ASU Inc.

Welcome to the world of Mike-Crow management

On a quiet morning in early January, Kathryn Milun sits at a table in the back corner of a Tempe coffee shop, hunched over a huge stack of papers. Not long ago, that stack might have held papers to grade. Milun used to be a popular professor at ASU. But today, all the tiny brunette has to consider is legal paperwork, and it's all about her fight with her former employer.

Milun devotes her time to two things: her career as an academic and her family. As the mother of a 12-year-old and 10-year-old twins, she's worked to perfect the art of juggling a family and career with her husband, who is also a professor. In her six years at ASU, she split her time between justice studies and the English department. She's taught classes from anthropology to political theory to film and comparative literature.

These days, she works with the National Association of University Women, giving lectures around the country on the problems mothers in academia face.

She has firsthand knowledge.

When she came to ASU, Milun thought it was a good choice for her career and family. ASU was offering her a chance to create classes in the English department. The hiring committee (and, she assumed, the university) seemed to understand that, as a mother and career academic, she needed an extended tenure clock.

She was wrong.

Typically, it takes a professor six years to complete tenure requirements, and it's not something to slack on. Tenure is the magic word in academia — it protects professors from being fired for teaching an unpopular viewpoint and it allows academic freedom.

It's the ultimate in job security.

In 2003, as she was getting ready to submit her tenure file, Milun was fired. Her dean, who since has been promoted to a vice president position at ASU, said it took her too long to complete the tenure requirements.

Milun was furious. She'd been told she could have extra time. And she'd exceeded her department's requirements for tenure. She fought, and was told she could have a second chance — but only if she completed five peer-reviewed articles and two books within a year. That's an insane workload, all but unheard of, although she did come close.

Her file made it up through the ranks — past her department chair, dean, a university-level tenure committee and ASU's provost.

In the past, the provost would have been the last stop. That's how universities around the country traditionally have run their tenure programs, and it's how ASU ran its program — until 2002, when Lattie Coor turned over the presidency to Michael Crow. Coor left ASU in his late sixties after serving the school for 12 years.

Crow was just 46 when he climbed down from the ivory tower at Columbia University to take the Arizona State job. Almost immediately, the guy had a reputation. Love him or hate him, if you have anything to do with ASU (and maybe even if you don't), you have an opinion about Michael Crow.

The tales of Crow's devotion to the job are legion: He does Google searches at the dinner table. He sleeps four hours a night. He personally responds to e-mails from students.

And he reviews all tenure files himself, including Kathryn Milun's. He denied her tenure because she hadn't completed five peer-reviewed articles and two books within a year. Period.

Milun responded with a formal complaint to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming she was punished for being a woman with children and for daring to claim discrimination.

The EEOC agreed, granting her a final determination against the university. In December, the agency wrote that ASU denied Milun tenure and fired her "because of her sex, female, and in retaliation for complaining about employment discrimination."

Milun is now considering a lawsuit against ASU. There's even talk of a class-action suit. Milun, it turns out, is not the only professor frustrated by the university's new direction.

"A public trust [like a university] is transparent, and that's disappearing," she says. "As a public trust, it's really deviated from that initial investment. Some of us tried to make changes, but we had administrators who were put in for reasons that were not intellectual, and rather without plan or vision."


Kathryn Milun's case is one example of what people at ASU call "Mike-Crow" management — the president of a 60,000-student, 2,800-faculty-member university making tenure decisions. (And this time, perhaps, not so wisely. An EEOC ruling is nothing to sniff at.)

Crow's critics, and even some of his fans, say the guy is an obsessive micromanager — down to the names of university departments, where donations are coming from, and what gets printed in the student newspaper.

ASU is not just micromanaged, Crow's detractors complain, it's turning more corporate every day, with the president serving as the despotic CEO no one dares to cross.

That's just the kind of language they use to describe Crow. On wherethecrowflies.blogspot.com, which serves as a depository for the rumors that swirl around the president and his administration, one poster announces: "There's a distinctly chilly climate on campus. Privacy and free thought and speech at ASU [are] actively discouraged by President Crow."

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alice
alice

at least as recently as 2010, ASU 101 classes are being taught by staff (not faculty)... some are department advisors, but some are office specialists (aka secretary)... and often the staff teaching don't have Master's degrees...

shhdonttellcrowhellfireme
shhdonttellcrowhellfireme

I left ASU as a student under president COOR and returned as an employee under Crow and that has made clear the point that you can never go home again. The environment around the campus has totally changed to one of discontentment, fear, and confusion. Absurd decisions come down the presidential pipeline with no explanation, no direction and the only guidance being a big tag reading "Do this....OR ELSE". The treatment of ASU employees under Crow is appalling, with some people serving the university for decades having to be asked their name so they can be given the correct pink slip. To the disbelievers of the articles authenticity I can only say this; my time back at ASU has soured me entirely on the higher education system. It�s a sad day when you long for the comforts of the cold hard corporate world.

Post-Crow:  Sounds good!
Post-Crow: Sounds good!

I too left ASU for similar reasons but I was a tenured Professor. The work environment became so difficult, I left. Michael Crow feeds on power. Michael Crow is a cold hearted person who lacks the skills to lead a large public university. I hate to make it personal but it is personal for every person who has been hurt by his irrational decision-making process. He lacks compassion for others and believes his goals should be instituted at any cost. Why does Michael Crow get to decide what is best for ASU? Why does Michael Crow have so much power granted to him? Michael Crow disregards fair labor practices for his personal gain and pits faculty against each other in order to silence those who disagree with him. I only hope the recent EEOC ruling will force the Governor and the Board of Regents to take a closer look at what is really happening at ASU. Until ASU is no longer a public university, don't you have a right to expect more from your state leaders?

Sincerely,

Happily Tenured in a "Better American University"

Withheld
Withheld

I was one of the first to voluntarily leave ASU in 2003, one year after Crow arrived at ASU. It was the best personal and professional decision I have ever made, despite the obstacles faced by an assistant professor in search of new employment and despite the fact that even some of my colleague-friends could not handle what my departure represented for their choice to stay. I also commend Megan Irwin for a well-written, brave article, and the other faculty who took the risk to leave rather than become part of - and in some cases reinforce - this repressive work environment (perhaps the saddest part of Crow's institutional culture of fear is witnessing colleagues turn on each other). I thank Angie Wilson and Kathryn Milun for their courage - and those earlier professors who also fought for their just right to be granted tenure and/or keep their jobs (and won, in some cases) - and I only hope that ASU will be a better place in a post-Crow future.

Withheld
Withheld

I would like to commend Megan Irwin for a well researched article on the problems at ASU. I was an assistant professor who left in 2005 for many of the reasons that she described in her article. It was nice to see my professional experiences validated in this article. I know of so many bright and prolific scholars that have left the university due to the fear and chaos caused by the Crow regime.

Is there a way that this article could be posted on the Chronicle of Higher Education website?

Grateful I'm Gone!
Grateful I'm Gone!

I left ASU in 2005 and never looked back. What a dysfunctional, sad place. More power to Kathyrn and Angela for speaking out--clearly the rest of ASU's faculty members are too cowardly, too focused on CYA, to even consider collective action for a more equitable campus.

Moreover, I suggest that as a follow-up to this story The New Times should investigate the reasons why so many faculty members-- particularly folks of color and women--have resigned since Crow arrived.

kathryn milun
kathryn milun

After reading about my case in this article, some people have contacted me to find out more about the EEOC charge filed against ASU on my behalf. I would like to tell those of you who are interested, and respond to some of the comments placed above.

But first, let me commend Megan Irwin for this important story about the structural problems in ASU�s administration. She accurately describes instances and effects of bullying and mismanagement by administrators. Still, I must agree with the second commentator who wrote that the New Times has only scratched the surface in this brave article.

Before I explain the current status of the EEOC claim, let me clarify a few statements made about me in the New Times story. To avoid misinterpretation, readers should know that I do not go around the country giving talks about maternity issues for the American Association of University Women. I will, however, be speaking at that group�s annual meeting this July in Phoenix, and I will be speaking about my case against ASU.

Second, it would not be accurate to say (as the article did) that I expected �extra time� to complete the tenure process at ASU. And here I must add a few more details about my case.

Tenure track faculty can use university policies that �extend� their tenure clock for specific and legitimate reasons, but this should not be considered �extra time.� Maternity is a legitimate extension. You tell your boss that you are having (or adopting) a baby. You say that, while you will be working and teaching during the year that surrounds that new life, you will not be able to produce research or publications for your scholarly record because you will be busy reproducing the species. Your boss says, �Great! I�m so happy for you. As you know, we have a policy that allows women (and in some places, men) to stop producing research during that time and not be penalized for doing so.�

ASU has that policy. It states, "ASU does not deny employment because of pregnancy. Maternity leave is provided through sick leave policies that apply to women employees who take time off for pregnancy, childbearing, and/or related conditions�.ASU does not penalize women in terms of conditions of employment because of pregnancy and childbearing.� (ACD 401: Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Section 7, my emphasis).

This policy was in place when I was hired at ASU and it was in place when I was fired from ASU. ASU recently updated that policy to clarify one year extensions on tenure clocks for maternity.

I was fired (given a terminal contract) from ASU in 2003 during a review of my first three years of employment. This was at the beginning of Michael Crow�s administration for the New American University. Since my three previous annual reviews were all in the range of superior and excellent, I had no idea there was a problem with my record. But David Young, the New American Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who had recently replaced Gary Krahenbuhl (interviewed on the last page of Irwin�s story), saw things differently. In his review of my file, he overturned the departmental decisions, and wrote: �[Dr. Milun's] scholarly record is simply not sufficient to warrant recommending a regular or conditional contract, especially for a faculty member who is ten years past her Ph.D." Indeed I had completed my Ph.D. ten years earlier, but during those ten years I had had three children. When I informed the Dean that, given my maternity extensions, he had miscalculated the years comprising my scholarly record of production, he turned around and issued me a conditional contract calling for nearly twice as many publications as specified in my department guidelines for tenure. And he demanded that I complete these conditions in one year, well before I was to go forward for tenure in my sixth year. (And just to let you know how arbitrary this New American decision-making is, consider that this same Dean had reviewed and lauded my scholarly record approximately one year previously, writing that I was �a model of the new ASU faculty member.�

A model of the new ASU faculty member indeed!

What happens when this kind of administrative decision-making is supported all the way to the President�s Office? David Young is now Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.

And what happened to the people who supported me when I spoke out about being fired or about being handed an unfair conditional contract? One person who spoke out was promptly removed from the position of Chair. Dean Young hand-picked a new Chair without the customary faculty vote. (This new Chair would eventually review my tenure file.) This is not an unusual action in the New American University. As Megan Irwin and several of the interviewees who were brave enough to speak told us, administrative bullying and the loss of faculty governance go hand in hand.

I would like my fellow faculty members at ASU to know that, when I did get a lawyer and was finally allowed to go forward for tenure review, the university-wide Promotion and Tenure Committee voted (in majority) that I should be tenured and promoted to Associate Professor. This P&T committee noted the strengths of my scholarly record as well as �the Dean�s bias.� They pointed out that �The reports from the department did not seem to present a balanced view of strengths and weaknesses and omitted some positive aspects of the record.�

At the peer review level of faculty governance, then, flags were going up. But Michael Crow had appointed himself final decision-maker for all tenure cases. A referee who can dismiss the flags. In the end, he denied me tenure. And, because of the conditional contract, I was forced to leave ASU without even having the customary and contractually given seventh year to look for a job.

The management strategies of Michael Crow have fostered a situation where rights of vulnerable groups are more easily trampled. Working mothers are already disadvantaged in the US economy. According to the US Census Bureau, non-mothers earn 10 percent less than their male counterparts; mothers earn 27 percent less; and single mothers earn between 44 and 34 percent less. In academia, working mothers are further disadvantaged. Reporting on a study based on data collected from 160,000 people, the Chronicle of Higher Education notes, �While having children, particularly early on [within five years of earning a Ph.D.] can severely damage the job prospects of women, fatherhood is actually a boost.�of those women in the study who had babies early on, only 56 percent earned tenure within 14 years after receiving their Ph.D.. Of men who became fathers early on, 77 percent earned tenure. Of men who never had babies, 71 percent got tenure.� (See Robin Wilson, �How Babies Alter Careers for Academics: Having Children Often Bumps Women Off the Tenure Track, A New Study Shows,� Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 5, 2003; online at http://chronicle.com/free/v50/... )

Michael Crow was warned of the bad climate for working mothers at ASU with regard to tenure. In 2003, he responded to questions about the tenure clock at a meeting with ASU�s Commission on the Status of Women: �President Crow responded that he personally believed in an eleven year tenure clock, noting that there are multiple factors that can impede an individual�s progress in any given period of time�.He stated that there is a need for flexibility in the tenure system and that it sounded like what was needed was an official policy that would outline the conditions or circumstances under which the tenure clock could be delayed or extended.�

�[The Vice-Provost for Academic Personnel] Gail Hackett [noted to President Crow] that such a policy [one year tenure clock extensions for maternity] already exists [at ASU]. The problem [at ASU] is the interpretation and implementation of the policy�the climate. When women seek to delay the clock to attend to family issues, they report that they experience an expectation that they should have produced more given the extended time that they had. There is also a subtle attitude that those who delay the clock are somehow less concerned with their scholarship or career than others.�

�President Crow stated that as the President of the university, he is the ultimate decision-maker on all tenure cases. All other levels in the tenure process are merely advisory. He further stated that he would issue a letter of interpretation on the tenure clock to all faculty at an appropriate time so that his views would be clear even to the �biased, uninformed individual.�

(See Commission on the Status of Women, Monthly Meeting Minutes for Feb. 13, 2003 at http://aspin.asu.edu/csw/Minut... my emphasis.)

I never saw that letter of interpretation. But it appears to me that Mike-Crow managing all decision-making at ASU has only protected a climate of discrimination, a corrupted process, and �biased and uninformed� administrators.

What has happened since I was forced out of ASU? First, I was fortunate that my colleagues in my other (non-tenure track) department, the School of Justice and Social Inquiry, organized a legal defense fund.

Second, I was fortunate to live in a place where Mike-Crow managed decisions can be reviewed by a federal agency. I filed with the EEOC.

After an eight month investigation, the EEOC made a final determination and told ASU that �there is reasonable cause to believe that there is a violation of Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964] in that [ASU] denied [Milun] tenure and terminated her employment because of her sex, female and in retaliation for complaining about employment discrimination.� The EEOC invited ASU to enter a conciliation effort. They told ASU that the remedies they recommend might include asking the employer to agree to stop engaging in unlawful employment practices, giving me back my job, back pay, restoration and loss of benefits, injunctive relief, compensatory and or punitive damages, and �notice to the employees of the violation(s) and resolution of the charge.�

ASU asked and was granted two extensions on this conciliation effort clock. In the end, ASU did not bother to respond at all.

Now the EEOC has sent the case on to the Department of Justice to consider pressing charges.

Here is a colossal waste of taxpayer money. ASU had many chances to fix these problems. Instead they have only protected a corrupt administration from facing public scrutiny.

Lastly, ASU has claimed that this is a personal case. It is only about me, not about civil rights, and not related to achieving equity for working mothers (as Title VII aims to do). Since it is only personal, it should not be used to further illuminate a broad structural problem in the administration. (One commentator concurs: it is a problem between me and my husband not sufficiently sharing childcare.) I have even heard that since the New Times story came out, someone employed at ASU has been attacking my personal reputation, trying to discredit me by spreading a rumor that I had been fired by my former employer, Rice University. (In fact, when my husband was offered a position at ASU, I gave up the opportunity to go through a tenure review at Rice. We moved from Houston to Phoenix. With three kids under the age of five, I was happy to start a new tenure track position at ASU. At the time, we had no idea we were coming to a university where civil rights could be so easily discarded.)

My case of discrimination and retaliation is instructive. It tells us a lot about the fate of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in institutions where decades long traditions of peer review and checks and balances are over ridden by an autocratic executive more invested in protecting his buddies and their inflated salaries than in protecting due process. (As an Assistant Professor, I made around $48,000 at ASU; Dean Young makes $285,000; the Chair of the English Department that Dean Young hand-picked makes $209,000. Michael Crow�s total compensation tops half a million dollars.)

We citizens need to remember that ASU is a public university. ASU is a form of public trust. It has multiple bottom lines, including its democratic mandate for openness, accessibility and service to the people of Arizona. How many cases must arise before the citizens� trustees, the Board of Regents, see that under Michael Crow�s management, ASU is failing to fulfill its mandate? ASU101; Professor Robert Pettit�s Cancer Research Center; a climate where fear, bullying, and the abuse of civil rights is protected. And, again, we have only scratched the surface.

I thank the New Times, Megan Irwin, the EEOC, and now the Department of Justice for helping to bring ASU�s worsening structural problem with management to the attention of the Board of Regents. What will the Board do now?

Withheld
Withheld

I have some real problems with this article. It starts out with an interesting and compelling story, that of Kathryn Milun who does seem as if she got a raw deal somewhere along the way, but even in this it seems perhaps the real culprit is whoever made commitments to her that they were not empowered to do.

The second case of Waziyatawin Angela Wilson seems less sympathetic. I find it hard to get too indignant since being among the most privileged people in a position with a guaranteed job for life, she is unhappy and going to quit because Crow "chewed her out."

Some of the statements in this article also have little backing, such as the claim that "The emphasis on liberal arts is dwindling." Is this in fact true or merely the perception of some of the people who spoke off the record?

Furthermore, to use anonymous posts on a blog as sources seems to be little more than base rumour-mongering. Having seen examples of some outrageously misinformed statements from people about Crow, I can only say that the accuracy of the rumor mill at ASU leaves a lot to be desired.

I am also extremely skeptical of those who point to the Lattie Coor administration as the halcyon days of ASU. ASU was nowhere taken seriously during that time and faculty standards were low with people, in some departments, actively encouraged to be mediocre. At least Crow is trying to raise ASU up and is demanding quality of faculty. Perhaps some of those who are unhappy are those who are unwilling to make the needed changes to advance ASU out of its third tier rankings (or even responsible for the low quality of ASU, pre-Crow. Maybe even some of the long-time faculty the reporter spoke with). Perhaps Crow's personal style needs work, but just because Coor was a nice guy does not mean ASU was well run or had the right priorities.

Finally, some have questioned why, if things were not bad, those who are anti-Crow choose to withhold their names. I can just add that in many instances being labeled pro-Crow is a detriment to one's own work as there is so much unwarranted hostility towards the man in some quarters.

Witheld
Witheld

I have some real problems with this article. It starts out with an interesting and compelling story, that of Kathryn Milun who does seem as if she got a raw deal somewhere along the way, but even in this it seems perhaps the real culprit is whoever made commitments to her that they were not empowered to do.

The second case of Waziyatawin Angela Wilson seems less sympathetic. I find it hard to get too indignant since being among the most privileged people in a position with a guaranteed job for life, she is unhappy and going to quit because Crow "chewed her out."

Some of the statements in this article also have little backing, such as the claim that "The emphasis on liberal arts is dwindling." Is this in fact true or merely the perception of some of the people who spoke off the record?

Furthermore, to use anonymous posts on a blog as sources seems to be little more than base rumour-mongering. Having seen examples of some outrageously misinformed statements from people about Crow, I can only say that the accuracy of the rumor mill at ASU leaves a lot to be desired.

I am also extremely skeptical of those who point to the Lattie Coor administration as the halcyon days of ASU. ASU was nowhere taken seriously during that time and faculty standards were low with people, in some departments, actively encouraged to be mediocre. At least Crow is trying to raise ASU up and is demanding quality of faculty. Perhaps some of those who are unhappy are those who are unwilling to make the needed changes to advance ASU out of its third tier rankings (or even responsible for the low quality of ASU, pre-Crow. Maybe even some of the long-time faculty the reporter spoke with). Perhaps Crow's personal style needs work, but just because Coor was a nice guy does not mean ASU was well run or had the right priorities.

Finally, some have questioned why, if things were not bad, those who are anti-Crow choose to withhold their names. I can just add that in many instances being labeled pro-Crow is a detriment to one's own work as there is so much unwarranted hostility towards the man in some quarters.

Jess
Jess

No interviews with professors from the colleges of business, education, law, or communication? Not even a journalism instructor? The recurring theme seems to be a fear of "corporatization" (if that is that even a word) but why? Are the folks who once found a place to hide in academia now upset that they actually have to produce quantifiable (and sometimes profitable) work product? Sounds like the kids are scared of finally getting kicked out of mom and dad�s garage�

Charles
Charles

How about a competition to rename ASU under Crow? We will kick it off with the following suggestions:

Instead of ASU call the university:ADDCROWrruption StateOR....Biosphere 3

Withheld
Withheld

To call Crow's model "corporate" is to give them too much credit. It is not only hierarchical in the most rigid archaic sense, with top-down decisions driven by mediocre bureaucrats at every level; it lacks any accountability. Failed academics, or those appointed by Crow with no academic experience at all, are making decisions in a ad hoc, small minded careerist way. And they are paid astronomical salaries for doing so. One recent appointment with a poor career at the state department and no academic experience received instantly a salary of $200k. Succesful corporations are more horizontal, treat highly educated professionals with respect, and have in-built accountability. If Crow's ASU is now corporate, it is the corporation of the 19th century.

Withheld
Withheld

First off, notice how all of the individuals who appear to be affiliated with ASU (myself included) have withheld their names. If that's not telling, then I don't know what is.

I've been at ASU in various capacities for 17 years (student, staff. . .) I have never seen anyone write an article about *anything* that's hit the nail more on the head.

I would like to know if those of you who said there are surely people who like Crow's corporate manner, that the story could potentially have been fabricated, and that the woman deserved to be fired are affiliated with ASU. Are you?! I can honestly say that, as a staff member and student, I have *never* heard *anyone* say *anything* positive about Crow--EVER!

Anyone who has not been here to experience the changes in this institution in the past 6 years hasn't a clue as to what this despot has done. Like George Bush, he runs this institution by imparting fear and threats on faculty, staff, and students. He alone is the "decider".

The morale here is through the floor. Universities are supposed to be sacred places--they are cauldrons for new ideas. Not ASU. The Board of Regents has failed us.

Curious George
Curious George

This article was not about Kathryn Milun, but I have to relate a few thoughts about her situation. One cannot automatically see Milun as a victim based on the facts you presented. For one thing, Milun obviously received no guarantee from ASU that she'd get extra time beyond the 6 years for her tenure track -- she kind of assumed she'd be OK doing less work based on somebody's verbal statements. The other thing is that Milun has a husband. It's unrealistic to think the parenting duties are split right down the middle. One can imagine that either the husband should have made more sacrifices in his own career or personal time to help Milun with the parenting, so that his wife made it under the 6 years, or that the husband could not or would not make such sacrifices, in which case it's hard to understand why the government and legal system need get involved in one couple's decision about careers vs. parenting.

Pete
Pete

It would be helpful if the article "reported" on the importance of granting tenure (i.e. life-time employment) to faculty and the standards and the process for doing so. Complaints from two professors in a university with several thousand professors just isn't very compelling. There's alot of information about tenure and tenure decisions at ASU during the Crow Administration (and before) on the ASU website. None of it seems to have been consulted by the reporter and it certainly wasn't "reported" in the article. There also wasn't any comparison of ASU tenure practices and decisions at other universities. For those really interested in better understanding the granting of tenure at ASU, you could take a look at the website:

http://www.asu.edu/provost/pro...

University Promotion and Tenure Committeehttp://www.asu.edu/provost/pro...

P&T Decisions 2002-2003 through 2005-2006 (PDF)http://www.asu.edu/provost/pro...

Ten Year Tenure Snapshot 1995-96 � 2004-05 (PDF)http://www.asu.edu/provost/pro...

Faculty Development Programhttp://www.asu.edu/provost/per...

Tools for Faculty Preparing for P&T Reviewhttp://www.asu.edu/provost/pro...

http://www.asu.edu/provost/pro...

Witheld
Witheld

I recently left employment with ASU after over a decade. The current pressures on faculty to produce research that is of a certain monetary value to the university are unlike anything from the even recent past. Good research projects and ideas are constantly dismissed by college deans and department chairs because they will not increase our rankings or turn a profit. I was involved exclusively in research for all of my years at ASU and although I was staff (not faculty) I have seen what this has done first hand to the morale of professors. We have lost so many talented faculty members because they could not strike a balance between their programs of research and the new administration's goals. These same professors were often excellent in the classroom, so it is truly a significant loss to the students, and the ASU community in general. The micromanagement that is currenly occuring regarding tenure reviews is beyond compare at any other large university. What happened to faculty governance? I fear that is a dirty word at ASU.

Neutral
Neutral

Every story has two sides, and I'm sure many at ASU are pleased that Michael Crow is determined to run the institution in a more corporate way. The writer did an excellent job of reporting some of the repercussions and the effect on the teachers and students. For readers to attack her because she had personal experience and knowledge of the intimidation that we now see in the new, ruthless corporate leadership model is bizarre. (Makes one wonder if one of Crow's PR guys fronted the post).

Personally, I'd much rather read journalistic disclosure than have the writer pretend to have no background or connection to the story. Ms Irwin did an excellent investigative job, AND was honest in reporting her own experiences with Crow's ranting, immature (I'm assuming the comment above referred to him?), and sarcastic attacks.

AZ reporters within the Gannett hegemony could take lessons from this young reporter.

Lea
Lea

This article was informative and meaningful, UNTIL the author starts talking about herself. Irwin serves to completely discredit her article when she goes into an immature and egotistical rant on her personal experience with Michael Crow. (A shame considering all that her article could have exposed). She writes, "Unlike thousands of my classmates, I met face to face with the president several times..." (Well, good for you, but what does this have to do with the tenure track professor?) She even continues to boast her self importance on Arizona State's Campus in a vain attempt to paint herself as some sort of Michael Crow Martyr stating, "There was even a petition circulated on campus to have me resign and (so I heard) have me kicked out of school." She continues to list her accolades, and brags that she 'towers' over Crow who is a �small man at 5�10.��This rant sounded more like that of a �women scorned� than of a professional journalist and revealed that her story was completely biased if not fabricated. I am surprised and disappointed that this got passed the editors at New Times.

Lea
Lea

herself. Irwin serves to completely discredit her article when she goes into an immature and egotistical rant on her personal experience with Michael Crow. (A shame considering all that her article could have exposed). She writes, "Unlike thousands of my classmates, I met face to face with the president several times..." (Well, good for you, but what does this have to do with the tenure track professor?) She even continues to boast her self importance on Arizona State's Campus in a vain attempt to paint herself as some sort of Michael Crow Martyr stating, "There was even a petition circulated on campus to have me resign and (so I heard) have me kicked out of school." She continues to list her accolades, and brags that she 'towers' over Crow who is a �small man at 5�10.��This rant sounded more like that of a �women scorned� than of a professional journalist and revealed that her story was completely biased if not fabricated. I am surprised and disappointed that this got passed the editors at New Times.

Withheld upon request
Withheld upon request

Thank you, although you've barely scratched the surface. An employee of ASU, I have watched colleagues and friends forced into retirement, quitting, or silenced by the abusive, bullying, intimidating practices of Michael Crow and his new cabinet. I am looking for another position as I daily watch faculty and staff of ASU give up, quit, call in sick, or just put in their time. Such a waste of intellectual resources.

There's no fight left in any of us. In another time, ASU 101, a fake course never vetted through the curriculum review process and consisting of less than 8 hours in class, would be thrown out by the faculty as a cheap trick to manipulate national ranking. It's dishonest and it's wrong and the ranking bodies should toss out that fake data. Despite the lack of content or rigor, it will add 550 courses to the total that ASU submits as lower division classes that cap at under 20. Michael will most likely earn his raise for manipulating college ranking systems, but by tricks instead of by effort to improve our 3rd rate teaching and learning.Instead of protesting, faculty are now signing up to teach 101 because there's little contact with the students and no papers to grade. Shame on my colleagues for giving up and agreeing to do something so corrupt. Shame on Crow, his cabinet and program chairs for asking us to do it.

Integrity is every moment here, and eventually we all give it up. We know deeply what Yeats meant when he said "The best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity."

Thank you for the article. It won't make any difference, as Michael Crow knows the AZ Board of Regents never cared about academics or a quality education. Shame on them, too.

helentroy4
helentroy4

This article reads like "join the club" for me. Back in the late 1990s, I accepted a job with a major large machinery manufacturer in the east valley. In my interview, I was told that the president of the company wants all prospective employees know that family comes first to him and he wanted to employ people who felt the same way. They proudly showed me the latest company newsletter where the CEO wrote glowingly about the importance of family. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I had a healthy commute to what I thought would be a dream job and I shared with the interviewer and the person I would be working with that I had a young son who I wanted to be home with in the evening... that I would be happy to come in early if there was a special project but that I was very happy to have the opportunity to leave at 5 p.m. to be with my family.

You guessed it... My boss turned out to be one of those people who came in at 7 a.m. and didn't leave until after 6 p.m. Eventually, he fired me because I wasn't a 'team player' (translated: I didn't stay until he was ready to close the door). It confirmed my suspicions: that any company that goes overboard trying to make you think they are family-oriented, is not.

 
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