Tracy Chan is the managing director of the Student Learning and Writing Services, at St. Charles University in Calgary, Alberta. The institution`s strategic option is to internationalize the university and at the same time increase the number of students to be recruited in the institution. To realize this particular objective, the Student Learning and Writing Serviceswas to play the most integral part by increasing the program offerings to both the English-Language learners and graduate students. To realize this responsibility, the Student Learning and Writing Services had to expand its role. For instance, it had toincrease the number of graduate student`s enrolment into the SLWS programs and expand the undergraduate usage. Additionally, the role of the managing director had to expand as she was also involved in works typical to a university (IVEY, 2011). This expanded roles necessitated additional resources to be allocated to Student Learning and Writing Services.
There were three particular challenges that confronted the management of Student Learning and Writing Services. These includesinsufficient allocation of resources, gap-filled recruitment process and commitment issues. Despiteadding the number of staff, additional funding was entirely overlooked. In order to realize the ultimate goal of the university, there was a need to allocate more resources, especially financial resources. However, without it, no meaningful goals can be realized. Moreover, as it is prevalent, there are issues related to the recruitment process. This can be affirmed by the choosing of Hinske as the right candidate and overlooking Kerry, who was seemingly the most qualified if the two. In addition to this, such personnel as Duncan showed critical non-commitment to organizational strategy.
Analysis and Evaluation
The strategic objective of the university to internationalize the university and at the same time increase the number of students to be recruited to the institution is logical and valid. Additionally, the idea exhibits the milestone that the university has targeted. Still, by choosing the Student Learning and Writing Services headed by the very knowledgeable Chan to spearhead the planning towards realization of this milestone was a worthwhile and a justifiable move. As it is related in the case study, Terry Chan had a long history of working in student services and teaching at the university level. Besides this, she had been a lecturer for quite a significant time, especially in the university she is working for (IVEY, 2011). In this regard, itcan be said that Chan was knowledgeable with matters pertaining to universities and was thus the right person to be handed the responsibility. Still in support of Chan as the right person, she had worked with the university for nine years. Therefore, she knew about the strongholds and the weaknesses of the university and how the strategic goal could be realized.
Due to the strategic goal and the placing of the responsibility, it follows that the roleplaced on Chan and her student learning and writing services expanded. Originally, it has been related that the body was constituted of the managing director, two regular full-time counselors, and at least ten instructors. Given the nature of the original roles, the number of employees mentioned above was sufficient. However, due to the steady increase in clientele, the members of the staff, who included Chan, expressed concerns that they were experiencing strains, which resulted from understaffing. Indeed, as it is related, each instructor had experienced a marked increase in the number of individual students, which he or she attended each day. Despite the strategic plan of the institution, there were significantly little initiatives adopted to provide funds necessary to assist in offering the valued programming, as well as, to fulfill the goals of the university. Indeed, it is indicted in the case study that the university had resorted into cutting Chan`s budget by approximately 3% each academic yearrather than increasing the funding (IVEY, 2011).
While the institution took initiatives to respond to these sentiments, how it handled or implemented these actions was not adequate and showed how non-committed the institution was, towards realizing the strategic goals it had set. Motivated by Dr. Roman, Chan completed a request form. Dr. Roman had suggested that that emergency funding had to be available to units and that Chan`s body was in a pole position for the additional funds given the expansion it had experienced and given that the staff complement was below what was necessary for service growth. However, rather than choosing Chan`s body, the Vice President`s office chose FEDO, which did not feature meaningfully in the realization of the targeted goals as Chan`s SLWS. The Vice President indicated that Chan`s body would only be placed with the responsibility of heading the initiative, a thing that was marginal to the realization of the ultimate goal. To exhibit the extent of non-commitmentfurther, Chan had requested for more staff to ease the workload herbody had recently experiencedbut her request took along time before it was assessed (IVEY, 2011).
As it is related in the case study, in the past, Chan was always allowed to hire her own staff members. However, after the strategic goal was set, this role was shifted to Duncan. This can be confirmed by the Vice President`s decision to hand Duncan the mandate to recruit a new graduate instructor. The danger of this, as it was later seen, was that since Duncan was very unfamiliar with the needs of Chan`s department, there was likelihood of ultimately selecting an unqualified person. This would in turn hinder the realization of the strategic goals of the university.
In every sense as it has been seen, Duncan was determined to see Chan fail. Duncan did not seem to support Chan in all her determined initiatives. To affirm this particular assertion, Duncan refused entirely to listen to Chan, despite the realization of the strategic goal of the university solely being Chan`s responsibility. If Duncan were well intended, she would have listened to what Chan`sadvice and work with her in order to determine the best candidate. Instead, Duncan dismissed all of Chan`s ideas. Among the candidates who had been selected to undergo the interview process was Patrick Keller. As related in the case, unlike all the other candidates, Keller was very familiar with the counseling of the students, which was key for Chan (IVEY, 2011).
Keller is reported to have been a former staff member and that he was both knowledgeable with the theory behind SLWS and had a significant level of experience in writing centers throughout the province. However, Duncan dismissed him merely due to his mode of dressing. Another candidate, Hinske was well dressed but the manner in which he performed during the interview worried Chan and Lewis but not Duncan. Further, the application that Hinske had submitted was erratic and this further provided basis for disqualifying him. However, Duncan failed to acknowledge all these. Instead, he recommended him despite the constant calls from Chan that the position that was supposed to be filledwas that of a senior person. Further revelations from the case study were that Hinskedid not have an experience with any job before and was very unfamiliar with the job he was being called for. This context depicts the extent of non-commitment on the part of Duncan. Clearly, comparing these two candidates, Keller was moresuitable and his qualifications aligned with the strategic goal of the company (IVEY, 2011).
However, seeking to recruit Hinske was only impeding the realization of the University`s goals. As it was later experienced, Hinske, having no basis or knowledge of what he was supposed to do, could not make any impact. At this point, Duncan`s suitability in the company couldbe questioned. As a person with commitment, she should have consulted the key people, in this case Lewis and Chan, in order to adopt the most appropriate action. Rather, she sought to work independently in a way that lacked ration.
The way that Hinske performed when he was put into the position was dismay. Hiske did not have any idea on what his role required of him. Further, being in the senior position, he did not exhibit any leadership skill, which waskey to management. Furthermore, she was very inadequate in matters pertaining to reporting his progress to his seniors. Besides this, he had inferior communication skills. To affirm that he did not have any ideas on how to progress with tasks, rather than starting from scratch, Hisnke asked for what had already ben created in order to move on. This was against the unit policy, which required members to start from scratch. This was the very first sign of insufficient direction from him (IVEY, 2011). Further, Hisnke did not consult his seniors, which is a chief and a fundamental attribute thattransformative and effective managers should exhibit. Instead, he kept his distance and occasionally approached Chan and this concerned the latter. In addition to this, Hinske was very poor with communication skills. He could not express himself full to Chan. Additionally he did not talk to the members of staff placed under him. This is aclear sign that he overlooked teamwork, which researchers indicate as more suitable in achieving optimized goals. He could not provide any direction to his juniors or even monitor their affairs. Therefore, there was a high possibility that his juniors did nothing towards the realization of the goals of the larger organization.
The very first recommendation would be to provide SLWS with funds directly rather than through FEDO. As it has been seen, headed by Duncan, FEDO had damaging influence. Indeed, from the analysis, from the nature of her undertakings, Duncan seems to be wishing a downfall for Chan, who is clearly the most successful person at the University as far as strategic goals are concerned. Therefore, to ensure that the goals are achieved, there is a need to place Chan with a more direct control.
Another recommendation is that the ability of Chan to recruit her own staff members should be delivered back to her. When the mandate was placed on Duncan, everything went amiss. Since Duncan was not aware of what was at stake, or what the strategy was all about,she could afford to recruit irrelevant and unqualified personnel. As a result, the larger could not be achieved. Indeed, both Chan and Lewis had shown concern of the selection and experienced a very difficult time in attempting to supervise Hinske. By delivering the recruitment mandate back to her, it follows that she would be able to recruit the appropriate member and the goal would be realized faster and effectively.
Another recommendationissuspension of Duncan and termination of Hinske`s contract. As the events of the case study reveal, Duncan is impeding the realization of the strategic goal.Duncan is trying to sabotageSLWS`s initiatives in an effort towards pursuing her own interests. As a result, Chain is not able to make any meaningful move despite her expansive efforts. Therefore, to remove this impediment, there is a need to suspend Duncan. Additionally, since Hisnke is not qualified, his contact should be terminated. As it has been seen, he does not know how to communicate, he does not report or consult hisseniors, he had bad attitudes to everybody, does not interact with the employees under him and he hardly completes tasks. Such a person cannot deliver in his task (IVEY, 2011). Therefore, there is a need to put a result-oriented and a qualified person in that position and since there is no way Hinske can continue working in the position once another person is recruited, his contract has to be terminated. In this way, the strategic goal will be realized.
A further recommendation is to align the university`s operations with the strategic goal. Earlier in the case study, it was indicated that despite the expanded role, there was underfunding and understaffing (IVEY, 2011). This is clear evidencethat, though the university had set its strategic goal, the way it operated towards its achievement didnot align. Therefore, the university should ensure that it sets plans geared towards the realization of the strategic objective.
IVEY. (2011). Tracey Chan: “We Need to Talk.”Ontario, ON: The University of Western Ontario.