The Provost Creates His Own Faculty
I expect this to be an issue on which the administration really digs in its heels. On Monday, be prepared for a parade of deans speaking before the Senate to stress how important cohort hiring is to them. (I have heard, and hope this might be confirmed if questions by senators are allowed, that 10 of this year's cohort hires have gone to Social Science. That's probably close to 50%. If this is so, the Senate ought to pursue the rationale supporting this. At any rate, expect Dean Gonzalez to be a big supporter.)
When the rhetorical barrage occurs, I hope that senators consider the following:
1. Deans keep their jobs at the pleasure of the Provost;
2. Some of these deans had napkins tucked under their chins as they contemplated the gobbling up of Science and Mathematics and the amalgamation of Arts and Humanities with Social Science;
3. Not all the deans will be speaking.
4. The Academic Senate is a faculty institution representing the faculty. How does your department want you to vote?
The deans may well have important things to say about searches now in progress, and of course, senators need to rationally consider whatever facts the deans present. But with regard to cohort hiring in general, they are not free from pressure, and the faculty's opinion is better than theirs for that reason alone. Senators, I recommend the following mantra: "I don't care what the deans think. . . I don't care what the deans think."
This is another Academic Senate meeting in which the presence of the faculty is very important. I can't think of anything that affects the culture of a department more than hiring decisions. Professors, if you can possibly make it, come to this meeting. Your presence will speak for itself.
One last thing: THE VOTE ON THIS RESOLUTION MUST BE BY SECRET BALLOT. The reasons are obvious: this is going to be a pressurized meeting. As much pressure should be taken off senators as possible when it comes to the final vote. Senators should not have to worry about incurring the displeasure of a dean or the provost when casting their ballots.
Here is the resolution: