A transparent process

Graduate School reconstruction should be open and transparent to the people it will impact.

WhatâÄôs most concerning about the University of MinnesotaâÄôs so-called cost-saving measures, lately, have been the opaque processes through which serious decisions are being made. Officials said the choice to combine the positions of the Medical School dean and the senior vice president of health sciences was a part of larger cost-saving measures, but provided little evidence. The vice provost has admirably held a consultation about tuition prices âÄî but that event was about as substantive as a University News Service press release. Building trust in big decisions requires transparency. Later this week, the University of Minnesota is expected to establish an implementation team that will recommend how the Graduate School will be reconstructed. Senior Vice Provost Tom Sullivan argued in an announcement of the reorganization that the schoolâÄôs reorganization into the Office of Graduate Education will strengthen education and reduce costs. Despite a letter signed by roughly half of the RegentsâÄô professors to postpone the disbanding of the school, the administration is moving forward with its decision. Creating a team that will consist of college deans, directors, students, faculty and the ProvostâÄôs Office is sound policy, but the implementation process and decision-making from here on out should be clear. But clear it hasnâÄôt been. Several directors featured in a Minnesota Daily report were not aware of the disbanding of the school and said they werenâÄôt consulted. If the process is to truly better the Graduate School education and its structure at the University âÄî as administrators argued âÄî it should be done by including the faculty and students that it will impact most and who know best about the effects it will have on their education and jobs.