Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Process Matters!

I have long poo-poo'ed procedures and processes because I am impatient and prefer to get to the heart of the matter.  As it turns out, procedure matters.  The ISA blogging proposal, which I have discussed here and here, apparently did not go through normal procedures for an executive committee proposal.  How so?  Several emails flew throughout the night indicating that some ex-com members had not heard of this proposal until it was sent out to the entire Governing Council with the imprimatur of the Executive Committee.*  These folks are not pleased.
*  What might have happened is that there might have been some discussion at the ISA ex-com meeting at the American Political Science Association meeting last September, and that some ex-com members might not have been there (the non-North American ones at least).  If so, then it might be the case that there was poor/no circulation of what was discussed at that meeting to the rest of the ISA ex-com. 

This news is quite illuminating.  The proposal looked half-baked, and it turns out that it was half-baked.  It was incoherent and ill-advised precisely because there apparently was no full discussion to vet and refine the idea.  So, it is not just bad idea enters the machine and comes out bad.  It is a bad idea that did not get processed and remained bad. 

This does not mean that the fight is over--I am going to keep fighting until the proposal is withdrawn.  I am just more confident that the vote, if it happens, is likely to go our way. 

And, yes, the story made Inside Higher Ed.  Definitely does not make the ISA or this idea look good.

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