Lurching towards a monarchy
The year before Dr. Marsee arrived, the college banded together under a retired college president to deal with the accreditation crisis. Everyone was consulted; the process was transparent and the participants felt involved and valued. He left, and Marsee walked in with a clean slate, due to the college's unified cooperation.
He immediately began treating CR like a private kingdom, as you've read. But it's not just the senior faculty and Academic Senate who were ignored; he treated long-time staff members like peons.
Marsee could have found a good managerial way to get people on board. (He claims they're dragging their feet. Hell, they were never consulted.) He could easily have gotten together with the faculty and begun by congratulating them on their hard work the past year, then by offering to meet with a committee to address what he saw as the problems and goals we faced. He did the opposite. His hubris is so staggering that he has accomplished what years of internecine power struggles failed to do -- he managed to unite the faculty. Against him.
In an era of drastic budget cuts, he hired an entire raft of high-paid vice-presidents and deans, who now have to learn on the job, as he dismissed the division chairs who had critical knowledge and hands-on experience. The ship of state was left top-heavy and is, as the fall term approaches, floundering.
The article hints at but does not cover the other aspect of the president's megalomania: micromanagement. I can't possibly provide a list, but the man is driving everyone crazy with his need to control every tiny aspect of the college. For example, we just received a notice that staff parking permits would no longer be handled by Security. Instead they have been transferred to the vice president for Finance. Any parking issues now must be walked up to the Palace. Why? Surely not because there was incompetence or misbehavior. Evidently to put every detail under the president's microscope.
The near-contempt for faculty and staff has and will continue to take its toll. Their mantra is, "I can endure this jackass. I'm just hanging in till I'm eligible for retirement." Any army that replaces its sergeants with colonels is not only top-heavy, but dangerously inexperienced, if not inept.
Dr. Marsee, in his quest to make CR "more like a business" has alienated the faculty, trivialized the staff, and begun his regime with dumb power-grabs. The guy is good enough a hustler to have conned the Trustees -- why didn't he use some of that charm on his own troops?
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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