New Oklahoma president trims 6 top administrators first day on the job
- The new president of the University of Oklahoma has trimmed top administrators at the public institution in a shake up some say was necessary and others think was premature because he had just assumed power that day, Inside Higher Education reports.
- Former business executive Jim Gallogly, who was named to the position in March to succeed 25-year veteran university president David Boren, announced that six department heads would be leaving, cutting direct reports to him to 17, which he and some analysts say a more manageable number. He said the goal was to simplify reporting, reduce costs and bring in “fresh, diverse perspectives” – and that he intended to give faculty members raises and keep tuition levels the same.
- The University of Oklahoma had been paying $70 million annually to service its debts and losing $36 million each year, a problem Boren said is not unusual and a result of cuts to public funding.
One consultant who deals with university president transitions told Inside Higher Education that the the cuts put the university in line with administrative structures at similar institutions, but happened at a pace more common in the corporate world. Faculty senate representatives said they knew of Gallogly’s reputation for being decisive and they were looking forward to “helping cultivate a similarly strong reputation for consensus-building and collaboration".
College presidents themselves have been leaving their positions at a fast pace because of job pressures, and some experts believe there will be an increasing number of turnovers. Another leadership consultant said that institution boards are impatient for results in enrollment and especially fundraising.
At Earlham College in Indiana, the president resigned after just one year, and it wasn’t clear whether his efforts to diversify the student body conflicted with board members who wanted to get more students who could pay closer to the sticker price. The board has requested $8 million, or 16%, in cuts from the college’s budget.
Some presidents are also finding they and their top administrators have to spend more time lobbying for shrinking state funding and proving they are cutting excessive staff. New Mexico State University hired consultants to see if it was overstaffed, and the resulting cuts of some 750 persons and other efficiencies saved the institution $10 million.
Another trend in leadership is toward shared governance, which experts see differently, and some worry will become a process where each interest is just out for its own gain when it should be one where various factions work cooperatively.
- Inside Higher Education Ousters on President's First Day