“Dog’s breakfast”: is that a legal term?
It would appear that there is a full-scale media campaign underway:
- “Funding formula unfair to UNBSJ, says group: Education: Advocates suggest local campus is being shortchanged compared to other N.B. universities,” Jeff Ducharme, Telegraph-Journal (May 6/10, C3).
Nothing new. But why now, one wonders? The shared visions group have certainly been granted every courtesy by those organizing the UNB strategic planning process — more courtesy than was comfortable for some of us malcontents — but apparently that was not enough. But see, that’s the difference between universities and the private sector: in the private sector if you have enough power you can simply say “make it so.” Universities are surely chasing after the corporate model but are still blessed (or encumbered, depending on your perspective) with enough of the trappings of collegial governance that at the very least they have to make a gesture towards collegial decision-making. And now and again it actually works: people who are only listening to other people because they are obliged to, sometimes really hear them.
Which can be a total bummer if you have a vision you want to share down people’s throats.
All of which is not to say the the subject of today’s leg of the media campaign, the UNB funding formula, is not sorely in need of restructuring. Many within the University have been saying so for some time. And that is where the discussions, and the solutions, should originate: within the University. I mean really, do the self-styled visionaries really want to give the SJ campus more money to use as it sees fit? Or is all this really about control of the campus?
Somehow I suspect if the visionaries had their way, UNBSJ would have less, not more, real autonomy.
Call me a cynic if you like.