Trick or Treat?

Boo! It’s that time of year and we have good reason to be scared. The secret reorganization plan Provost Blake is trying to implement—his Shock Doctrine—is even worse than we feared. But there is also a treat. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 18 @ 4pm and keep reading to find out what it is.

The Trick

He’s got a plan. He won’t tell us what it entails. That’s scary.

When Blake met with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee last week, he refused to reveal full, specific details on his plan to cut programs at GW: not his metrics, not his criteria, not which programs are under review. But the little he did reveal is horrifying:

  • The evaluation of programs is strictly based on the number of students who take classes in the programs. There is no consideration of the intellectual contributions of programs, the scholarly excellence of the faculty, or even the many sound pedagogical reasons for smaller classes. If you’ve got tenured professors and reasonable class sizes, he’s coming for your program.
  • Provost Blake does not want to be limited by any current structures: Entire departments, programs, and any other administrative units on campus may be subject to significant overhaul, regardless of their scholarly and pedagogical contributions to the university.
  • The only item that matters to Provost Blake is the cost of a program to his office. If a program’s budget comes from its school or college, beware the scythe. If resources come from another upper administrative source (such as CFO Diaz’s office), then those numbers don’t factor into Blake’s analysis. This makes little sense, and is guaranteed to produce absurd inequities across campus.
In short, the only “good” university course in Provost Blake’s book is one that 
fills an amphitheater 
and is taught by adjunct or contingent labor making pennies on the dollar for their work.  

Is this what an excellent and equitable university looks like? We say NO! This administration’s continued attempts to dismantle scholarly excellence and faculty governance at GW must STOP now.  We cannot let Blake’s Shock Doctrine proceed.  

The Treat

Let’s remember, we hold the power here.  We are the university.  And we have procedural power in this instance:  

Professor Harald Griesshammer has drafted a Resolution of No Confidence in the Provost.  Please email Harald at to see the Resolution and sign his petition to put a Vote of No Confidence on the agenda for the upcoming Faculty Assembly.

Then, mark your calendar for the Faculty Assembly on Wednesday, November 18 @ 4pm, when the entire faculty body can take collective action to ensure that secretive, shocking, scary plans like this are nipped in the bud.  We can say NO to this destructive plan and stand up for our values of outstanding scholarship, excellent pedagogy, and fully shared governance.

In solidarity,

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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