Anyone who has worked in administration for very long knows the drill: every year or two a new project with a new acronym comes along, and most of the usual suspects address the same questions they addressed last year. Over time, the various projects overlap, deadlines start to crash into each other, people start to forget what got said where, and after a few years, people start to adopt a “been there, done that” attitude.What's missing, though, is the presence of an Officer of the Status Quo, whose sole responsibility is to remind the more adventurous innovative spirits that much of what is best practice in higher education requires little more than a log to sit on, or a shade tree. A commenter gets it.
[One community college] took a crack at breaking initiative fatigue by setting up a coordinating committee with a master chart of outcomes. The idea was to map who was doing what, so redundancies could be identified and undue duplication avoided. (Presumably, it could also help identify the areas of minimal coverage, where future projects would be welcome, and areas of ample coverage, where the horse is well and truly dead.) Yes, it’s almost a parody of administration to suggest a “committee on committees,” but in practice it can make a lot of sense.
Maybe we observe that every fall there's some hullabaloo over some Next Big Thing that administrators are all excited about, and we're supposed to pay lip service to it on top of all of our teaching and research and mentoring and advising (you know, the actual core functions of what an institution of higher learning is all about) and then next fall it's a different Next Big Thing. Instead of figuring out how to get us excited, perhaps you could consider the possibility that the real problem is the Big Initiatives?Quite.