Friday, June 11, 2021

Purdue struggles with autocratically imposed civics literacy

As a testament to the importance of institutions being careful to act in ways that are consistent with their rhetoric, faculty are pushing back at Purdue University's civics requirement. Alice Pawley, associate professor of engineering said, "It's like democracy and civic literacy are so important, we're willing to be dictators about it." Other faculty said that their own colleagues did not engage the planning and decision making process so the fault is not that of the Purdue President or Board but of the faculty.

Leadership in higher education is not easy and it requires everyone to embrace the idea of fluid leadership that moves across different individuals and groups. Those in positional roles have a responsibility to exercise inclusive leadership and those without specific roles must authentically participate through active followership. It's too easy for either group to point fingers but shared leadership should be easier in higher education than it usually is in actuality.

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