- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Senior administrators at the University of Missouri College of Engineering have gathered to discuss how to combat a perceived lack of transparency and collaboration within the administration.

More than 24 administrators from the school and campus spent four days at a retreat in St. Louis last week, the Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/1UG6Nup ) reported. The group included Dean Elizabeth Loboa and the engineering college’s 11 chairs. The deans of engineering at the University of Michigan and Texas A&M; University were also invited to the retreat.

Loboa said that she previously met with faculty members individually and held group sessions for the college’s staff. Loboa said those meetings along with internal audits revealed that many faculty members believe the college’s biggest challenge is linked to college culture and morale.

According to Loboa, faculty members have identified that a lack of a strategic plan and ineffective leadership are some of the biggest problems at the college of engineering.

“The perception I got from a lot of faculty was there was not as much openness, transparency and collaboration as there could be in this college,” Hilton said.

Sudarshan Loyalka, professor of nuclear engineering, said that it will be difficult to take the retreat seriously because no rank-and-file faculty members participated.

“No faculty-at-large were invited to this planning, and no documents that might have been distributed have been shared with them,” Loyalka wrote in an email. “Eventually, there will be more of an appearance of shared governance than a reality.”

According to Loboa, the omission of regular faculty did not mean there was no faculty input. Loboa said that she provided specific data at the retreat about faculty opinions gathered from her meetings and discussions.

“The challenge I have is going beyond that,” Loboa said. “Who do you include without making others feel they are being excluded and isolated in some way?”

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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