Saturday, October 1, 2011
I rarely hear administrators talk about infrastructure. Infrastructure includes all of the administrative, logistics, and back-office support that allows faculty to do their jobs. Last week a vendor supplied database was turned off because the bill was not paid. The librarians knew the bill was overdue yet the approval process is so slow the check was never cut. This is an example of how the bean counters are out of touch with how administrative tasks intersect with instruction. An organization can not be excellent without a management philosophy that sets the table so that teachers can teach and other staff can get their jobs done. Good management clears the way for staff to do their jobs with excellence.
Another example occurred between a teacher and her students. The teacher announced to her class that a document was behind a tab in Blackboard. The teacher did not enable the tab. This is a class management issue that was under total instructor control. Perhaps the teacher never learned enough about Blackboard to do the task? While we may complain about district office, management starts at the lowest levels.
Excellence can only occur when we ask ourselves, "How is this task demonstrating excellence?" If the task is not completed with excellence how can the next one be improved? How do we get to "yes?"