Michael Tobin has the report in the Emerald here:
Six months after the launch of the College of Design, some faculty members are complaining about a new level of bureaucracy and the fate of some of the old programs.
Also, some faculty members are unhappy over a controversial court decision that allows dean Christoph Lindner to control extra funds from a donor’s will that were intended only for books and photographs for the art history department.
Lindner, who became the dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 2016, proposed that the school undergo a massive restructure and become what is now known as the College of Design.
Established in fall 2017, the college is home to these schools: Architecture and Environment; Art and Design and Planning, Public Policy, and Management, as well as one department: the History of Art and Architecture.
The rest of the story goes into the details, including a faculty / union meeting.
The discontent is hardly surprising. The primary motivation for the reorganization, as best as one can tell, was to give Dean Lindner and other upper administrators a nice item to list on their resumes and to provide those with administrative ambitions another layer of mid-level management positions to fill. The result has been a fractured college unit that is only less capable of pursuing “excellence.”
Ah. Business as usual, then….
It’s important to remember that it was Scott Coltrane who tasked Lindner (immediately upon his hire as Dean) to pursue the School-to-College transformation. And though the squeaky wheel gets the column inches in the Daily Emerald, most faculty in the College of Design are pretty happy with it.
Certain Architecture faculty resent the change because they’ve lost the hierarchical name “School of Architecture and the Allied Arts,” and that infringes on their sense of specialness. But the former “allies,” a majority of the faculty, don’t mind it so much. And it’s also worth remembering that the Architecture Department is well known as a harbor for malcontents and even some crazies–take their agitation with a grain of salt.
The observation about Coltrane’s influence is probably true. Lindner is unlikely to have come up with such a strategy spontaneously the moment he stepped off the plane. Ever wonder why the administration wanted this reorganization? Or the one now taking place in Education? What’s in it for them?
The observation about the happiness of most faculty is pure conjecture. There are very unhappy faculty in all departments. (Well not HAA – they’re happy with their newly created slush fund.)
Architecture faculty don’t care so much about the name change – they care about a wide range of substantive problems in the past year. Their “sense of specialness” comes more from actual accomplishments, not nomenclature.
And of course we there are no malcontents or crazies anywhere else in the university, are there?
Most faculty are not happy with it. And Lindner was the aggressive force behind it — despite knowing almost nothing about the unit he was managing.
FWIW here is the Senate resolution approving this: https://senate.uoregon.edu/entry/?Motions=US16/17-25 (click to expand)
and the minutes: https://cpb-us-east-1-juc1ugur1qwqqqo4.stackpathdns.com/blogs.uoregon.edu/dist/9/13250/files/2016/12/Senate-Minutes-03-15-17-1k7fd2o.pdf
4.6 Discussion of Senate’s role in: Renaming and Reorganization of School of
Architecture and Allied Arts into the College of Design; (DRAFT Proposal)
(Academic Council Response)(Undergraduate Council Response). Harbaugh noted that
this proposal has been reviewed within the School of Architecture and Allied Arts (AAA)
and by the appropriate Senate committees. He said it is now before the Senate for
discussion, including the question of how a School of Planning, Public Policy, and
Management (PPPM) would fit into a College of Design. Renee Irvin, Associate
Professor of PPPM, said the entire PPPM faculty supports this change. She said the
process used to develop this reorganization plan was “authentically inclusive” and
Dean Christoph Lindner of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts explained that the
impetus for the reorganization was both academic and intellectual. He said AAA is an
eclectic school that is home to numerous disciplines. Unfortunately, they currently
operate in silos, so the goal is to increase collaboration and interdisciplinary effort. The
reorganization structure reflects the creation of communities of shared interests, which
will now be called schools. The names of those schools, he noted, came directly from
the faculty. Lindner also explained the brainstorming process the faculty used to
develop a unifying theme for describing all the schools. He said there was strong
agreement that College of Design captured the creative nature of all their work. This is
how the current AAA faculty wants to “articulate our identity.”
Several senators asked about the choice of College of Design as the school’s new
name, about how a college could contain both schools and a department, and about the
timeline for making the proposed changes. Lindner explained that they had found
comparable examples of these structures around the country and noted that AAA hopes
to accomplish the reorganization before the coming Fall Term.
Motion to suspend the rules and allow a vote on the proposal to rename and
reorganize the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Presented by: __________.
Vote on motion to suspend the rules: Overwhelmingly – Yes. Only two visible
“No” votes. Moved/Seconded/Carried.
Motion to endorse the proposed renaming and reorganization of the School of
Architecture and Allied Arts as described in the document “Proposal – COLLEGE
OF DESIGN, January 31, 2017”. Presented by: Frances White. Second: Eric
Vote on motion to endorse the proposed renaming and reorganization of the
School of Architecture and Allied Arts: Unanimous – Yes.