Does a Hierarchal Leadership Structure…Yield the Best Ideas?

Recently, the Board of Trustees for Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has come under criticism for some division and differing opinions, within it’s ranks.

I have no criticism for this volunteer and appointed group, and I admire them for their service to the University.  In days gone by I have known and been friends with members of the BOT.

Being a member of the Board is a difficult position and there are, always, many differing points of view to listen to and, weigh, as to their efficacy for the entire System.

I found, many years ago, that leaders are people and that they respond to the same, kind and thoughtful and logical, communication that any person of good will…responds to.


SIU Carbondale is a miracle.

It was planted, almost 150 years ago, amid the corn and bean fields of Southern Illinois and among the small and sometimes, tiny, villages and hamlets of Little Egypt.

Why did it grow from a Teacher’s College…into a major and internationally recognized University?

What facilitated the unparalleled growth and establishing of this major Carnegie II institution of higher education?

The founding identity of the Southern Illinois University System…comes from SIU Carbondale.

To cavalierly say that the flagship campus of the system…is not doing well…without rolling up our sleeves to work and ensure that the Carbondale Campus can be righted and strengthened and restored to it’s former glory is to abdicate leaderships’ responsibility to SIU.

Of course…all leaders have an opinion as to whether or not the SIU System should be dismantled…and it is a hierarchal and sophomoric statement to say that they do not have an opinion until the Board of Trustees…informs them of their, politically correct, opinion.

For the price of a cup of coffee…many civil service staff and administrative/professional staff and faculty…could give the BOT, stellar and workable advice on how to improve and restore SIUC.

I have watched several Boards be commissioned, in the glory of the ultimate and last word in university leadership.

I have observed their, metaphorical, trees grow and blossom and wither and die…while they spent time talking to each other and, periodically, their presidents and chancellors.

I have seen, more than once, good chancellors and effective leaders, summarily terminated and let go…for lesser men and women in these leadership roles.

I have watched…when these good leaders were dismissed…the precipitous loss of our precious students…up until and including our present situation.

Hierarchy is great…if it is comprised of servant leaders.

Hierarchy is deaf…if it only talks to it’s self.


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