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Narrative UPRH profile and change

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  1. 1. University of Puerto Rico at HumacaoOrganization Profile and Change<br />Michelle Nieves Cintron<br />EDUC 6105<br />Dr. April Adams<br />Walden University<br />June 19, 2011<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />This presentation narrates the profile of the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao (UPRH), the changes it went through and how this process of change was sustained by the leaders of the organization. A conclusion and a reflection are also offered as an analysis of the acceptance of innovation and change by the organization. <br />
  3. 3. UPRH History<br />
  4. 4. UPRH Organizational Structure<br />It is constituted by a board of trustees, a president, chancellors, deans, directors, professors, students and non teaching staff<br />At the central level there is the Board of Trustees and the President of the University. <br />Even though the university is autonomous, it has a centralized bylaws system that mandates and regulates every aspect of the institution and its constituents. <br />At the administrative institutional level, there is one chancellor, a dean of academic affairs, a dean of administrative affairs, a dean of student affairs, the department chairs and non teaching staff. <br />At the academic level there are the professors and students. <br />
  5. 5. UPRH Political Structure and Culture<br />The culture of this organization could be described as highly political which could be seen as a liability. The reason is that the high governance positions depend solely on the political party that is in turn at the governing chairs of the state. In other words, if the governor changes, the whole governance of the university changes as a result of who won the elections. This is because the new governor will place new people in these high positions to preside the institution. As a consequence, change is no stranger to the people who work there. As a result, the organizational culture is programmed to have radical changes every four years. <br />
  6. 6. UPRH Culture<br />
  7. 7. UPRH Changes<br />
  8. 8. UPRH Communication <br />These changes were communicated to the professors on January 2010 at the first faculty meeting of the 2009-2010 school year by the department director. A new certification was created to inform the organization of the changes that will have to be implemented from that day forward. A certification at this institution equals a law that has to be followed without question. The administration of the university had already planned and implemented the changes before the spring semester started without providing the opportunity for participation. <br />
  9. 9. UPRH Resistance<br />On April 13, 2010 students from the 11 campuses of the University of Puerto Rico System met in a student assembly due to the changes in the organization which encompassed all the aspects of the institution. In this assembly the students created the Student Negotiating Committee. The students had open discussions about the status of the university, the changes that were imposed and the proposals that would serve as possible solutions to the problems in the institution. The students asked to have an audience with the university’s administration before deciding upon a strike vote. They waited for 8 days, but the administration; The Board of Trustees and the President of the University, refused to meet with the student committee with the argument that they did not recognized this committee as an official organization. The students gave the administration two more days to meet with them but the results were null. <br />
  10. 10. UPRH Resistance<br />On April 21, 2010 an indefinite protest began as a demonstration of the resistance to change. Students sat passively in front of the gates of the 11 campuses blocking all the entrances. Classes stopped as the strike began. Soon the teaching and non teaching staff joined the cause. Lastly, community leaders and the rest of the population also came together with the students. Professors who had a high level of expertise in economy, politics, leadership, education, business, and administration along with the students created proposals and presented them to the administration, but they ignored these plans. On May 2010, the graduation was cancelled and the semester had to be completed on August of that same year. The passive protest soon became violent as the result of the administration’s decision to use the police force to intervene with the protestors. Many students, parents, professors, community members were beaten and arrested because they refused to break up the strike. As a consequence, the University of Puerto Rico that is known as the first and only public university in the country with over a 100 year history became the opposite of a place where human rights and knowledge should be enhanced. <br />See related videos<br />
  11. 11. UPRH Resistance<br />The resistance was also seen inside the organization. The hallways of the university transformed into the scenario of conversations that claimed justice to safeguard the system. People could not join the protest because they could lose their jobs. They could not participate in open forums because these were nonexistent. They could not give recommendations because the participatory process was shut down. They only had two options; either they conformed and work or they could just quit. <br />As a result of change, approximately 10,000 students of the 60,000 enrolled in the system went to other universities. Many professors resigned or took time off as the changes began to unfold. Others stayed but with a high level of resignation as they became unmotivated and demoralized individuals with no other choice than to come and teach, stay quiet and go home. <br />
  12. 12. UPRH Strategies for Overcoming Resistance<br />The members of the organization gave up and the leaders achieved what they intended to do in the first place although they did not used the appropriate strategies to implement change. <br />In the case of the University of Puerto Rico an open dialogue did not happen. On the contrary, leaders refused to listen to the organization and limited their participation. In order for leaders to be effective, they need to help the resistors replace their beliefs with the new ones. A new belief system was imposed and institutionalized; the only strategy the leaders used was force and negative coercion.<br />
  13. 13. UPRH Strategies for Overcoming Resistance<br />The roles of leadership and resistors were inverted and the change process was a failure. In other words, the organization is the leader and the leaders are the resistors. In this particular case, the leaders of the university wanted to implement changes that went against the purpose of the institution and the members of the organization were against these changes defending the vision and the mission of the institution. <br />Looking at the nature of change in the organizations, change is a necessary part of any organization. Organizations go through change for many reasons because they need to evolve as a response to internal and external influences. If this is true, then the leaders of the university implemented changes that went against the true nature of the existence of the institution and the resistors wanted to sustain the very essence of what this institution stands for. The leaders’ role then entailed the need to modify the institution’s vision for it to concur with the changes unless their intention was to dismantle the organization.<br />
  14. 14. UPRH Sustaining Change<br />In May 2011, the President of the University of Puerto Rico resigned but not without first telling the country how he was appointed to this position with the condition of hiring two individuals as a political favor, one which is now the new president of the university . He ventilated in the media how the university was used by the government as a political platform and that the real intention of the government was to dismantle and privatize the institution. <br />According to this information it is fair to predict that the changes implemented, even though they are institutionalized, these will not endure because now people are aware of the leaders’ intentions and the effect of the changes that were implemented will begin to impact all the processes and operations of the institution and the organization since they go against the ideals of this foundation. For change to be sustained in an organization it has to become part of its culture. This anchoring approach works best when the leaders prepare the organization for change, enhance and increase the communication between them and the organization, provide an active participation, and formalize the changes in order to institutionalize them. However, to sustain change these activities have to be frequent and consistent until the change becomes a permanent part of the organization. In the University of Puerto Rico these activities were not performed which supports the idea that these changes will not last.<br />
  15. 15. UPRH Sustaining Change<br />At the beginning of the year 2011, the strike began to disintegrate. All the changes that were imposed were institutionalized. People just gave up because they had too much at stake like losing their jobs and their studies. The resistors are now in a silent period and the leaders gained what they wanted. <br />
  16. 16. UPRH Evaluation of the Change Process<br />The resistance encountered could be described as plenty and strong, but the hands of those who could fight back were tied leaving them with a sense of deception that was felt in the environment. Although the way the organization expressed their resistance was by attacking the leaders, in this case the resistors were willing to have an open dialogue with the leaders but the leaders were not open for this request. <br />The time of resistance was the best opportunity the leaders had to work together with the organization in order to implement change effectively. It seemed that the leadership of the organization knew the type of resistance they were going to encounter, but their intention never was to fix or minimize the problems. They were ready to move forward with the changes no matter the cost or the impact it will have in the institutions’ history, operations and organization. The strategy used by the leaders was to ignore the organization’s claim, the desire to negotiate and the responsibility to look for viable solutions to the problems the institution had. <br />
  17. 17. UPRH Conclusion<br />In conclusion, the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao along with its organization has been the victim of a poor leadership. Sadly, the changes that took place in this institution were not based on innovation, but based on political decisions to benefit just a small group interested in political and personal gain. Looking back at the results of the process of change, the planning and the implementation of the changes were not performed taking the organization into consideration, in its place, the leaders had their own hidden agendas ready with the intention of limiting the participatory process of the people involved. The leaders demonstrated that they had anticipated the type of resistance they were going to encounter and they were ready to let the organization know that they had no intention in negotiating the changes. In this change process there were many proposals that came from the organization, but these were ignored sending a clear message that the change was not going to be constructive but totally imposed and forced. People in the organization had too much to lose and they had no other choice but to step back and accept the change. As for sustaining the change, if the leaders do not sit and rethink the purpose of the institution, its vision, mission and goals, there is a high probability that the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao will never be the same and the values and belief system that once characterized this institution will be lost forever.<br />
  18. 18. UPRH Reflection<br />Based on the changes and events that happened atthe University of Puerto Rico at Humacao and the type of leadership it has endured, this institution has been transformed from a nonprofit educational institution to a political arena and a for-profit business used to win elections and make money. The main values and beliefs that characterized this institution as one of the most prestigious in the Caribbean known internationally have been damaged profoundly. As a replacement for imposed change, resistance to change has to be reconstructed in terms of gaining back the organization’s trust, fixing the injustice, admitting to mistakes to gain back credibility and give closure to the past. The reconstruction of the resistance and the organization is the only way viable at this time to regain all that has been taken from the organization and the university as an educational institution. In addition, the vision, the mission and the goals of the institution have to reconsidered and aligned to restructure the whole institution. <br />
  19. 19. UPRH Reflection<br />Although the changes were implemented and institutionalized, this process has damaged the image of the institution permanently in terms of its role in society. It is fair to say that the organization did not respond appropriately to innovation and change because the process of change did not have a genuine purpose to improve its operations or to become competitive, but the purpose of change was merely a political one. There is no doubt that the University of Puerto Rico needs transformational leaders who will bring back the institution to its feet again. In order for this to happen, the government needs to step back and give the university back to the people. The university should not be the subject of political interests; it should be a place for thinkers and performers in the benefit of society as it was created in the first place. Until this happens, the university will still be at the mercy of evil hands.<br />