Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Input Into Decisions

Fear brings out the worst in people. Fear of change or the unknown manifests in criticism, anger, and overreaction. Yes, I am guilty of this like everyone else… I am not somehow above all this.

The idea of democracy, I think, where everyone is able to provide input into the making of a decision was created so everyone feels like he (and more recently she) has had the opportunity to influence the decision. True, a decision could go the wrong way, but at the least opinions were heard. Athens in ancient Greece is the society we remember as the inventor of this form of government. The decisions they made were also chaotic… During the Peloponnesian War, a general would be sent off to complete some objective and a faster ship sent days later to rescind the hasty orders and replace with equally hasty orders. Decisions were highly influenced by charismatic individuals.

Some people need to feel like they provided input into the decisions which affect them. Either they can provide the input in the beginning before the decision is made, or they can force a revisitation of the decision to take into account the same input. Here is an article from San Antonio College in the aftermath of their decision recently to use Blackboard Vista the newer version of WebCT CE 4 which they use now:

More than just knowing what is happening, many faculty members were unhappy that those who use Internet courses regularly had no input in the matter.

“We’ve sort of been hung out to dry on a lot of these issues,” philosophy Professor Richard Oliver said. He expressed the need for regular meetings between those who teach Internet courses regularly because they encounter problems specific to the Web and can address them better then those who do not teach Internet courses regularly.
Switch to Blackboard Vista prompts concern among senate members

They wanted to know who made the decision. My experience is generally such decisions are not made by a single individual. Probably the idea floated about a number of individuals. Probably it was brought to a committee who didn’t feel they had the power to make the decision who passed it on to other committees. Eventually they all agreed, as did the upper administration, but now some in the faculty senate are upset they were not the ones who made the decision. So they will push back and probably make the same decision once the anger subsides.


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