Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Lack of Leadership at American Colleges & Universities

In another post I wrote about how American are not always leaders. I don't want to only pick on them; there's other areas where a lack of leadership is clear. American colleges and universities, for one. An example of the lack of leadership from college presidents and other upper level administrators can be found in New Jersey. several years ago the state was allegedly going through a "financial" crisis, and the former brilliant governor Jon Corzine wanted to save money by asking state workers to take unpaid days off - employees were locked out, and not paid. Some unions at the state colleges agreed to have their workers take ten unpaid lockout days, while other unions agreed to take seven days. The college presidents and other managers? They took less, most only two or three. Why? They claimed that the state (governor's office) said they would have to save a "percentage" of state funds, not take a certain number of furlough days. So at higher education institutions like Montclair State University, high level administrators took only two unpaid days off.

How is this a lack of leadership?  Well, if there really was a financial "crisis" - unlikely to be actually true, as it was more the Governor and other elected officials trying to win over voters by trying to show they were "saving" tax dollars - real leadership would have been the college presidents standing up and together saying, "New Jersey is in a financial crisis; so we're all going to take ten unpaid days off to help the state save money, and we hope all other state workers do the same."  Now that would have been true leadership. What is not leadership is being a weasel and saying, well the amount of money we were asked to save was a percentage, and it only came to two days for us. Please. What a bunch of slimeballs. Only interested in serving themselves, not students or taxpayers. College presidents in the U.S. are overpaid as it is, so what would taking less pay mean for them? Come on. College presidents are almost as bad as some CEO's.

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