Related to my post below on whether last-second shots with time expiring, while good for basketball, might be bad for governance, Steven Horwitz offers a compelling hypothetical in academic governance at Coordination Problem:
...Nonetheless, the leadership insists this curriculum change is crucially important to the future of the institution and if only the Faculty Senate would pass it and put it in place, the faculty and students would then realize just how good it is.  In fact, the faculty leadership, working with the clear approval of the president and VPAA, are now scouring Roberts Rules of Order to find a series of sure-to-be controversial parliamentary maneuvers to get the Faculty Senate to approve the new curriculum without it ever going to the full faculty, and possibly without the Faculty Senate ever actually taking a clean vote on it.  The president, meanwhile, is going around to students and alumni telling them how important this new curriculum is and, in the process, criticizing the faculty opponents by charging they have self-interested reasons for defending the status quo, even as the new curriculum proposal contains the aforementioned special deals for some of the faculty supporters. The faculty as a whole and the student body continue to oppose the new curriculum by a consistent majority. Having considered this hypothetical scenario, here are my questions for you my friends:
  • Would you consider this a legitimate way to pass a new curriculum?  If the faculty leadership in conjunction with the administration were to ram this through by questionable parliamentary procedure and over the objections of a clear majority, do you think this new curriculum would have any legitimacy? ...