Thursday, April 13, 2023

Board protocols coming down

When one is a public academic there are many pitfalls one might encounter. This is compounded by being an elected member of the board of governors. Here is one example. 

As a governor I have continued the sorts of public interventions and inquiries that I have done for years. On my twitter stream I raise questions about university decisions. Sometimes, rather than engage in a public questioning, I send an email or a direct message through what ever social media platform the university was using.

I also have continued a writing project, A Campus Resident, where I make it really clear I am writing a stories for publication. 

Yet it would seem that despite these efforts on  my part some people still are 'confused' by the complexity of who I am and in what role I am in when speaking  with them. 

One of my observations drawn from years of living on campus and working in a university is that non-academic management staff really find it hard to functionally appreciate an intellectual frame of reference where reflections, consideration, questioning, and even challenging is simply part of the process. Not all of them I want to quickly add - but enough of them so that it can make it tiresome and uncomfortable becuase they are the ones who are adept in the procedural plays.

I will thank them just the same. As they help me take better notes, make more clear and explicit what I am doing. In their sensitivities they also reveal fault lines and issues I hadn't realized existed before I sent in my simple question asking for a bit more info about this or that.


        Dear Karen,

Thank you for letting me know that if I have any information requests related to board business to route through you. I have not yet had the opportunity to request any information for board business but am quite happy to hear of your eagerness to support any board related questions I may have.

If any in your circle experiences confusion, please let them know that if I am asking for information in my capacity as a governor I will explicitly say so.

I would also note that I have for close to three decades been a member of my community and have many different and pre-existing relationships that exist outside of being a governor (which is, being a governor that is, quite honestly a very small part of what I do in my life). Clearly being a governor adds nuance, but it is not nor should it be the defining aspect of how I conduct my academic research – of which A Campus Resident is part of. It is a research and intellectual product that is not related to being a governor.

Again, I look forward to sending you information requests that might aid my work as a governor, but until such time as I have any such requests, I will continue in the same manner that I have for going on three decades.

With warm regards,



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