Sunday, February 14, 2010

They Eat Their Own Don’t They?

PACtoons: Episode One
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
The late Northwest College anthropology instructor Doug Nelson once quietly said to me over a cup of coffee, “Given how many administrators we go through here, why can’t we mold them over time to better serve the college’s real mission (beyond some trite jingle like “your future, our focus”)—resulting in a body of leadership who are more invested in this place?”

At the time when Nelson posed this question, I was in agreement with him responding, “Yeah Doug, how come we can’t do that?” I’d certainly felt this had been achieved with the faculty—including myself. When I came on in 1991, I was pretty raw and didn’t see myself lasting longer than five years. Nineteen years later, for better or worse, I’m still on the job.

Recently, my walks to the workplace each day have sadly become drearier—attributed to a handful of the most powerful people on campus and their concerted efforts to make a power play or two. For the most part, the students, fellow faculty and staff are a joy, but as I think of the institution’s top leadership, only words and terms such as “self-serving, ineffectual, cliquish, mediocrity, spineless, smarmy, out-of-touch, fake, knifing, pollyanna, nefarious,” and “watch-your-back” come to mind. These descriptors have found me via my own experiences with the college’s “upper crust” or in listening to the testimonies of other faculty and staff.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say here that the five-headed monster that has become Northwest College gets my vote of “no confidence” here. And there’s nothing I would rather see than a good five-headed decapitation via an axe-wielding Board of Trustees.

Oooooooooo... what shocking news coming from yours truly. This should really shake things up in the workplace. As Bill Cosby often said so unenthusiastically well, “Righhhhhhht.”

It appears that I have been picking on NWC quite a bit lately—much in the same way that I was critical of the Bush administration when they were in power. All I can say is that when targets this large come on the scene, one can’t resist but taking an occasional shot now and then.