Today’s Dean Fact 4/29

Who decides What and How: Dean Abernathy’s Backroom

The “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!”  seeds of CISE destruction:

Mark Law proposes degrading CISE  graduate research faculty status:

Abernathy-style “Shared” Governance: Administrators decide on faculty voting rights:

These emails were sunshined as part of a public records request. They are from the former Chairman Mark Law of ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering), to Dean Abernathy. ECE is the department with which CISE was supposed to make a Memorandum of Understanding about forming a school on Friday (4/27). The faculties had been forced to rush this decision through in 2 days. CISE has now been told that the Dean has taken over the writing of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding).

The first email was written a week before Dean Abernathy announced the  March 12  townhall meeting  to  “discuss” her Strategic (read unequitable) Budget cut proposal.

(Former ECE chair, now Associate Dean) Mark Law provides spin for destroying CISE by citing a news article. University of Florida already appears in the cited news article, presumably for having destroyed Nuclear Engineering in the past couple of years.

Before and during the March 12 townhall meeting, the Dean was formally requested to (a) release budget documents for the units in the college so that faculty could generate alternate plans and (b) release details of her own proposal for comment (c) take minutes at the townhall meeting. The Dean did not do so. At the townhall meeting, the Dean said that TAs would be cut, the CISE department would be affected disproportionately, and that her budget cut proposal was due at the Provost Glover’s office on March 16.

In the  second email  Mark Law details how research faculty will be stripped of their research activities, ability to apply for grants, ability to supervise PhD students, possibly their graduate faculty status, and have their teaching loads hugely increased to teach up to 4 courses a semester (this is more than most 4-yr colleges’ teaching load).  Strangely, this email  that sets out the restructuring is copied to William Heitman, of the College of Engineering’s newly centralized fiscal office, presumably in order to provide a budgetary justification of these draconian changes of faculty assignment that would otherwise have to follow established rules of contract and constitution.Which motivates which?  Does the Budget cut motivate the Restructuring? Or Vice Versa?

The third email  is an amazing discussion between Dean Abernathy and   Mark Law about which faculty members should have which voting rights. This is outside the purview of administrators’ decision making; it is for the faculty groups to decide.

4 Responses to “Today’s Dean Fact 4/29”

  1. What earlier was just a conjecture is now becoming a conviction. This whole “Mahabharat” now seems less and less motivated by budgetary compulsions with each of these documents coming out.

  2. If faculty get stripped of research positions, then they cannot be PIs on current grants, and UF both loses current funding *and* must go back upon letters of commitment, etc. to funding agencies. So obviously there is no budget motivation and never was. UF will lose money both short- and long-term.

    But the people who make the cuts can play (more) short-term accounting tricks and get new, higher-up jobs before the costs become clear. That’s much more the motivation.

  3. Happy happy joy joy seems like sarcasm, I really doubt that anyone would truly maniacally laugh about cutting parts of the college they belong to…

  4. The Associate Dean Mark Law’s reaction to the cited forced closure of Engineering and CS departments in several universities is “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!” Does he even has any slight idea of the pain that those affected students, staffs and faculties had to go through?

    With these kind of leaders in the college of engineering, it’s very questionable how UF would ever recover from the damages that these two leaders have caused, or to prevent any further damages.

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