Poli Sci Dept.
Preamble The Department of Political Science does not take lightly the decision to hold a vote of no confidence in a Dean, particularly one who possesses tenure in our own department. Rather, our decision represents the outgrowth of what a majority of the department perceives to be both short- and long-term failures of leadership that are serious, irreparable, and directly threaten the mission of CLASS. While we acknowledge that recent developments in our department have played a significant role in this decision, our grievances are not limited to that incident. To the contrary, this recent series of events highlights a number of serious deficiencies that have been endemic to Dean Smithâ€™s leadership of the College. To that end, a majority of the Departmentâ€™s faculty recently voted to ratify the following statement: Having no confidence in his ability to continue serving as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, I request that the administration begin the process of replacing Dean Michael Smith (agree or disagree). The departmentâ€™s central grievances against the Dean include the following: Grievance #1: Dean's Administrative and Leadership Style 1. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is especially aggrieved by what they perceive as a deliberate climate of disrespect, suspicion, hostility, and intimidation of its members by the Dean of the College. We believe that our feelings are not isolated ones but endemic throughout the College. We urge the Provost to use his leadership and his position to speak privately and confidentially with the chairs and some of the senior faculty within each of the departments in the College about this serious issue. 2. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is especially aggrieved by what they perceive as threats of retribution to individual faculty members and/or to departmental goals and programs by the Dean of the College. 3. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is especially aggrieved by the creation and perpetuation of a general climate of fear regarding civil disagreement among this department and the wider College. 4. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is dumb-founded by the decision of the administration to terminate its Chair, Dr. Richard Pacelle, three weeks into the new 2011 semester. We believe that the Dean did not properly weigh the many foreseeable costs to the functioning of the department prior to Dr. Pacelle's immediate removal. His decision leaves us to believe that he is either very inexperienced or unconcerned about the risks of his decisions for the well being of the department, its faculty, its students, and our academic mission. Our sincere concerns include: a) Placing at risk the reaccreditation process of the MPA program, where stability of leadership is of paramount importance. 1 b) Losing the Department's search for an International Relations specialist. (The lastminute decision to reactivate the search, while fortunate in some respects, has led to even more work and confusion for our search committee and for the candidates that have already appliedâ€”some of whom have now expressed their concerns and anxieties about following through with the search process). c) Raising the chance of losing the best-qualified candidates for the three current departmental searches underway this semester. The faculty is particularly concerned that astute candidates will be discouraged by the department's present Receivership Status. d) The Faculty of the Department of Political Science believe that the personal and professional reputation of Dr. Richard Pacelle has been soiled by the way in which he was removed from his office by Dean Michael Smith. Furthermore, the Department is deeply concerned that the humiliating means of termination of Dr. Pacelle by Dean Smith has seriously damaged Dr. Pacelleâ€™s professional ability to move to another university opportunity. e) Our collective inability to be able to speak positively about the leadership of this College and the direction of this department when we will be asked to meet and interview candidates applying for the Chair position. f) Finally, the Faculty of the Department of Political Science believes that the abrupt termination of the Chair seriously jeopardizes the good standing of the Department's reputation in the scholarly community. 5. It is the belief of the Faculty of the Department of Political Science that the Dean, whose specialty is in Criminal Justice, has taken actions that, knowingly or unknowingly, have promoted tensions between departmental programs (Political Science, Criminal Justice, Public Administration) and between faculty members. These actions have included: a) Suggesting that the Department's name be changed (and noting that his office had gone so far as to investigate whether BOR approval would be needed for this change) as the first order of business in advertising the replacement of our former Chair, Dr. Rich Pacelle. (We are aware that the Dean has tried to reassure us that a departmental name change will not be imposed by his office, but his reassurances are no longer trusted by this faculty). b) Insinuating to some faculty members that the Department has not treated their programs equitably, thereby causing suspicions and hostilities. Grievance #2: Faculty Governance 1. Faculty in the Department of Political Science have been energized and excited about the new administration's communication about its commitment to Shared 2 Governance. Unfortunately, the decision to remove Dr. Richard Pacelle as Chair of the Department was undertaken without the input of faculty members. This has led us to deep skepticism about the strength of that commitment in this College. 2. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is especially disappointed and confused by an administrative evaluation that began of the former Chair, Dr. Richard Pacelle, by Dean Michael Smith. That evaluation was never finalized. Only a handful of faculty members were given the opportunity to participate in the oral telephone evaluation of Dr. Pacelle before a decision was made by the Dean to terminate his service as the head of the Department. 3. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is aggrieved that, upon the decision to remove Dr. Richard Pacelle as Chair, their views on an acceptable Interim replacement were never solicited. 4. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is aggrieved that, when it appeared that one of the ongoing faculty searches would need to be sacrificed to free up funds for a Department Chair search, they were not consulted by the administration about which of the searches would be eliminated. 5. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is aggrieved that the recent hiring process for an academic advisor position has not been undertaken with regard to input from the department and that said hiring decision does not rest with the academic unit. 6. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is concerned about the frequency with which numerous official policies are generated in the Dean’s office without meaningful opportunity for discussion or debate. A number of these policies limit subsequent opportunities for faculty governance to the detriment of departmental effectiveness. Additionally, the faculty in the Department of Political Science is concerned with what they perceive to be a largely top-down approach to policy making in the College that infringes on matters of basic faculty governance. The faculty has welcomed the University administration’s stated commitment toward decentralization, and are aggrieved that the processes in this College do not appear to align with that broader goal. As per section 110.01 of the Faculty Handbook, the faculty in the Department of Political Science are committed to the University’s belief that “shared governance involves faculty and administration participating mutually in the development of policies at the departmental, college, and university levels.” 7. The faculty in the Department of Political Science is concerned about the role of faculty governance in the selection of our new Department Chair. Grievance #3: Wasting of Resources In a time of financial austerity, the CLASS Dean must now redeploy scarce college resources to cope with what we believe should have been foreseeable consequences of his decision in terminating Dr. Richard Pacelle as Chair of the Department of Political 3 Science. These redeployments include: 1. The expense of undertaking an immediate national search for Dr. Pacelle's replacement. 2. The utilization of scarce funds (likely in the neighborhood of $100,000) to compensate this new Chair notwithstanding the fact that CLASS faculty have not received merit pay increases for a number of years. 3. The part-time reassignment of one of CLASS's associate deans as temporary (and outof-field) chair of the Department of Political Science. 4. The addition of the duty of chairing the Political Science Chair Search to the workload of the Chair of the Department of Writing and Linguistics. 5. The serious strain on faculty time and productivity that this leadership disruption and future search has brought and will bring about. 4