Volume 2006 No. 1

Spring, 2007

 


Editorial: Building Towson

At any forum where President Caret speaks, we hear about the ways in which Towson is growing. The unexpected budget boom is financing new buildings, long-needed infrastructure renovations and attention to delayed maintenance. Towson’s enrollment growth is getting healthy financing from the State. Salaries aren’t quite where they should be, but steps are apparently being taken in the right direction. To hear President Caret tell it, his vision of “clean, safe, pretty, happy” is coming to be.

Articles in this newsletter suggest that for faculty, however, the mood is perhaps not so happy. A year and a half ago, we were dealt a body-blow with the Board’s demand that we return to a 7.5-course workload. The plethora of information, misinformation and possibly disinformation that followed left a cloud of distrust and uncertainty from which we have not entirely emerged. We know that the President and the Provost have worked with us in order to negotiate ways in which the 7.5 mandate will have the least-possible adverse affect on faculty. They, as we, would like the workload issue to be behind us.

It is unfortunate that the workload change occurred simultaneously with President Caret’s assuming office. But it is up to him and his administration to foster the kind of transparency that can overcome the aura of distrust and confusion that has been created. Here is where there is much room for improvement. In the past two years, faculty have been repeatedly confronted by top-down decisions that have left us feeling more disaffected, less empowered, and less involved in the future of Towson University.

The numbers do not lie. A Junior Faculty Caucus survey found a significant increase in faculty seeking jobs elsewhere since the workload mandate was imposed. Several departing faculty have written letters explicitly detailing how the changed working environment at Towson prompted their departure. Rather than ignore the problem of departures by claiming that those faculty wanted to leave or simply didn’t belong at Towson (as some administrators have suggested), President Caret must address this issue head-on and work with the faculty to resolve it.

A university is only as good as its faculty. Building Towson involves more than bricks and mortar. It requires morale. It requires investment by faculty who feel this university is worth their commitment, and who will, through research and program development, build up the integrity of Towson if they feel they can make a difference. Only with an environment that encourages such faculty growth and investment will the building of Towson achieve all its potential as an outstanding university.

 


© 2007 Towson University