We’re Not Tired, Provost Blake

“I am extremely sensitive to faculty fatigue…” Provost Blake wrote yesterday, describing why he has changed his mind about implementing his “shock doctrine” Academic Master Plan.

We’d like to respond.  

We’re not tired, Blake. We’re energized, we’re focused, and we won’t back down.

The Faculty Association is gratified that we and members of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) successfully cooperated to force Provost Blake to postpone and redesign his terrible shock doctrine plan to assess university programs according to an undisclosed return-on-investment (ROI) standard. We accomplished this by standing together and threatening to vote Blake out of his job at the Faculty Assembly on November 18th. 

Blake’s plan, requested and supported by GW’s Board of Trustees, would have cut 25 percent of University programs and would have included layoffs of faculty, even tenured faculty, within those programs. The Plan focused on efficiencies and revenue rather than on scholarly research and service. And, the Plan included “early metrics” on program performance, suggesting that an undisclosed ROI standard has already been applied as a mechanism for corporatizing our University.  

ALL of this had been done without ANY faculty consultation — thus extending the pattern of this administration and the Board of Trustees issuing dictates from above without regard to the will of faculty or staff and treating our University as their corporate dominion.

Endeavoring to spin the story his way, Provost Blake chose to characterize our resistance as “faculty fatigue.” No, Provost Blake, we aren’t fatigued. We are motivated by a firm resolve to defend our university from the continued hubris of administrative leaders and Trustees whose actions are ravaging this University. This is nothing more than our professional duty as university faculty members.

Blake’s email to all faculty pledged to redesign his Academic Master Plan in consultation with the Faculty Senate and according to the principles of shared governance. We will hold him and the rest of the university administration to that pledge. 

There will be no shock doctrine at GW. We are not fatigued. We will continue to uphold the principles of scholarly excellence, equity, and civic engagement. These are the values that guide our work as researchers, teachers, and members of the GW community.

Our university is not a corporation and should not function according to a profit-driven, ROI model. 

The faculty, students and staff have made it clear that we do not support the corporatization of GW. We all have our eyes on you, GW administrators. We are the university. We insist on standards of excellence and equity. 

And we’re not too tired to fight.

In solidarity, 
The GWU Faculty Association 

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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