- September 21st, 2019, 12:32 pm
SaintAugustine, you clearly don't understand the critical issue. It's not about Jerry's behavior toward employees and his temperament. His contact with faculty and staff is actually very limited in comparison to his father's. The "culture of fear" is the critical issue here, and it has nothing to do with people being fearful of Junior himself. Everyone knows he's just a good ol' boy who runs a growing business.
However, things have decidedly changed under Junior's presidency. You say his leadership has been effective. You're right if you measure it by the bottom line$. But the academics are progressively taking huge steps backwards. The fact that the online program is negatively impacting residential learning is one cause. And a major factor for eroding academics on campus is that faculty fear for their jobs. One-year contracts have always been the norm (only at LU), but effective teachers never feared for their jobs before Senior passed. Now they all do.
Faculty have little say in how residential academics are governed. By comparison to respectable schools, it's pathetic, and it's getting worse and worse. Faculty should be the authority in how academics are governed. Instead, the school has businessmen and their yes-men governing academics. So while the finances flourish, the academics worsen and worsen simply because the businessmen have no business running academics, and their yes-men (middle management) are the ones not wearing "big-boy pants."
Admin: "Hey Professor, you don't like this new policy we're forcing upon your classroom? Stop complaining, because there are 100s of others in line to take your job." Faculty hear that insulting, demeaning crap all the time from the businessmen and yes-men in charge. If faculty complain about anything, or if their absurd "Faculty Activity Reports" (Big Brother is watching you!) have too many red flags, or if they might say the wrong thing to somebody's spouse, a demotion or non-renewal is likely.
Faculty fear for their jobs, their livelihood. The all wear big boy pants, but they want to be able to buy pants for their boys at home too. Every June, faculty pray that the angel of death will pass over them. If she doesn't, they get a non-renewal letter in the mail, too late in the year to apply for other teaching jobs. Business is business, but that's an awful way to treat faculty. It's pathetic. This ongoing culture of fear has a horrendous impact on academics.
Jerry isn't directly responsible for all these things, but the erosion of academics, the low faculty morale, and the appalling atmosphere of job insecurity has multiplied exponentially under his watch. If nothing changes, it's only going to get worse, and residential LU will deserve to be laughed at for their academics, following in the footsteps of LUO.
So SaintAugustine, whether you're just posting in ignorance, or whether you're one of the admin cat-fishing for names here, either way you're part of the problem.
I'm done with my rant. Carry on.