My august university president says: too many faculty because… “quote-unquote ‘overstaffed'” (air quotes included)

Yesterday, at BGSU my fine university’s Faculty Senate meeting, faculty once again grilled upper management administrators on recent faculty cuts.

Pres. Mazey our august president’s response?  Resorting to air quotes.  Now that’s intellectual leadership.  More below the fold.

Here’s how Pres. Mazey our august president replied to the criticism, according to the BGNews, our campus newspaper:

The University compared the number of faculty members to the student body, which revealed the University was “quote-unquote ‘overstaffed,’” said University President Mary Ellen Mazey.

I wasn’t there, so I don’t know whether Mazey our august president actually used air quotes.  But what data are we using here?  Why does a university president resort to air quotes?

One thing we know is that while BGSU my fine university keeps cutting faculty, its promotional material and other documents claim that we have far more faculty than we actually do.  In BGSU my fine university’s draft College Completion plan, required by Ohio this year, we’re claiming 800 full-time faculty, but we actually have around 730, with the number going southwards faster than Buckeye State snowbirds in October.

In other words, upper management administration knows, at a gut level, that more faculty is a calling card for a university.  But it also seems to know, at a gut level (and it must be a gut thing, because there’s no evidence) that we have too many faculty.

A lesson, people: anytime someone’s using air quotes, ask for proof.  And if someone who’s got a Ph.D and is ostensibly the leader of an intellectual institution uses them, it’s because she or he may not have a leg to stand on.

Whatcha thinkin'?

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