We Really Don’t Need to Meet
Updated: Feb 15
We need to talk about meetings at FSU.
FSU promotes itself as a 21st Century institution and makes a habit of encouraging faculty to leverage technology and best practices in the classroom to reach student learners, but it poorly models these things when it conducts meetings at the college level and above.
Bronco Kickoff and mid-year conferences defy what we’ve come to know about teaching and learning. And make no mistake, these meetings are about administrators teaching while faculty and staff learn. As in the classroom, sitting for long stretches of time listening to someone go on and on in a lecture that is less than captivating is something we know isn’t learner-centered. PowerPoint is twenty-year-old technology.
Bad meetings are demoralizing and counterproductive, dismissive of faculty and staff time, and numbing in their effect. Bad meetings are the hallmark of the FSU experience.
Good meetings should lift spirits or create drive, inspiring all participants -- even in unsteady times -- to accomplish the organizational mission.
When there is an effort -- and both the Provost and Faculty Senate President have made such efforts with polling and interaction -- faculty learners encounter an equal measure of higher engagement and technical difficulty on the part of the presenter.
We detect that administrators are insecure about these meetings, in part from expectations handed down from the UNC System and pressure from the NC General Assembly and other observers about making sure faculty are actually working while on contract. The insecurity spills out into meetings that could easily be emails, live streaming, or recorded addresses.
We encourage administrators to reduce the number and length of meetings. If the information can be read in an email, let’s go that direction and save meetings for enriching, enlivening discussion that requires a room, voices, bodies, and interchange of thought.
Blog posts are written by individual FSU-AAUP members and do not necessarily reflect the entire membership.