Readers Write (Dec. 15)
Involve all parties, and the work will progress
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Steven Rosenstone and the MnSCU board of trustees seem to believe that they have a monopoly on the idea of “change.” MnSCU overlooks that 8,000 faculty members are perpetually making changes on their campuses to ensure that Minnesota students receive an excellent, accessible and affordable higher education.
No one is out to destroy MnSCU or its strategic plan, Charting the Future. However, the plan’s top-down and centralized approach to change allows little autonomy for the diversity of local campuses and communities. What critics are demanding is that the plan’s implementation process becomes less administrator-centric and more inclusive of those who are on the front lines of teaching and learning.
The chancellor cannot implement anything without significant buy-in from students, faculty and staff. As witnessed for two months, many of those constituents are not buying what he is selling.
Perhaps it is time for MnSCU to rethink its position. Its leaders should not read resistance to the current autocratic process as indiscriminate resistance to all change.
A potential compromise has been on the table for nine months. A coalition of MnSCU unions and the four-year student association resubmitted that more equitable process again in August. The chancellor has refused to share power with students and faculty.
Trustees, the ball is in your court.
Monte Bute, Woodbury
The writer is a professor at Metropolitan State University.