What makes an excellent University department? LO22992

Eugene Taurman (ilx@execpc.com)
Mon, 25 Oct 1999 09:50:49 -0700

Replying to LO22950 --

Nick asked about Universities

"I may have an opportunity to work with a troubled University department.
Relationships are poor and their is little cooperation. The
sub-disciplines just tolerate each other. The head of Department wants to
set up a group of the most positive staff to identify how things can be
improved and implement positive changes."


OOPS. The reasons for a system not working are usually found in the
extremes and in the result of the processes. One of the results is
attitude. To pick a few will leave a great deal of information on the
table that could be used to perfect the system,

Your department head must think people are the problem. That is unlikely.
At least 80% of the time the problem is in the managers and the process
not in the people caught in the system, the professors.

I have limited and zero professional experience at fixing Universities but
those I have observed and you comments make me believe they have all the
problems of bad manufacturing organizations. Several bad characteristics
that stand out are rewarding star performance, belief that people are the
problems, poorly defined purpose and no one knowing who is the customer or
in the case of Universities not caring.

Universities and professors often are funded by grants so the grantor is
the one to listen to, Others want to listen to the students and still
others to the funding business. This leads to confusion about purpose and
who to follow besides the boss.

Sources of funding and raises can confuse the teacher about the real
purpose of the organization, Teachers find out very quickly what behavior
required to obtain the funding for them selves and their splinter.

Eugene Taurman
"People always, always, always, do exactly what makes the most amount of
sense to them - at least at the time they do it..."


"Eugene Taurman" <ilx@execpc.com>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>