Thursday, August 28, 2014

Up-or-Down Votes on Deans? An Unusual System Feeds Tension at U. of Miami

The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 28th, 2014

The University of Miami has an unusual system in which all faculty members get a vote—albeit a nonbinding one—on whether to retain their dean. That’s given Miami an even more unusual problem, now that three leading deans have been rejected.
The deans include the heads of Miami’s most financially important school, medicine, and arguably its most renowned, marine science. And despite the faculty rejections, the university’s president, Donna E. Shalala, has decided to keep both. The third dean, in engineering, agreed to step down after a follow-up review.
The reasons behind the faculty votes are different in each case, said Steven M. Green, a longtime professor of biology and former head of the university’s Faculty Senate. But the trio of rare votes generally reflects professors’ sensing "varieties of incompetence and malfeasance" in their leadership, Mr. Green said.

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