Faculty Tell George Washington To Put Financial Decisions On Hold
Faculty members of George Washington University’s School of Business are calling on administrators to “put a hold” on recent financial decisions in response to the pandemic, including layoffs and benefit reductions.
Nearly 50 GW School of Business faculty signed a letter raising concerns about the university’s financial situation of implementing “broad-based” layoffs and “harmful” long-term decisions. Faculty called on GW’s president to explore alternatives and share relevant information with faculty, The GW Hatchet reports.
“It is crucial, however, that we make decisions that will not compromise our mission to increase knowledge through research and educate students,” the faculty say. “The administration’s current approach to the crisis appears to be fundamentally flawed.”
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
The faculty letter highlights a “lack of transparency” from administrators saying it, in turn, “erodes” trust between administrators, faculty, and staff.
“Our impression now is that you meet with faculty, appear to listen to them, but provide limited information and never take any of the suggestions offered,” the letter states. “This does not constitute meaningful participation from the faculty and staff and again does not promote positive cultural change.”
More recently, the university partnered with the Disney Institute to implement an employee culture survey and culture trainings for faculty, a decision that has sparked criticism from faculty members.
Faculty also criticized the administration’s decision to consolidate the university’s technology offices and the decision to centralize technology services under the purview of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Diaz rather than under Provost Brian Blake.
“This is simply bad governance since making decisions that directly affect research and teaching should be the purview of the provost,” the letter states. “We believe that the CFO, who was not vetted by the faculty when he was hired and does not report to the faculty, should not engage in operations that affect the quality of research and teaching.”