Today, I attended the UMass Board of Trustees meeting and the following General Faculty meeting. There have been substantial positive developments, but it was also made clear how far we have to go. The most exciting moment was when Trustee Boyle broke the otherwise seamless edifice of the trustees to confirm the concerns that have been raised about the lack of open debate within the board. The most embarrassing moment was to see one of the trustees lack of grasp regarding the nature of higher education. I had heard rumors before, but it was interesting to see it on display.
The General Faculty meeting that followed was uneventful. The biggest issue was that a few people have been unhappy that the executive advisory committee that has been setting the agenda hasn't been willing to add motions that some people would like to see -- in particular with respect to particular personalities. I spoke briefly to remind people of the challenges in maintaining such a large coalition of faculty organizations and commended Max and Ernie for finding a common agenda that all the groups could support.