Friday, December 12, 2008

Response to the New York Times December 12 article

The following quotes are taken from:
"Kerrey Moves to Bolster Support at the New School"

“If the times were fulsome and every aspiration and tenure interest of that group was being fulsomely met, there would have been no vote last night,” [Mr Hindley] said Thursday
The current concerns of faculty have nothing to do with the current financial situation of the university. The concerns of the faculty with the actions of the President's Office predate the current economic downturn. The faculty of the New School, as a not-wealthy institution, are accustomed to operating in lean ways. If anything, the faculty's current concerns are about the ways in which the inability of the President to function productively with any sort of Provost have been the single greatest obstacle to the faculty developing fundable research initiatives and new degree programs in areas likely to see an increase in enrollment during periods of economic downturn.

The current concerns of the faculty have nothing to do with the conditions of tenure at the New School, as they have been established in the handbook developed in consultation with the faculty over the last year. If there is a concern in this area, it has to do with the turnover of Provosts, whose key function is making recommendations to the President about tenure cases. That Kerrey decided to unilaterally make himself as President also the Chief Academic Officer evidences how little he understands about the position of Provost and the issue of tenure.

“We know that the job Joe wanted to take would have kept him busy to April.”
This crucial claim in the dubious narrative that the President's Office has constructed to explain the departure of Joe Westphal must be investigated. The various statements made by Kerrey about Joe Westphal's departure to the Deans, to the faculty via a general email announcement and to the public via interviews with journalists are not consistent.

“There is nothing in the administration of Bob Kerrey to indicate that he would not have welcomed” an honest expression of grievances.
The growing grievances of the faculty have been communicated to Kerrey repeatedly through the Provosts who have each in their turn be made to step down.