The University Administrator’s Prayer

The University Administrator’s Prayer September 14, 2016

The Administrator’s Prayer

I had the idea for the above variation on the Serenity Prayer during a recent conversation about the fact that those of us who oversee programs such as a core curriculum may not have authority to make faculty conform with either best practices, or even with written guidelines about programs. At most universities, faculty have a high degree of autonomy and academic freedom to craft courses as we consider best. And that works fine, so long as faculty are passionate about what we are doing, and our goals align with those of our programs and institutions.

And so there is a certain irony in the fact that many faculty view the administration – including faculty administrators who chair their department or direct the core curriculum to which they contribute – as meddling threats to their academic freedom, when in most instances, the things that we ask faculty to do, such as participating in assessment, are attempts to figure out whether we are delivering on our promises as institutions and programs.

And with respect to tenured faculty, when someone does not seem to be giving their all, or refuses to update their syllabus in response to curricular changes, or whatever else, there may be very little that an administrator can do about it.

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