I know many of you are thinking "What can I do?" And "Why hasn't someone done something already?"
The first thing you need to do is recognize that the day to day operations of the university are conducted by the Provost. It will become obvious to you very quickly that Mel "Do Nothing" Schiavelli is not interested in you one bit unless you are bringing a nice catered lunch up to the 14th floor. If you go to Schiavelli with a problem, he'll more than likely just tell you to talk to the Provost. Of course, the Provost is notorious for his arrogance toward staff, faculty and students. So good luck there. It's pretty clear the the President and Provost are part of, if not THE problem at Harrisburg University. So what then?
The Board of Trustees have power over the President and Provost, but to date, they have been unavailable to anyone but the Provost and the President. I find it disconcerting that information about the school is filtered through the President and Provost before it reaches the trustees. I understand the trustees don't want to be bothered with routine issues like grades and parking spaces, but they should be available to the Harrisburg University community to address serious grievances. If those serious grievances are against the President or Provost, then it would be a clear conflict of interest for them to present the grievance to the Board. So how about it trustees? Can you please talk directly to students, faculty and staff?
What exactly has to happen before The Board of Trustees acts?! We have huge turn-over in employees, disgruntled current employees, declining student enrollment, horrifying retention rates, are not following our mission, alleged nepotism, seriously questionable public communications, unqualified administrators and a president that spews factual errors.
To the Trustees:
You are obligated to the the entire community to take action. You are obligated to the students that have years of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars in debt invested in Harrisburg University , You are obligated to the taxpayers that have millions of dollars invested in your institution. You are obligated to the businesses of Harrisburg that have invested their time and money to make Harrisburg University a reality. You owe it to the staff and faculty who have dedicated countless hours to making Harrisburg University a real school. You are obligated to the City of Harrisburg and the Harrisburg School District that has given substantial funds to the university. All of us are counting on you to DO SOMETHING. Why does a blogger have to point this stuff out publicly? If you took action, this blog wouldn't even exist!
Harrisburg University's accrediting body requires that the Board of Trustees: Allow "appropriate opportunity for student input regarding decisions that affect them" and conduct "periodic assessment of the effectiveness of institutional leadership and governance." -Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education, Requirements of Affiliation and Standards of Accreditation 2009
"The governing body is ultimately accountable for the academic quality, fiscal and academic integrity, academic planning, assets, and financial health of the institution...Always the advocate, and when necessary, the defender of the institution, the governing body is responsible for the institution's integrity and quality." -Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education, Requirements of Affiliation and Standards of Accreditation 2009