File this under civil war – academic style.

Colleen Flaherty of Inside Higher Ed reported.

Habitually Disrespected?

Faculty members at San Antonio’s Alamo Colleges criticized Chancellor Bruce Leslie last year for trying to bump a humanities course from the core curriculum, to make room for a required class based in part on the popular self-help book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Their complaints prompted the regional accreditor to express concern about the class and shared governance at the institution, and the proposed requirement is on hold for now (although it’s being offered as an elective).

But faculty members say that the new academic year has brought with it new concerns about Alamo’s leaders’ commitment to shared governance – and respect.

“When the word comes down that we’re supposed to be yanking information about degrees off our websites, we tend to get a little concerned,” said Celita DeArmond, a librarian at San Antonio College, the Alamo system’s largest campus, and president of its American Association of University Professors advocacy chapter. “Unfortunately, the faculty don’t have a lot of trust in the chancellor based on past incidents with him.”

Currently at issue is a memo from Alamo’s vice chancellor for academic success informing faculty and staff that the college’s longstanding, non-vocational academic programs – something like majors – will be restructured and will no longer appear on students’ diplomas. Instead, the Alamo Colleges starting this academic year will issue two more generic degrees – an associate of arts and an associate of science, with no additional program information.