President LeBlanc says he “appreciates” employees at GW. It’s going to take more than an email, Tom.

Yesterday, we wrote to underscore the damning results of the faculty survey:  only 27% of faculty “feels confident in the President as a leader.”

Today, on the heels of LeBlanc’s insulting “employee appreciation” email, we are writing to highlight the most recent example of why confidence in his leadership is so low.

Just in case you missed it in your inbox, yesterday Provost Brian Blake announced a search to hire a Vice Provost for Research. The search committee has already formed and supposedly the Provost’s office hosted numerous “exploratory listening sessions” in preparation for the launch. However, had faculty actually been consulted on the plans for this search, surely at least some of them would have expressed confusion or, more likely, outrage.  

Is there not still a university-wide hiring freeze in place?   

Assuming this search goes off without a hitch, won’t this be the fourth senior administrator that GW hires during said hiring freeze? Isn’t there still a ban on research travel and a tightening of research funds? What, then, will this Vice Provost for Research be doing, exactly?  Is there a job description?  Will this person be performing new duties that have not previously been carried out, or assuming responsibilities previously carried out by someone else?  If so, by whom?  And why does austerity seem to be in place for everyone but senior leadership? 

In addition to President LeBlanc and Provost Blake, everyone on the search committee that is helping to install yet another Vice Provost should be reminded of those who were made to bear the brunt of GW’s highly selective austerity measures: the nearly 350 staff fired over the course of summer and fall; and our fellow workers who, while still employed, are now doing the work that 350 people used to do.  

We know you didn’t really need another reason to vote “NO CONFIDENCE” in the leadership of GW — the survey results made that crystal clear already.  And yet on the same day we wrote to amplify those results, University leadership once again demonstrated its disdain for workers, shared governance, and its own COVID-19 restrictions. This should rattle all of us about the fate of GW under President LeBlanc. 

And it should prompt all of us to take action —  sooner than later. If you want to get involved in GWUFA’s organizing efforts, sign up here.  We’re with you. 

Published by GWUFA

GWUFA is a grass-roots, faculty-run organization and has no official relation to the university administration or the Faculty Senate.

%d bloggers like this: