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Introduction, Situation Analysis, Instructions, Technical Background

Case 4 Increasing Alumni Giving

Setting: University; Your Position: Dean, Law School

Six months ago you were appointed dean of the law school at a large university. After making you the very attractive offer necessary to entice you to come, the university president stressed the importance of getting the law school on a sound financial footing. Your school has been losing a few million dollars annually. The previous dean had come from the ranks of the faculty and showed no inclination to address the budget deficit.

The faculty is small, highly cohesive, and accustomed to working together. Meetings are characterized by sharp debate in which the faculty take obvious pride. You sense the faculty are primarily committed to their teaching and scholarship and feel that the deficit should continue to be funded by income from the general university budget as it has been for years. You believe that the school's financial problems stem from its lack of attention to soliciting financial support from its large base of graduates, many of whom are in senior positions in law firms around the country.

Your first step must be to hire a director of alumni relations. The position will be an administrative one, and the faculty recognize that the choice is yours to make. However, you believe that the candidate should have the support of the faculty since it would be necessary for him or her to work closely with them in planning and organizing alumni functions and in identifying potential large donors among their former students.

You sense that the faculty are less than enthusiastic about this initiative, believing, correctly, that it will take time away from their teaching and research. There are some, although probably a minority, who believe that some sacrifices are necessary to achieve a balanced budget.

Two months ago you began advertising the position. Those advertisements, together with a plethora of phone calls to deans in other universities, have produced a large number of candidates of whom several look superb. You have personally interviewed each of the leading candidates and think that you know who would be best for the position. Respecting their own desires, faculty members have not been involved in the interviewing process.

Your answer: Consult Group

Decision SignificanceHow important is the "quality" of the decision, i.e. to what extent does the decision have material, strategic impact on your clients or beneficiaries inside or outside of the organization. (click for details)   Group ExpertiseDoes the group collectively have the necessary knowledge to solve the problem and or make this decision? (click for details)
Importance of CommitmentTo what degree will the implementation of the decision require the support and cooperation of the group to be effective? (click for details)   Interaction ConstraintAre there time or geographic constraints which would prevent you from bringing the team together (physically or by telecom) to make the decision? (click for details)
Leader ExpertiseTo what extent do you, the leader, have the necessary knowledge to solve the problem or make this decision? (click for details)   Team Competence How competent is the group at working together as a team in solving problems or making decisions. The issue is not their factual or analytical technical knowledge, but rather their ability to work together synergistically. (click for details)
Likelihood of Commitment How likely is it that the group would accept your decision as the best course of action even though not included in the decision making process itself. (click for details)   Time/Dvpt PreferenceChoose the importance of time and development individually or use the values specified by either the Time or Development Driven model.(click for details)
Goal AlignmentTo what degree are the members of the group committed to the achievement of the oganization goals which are at stake in this decision? (click for details)      Value of TimeThe value of time varies with the number and intensity of other activities confronting you and your group. Considering your current workload, rate the value of time. (click for details)
Likelihood of DisagreementHow controversial is this decision likely to be among the members of the group? (click for details)      Value of DevelopmentHow important is it to you to develop the capabilities of your group or team, i.e. increasing their knowledge, their commitment to the organization, and their effectiveness in working together? (click for details)
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