FCC called ladder to top

Lynne Kozarek

In the eyes of some faculty members, University professor Geoffrey Maruyama turned to the other side on March 16 by taking a job in administration.
Formerly a member of the Faculty Consultative Committee, Maruyama is now vice provost of Professional Studies. The FCC is made up of faculty members and is the primary steering committee for the Faculty Senate. It advises students and faculty on issues such as tenure and the restructuring of the Academic Health Center.
“I believe that faculty governance gave me a broader perspective and I was able to take that into my new position,” Maruyama said.
Yet some faculty members feel the FCC works too closely with the administration, and some committee members see the FCC as a stepping stone to administration. This year, both Maruyama and professor Robert Jones have left the FCC for administrative positions and in the past the number has been even greater.
Former University President Ken Keller and current Provost W. Phillips Shively were both chairmen of the FCC before becoming administrators.
“When I began in the committee, I was asked if I was interested in an administrative position,” said professor Roberta Humphreys, member of the FCC. “This is possibly because members of the committee are so familiar with the administration and the administrative process.”
Political science professor and FCC member Virginia Gray believes this is true.
“There is a kind of leadership pool that administrators are drawn from,” Gray said. “The administration needs proof that a person can think on a broader level, and faculty government exposes a lot of University issues and problems.”
Physics professor Tom Walsh expressed his distrust in FCC members who move on to administration. Walsh said he didn’t believe it was a good idea for someone in faculty governance to move into administration.
“Those who move on are not really aiding the University by doing so,” said Walsh. “I’ve actually heard it said by some faculty members that the only way to get a raise is to go into administration. We look at the administration and say, ‘They aren’t one of us anymore.’ “
Walsh also feels that working closely with the administration is not benefiting the University and that the FCC doesn’t seem to know what the faculty is thinking anymore.
“The FCC is out of touch and not sympathetic to the faculty,” Walsh said.
Maruyama disagreed that faculty members view the administration as a pay increase waiting to happen.
“Faculty members would be more rewarded if they did research work and got a retention offer,” said Maruyama.
Problems with faculty trust continue to plague the FCC. As members of the committee move on to positions in the administration, the faculty continues to question its trust in the group that is supposed to be representing it.