Earlier this morning, The Eye published an article about shakeups in the upper echelons of the Columbia administration. The piece contained a couple of new nuggets in this seemingly never-ending story—including a summary of the infamous McKinsey report and changes to financial aid—but it can be difficult to keep track of everything that’s happened since Moodygate broke back in August 2011. So Bwog decided to put together a little guide to the latest news about Columbia’s administration and what effect, if any, this will have on your life.
What’s the latest news about the McKinsey report?
Spec reporters apparently obtained a partial summary of the secret McKinsey report, which recommended three different options to reorganize the Arts & Sciences (A&S), an administrative grouping of the College, GS, GSAS (the liberal arts grad school), SIPA, and the School of the Arts.
The first option is the least radical, just calling for an additional “operating committee” to decide issues that involve multiple schools in FAS. Since the Dean of the College would probably be on this committee, it wouldn’t be a huge change from the status quo.
The second option is a little more centralized, suggesting that FAS create “functional heads” like a chief financial officer to decide policy for all schools in FAS. This would basically involve ceding authority for College matters from the Dean of the College (and other College administrators) to administrators in FAS who’d have to consider the interests of schools like GSAS and SIPA in addition to the College.
The final option calls for a major reorganization, basically putting the Provost—who would have to consider the interests of every school at Columbia—directly in charge of the A&S. The Dean of the College would only be responsible for the “care and feeding” of undergrads. Particularly in this option, the Dean is really no longer a leader; he or she couldn’t make decisions for the College but could only try to persuade and advise the Provost to make decisions.
Which of the three options did the University end up choosing?
None yet, although Nicholas Dirks, the vice-president of A&S did just announce the formation of an “executive committee” consisting of himself, Deantini, and the dean of GSAS, which seems similar to the “operating committee” called for in the first option.
What’s all this about financial aid? Will my financial aid be cut?
According to the Eye article, the College’s financial aid department was recently moved into the Provost’s office. Depending on the Provost’s priorities, this could be really good or really bad.
The College is always strapped for funds, while the University’s budget is much larger. If the University is serious about financial aid for undergraduates, then, they’ll be able to take money out of that large budget and put it directly into a pool for College students’ financial aid.
On the other hand, the University budget also includes many more things expenses—like facilities costs, that school we run on 110th street, and of course Manhattanville—that will be competing with financial aid for funds. At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Read more after the jump.