Blaise Pascal, Penseé 347: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Faculty for Shared Governance at CSU Fresno

The Faculty for Shared Governance at CSU Fresno now has its own web log:

Faculty for Shared Governance: CSU Fresno

and it has started with a fine entry by Sasan Fayazmanesh:

The Vision of the University as a Shop under "Analysis and Opinion," which eloquently sets forth the faculty's position in what has become a non-consulatative university.

There is also has a Facebook site:

Fresno State Faculty (Facebook)

This marks a new chapter in the faculty response to the CSUF administration's failure to consult with the faculty on many important issues. What is at stake, finally, is the quality of education that we can provide to our students. A top-down, non-consultative university organization will not only make policy blunders but demoralize its faculty as well. During the last academic year, we have seen this with the Budget Task Force, cohort hiring, the logo, and finally the destruction of 160 trees in the parking lots east of Peters.

The faculty is fighting for its rightful place in university governance, and the whole community--faculty, staff, students, the region--will be the beneficiary. This faculty effort crosses political and ideological boundary lines. I'm a Republican, more or less. I will certainly vote for Mitt Romney rather than Barack Obama. But Republican, Democrat, Catholic, atheist--none of this matters to issues of such fundamental concern. We are for the basic process required in a university which functions both rationally and morally: true consultation and the understanding that it is the faculty which is primarily responsible for curriculum and instruction. All Fresno State faculty should be in agreement on these issues.

I will continue to write about Fresno State issues, as the spirit moves me, but a site dedicated specifically to representing faculty interests is what we need at this point. I am relieved that a large and diverse faculty group now has its own blog, and I hope that there will be many contributions to it. The more voices the better.

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