EDITORIAL: Grading CMU’s performance in 2011-12 school year
Read our Central Michigan University grade sheet for the school’s performance in various areas throughout the 2011-12 Academic Year.
Central Michigan University’s faculty put in good effort this school year but seemed to lose steam midway through. Dealing with bullies can be traumatic for students, and the Faculty Association had its work cut out for it in contract negotiations with the CMU administration. Unfortunately, as Nietzsche said, be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one. Or in this case, refuse to release your own voting results to members.
The Bovee University Center renovation was both wanted and needed, and proved to be a successful addition to campus. However, the constant lack of transparency — including but not limited to the $10 million allocated to the Events Center — has shed a negative light upon the administration affecting their chance of a passing grade.
University Communications: Incomplete
What can we say about CMU’s UComm? A lot more than it said to us. Paltry efforts at transparency and arranging for a new website, which is almost as hated as it was expensive, leaves us unable to properly grade UComm course participation. Their attempt to exclude students from a speech by University President George Ross during the Faculty Association contract conflict led to his “grown-ups” gaffe. It seems they spent too much time attempting to manage tasks far outside their scope, meaning even their most basic tasks went unfulfilled. Perhaps CMU mixed up the syllabus with Dystopianism 101?
Academic Senate: C
CMU’s A-Senate efforts were all over the chart, with highs and lows eventually landing at a just-average grade. This year’s triumphs and travails can be summed up with its vote of no confidence against Ross and Provost Gary Shapiro: It was a brave, far-reaching measure undertaken off the agenda in the last ten minutes of the last meeting of fall semester, with no time for comment. Weak.
Board of Trustees: D-
CMU’s Board of Trustees is really all about class participation. Show up for meetings, speak up and take a genuine interest in the school’s welfare, and it’s an easy A. It’s pretty telling, then, that the trustees could only barely pass the course. A cursory commitment to renewed transparency saves Kottamasu and the gang from a failing grade, but immediate improvement in oversight, starting with a plan of action, is needed.
Student Government Association: D-
In an independent study course, SGA was able to set its own objectives. It chose to make a transformation from a larger bicameral to a smaller, more focused unicameral system it’s main priority. The effort did not go over well, with the eventual proposal removed from the ballot before students were allowed to vote on it. The chance for a fresh start seemed wasted by President Justin Gawronski’s new administration, which was embroiled in controversy almost immediately. Vice President Anna Dvorak resigned within a week, and things have since settled down. We wish SGA good luck in their Seminar in Advanced Campus Leadership next year.
It was a difficult year for the athletics department. While wrestling and volleyball both won conference titles, football and men’s basketball — the two teams that bring in the most revenue — struggled again. So much so, Athletics Director Dave Heeke made the decision to fire head men’s basketball coach Ernie Zeigler, resulting in son Trey to also leave the program. Within the last two weeks, five athletes have been arrested for various reasons, three of which were dismissed from the football team. We also can’t forget the department distorting attendance numbers for football games. While we acknowledge that many other schools do the same thing, it is a testament to the university’s recent inability to attract attention to the program.
Shared Governance: CR
It’s too soon to say if the Shared Governance committee created this semester will work. But even the addition of it to the campus community is positive. This could be the first time the board of trustees, faculty and administration all hear each other out with no holds barred. It could also turn into a committee where nothing is accomplished and members leave frustrated. Hopefully when next fall hits, we can expect plenty of positives from the committee.
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