Gwyn Morgan has a Globe and Mail op/ed piece here on Canadian universities’ rejection of proposed grants due to the potential donors wishing a say in hiring decisions and areas of research.
Faculty councils, it seems, are not only opposed to outside funders having input on hiring and research decisions, they’re opposed to university presidents and provosts making such decisions without their approval. They also have veto power over the creation or termination of teaching programs. Moreover, tenured professors are free to work on practically any subject, resulting in research that may be relevant only to their personal academic interests, with little or no chance of creating material economic or social value. (Many professors prefer to focus on research, sending their graduate students to teach those lowly undergrads.)
How can it be that, in the name of “academic freedom,” those appointed to lead our publicly financed universities are rendered impotent by their own employees? Where else in the private or public sectors do employees decide who else is hired and what the organization delivers, while being free to spend most of their time doing what they choose?