Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Provost Stan Norman Undergoes Evaluations


We have some very good news to report-- perhaps our first tangible victory. We have had several small victories, don't get me wrong. But this is the first time that we are happy to report a concession from those who wish to pander to the fundamentalists to the side of the reasonable.

When we began this blog, one of the most important issues we kept highlighting was the borderline hostile nature of the current faculty/administration relationship. One of the major problems was that Provost Stan Norman, after taking a job created for him, a creation which involved demoting a longtime favored and loyal (female) administrator, did not have to undergo any sort of faculty evaluation.

But no longer.

David Whitlock finally agreed that Stan Norman would have to undergo evaluation through a process developed by the CCCU. And we are happy to report that the president has kept his word and those reviews have been recently completed.

If I were Stan Norman, I would be terrified.

Because it turns out that he picked the wrong school to come and enforce the fundamentalist agenda. And those opposed have not simply laid down and died. No. We have demanded that he be put through the same accountability as any other administrator-- and now the faculty have spoken.

A faculty member tells us that these reviews will be terrible, just as, I'm sure, we all suspected. As one source puts it,
 "The message on the provost should be loud and clear. If the president doesn't act, he will at least have a sobering set of evaluations to consider, and perhaps both he and his provost will continue to tread softly.  He should know, from the comment sections, that a number of [faculty] want the provost gone."
Very well, indeed. 

Before anything else, let me say I am proud of the faculty for their fearless honesty. It would be easy to cower in the face of the administration who has already fired two beloved colleagues. But honest evaluations are really an issue of justice. If they do not reflect the truth of the situation then there is no hope. So kudos to the brave who stand for all that we here at Save OBU hold dear. It cannot be easy and we cannot do what only you can.

However, I think it would be foolish for us to rejoice too much over this victory. It is indeed our first tangible sign of moving forward, but it does not guarantee any results. Do not think that President Whitlock is going to fire Provost Norman over one bad set of evaluations. First of all, they are best friends. Second, he's already managed to get a job he shouldn't have (as evidenced by his being sent to Union to learn how to be a provost) and stay through two botched dismissals and other needless meddling. What is a little codified unrest?

But as our source says, there is now record of how unhappy everyone is with Norman.

Mostly, this puts the president in a terrible spot. And as much as I have made clear my disdain for the man who does not respect students and has weird temper issues, I do think that perhaps without this particular provost by his side he would be a little more reasonable. 

So now he must choose. How will he navigate the open hostility between his provost and the faculty? We will watch and keep all of our readers informed.

EDIT: 5/21/12 5:55 p.m. Comments have been disabled for this post due to untrue anonymous rumors and accusations.