Friday, June 5, 2009

A New Title for Tim?

Has anyone else noticed the (not so)subtle change in terminology being bandied about? How Dr. Culver, with increasing frequency, refers to himself as the "Superintendent" rather than the District Administrator? In his recent blogpost, InspirED, which might be appropriately subtitled, "Diatribes from Dr. FeelGood" Culver even asks "What does a Superintendent Do"? Who cares? Because Sun Prairie doesn't have one of those....we have a "District Administrator. many of you might ask...what's the big deal? What's in a word? A title? OK...maybe nothing. Of course, maybe you could pose the same question to Trainer McCarthy, (retired) Mentor Madden, or Counselor Bellichick. To these guys, the title swap MIGHT make a difference. You see...if you look up "coach" in your thesaurus du jour, you'll find those three optional equivalents. We're thinking that these guys, and the football world at large, might have a teensy weensy problem with the switch.

But the issue goes beyond titles. Why is Dr. Culver passively (and publicly we might add) advocating for the change in title? In fact, since the two titles are (arguably) interchangeable, why would he even be working towards a change? What does it matter? And why doesn't the school board...HIS collective BOSS...politely tell him to stop confusing the people by switching terms.

Does Culver realize (or care) how much it would cost to change every one of the plethora of policies that routinely contain the term "District Administrator"? EVERY policy change (even such subtle word changes) must go through the school know...HIS BOSSES. What about the cost of producing new letterheads, publications, business cards? Here's a good one...what about his (legal) CONTRACT? Contractually speaking, the "district administrator"...not the "superintendent" is the responsible party for the district. We're not suggesting Culver is looking for a way out, but as someone who spends a lot of time consulting lawyers, he surely must understand that such subtle nuances can become major issues in court. [Your honor, this contract says that the 'District Administrator' is responsible for _____. My client is the 'Superintendent', not the 'District Administrator', so this contract provision is not applicable to him.]

Newsflash, Dr. C...we know you don't feel it due to the plushy cushion afforded by your $150K salary and "stipends", but the rest of the world is facing a nearly unprecedented economic crisis. People are being laid off, state workers are getting salary reductions instead of increases (but you'll be getting about a 4-5% INCREASE, won't you?), and even education funding has been cut. But you seem to need a new title? our comes down to a simple question: isn't this just a "me" thing for the good doctor? For someone who likes to talk a good game of "team", it sure looks like some self-serving interests have ditched the letters "a" and "t" and reversed the others to successfully come up with the "me" in team. If it's NOT just a "me" thing. Then we suggest you stop confusing people and stick with the title you have.

Perhaps a little less focus on trying to subtly (or not) suggest to the board that you're looking for a new title, and invest that energy and effort into improving things within the district. You know... diversity issues, expulsions, violence, test scores, scholarships, budgeting?