Calling Dr. Pangloss: The Self-Defeating Logic of Forced Positivity
Abstract: The philosophical orientation of an institutional governing board has profound implications for the operation and future of the institution. This case history presents experience and context for a small college board that adopted an extreme position that insisted on good news and denied the value of critical or negative information or opinions. The result is ongoing hazard for the future of the institution because leadership is unwilling and unable to realistically address substantial challenges. Readers are invited to reflect on perspective and practice in their own institutions to consider the degree to which these kinds of attitudes and behaviors may be adding to the challenges of operating in an era of relative scarcity and turbulence in the general environment for higher education in North America.
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