Dwayne A. Grant
Interview Paper: Leadership at an Anarchical Community College
November 30, 2014
Louisiana State University
Though tempered by culture, history, and tradition that shape beliefs in particular directions and away from others, the presence of multiple realities within organized anarchies is undeniable (Manning, 2013). Louisiana’s oldest and largest community college sits in the heart of New Orleans. Delgado Community College is known for distinctive programs and an extremely rich culture. Recently, Delgado has experienced changes in leadership during a time of expansion and transition. Faculty at Delgado Community College are outraged that they ...view middle of the document...
“I was not prepared for the amount of hostility festering under the surface,” added Davis (J. Davis, personal communication, October 23, 2014)
A wise leader will present the initiative as a proposal that is open to improvement, provide ample time for good and open discussion, and modify in response to input. (Bolman & Gallos 2011 p. 66). In efforts to manage this crisis, Davis met with the faculty senate to address the issues. The faculty senate was aware rumors of surplus funds, and wanted to know the plans for it. In an organized anarchy, it would appear that resources are allocated by whatever process emerges but without explicit accommodation and without explicit reference to some subordinate goals (Birnbaum, 1988). Such is the exact case at Delgado and for Chancellor Davis. This initial attempt by Davis to alleviate the concerns of faculty and staff went unrecognized and ultimately ended up on the front page of the local newspaper, above the fold.
In organized anarchies, one can never expect that communication will be complete. The fluid participation in organized anarchies often result in missed and intermittent communication (Manning, 2013, p. 17). Exemplary of garbage-can decision making and as a result of the miscommunication about surplus funds, Davis has implemented “Chats with the Chancellor” where Davis plans to visit with students, faculty, staff, every semester to find out what is going on within each of the thirteen campuses comprising Delgado Community College. In the garbage can [Chats with the Chancellor], specific problems, participants, and solutions coalesce with a particular choice point and they become attached to each other (Birnbaum, 1988, p.162). In an organized anarchy, decisions may be likely to be made either by flight or oversight. Both flight and oversight operate by removing the extra material from the decision (Birnbaum, 1988). The occurrence was resolved and the school was able to pay the faculty immediately following the local newspaper’s publication regarding this matter. Spanish instructor John Maust reinforces this, “It just so happens that, the day after a story about the late checks appeared on the cover of the Times-Picayune, payroll finally managed to process the payments” (Lipinski, 2014 ). Chancellor Davis plans to leverage this communication and community building to build solid relationships within Delgado .
People tend to move in and out of various parts of the organization, and their involvement in any issue depends on to a great extent on what other opportunities for their attention happen to be available at the same time (Birnbaum 1988, p. 156). This major facet of fluid participation is evident at Delgado especially in terms of faculty response to not receiving pay. Adjunct faculty members spoke freely to the press in efforts to expedite the process of resolving their grievance at the institution level. Prior to this occurrence Davis reflects upon faculty...