As President LeBlanc’s contract comes up for review with the Board of Trustees, please make your lack of faith in him and his leadership known directly.
You may write to the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org to very simply say: “The time has come. I do not support the renewal of President LeBlanc’s contract.”
The survey conducted by the Faculty Senate has confirmed that LeBlanc has little to be proud of over his time at GW.
- Survey Says: Roughly three-fourths of us do not agree that LeBlanc has cultivated a culture of trust here, or that he engages with us or shows respect for us.
When we receive “Employee Appreciation Day” or “International Women’s Day” platitudes from LeBlanc, you can feel the collective eye roll. But as insulting as those messages are, it is the ongoing secretive plan that the President and Provost have tried to sell us as a “Post-COVID Academic Innovation Task Force” that should worry us the most.
Provost Blake initially called this an “Academic Master Plan,” which would assess the quality of academic units using a “return on investment” model that prioritizes (get this) high student enrollment and low faculty compensation. In the wake of an outpouring of faculty disapproval, Blake and LeBlanc pledged to redesign this “Master Plan.” They assured faculty they would make this redesign in accordance with the values of shared governance.
- Survey Says: A paltry 18% of faculty think LeBlanc understands shared governance.
University administrators developed a friendlier name for the “Master Plan,” which is now called the “Post-COVID Academic Innovation Task Force.” Doesn’t that make it sound inclusive and well-rounded?
- Survey Says: Only 22% of faculty think LeBlanc is inclusive and works openly with people who bring a diversity of perspectives.
The “Task Force” is strangely skewed. Only one member represents the arts and humanities. It includes only one student — a med student. The vast majority of faculty who teach in CCAS–the school most directly responsible for undergraduate education at GW–are represented by only three members. Instead, the Task Force is packed with administrators in the capacities of deans, directors, and chairs. As constituted, this Task Force does not represent the GW faculty.
- Survey Says: Two-thirds of faculty do not agree that President LeBlanc makes a genuine effort to listen to faculty and staff before making major decisions.
GW administrators are failing to plan for the future with us. Instead, they are using this skewed Task Force to implement an agenda they engineered long before the pandemic. The fate of our programs and the education of our students–the power to construct “actionable recommendations that help GW take its next innovative step into the future”–is almost entirely in the hands of those who have neither the ability nor the inclination to speak for us.
- Survey Says: Only one-quarter of faculty believe that leadership communicates honestly with us.
Further, it is clear that “budget management” strategies such as caps on salaries, numbers of new tenure-line hires, and other not-very-innovative measures will flow from the assessment of programs through this Task Force. Yet we still don’t know what metrics are being used to make these decisions. What kind of information is being sought, for what purpose, and how? How will that information be evaluated, and by whom? What counts as data–as evidence–in these assessments? Who decides, or, better, who has already decided?
- Survey Says: Only 18% of faculty think LeBlanc is transparent in his actions and decisions.
So here we are, being cajoled into imagining that we have a say in the future of this university, despite our clear lack of confidence in our leaders and the sham Task Force they’re trying to sell as “shared governance.” Our leaders are attempting to generate our consent for the gutting of our own programs.
Beyond these numerical survey results, the Faculty Senate is preparing to release 120 pages of comments that faculty offered. We know we can trust that the Senate will release the full set of anonymized comments–as they did for the President, the Provost, and the Board of Trustees–and not just a summary.
We also know that these comments will be damning for President LeBlanc. We know that he doesn’t care what we think. But this is our university, not his.
- Survey Says: The majority of faculty do not think LeBlanc has the capacity to learn from criticism and failure.
As LeBlanc’s contract comes up for review with the Board of Trustees, please make your lack of faith in him and his leadership known directly. You may write to the Board at email@example.com to very simply say: “The time has come. I do not support the renewal of President LeBlanc’s contract.”
The GWU Faculty Association