As emailed to Peter Taylor, Chair of Arts and Science Faculty Board, 7 January 2013:
I just heard through the grapevine that the January meeting of Faculty Board has been cancelled due to “insufficient business.” I must say that I find this incredibly disappointing, especially since the November Faculty Board meeting was once again cancelled this year on short notice. It seems to me that a month where there are few ‘action’ items on the agenda provides an excellent opportunity for Faculty Board to have meaningful discussion and consultation on any of the host of challenges that we face as a faculty. I feel this is a wasted opportunity. The Faculty Board meeting, for example, could have been used to hear the long overdue report from the Procedures Committee and perhaps to have a Committee of the Whole to consult on the issues facing it. As another example, the Faculty Board could have served as an opportunity to discuss strategic priorities for the Faculty, or to discuss issues related to the apparent lack of oversight that we learned about at the December meeting of courses offered through CDS. In fact, I can think of dozens of issues that we might have had a collegial discussion about.
I am reminded of the November Faculty Board meeting that was cancelled last year for “insufficient business” only a day or two before the decision to suspend admissions to the BFA program was announced. I hope this cancellation doesn’t portend some other similar announcement.
As the Chair of Faculty Board, I hope that you will seize upon slow meeting agendas in the future to accomplish more than just the usual ‘bookkeeping’ business. We have had numerous meetings in the past year where debate was limited due to time constraints; we ought not, in my view, continue to throw away valuable opportunities to confront the challenges we face in a collective and collegial manner.