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Chancellor talks faculty governance survey, post-tenure review with Daily Kansan
Happy Thanksgiving break, KU students and others who've left campus for the rest of the week. Heard on the Hill will keep chugging along today, just in case you need an excuse to tune out a long-winded family member or need something to do during your three-hour airport layover.
In her third monthly "fireside chat" with the University Daily Kansan this semester, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little commented on a couple of issues we've addressed in this space: post-tenure review and the American Association of University Professors faculty survey results released last week.
On the survey, Gray-Little told the Kansan she was "surprised that our faculty feels that they don't have a voice in governance." She put forth a similar theory to that which I heard from University Senate president Chris Crandall: that the number of far-reaching changes being pursued by the administration right now (the "Changing for Excellence" efficiency measures, the new undergraduate curriculum and other things laid out in the "Bold Aspirations" plan) might be making some faculty uncomfortable.
"A lot of things are going on right now, and maybe that makes it hard for people to feel they're in their comfort zone," Gray-Little said.
(One more thing about that survey: Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, the associate professor of aerospace engineering who handled much of the work, said that the range of responses that came in were wide: some faculty gave the university "D" or "F" grades on every question, some gave nearly all "A's," and others fell somewhere in the middle. So not all faculty feel their voices aren't being heard, but some do apparently strongly feel that way.)
And on the topic of post-tenure review, Gray-Little sounded positive about the process of putting it in place, as have most folks I've heard from about this lately. She said the Faculty Senate's efforts to make members' feelings heard about post-tenure review indicated a "positive approach."
Also in the interview, the chancellor addressed Gov. Sam Brownback's comments last week about higher-education funding, as well as her plans for Thanksgiving.