The Survey Results are in: No Confidence in the LeBlanc Administration

The results of the Faculty Survey of the President are in. Over the objections of the LeBlanc administration, and despite dubious last-minute procedural efforts at the November 18 Faculty Assembly, the Faculty Senate received official sanction to conduct a rigorous survey of faculty views of the LeBlanc administration. Highlights from the results have been published by the GW Hatchet, and all full-time faculty received a link to the complete results in an email of Feb 22.

These results represent the views of a majority of the full-time faculty.  The survey went out to 1781 faculty members and 1202, or 67%, submitted eligible responses. 

Only 27% of the surveyed faculty feels “confident in the President as a leader.” 52.3% of the faculty do not feel “confident” and the remaining faculty indicated they were “neutral” on the matter.

The survey suggests that the  lack of confidence in LeBlanc’s leadership is directly tied to faculty perceptions of the president’s disregard for the values and procedures of shared governance.  The majority of faculty (56%) disagreed with the statement “Faculty members are meaningfully involved in institutional planning.” Just 24% agreed with the statement (with the remaining 20% indicating neutrality).  The responses were similar to the statements “University leadership promotes leader-faculty-staff relationships through shared governance” and “The president makes a genuine effort to listen to faculty and staff concerns before making major decisions that impact the university” 

We await the release of the qualitative data with growing impatience. The Faculty Senate survey team has told us that they have already released this data to President LeBlanc, Provost Blake, and have offered it to the BoT, but that they will not release it to the faculty for at least three weeks, even though all personal identifiers have already been removed.  They have also indicated they may not release the data in its entirety to the faculty, though they have already provided it to the LeBlanc administration. The Faculty Association continues to pursue this issue.

Still, the quantitative results speak clearly enough, even without the qualitative data.

As we wrote in our messages to GWUFA members earlier,  “If President LeBlanc is telling the truth about faculty support for his administration, the survey will also show that.” 

The survey has made clear that the faculty do not have confidence in the LeBlanc administration. And why would they? From the Disney fiasco to the destructive layoffs, to the conspicuous contempt for basic norms of shared governance, the LeBlanc administration has damaged the core values of GW , and most of us recognize that.

The question is: what will the Board of Trustees do? Will they make good on their fiduciary responsibility to George Washington University or will they continue to dismiss our serious and, as the survey has shown, widely shared concerns? What will we, as faculty members, do if, as we fear, our Board of Trustees continues to stand by this disastrous administration?

And, most of all, how will we continue to flourish as a community of students, staff, and faculty? Most of us will still be at GW long after President LeBlanc and those who followed him to GW have moved on, in what they will no doubt regard as good career moves. They may see us as their stepping stones, but we know we are much much more than that.

In solidarity,

The GWU Faculty Association

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Published by GWUFA

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

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