10/23/13: Last December President Gottfredson gave then Interim Provost Bean the job of starting a blog, to to get faculty input into rewriting UO’s Academic Plan. It was a bad idea. Bean had botched the previous plan, which ended up in the dustbin of Johnson Hall, and his “5 big Ideas” initiative was something of a campus joke. Bean didn’t follow through on this either.
CAS Dean Coltrane wisely told his departments to ignore Bean and prepare 5-year plans for faculty and GTF hiring, etc., to be used in resource allocation. These plans were made, then ignored. No one ever took the next steps of coordinating them and prioritizing them with a set of overall university objectives, much less putting it all into a coherent plan to be used in budgeting and fundraising.
Now it’s suddenly come to Gottfredson’s realization that we’re about to start a major capital campaign, and we have no plan for the university’s long run objectives in terms of research, teaching focus, new buildings, faculty hiring, and so on. So the pressure is on for the central administration to slap something together by December. Don’t expect a chance for much input to come up from the faculty, or much coherent thought to come down from the top.
In the absence of coherent planning and budgeting, UO’s money gets frittered away on a variety of pet administrative projects – police, athletic subsidies, Portland, new assistant vice provosts, strategic communicators, consultants, lawyers, and so on. And UO’s donors look at the academic side’s confusion and decide their gifts will be more effective over at the athletic department – because they sure as hell have a plan for the money!
But I know what you’re really wondering: Why does it always have to be a 5-year plan? It’s simple. The Nazi’s gave the 4-year plan a bad name. The Poles tried a 6-year plan, but gave up after 5. Jesuits do 7-year plans, but they’ve got eternity on their side. So while the inventor of the 5-year plan was not exactly a saint, 5 years it will be.