SLU Faculty Issues Comprehensive Report on Why Lawrence Biondi Sucks

Categories: Education, News
biondi 3.jpg
slu.edu
The battle with Biondi (above) rages on.
Think tension between the faculty and administration at Saint Louis University has simmered down in recent weeks?

- SLU Faculty Give Biondi a No-Confidence Vote
- Biondi Threatens to Pack Up SLU Medical and Head West
- SLU Law School Drama


Think again.

Today the faculty made public a lengthy report it has submitted to the university's board of trustees urging that the committee fire the school's president, Fr. Lawrence Biondi, and his embattled academic vice president Manoj Patankar.

The 16-page report (viewable and downloadable below) suggests that the university's reputation and fiscal health have been severely damaged under Biondi's leadership in recent years.

The university, according to the report, trails many in its peer group of similar colleges in endowment growth, grants and alumni giving. That and Biondi's preference for real estate developments over academics have contributed to the university dropping from a ranking of No. 78 in U.S. News and World Report's 2004 college rankings to No. 92 on the latest list, according to the report.

"If the university does not change course and begin to focus on academics more and real estate development less, we are not only unlikely to rise into the top 50, but we will be lucky to stay in the top 100," write the report's authors, adding that academic spending per student at SLU has also declined in recent years.

In the past two months SLU's Arts and Sciences Faculty Council, the Faculty Senate and the Student Government Association have all three issued votes of no confidence in Biondi and Patankar.

The skirmish began earlier this fall when Patankar proposed a plan that faculty say would have abolished tenure and instituted a punitive annual-review process.

The report below comes following revelations that the university has hired PR firm Fleischmann-Hillard to handle faculty and student discord at the school. Students and faculty plan to march on campus this Saturday prior to a meeting in which they hope the board of trustees will take up the report and hear their complaints.

Slu Report on Biondi
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4 comments
TheMack
TheMack

I agree with Robbie.  Despite the redevelopment efforts and the good they've done there's a fair amount of bad decision making and controversy he's caused that could have been otherwise avoided.  The law school, the drop in ratings, the per-student spending, the tenure issues and the rebellion among the faculty are the tip of the iceberg.  His disregarding of votes of no confidence and efforts to change the rules to benefit his authority are outright unjustified.  How very Mohamed Morsi of him.

Robbie
Robbie

Both these comments still miss the point. Is it a university chancellor's job to run an educational endeavor or a real estate development firm? If SLU lets him go, it seems like he has plenty of options in STL to continue his development efforts. His only issue is finding a position that lets him institute eminent domain regularly.

Pablo Paul Weiss
Pablo Paul Weiss

He built SLU from unattractive crime ridden urban campus into a very impressive campus and this is the thanks he gets.

egolterman
egolterman topcommenter

There are many power brokers in St. Louis. Few have done as much for St. louis, first midtown and now Downtown and specifically for our hisoric civic center.. I have not been a fan, but have seen the transformation of a 'street-car' campus into an impressive complex. When grand center was sputtering Fr. Biondi gave them a swift kick in the butt, and they 'stepped up' the whatever they do. Did i lke all the 'deals' of course not. The  move of the  the law school Ddowntown adds another quality of life component (to the opera house and restored library) to lift up a hard-edged sports and casinos downtown. Will it all work? i dont know. But he should stick around another year. Discontent is often fed by introspection, by looking at our world, and not at the universe. The St. louis universe needs a little more  'work'.

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