much of what has been speculated about regarding Continuing Studies. I am the current Director. I would like to clear up some misinformation being presented here.

First, Don Coffin is absolutely correct that the Division of Continuing Studies on the IU Northwest campus is part of the system School of Continuing Studies, and I report jointly to system Dean Callison of BL and to Kwesi on this campus, although he has had me report to him through Dean Rominger for the past year (his choice). I administer the Division independently from Business. Dean Rominger exerts no control over the unit. The budget is completely separate from Business, and we co-mingle no funds whatever.

The Division of Continuing Studies is not, and never has been, a part of the School of Business and Economics, nor has it ever been a part of A&S. It has always been a sub-unit of SCS in BL, just as Social Work has been a part of the system School of Social Work. For over 20 years Bob Lovely administered the Division for the system School, and now I have for about 3 years. But, it has never been a part of either of the other Schools/Colleges mentioned. For one year, when Bob's reassignment to BL got extended, the unit was split, against their will, with the academic program being administered by Atilla Tuncay on an interim basis, and the non-credit part being administered interim by Desila Rosetti of the Center for Mgt Development. It did not work out very well and the unit asked to be re-united. When Bob indicated to then-IVCAA Rominger that he did not wish to return to CS, but instead retreat back to the Sociology faculty, she decided to put it back together and give it a permanent PART-TIME Director (replacing a FULL-TIME Director). She chose me, partly because I had been a part of the development of the successful Weekend MBA, and I had a few ideas on how to make CS better.

On the credit hour issue mentioned earlier by another colleague. CS received NO credit hour income from any classes taken by our students. All the credit hour revenue goes to the department/school teaching the classes taken. We teach nothing, and receive no credit hour income. We never have received it. A&S receives the bulk of it, because that is where most of the classes are taken. Our headcount income from the state is taken completely by the campus to help pay for central administration, we get none of it. Our funding comes from other revenues, mostly downstate, and is not accessible by either A&S or Business. The non-credit side has to pay for itself and be self-supporting, which it is but not by much.

If anyone has any further questions regarding CS and where it fits into the IUN structure, how it is financed, etc., please do not hesitate to ask. I will tell you the truth.

Anonymous said...

Well said Bert. Thank you for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

Reading over this blog, what is apparent is that most of the people who have contributed are very alienated from the chancellor and feel that he has done an abysmal job. There is also a countercurrent of people who are very angry at the chancellor’s critics and take various potshots at them. Many of these critics assume that all of those who don’t think much of the way the chancellor has done his job are from Arts and Sciences. There are certainly many critics of the chancellor from A & S; I have no idea if they are all situated there. But what I have not seen is anybody making a positive case for the chancellor. Why is that? Is it because there is no positive case to be made? It certainly appears that way to me. If you think the chancellor has had a positive impact here, please say so and tell us what you think it is. This is clearly the discussion we need to have, so if you have something positive to say, please say it.

Anonymous said...

Bruce has done something positive? You got me on that one. Why not ask the students what their opinion is of Bruce and the Administration.....I think that their opinions count too. Case in point: The Financial Aid department sucks, the Marketing Department sucks, and the Administration (i.e. Bruce and his bootlicking cronies) does NOTHING about it. And then, Bruce is concerned about enrollment AFTER our students have been flocking to PUC and PNC in droves. What a crock. Pardon me for being cynical, but without the students and the $$$$ that their tuition brings to the campus, maybe Bruce would not look as snappy in those crisp suits of his. Perhaps he should deal with the BS put forth by the friendly folks in various offices on the first floor of Hawthorn. I know countless students that have sought an audience with Bruce, and they are rudely turned away. What the hell? I hope that the students storm his office one day (and believe me, there is talk going on right now about the real unrest felt by the students, and more power to them for engaging in those conversations). Bruce is inept in more ways than you may know, and it is not just the faculty who feel it.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Professor Stokeley for her earlier remarks. While there are slackers in COAS and elsewhere, there are also plenty of folks who publish books and articles all of the time, and do outstanding work day after day. Hey, there are slackers everywhere. Why not look at the Chancellor’s publication record before ripping on the “socialists” in COAS? Oh wait, he has not published, ever when he was a professor. Ooops, silly me. Hey, guess what? There are non-publishing people all over IUN, and I know plenty, including many within my own division (which is NOT COAS by the way). Look, ripping on COAS, that is not the issue on this blog anyhow. I am not even a professor in COAS, and I know that there are many folks over there that are absolutely great in the classroom and regarding research. Look, the Chancellor is a moron, and we should have some say, however non-binding that it may be. That is democracy, what a concept.

Anonymous said...

I love the earlier wording about the Chancellor's cronies. That is great!! To the person who mentioned that the students are getting upset, GOOD! I hope that you are right about that. Maybe this time they will be really loud about that. Heck, I will help them out! Leadership starts with us, so I say let's give this guy the NC vote he deserves, and a swift kick in the rear. His e-mail the other day in regards to his MIA status after the third death on a short period of time was ridiculously cold in its tone. "Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

The Chancellor responded to the needs and opportunities of the region in putting together the College for Health and Human Services.
He put energies and efforts into solving the main problem of the school in enrollment and retention, in the Enrollment Task Force, for instance.
He led the school as it shifted its accredidation efforts from once-a-decade to continuous improvement through AQIP
He saw the addition of several major buildings on campus, including Marram, Savannah, and the Professional Building, and brought President McRobbie to campus which hastened the possible replacement of Tamarack.
His tenure has seen the improvement of the appearance of the campus, including the addition of the sculpture garden.
He has sought to include faculty and staff voices in the future of the university by forming the Strategic Planning Team.
He has led the move for emergency and disaster planning which helped to keep the university informed during the most recent flood.
He has encouraged and supported the efforts to maintain diversity in hiring and interviewing.
He has encouraged and spoken out for engagement in the community, focused in part in the Center for Regional Excellence.
He has tried to anticipate the educational competition of the region and the community college movement by moving the university away from developmental courses and two year degees.
He has tried to anticipate outside calls for assessment, in the Released Time Policy.
He has tried to keep communication open with faculty with attendance at Faculty Organization, Executive Committee meetings, and town hall meetings.

Anonymous said...

Everything the chancellor says or does or publishes, whether right or wrong, has his name attached to it. Way to "stand up" anonymous!
Wussies!

Anonymous said...

So why then did you post this anonymously?

Anonymous said...

I was commenting on a groups cowardice in general, not attacking an individual!

Esperante said...

For the anonymous individual who intelligently referred to those with whom they disagreed as "wussies," I would hope that we could have this discussion, no matter how divided we are, by at least showing enough professionalism to avoid name-calling.

And for the record, I am very much in favor of a NC vote. For each item that a previous poster listed about his accomplishments, I could list one or two things that Bruce has done or not done that has caused damage to the university. But I would prefer to have the conversation without calling each other (or Bruce) names.

don coffin said...

As I think most of you know, I am not what you might call a supporter of Bruce's.

I'm also not sold on the idea of a vote of no confidence.

As I suggested long, long ago, we need to know what the motion would look like, and so far no one has posted what I would call a draft motion.

That motion has two audiences. The IUN community is one audience. The motion needs to be persuasive to the faculty--and to the staff and students--on this campus. It needs to generate a significant "Yes" vote. It's clear from this discussion that there's not what you might call unanimity, and it's also clear that a chunk of what has passed for discussion here has not seemed (to me) aimed at building anything like unanimity.

The second audience is the IU system administration and the Board of Trustees (I will use McRobbie as shorthand for this audience). It must also persuade them that things are serious enough to warrant some immediate action (as Bruce will be retiring in a year and a half). So the motion needs to make clear (a) what immediate action we want and (b) why McRobbie ought to take that action.

It's plausible that the action we want taken is something short of Bruce's immediate ouster, such as a task force working to create a set of characteristics (e.g. accomplishments in prior jobs, persoanlity characteristics, etc) that we need to look for in the next search. It's possible that we may feel that only an immediate ouster is sufficient.

So what do we think the resolution should say? How do we make it internally and externally persuasive? And if we don't think we can make it (particulalry) externally persuasive, will we be better off devoting out energies to achieving the goal of a better adminisntration at IUN in some other way?

Just asking.

Anonymous said...

So, we don't have a vote of NC, and thus relinquish our voice. For f**ks sake, why would we want to sit back and be silent about Bruce, no matter how we feel about the issue? Democracy and speaking out, anyone? Come on people!!!!! We have a voice, so let's use it. Don't like the vote of NC? Vote against it then? Come on Don!!!! We should be able to voice our opposition (or support). We should not sit back and "take it," not ever.

Anonymous said...

"He has led the move for emergency and disaster planning which helped to keep the university informed during the most recent flood."

Maybe I'm on the wrong listserve but the first information I received about the flood (other than newspaper articles and pretty photographs) came from President McRobbie who I presume had to step in as leader since IUN has no leadership. After getting numerous emails from students asking what was going on I contacted the Fac Org President who stated he was having a meeting with Bruce that day. I begged him to ask Bruce to send us some information, any information...a few hours later Bruce finally sent out an email telling us what was up. Maybe Bruce didn't think it was important to inform staff, faculty or students of the flood situation. Maybe he was too busy and didn't have time to dictate a memo or place a simple phone call to his secretary. Maybe he didn't know what to say and figured complete silence was better. Maybe he just doesn't care, or maybe he just isn't qualified to be a Chancellor. I truly wish he would follow Calvin Sampson & Adam Herbert's examples: just take the money and go away!

Anonymous said...

In reference to the comment: (Bruce) saw the addition of several major buildings on campus, including Marram, Savannah, and the Professional Building, and brought President McRobbie to campus which hastened the possible replacement of Tamarack.

Marram Hall was already here when Bruce came to IU Northwest...Savannah had been approved and was on the drawing board under Hilda Richards, and the closure of an IU regional campus for two weeks would have drawn the attention of the President of the University whether the Chancellor made the call or not. Granted, the Medical/Professional Building came to fruition under his leadership, but don't try to rewrite history to prop up a generally weak record.

Anonymous said...

For the sake of the discussion, I listed a number of items that took place during the present administration, of which I am not a part. Any errors are my own, not the administration's trying to exaggerate its accomplishments. I welcome corrections.

don coffin said...

Anonymous on October 31 @ 11:97 PM:

Please read what I wrote. If we're going to do a vote of no confidence, we need to do it right, it needs to persuade the faculty, staff, and students here and people downstate. To make that happen, we can't just say "No confidence! No confidence!" We have to say why. If you're so sure it's the right thing to do, please, please, draft a resolution.

(Why don't I draft such a resolution? Partly because I'm a short-timer at this point, partly because I'm unsure what the right path to take is...)

Esperante said...

So now that the Chancellor, VCAA, and Faculty Org President have sent out their e-mail calling for unity, I have a question:

How has anything changed? Bruce is still not going anywhere until 2010, Dr. Aggrey IS still leaving at the end of the calendar year, and to make matters worse, one of Bruce's cronies, an IUPUI administrator known throughout the IU system to be a thorn in the side of anyone non-administrative, is coming in to help us bridge the divide? What a crock!

I have tremendous respect for Chuck Gallmeier. His name was on the letter signed by the Chancellor. I would like some assurances from him and the Faculty Org Executive Committee that they agreed to bring in Bill Plater, and that he wasn't someone forced on the campus by Bruce. I had been a supporter of the Chancellor until recently. Unfortunately, I have come to realize that he is only looking out for himself and not the needs of the campus. It's very disheartening to think that we will have to endure this self-centered leadership for another 18 months.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought that this chancellor has been successful at one thing- DIVIDE AND CONQUER. He has co-opted faculty to represent him by serving on various reports and committees, that ultimately yield his desired outcome...or no acknowledgment that the committee even existed (i.e. the salary committee was ignored until VC Aggrey came aboard to represent this faculty). The Centers were created as entities under which we could organize ourselves to provide clarity to our mission. I do not understand two things:
1. Why were the chosen centers narrowed to such an extent that Arts and Sciences, the division with the most faculty, became the "sacrificial lamb?" There were other possibilities, such as Urban Studies, which could have been more inclusive. I find it particularly disturbing that CHHS is taking an urban health orientation when the urban studies proposal was tabled. Of course, that should be their emphasis because we ARE urban and they could have fit into an urban center. Plus, the leading paradigm, health disparities which has an urban minority emphasis, has linkages to disciplines in A&S. A number of people worked on the urban studies proposal for a long time, and we were told that we were not urban enough for that to be a focus. How crazy was that? Please don't belittle my comments with "you should have served on the mission committees" because I did.
2. I do not understand why the centers were not funded by the chancellor's fund raising, especially when we have heard that there were funds down state that might have been accessed. We were promised that he would find the funds for the centers. We did not agree to redistribute existing resources to make them a reality. Supposedly, they were chosen because they would "sell."

What has happened is the old divide and conquer strategy. Ultimately, it helps no one, not even those who defend him. It gets us to fight with each other rather than demanding accountability from the person who is paid to lead. That is how we got into this mess and why the vote of no confidence has been delayed so long. CHHS feels "had" as they are left without the funds they need to flourish, yet Arts and Sciences has been carved out like a Halloween pumpkin. (I thought of that while I was carving my kids' pumpkin recently.) CETL has basically been dismantled. I understand the angst of the centers, but I wish that everyone could understand what redistribution of resources means when the resources at our institution do not increase. It means redistribution of wealth akin to what our society has been experiencing with a few getting richer (the Centers, if they involve reducing programs and resources for A&S) and the majority of departments and faculty at IUN are left hanging out to dry. Our current dialogue is bitter because our relationships have been structured that way by a chancellor who has been incredibly destructive, pitting one group against another rather than seeing all of the university as equal partners and making our institution stronger as a whole. That was not the plan. Remember he was there to turn out the lights at Trinity. That thought has haunted me for some time.

Milton Friedman's Ghost said...

In response to Ms. Stokely, there is no doubt as to the value COAS faculty contributes to the overall degree of the students at IUN. However, with all due respect, I would disagree with many about the type of student attending IUN and why. The majority (not all) are here to obtain credentials for employment at a level higher than someone with a high school education. Yes, via general education we require students to expose themselves to various types of disciplines. In fact, over half of their credit hours are obtained via general education, regardless of major. No one doubts the level of hard work instructors are putting in to make their classes entertaining and useful to students. Of course, we have a vast array of majors on this campus but the data tells us there are a few key areas student choose to major and ultimately get a degree in.

For an example of the mentality of certain members of academia, I refer to the most recent Chronicle of Higher Education. In a story titled “Ohio's Public Colleges Lure Businesses with the Promise of a Skilled Work Force” we get the following quote from Sergio L√≥pez-Permouth, Math faculty at Ohio University (and ironically their chair of the faculty senate): "Universities should not be expected to bear the responsibility to create jobs," he says. "That is not the job of academics but of politicians."

Little did we know it was up to politicians and government, not the private sector, to actually create jobs?!? What audacity of Ohio taxpayers to expect their taxpayer funded institutions of higher education at least try to be an economic driver for their state! I guess they have the “audacity to hope”.

There are other directions to take here but then again it may be considered “off topic” for this blog. It is clear the leadership of IUN is incompetent. This has been proven over and over again. Leadership would mean shutting down any major with less than ten (10) declared students. It would mean consolidating administrative positions and eliminating those who are obviously incompetent. The fact is people choose. Those choices are based on individual incentives. This is true if they be administrators, faculty, staff or more importantly, students.

Anonymous said...

I think that most of the faculty at IUN are complainers. Most of you guys are overpaid. The average one of you are on campus twice a week, and have absolutely no contact with the students expect in the classroom. If the average one of you had to work 40 hours a week, you would probably have a heart attack and die. Chancellor Bergland should be left alone until his retirement. Then we as faculty and staff should work together to welcome our new Chancellor.

Jean V. Poulard said...

Being the romantic I am, if I could I would like to challenge to a duel the person who called Vice Chancellor Kwesi Aggrey a "visionless coward."

This is an insult of the worst kind. Vice Chancellor Aggrey is a gentleman, yes a perfect gentleman. He is the best Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs I have dealt with on this campus in my 25 years as a full-time faculty member. This is a man who has the interest of the faculty at heart and who is concerned about the success of its academic programs.

Civility should be a priority in life, and especially in academic life. This is one thing I always stress with my students.

On the question of the vote of no confidence, I must say that I am not sure it would be wise to go through with it. The reason is simple: It will not accomplish what it is meant to do. And the consequences might be worse than the potential benefits.

Yes, Jack, Jean agrees with you for once.

Three more semesters with Chancellor Bergland is not "la mer a boire." And during that time, he may yet surprise us.

I am an eternal optimist.

Jean V. Poulard

Milton Friedman's Ghost said...

Gee, what a difference a month makes. I thought we were going to see the proletariat, clad in Che Guevara shirts, waiving Chinese flags on their way to "storm the Bastille" known as the Library/Conference Center. What would comrade Lenin say, much less Abbie Hoffman?!?

Yep. At the end of the day, academic life isn't all that bad...

Anonymous said...

MF Ghost,

Don't fear free thought.
Afterall, you're expressing your viewpoint, and that didn't come without someone fighting for you to be able to do so in the first place.

If you prefer obedience, then please make it silent. Tyrants prefer you do so.

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