Category Archives: mediating disputes

July 30, 2007, 3:00 pm

The No Asshole Rule: A Reflection

As you know if you make a close study of Tenured Radical 2.0 in all of its features, I have been reading Robert I. Sutton’s The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. And to get to the punchline quickly: you should read it too. It is short, it is well written and Sutton — a professor of management science and engineering at Stanford University — has written a book that nicely bridges the worlds of business and intellectual work.

What occasioned my purchase of this book? Well, it doesn’t really matter, does it, because I loved it and I wish something like it had been available to me years ago. I would also say that the bulk of my labor this year will be administrative, and because there is no formal mentoring in this kind of work, I do what I can to learn management techniques, either by observing adminstrators at Zenith closely and seeing…

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June 8, 2007, 12:57 pm

Life as a Broker: The Role of the Committee Chair in Faculty-Administration Relations

In order to stay better informed, your Radical has signed up for the free daily updates from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Like every other periodical and newspaper that comes into this house, I can’t read all of the update, much less all of the Chronicle, which is why I did not use my remaining research monies to buy a horrendously expensive on-line subscription. But I do like scanning the update for items of interest: I also started scanning Inside Higher Ed when they started linking me, which may be part of their strategy for linking bloggers: “Bring ‘em into the light, boys!” Sometimes what I see in my daily scan are items of great interest, sometimes they are small pieces that cause me to think. And when I think, I blog. It’s inescapable.

Today’s food for thought was by a fellow named Gene Fant, who was a department chair at a small southern college, recently became a…

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June 2, 2007, 12:36 pm

Ask the Radical: The Dreaded Grade Dispute

From time to time, the Radical will take direct questions about how to proceed in delicate matters not occurring at Zenith (refresh your memory of the Blogger Ethic, or just try to imagine the consequences, if you don’t understand why she does not address controversial events at Zenith any more.)

This dispatch is just in from the Land of Contingent Labor:

“Dear Professor Radical: I was recently accused of giving a student a failing grade because I am allegedly biased against him. When he lodged the original complaint about the grade, I provided him with all of the reasons for his grade, including not answering assigned questions, not addressing gay people in a class about sexuality, and not answering questions when asked during his presentations even though answering questions was part of what was expected in the presentation. His response to my explanation was to accuse me of reverse …

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