By Aldon Stiles |Staff Writer|
Relations between President Tomás Morales and the faculty senate are still rocky since the sudden dismissal of former provost Dr. Andrew Bodman in June.
Faculty senate chair Dr. Jodie Ullman stated in an email, “…we currently have highly strained relationships with central administration.”
“Over the last three years,” Ullman continued, “there have been actions and behaviors that have lead to a breach of trust between many in the faculty and central administration.”
“The dismissal of so many administrators and staff in the past three years also led to a concern that the President wants to eliminate ‘institutional memory’ from the campus, so he could remake the campus in his own image,” faculty senate chair Dr. Treadwell Ruml stated in an e-mail.
Ruml also expressed concerns with the lack of faculty consultation on Morales’ behalf.
“Dr. Morales seems to have a predilection for expensive outside consultants when many of our own faculty are more expert in the relevant area than any outside consultant could be,” Ruml stated.
Ullman also shared these concerns. She stated, “We have not had the opportunity to meet with the President yet to discuss the issues on shared governance outlined in our resolution to the Chancellor.”
“There is a significant problem with shared decision-making between administrators and the faculty,” Ullman stated.
According to Ruml, Morales has fast-tracked a number of projects “without any serious faculty senate consultation.”
These projects include a new dining/residential complex, Coyote First Step, an academic advising program that “largely excludes faculty,” and according to Ullman, the possibility of a program that would “require freshmen to live on campus if they live more than 25 miles away from campus.”
Ullman also stated, “We worry about the use and effectiveness of Student Success Funds.” According to the Student Success Initiative page on the CSUSB website, students pay $55.62 quarterly in student success fees.
Ruml stated that Interim Provost Juan Delgado restores some confidence in the faculty senate. According to Ruml, his years of experience in the education department reassure faculty that these credentials are still important at CSUSB.
Ruml and Delgado have a prior working relationship of over 20 years, according to Delgado. “Since moving into this role,” Delgado stated, “we have worked together closely and I have sought his (Ruml) counsel and opinion on a weekly basis on a number of faculty-oriented topics.”
When asked about how well Delgado works with Morales, Ruml stated, “He can speak frankly to Dr. Morales in a way few others could.”
Ullman stated, “My sense is that they work well together. Prior to Interim Provost Delgado’s appointment, he and the President were personal friends and perhaps this friendship has translated into a strong, hand in glove working relationship.”
Delgado stated, “As a long-time faculty member, I am learning even more about the university through the perspective of the department chairs and President Morales, and I hope to continue these productive meetings throughout the coming year.”
When asked about his plan during his time as Provost, Delgado stated, “The Provost works closely with faculty, department chairs, deans and administration to foster a world class learning environment.”
The search for a permanent Provost is still being conducted, however, Delgado is not on the list of candidates.