Archive for Friday, February 12, 2010

Last liberal arts dean finalist stresses fundraising priority

February 12, 2010


Kansas University’s last liberal arts dean finalist highlighted the importance of raising student graduation rates and finding new sources of funding Thursday at a public forum.

A political scientist, Matthew C. Moen worked at the University of Maine, rising to the level of department chair, before leaving in 2002 to his current position as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Dakota.

Though he said some may be concerned about his lack of research at an Association of American Universities school, Moen pointed out he’s written five books and written several articles, and helped raise the level of research done at South Dakota, though that figure still is a fraction of the research done at KU.

As dean, Moen said he would bring a fundraising element to the position, taking an active role with alumni interested in helping the university. “It’s one of the chancellor’s priorities, and it needs to be one for the college,” Moen said.

He is competing for the position with Susan Carlson, associate provost of faculty advancement and diversity at Iowa State University; Joseph C. Shields, chairman of the department of physics and astronomy at Ohio University; and Greg Simpson, KU’s interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


anon1958 7 years, 10 months ago

It simply does not matter who KU chooses among this group for dean. They all mouth similar platitudes and none of them have even the remotest hope of improving the widespread administrative failure that KU is permanently mired in.

The administrative culture at KU is based on bullying tactics, fear and "circling the wagons" to protect any administrator from the results of their bad behavior. History has shown that since Hemenway, KU never hires anyone that deviates from this pattern of behavior

Logic dictates, that at this time, any outside candidate that applies for any academic administrative job at KU should be disregarded because they have failed to do their homework and discovered what a horrible mess KU is in.

Even if you are just exploiting an administrative vacancy at KU as a crutch for your climb to become the top buffoon at some university, because there are so many administrative positions open, only a fool would come to a state school in a place like Kansas where there is a populist rage against educators and the infant mortality rate is similar to more than few third world nations.

Just hire some idiot from KU and quit pretending like there is even any real desire to do otherwise.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 10 months ago

anon1958: Much of what you say is true. KU does have an entrenched administrator class that is responsible to no one. I would also agree that bully tactics are often the method of choice to get the faculty to do what they want.

I also agree that this outside search is a bit of a sham. The last two outside hires, Steinmetz and Lariviere, were quality hires and these two really tried to change things and improve the university. As you might imagine, the blowback from entrenched interests was harsh. Also notice that these two vacated KU like rats from a sinking ship as soon as the opportunity presented itself.

I think they both realized that the entrenched administration and mediocrity at KU was just too much to overcome, and that they didn't really care enough to stick to it.

My prediction is that KU's next college dean and provost will be internal hires, both of whom got their Ph.D.s at KU and who have spent most of their professional careers at KU.

Inbreeding at its finest. Just what KU does not need.

kuthruandthru 7 years, 10 months ago

To Anon1958: Really, you think that poorly of KU? As passionate as you are about administration, I would guess you work there (or did) and were passed over for a position. If you don’t/haven’t worked their, have you ever served on a selection committee? Do you appreciate the pressure associated with making a recommendation that will shape the culture of an institution for years to come? I doubt anyone on the committee approached it with the mindset, “we are going to take a KU person so lets go through the motions.” To imply differently would be an insult to the committee and the time they have spent.
At the end of the day no matter which candidate is selected, they will face numerous challenges and instead of bringing negativity and criticism to their selection, why don't we all support the new hire and do what we can to help them be successful.
The problem with academia isn't the administration. The problem is faculty interpret tenure to mean they can complain about everyone and everything, without offering solutions. There are some brilliant, exceptional minds on the KU campus and if people would simply stop complaining and become part of the solution, issues could be addressed and progress made.

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