14.6.13

DYSFUNCTION, WITHOUT KINSHIP TIES.

Thus the story line for more than a few academic novels.  Its absence, as far as the lobbying organization for business as usual in the academy is concerned, may be grounds for collegiality policies.
Clearly, [Southern Connecticut State deanlet Richard] Riccardi said, collegiality matters -- an idea outside research supports. Belonging to a collegial department figured higher in faculty satisfaction than did work and family policies, clear tenure policies and compensation, according to one cited study.
Makes sense: outside of a few top departments, the antagonism of a colleague is unlikely to result in any kind of intellectual development for the other members of the department. It's funny, though, how a study offered by administrators only hints at the forces at work to erode the very thing that's getting in the way of the faculty getting along.
As an adjective, “ 'collegial' indicates the way a group of colleagues take collective responsibility for their work together with minimal supervision from above.” Civility indicates politeness and courtesy, demonstrated by collaboration, speaking in a professional and respectful manner toward others and “stepping up” when needed, among other similar traits.
The past 20 years or so of higher education have witnessed the intrusion and expansion of supervision from above, all too often tossing onto the professors' desks responsibilities that have nothing to do with the higher learning.
Non-collegial faculty consistently fail to demonstrate these traits, [retired Southern Connecticut recreation and leisure studies professor Robert] Cipriano said. “It’s not a bad day. It’s consistent behavior, over and over again, when that person is labeled a ‘jerk.’ ” Riccardi said uncivil behavior is on the rise, due to economic uncertainty, the “classic” mandate to do more with less, and less motivated and prepared students.
Catch the elision of administrative bloat in that last sentence. That "classic mandate" is a gross misunderstanding of what productivity is all about; there's no attempt to unpackage more involvement of senior professors in the core courses from more forms to fill in for the various hand-holders in student "services", and more blanket electronic mails with lengthy attachments from headquarters; and those "less motivated and prepared students" are present because somebody somewhere either failed to motivate or to prepare them, or failed to deny their admission and call out the schools that didn't serve them properly.
Developing definitions is only half the battle, however; they then have to be shared with faculty as expectations in faculty handbooks, collective bargaining agreements and contracts, Cirpriano said. Discussions of collegiality should be proactive, not just reactive or punitive.
Process, nuance, buzzwords, another layer of management. Expect failure.

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