Yesterday, the Executive Advisory Committee met to discuss the UMass governance crisis. Today, LSU will decide whether or not to accept John Lombardi as president -- it seems a forgone conclusion that they will. Once that happens, an interim chancellor will need to be appointed and it seems likely that a search committee will be formed relatively quickly to search for a permanent chancellor.
According to the chairman of the UMass board of trustees, there are currently no plans for a dramatic reorganization of the system as they had previously envisioned -- at least until after the governor's readiness project delivers their report, scheduled for May. But this doesn't mean that they won't continue to try to cherry-pick the resources of the campus.
Evidently, the plan to merge the campuses into a single large university was driven by a secret consultant's study by the Education Alliance. The board won't release the report, but the CEO of the Education Alliance was the guy who wrote Merging Colleges for Mutual Growth in 1994 and then We Were Wrong; Try Partnerships, Not Mergers. It would be interesting to see the report to get some understanding of what has been guiding the actions of the board.
I've been continuing my study of University Governance. Just before I left on vacation, I finished reading Competing Conceptions of University Governance: Negotiating the Perfect Storm. It was a fascinating and insightful read. I've got a bunch more papers to push through -- in particular, I want to look at the case studies of changes at other university systems to try to make predictions about the effect of changes here.
The best model, however, is probably to look carefully at what the plans were here when the last chancellor's search happened and take stock of what the outcomes were. Maybe we can use that to guide the search this time around. Maybe.