Ever since Lisa's letter was published in the Athens News (see my post of yesterday for the text), folks have been writing and calling to say how much they agree with her sentiments. Where on earth are all of these people hiding? Why is the university in the crapper, governance-wise, if this view is so widely shared? Part of the answer may lie in some news we have gleaned from a couple of folks who have expresseed agreement with Lisa's letter and who have been around OU for a long enough period of time to remember the days before President Glidden.
According to one emeritus professor, it was President Ping who first lulled the Faculty Senate into giving up the power of the Faculty to vote a sitting dean out of office. If that power were restored it would go a long way towards restoring a situation that at least approaches shared governance. But one can see that it is going to be an uphill fight. The Board of Trustees has said that it will not accept any faculty evaluation of either the President or the Provost, and the University counsel has sent a letter to all faculty "forbidding" them from using any university resources (campus mail, email) to conduct any such evaluation informally. Since the University counsel does not usually act unilaterally, we must assume that either the President of the Provost put him up to it, though in the end it just made him look foolish.
One salutary effect of the counsel's letter is that it stirred up the outrage of the faculty. Not all of the faculty will agree that the university is rightfully theirs to run, but most of them will know when they are being treated like chattel. Administrators come and go; sometimes the transitions happen more quickly than at other times. This is definitely the time for a quick transition.