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          Front Page  education

UNM Business Dean Scrutinized

By Olivier Uyttebrouck
Copyright 2006 Albuquerque Journal; Journal Staff Writer
    Faculty members upset by changes at the University of New Mexico's business school called for a vote of confidence in Dean Chuck Crespy, stirring public concern for his future at UNM.
    UNM has refused to release results of the vote, which concluded July 5, and faculty members and administrators contacted this week offered few specifics about the conflict at Anderson Schools.
    "We just have a lot of change going on here," Crespy said Thursday. "And when you have change, there's not always total consensus."
    Business faculty met Tuesday with Reed Way Dasenbrock, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
    Dasenbrock on Thursday would not discuss the vote or even confirm that there had been one.
    He said Crespy's job as dean of Anderson Schools remains secure, but "there needs to be some internal conversations in the school."
    He said he wants Crespy and the faculty to develop a plan for improving communications and easing conflicts within the school.
    "I can't diagram a work chart for them," he said. "That's up to them."
    UNM hired Crespy in August 2004 at a time when some doubted that the business school could retain accreditation with a nationwide association that accredits some 500 business schools around the world.
    Crespy won admiration from UNM leaders when the school learned in December that it had received a six-year extension of its accreditation for two programs— business administration and accounting.
    Regent Mel Eaves said he's been getting phone calls from "significant" donors to UNM and business people who have heard rumors about the conflict and wanted to express support for Crespy.
    "In the business community, he is perceived as doing an excellent job, and that's my perception as well," Regent Mel Eaves said Thursday.
    Jamie Koch, regent president, said he is disappointed that Crespy's leadership is being challenged as UNM starts seeking a new president to replace Louis Caldera, who resigned in February.
    "I do not think, at this time, that any dean should be replaced," he said.
    In August 2005, Crespy said he had asked professors to teach additional classes to ensure the required ratio of tenured professors and undergraduate students in the classroom.
    "I think most (faculty) recognized that changes we made last year were required for re-accreditation," he said Thursday. But changes this year, such as an increased focus on technology in the classroom, have been harder to sell to faculty, he said.
    Steven Yourstone, a marketing professor, said the faculty cast their votes online last week. They had a choice of checking boxes labeled "confidence" or "no confidence." They could also write comments.
    During the faculty meeting with Dasenbrock, "a number of people said they were not clear on what the issues are," Yourstone said. He said he knows few specifics about why some faculty members are upset with Crespy.
    "When you have a new administration, a new dean, there's change," he said, "and not everyone wants to be a part of the change."