Rocket Nation Sadness Part 7 – over the past two weeks hundreds of employees from all levels and departments within UToledo have reached out. A shocking number of former Deans, VP’s, Provosts and other people have also shared their thoughts. Two themes have emerged. The first is the phrase “toxic working environment”. They describe a lack of vision and direction that, in their words, has created a leadership void filled with infighting, confusion, chaos, paralysis, and fear. Could this be true? What should the UToledo Board of Trustees do if they found this to be true? What would you do if you were a Trustee?

The second theme is their perception that senior leadership is confused about the key enrollment, financial and registrar classroom capacity data. They describe senior leaders reporting different numbers to key influencers, donors and Trustees. Some data shows enrollment up and no financial crisis. Other data shows a fifth straight year of enrollment decline and a financial crisis. Still other data shows no classes available, so even if first year students attempt to register in the next few weeks there is virtually no space for them. While other data shows that some current students have received notices that classes they registered for in the spring are now cancelled. Is it true that senior leadership is confused by their own data? If true, what impact is this having on their decision making and what they are sharing with the Trustees, Chancellor and Governor?

If you were a Trustee, donor or key influencer who would you believe? If you were a Trustee how would you analyze the data to create a shared decision making perspective with your fellow Board members?

The shock of the Week 1 and Week 2 posts is over. Week 3 begins with some in denial. But many have recognized the stark reality that tough questions need to be answered and tough decisions need to be made.

Please join me in praying that I am wrong. Pray that key influencers, donors and Trustees do not find a leadership void and toxic working environment. Pray for Will Lucas and the Board of Trustees as they lead The Rocket Nation.

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