Perhaps we should be grateful it is the University of Tulsa, perhaps best known in the sports world as the place where Don Morton got enough of a reputation with the veer offense that the pre-Donna Shalala, pre-Pat Richter Wisconsin athletics department let him rise to the level of incompetence, and perhaps not that well-known to readers of U.S. News league tables, that is engaging in restructuring for its own sake.
Here's the short form of the Tulsa re-structuring, per Yascha Mounk.
Tulsa just abolished its traditional departments, including Economics and PoliSci.If they'd teach the controversies, it doesn't matter what the divisional structure is. If what they're doing is just another management fad, in the form of Total Quality Management and twee acronyms studded with Qs, as was all the rage a quarter century ago, perhaps it's irrelevant symbolism. It might be yet another administrative usurpation, treating departments as cost centers, and faculty as inputs to be used sparingly. Until the invisible hand surprises you, that is.
Instead, it now has four broad divisions called "Ecology, Environment & Sustainability," "Human Biology and Behavior," "Fine Arts and Media" and... "Humanities & Social Justice."
For years, railroads, and other businesses, have used "downsizing" or "restructuring" or "re-engineering" as an excuse to shed physical and human capital. Such decisions, though, are not so easily reversed. The approach might make sense in a shrinking industry, but it can leave that industry in poor shape to deal with expansion.Be grateful, dear reader, that it is Tulsa attempting to find its core system. If such a consolidation had first appeared at Harvard or Duke, you'd have all five hundred aspirants to the top hundred slots in the U.S. News league tables falling over themselves to copy it.