Unfortunately, Teresa Sullivan falls into the trap of describing her collaborative method as incremental and conservative. This kind of rhetoric allows the Board to define her as slow and inadequate in a time of rapid change, and to justify executive authority as that which is bold and decisive. We simply cannot afford any longer to allow academic work and administration to fall into the innovation trap, which casts as anti-innovation anyone who appears to oppose innovation as defined largely by information technology corporations in their equally turbulent and oligarchic markets. Sullivan fell into this, and still does not seem to realize fully how this mechanism works.
Academics need to concede nothing to the executive-managerial movement Kiernan and the UVa Board principals represent. They need to define university or school organization that reflects data-based, expertise-grounded, deep creativity based in intense knowledge of the complex system one is trying to change. This is what Sullivan had started to do, and it is the core insight of Theory Y as I discussed it recently. Its forms of reciprocal and relatively egalitarian collaboration generate richer, deeper knowledge and more creative and robust solutions than does the thin knowledge and compulsive changes of tack of externally-focused managers who respond to the influence that seems most powerful at a given moment.
All Hell Breaks Loose at the Professional-Managerial Divide: University of Virginia Edition — utotherescue.blogspot.com.es — Readability. An absolutely essential post for anyone who wants to understand the underlying forces that created the UVA fiasco — and that will probably insure that it continues to be a fiasco.