Hogan’s leadership style under scrutiny

An online petition, expressing concerns about the latest revelations about the enrollment management controversy, is gaining momentum among faculty members on campus. The petition, which has garnered over 440 signatures over four days, states that it has “serious doubts” about University President Michael Hogan’s leadership style.

The letter states that professors are “troubled” by the tone of emails that were obtained by the press under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. In those emails, Hogan expected Chancellor and Vice President Phyllis Wise and the other two chancellors to follow suit with his plans and to convey that message to faculty leaders on campus.

“It is clear from such comments and others that President Hogan has adopted a managerial stance toward the Urbana campus that is not conductive to free and open discussion on the pertinent issues,” the letter to the University’s Board of Trustees states.

In addition, the letter expresses serious concerns about Hogan’s attitude and his relationship with Wise. In the email correspondence, Hogan was upset with Wise for her “lack of leadership on enrollment management,” but the two did collaborate to reach an agreement about reporting lines of the new associate vice president for academic affairs, previously titled the executive director for enrollment management.

“Since the campuses and the overall University each have a crucial statutory identity and role in our institutional arrangement, we believe that the president and chancellor need to be partners, not manager and subordinate in a simple, top-down command system,” the letter continues.

University spokesman Tom Hardy said these ongoing dialogues were part of a collaboration process.

“The chancellors all voiced the concern that their respective campuses had … (and) the president listened as part of a consultative process,” Hardy said Wednesday.

When asked about the petition, Hardy said the University and faculty is trying to work together with strained resources given the fiscal situation.

The letter also defends Wise as the chief executive officer and the leader of this campus, saying that she has had a “positive impression” during her initial months.

A growing number of faculty have been concerned about Hogan’s taking over more of the campus’ responsibilities, from a highly visible role in campus athletics to taking control of information technology and other essential campus functions, according to a separate letter that criticized Hogan, which was written by faculty members and addressed to trustees in January.

Notable professors who have signed the letter include Douglas Beck, who chaired the search committee that was used to hire Wise; Mary Mallory, an Urbana representative to the University Senates Conference; Harriet Murav, president of the Campus Faculty Association; and Thomas Dunning, director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.