Faculty governance and technology

I’ve been trying for many (like, 7?) years to help our faculty governance system to recognize the importance of the Campus Technology Council, to little avail. In the last couple years I’d pretty much quit asking for it to be considered as an ‘official’ committee, even though it’s just as active and engaged in new projects as ever. This piece by Jonathan Rees and Jonathan Poritz in Academe spells it out clearly:

Faculty must educate themselves about the possibilities and dangers of IT in order to maintain their prerogatives. Information technology might seem like merely an instrumental aspect of institutional operations that might be left entirely in the hands of administrations, like landscaping or decisions about which model of copiers to put in department offices. But when IT is a fundamental part of the creation and dissemination of new truths, and when it can be used to monitor and to control all aspects of research and teaching, it necessarily becomes one of those areas where the faculty should exercise its primary responsibility.

Since I know for a fact that faculty at my university have actively “engaged” (thrown down) with the administration over decisions about both copiers AND landscaping, it seems like I ought to be able to rouse some interest in academic technology. Anyway, I’ve ordered a copy of Poritz and Rees’s book, maybe I’ll pass it along to the appropriate committee chair when I’ve finished it.

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