Higher ed or a corporation?

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For semesters, the Alamo Colleges district has enforced more and more initiatives that put more work on faculty’s schedule, leaving them less time with students.

After Chancellor Bruce Leslie relented about replacing humanities courses with EDUC 1300 for all incoming students, the district launched into another FranklinCovey money pit: 4DX or the Four Disciplines of Execution.

The Four Disciplines is a self-help book written by Sean Covey, son of Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

The Franklin Covey website says, “Unlike most traditional business management strategy training, the purpose of 4DX: Manager Certification is not just for business management strategy, but to help managers create actual work plans.”

So when did higher education decide to run on a corporate model?

Basically, 4DX is a measure taken by district to ensure faculty and staff are engaging students.

All employees are required to set weekly goals, execute the weekly goal and meet weekly to report on achieving the week’s goal.

Then chairs have to meet with deans to report on department compliance.

Weekly results must be entered online. Chairs and unit assistants require special training.

So, when are they supposed to engage students?

The district claims this initiative is in the name of student success.

The faculty of this college says otherwise.

For one, it’s distracting.

Faculty already has enough to do. Now added to that is attending weekly meetings and recording the results on a chart like kindergartners.

A 15-minute meeting can easily turn into 30 minutes or 45; someone is late, someone steps out while everyone waits for the late employee.

Next, the late employee is in the room but someone else has wandered off.

And, as long as we’re all together …

This measure is demeaning.

District says this initiative is to ensure the faculty is engaging students, as if that wasn’t the core of their jobs.

Stop spending money on pop psychology and self-help nonsense.

If staff enjoys the diversion and feels it is productive, then let them execute this initiative on their own.

4DX might be useful in a corporate environment, but it’s nothing but a nuisance to faculty.


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