Implementing Mary Parker Follett’s and Bernie Sanders’ Social Democracy Practices could SAVE New Mexico State University!

David M. Boje, Ph.D.


Berniecrats are joining efforts to bring unity and solidarity among diverse organizations at New Mexico State University and the Las Cruces community. I will give a soapbox speech Tuesday Feb 14th 11 AM at Love Trumps Hate I march. The speech will be 5 minutes, and these are my notes.


Love Trumps Hate At NMSU

David Boje speech at NMSU at Valentine a Day March. Full text at


More than 50 students, faculty and community members gathered Tuesday — Valentine’s Day — on the campus of New Mexico State University for the Love Trumps Hate march. Representatives from several student clubs and campus organizations came together to stand unified in opposition to policies of President Trump’s administration”   and video at 

Adjuncts and doctoral students are being exploited not just at NMSU but in most all Public Universities. If Bernie Sanders of Mary Parker Follett were taken seriously, we would fund K-12 and Higher Education, we would forget tuition, pay agents their due, and recruit more tenure-line faculty. New Mexico would get off oil and gas tax base for education (bad bet) and we would install a Governor that cares about education.

The adjunct professor has a sincere and dedicated commitment to education, to teaching, but are paid the most minimum wage, with no benefits, and alongside we the research professors that have higher pay, benefits, and more reasoned workload.

Nationwide 25% of adjunct professors are on some kind of public assistance. In metropolitan areas, they may need to work for several universities to make ends meet.

I had lunch with an adjunct who had lived homeless, while working at NMSU, when only one course instead of two was made available.

Let me tell you one story, then another. First story: My wife Grace Ann Rosile, came with me to NMSU in 1996 when I took a department head position. They promised that a tenure track position was available to her, but when we moved here, NMSU changed its mind, and said no such position. So Grace Ann, after being an assistant professor for 14 years at a university that refused to promote anyone from the business college, become an adjunct, a part-timer, often teach three and four courses a semester. This went on for over a decade, and finally a college-track position, a teaching track opened up and she was about the only one in the department teaching an excess load. She took the assistant professor track, made associate and then full. The department realized she was publishing as much in quality journals as anyone, and for one or two terms, got the same load. Now she is back to excess load, along with yours truly, because full time tenured or tenure track faculty in the two Ph.D. departments were assigned an extra course to teach, while no such load increase happened elsewhere. I tell you this story and one more to let you know that I know about adjuncts being exploited. The second story is that at one time NMSU opened up its Ph.D. programs to college faculty without Ph.D.s so they could get their Ph.D. and get on tenure track. I helped by chairing Ph.D. committees. Now that is gone away, back our Ph.D. program is being sacrificed, is no more, so that NMSu can avoid paying medical cost of its TA/GAs that will remain in other departments. Sacrifices must be made. I way change the financing plan of K-12 and Higher Education in New Mexico. Instead of only financing more buildings, and a 27 hole  planned golf course, and a shopping mall, and a cafe in Zuhl, how about we get back to basics, and put tenured and tenure track faculty in the classroom?

I want to respond to Larry Blank “Please join us who are looking for ways to make more money in a constrained environment.  If you have complaints about the budget, please take those directly to the legislature and ask them to reform the tax system with the intent of increasing tax revenues.  The current tax structure implemented under the watch of the Bill Richardson democratic governor, as the legislature increased reliance on oil and natural gas and reduced taxes elsewhere; thereby increasing the volatility of tax revenues based on market forces and increased the risk exposure for NMSU and all other state departments.” “In 2013 Richardson joined the Board of Advisors for the Fuel Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit campaign that advocates for the end of the oil monopoly.”

And I want to respond to AL Berryman. First apologies to all adjuncts – you are exploited, and I work in the university that exploits you. This next chart from shows the actuality of the oil and gas severance tax situation in New Mexico:

Table 1: Oil and Gas Severance Tax is too low with too many loopholes


New Mexico has enacted oil and gas loopholes, tax credits, and tax exemptions to encourage production from certain well types or to encourage producers to donate money to support areas like education. But the boom is over.

Let me tell it like it is.  We can change the budget and the tax system, get it off the bet that oil and gas is going to make a comeback in New Mexico, but it will take actual democratic participative leadership (see below to deal with the constrained environment of NMSU).

Since our Republican Governor Martinez won’t change the way universities (& K-12) are funded by the gas and oil severance taxes, or close all the gapping loop holes so ones extracting gas and oil are not really paying a just tax, we have a real situation here in New Mexico that is called ‘speculative capitalism’ or lets be clear ‘gambling with the future of the children New Mexico.

Consider the situation of New Mexico:

New Mexico governor cuts school reserves to fix deficit

And its not about Republicans and Democrats.  Both parties are against Public Education, unwilling to invest in education that would raise New Mexico from #50.

This is a speculative capitalist bet by both sides, that gas and oil severance taxes can fund education, while the Governor continues to drain school reserves so she can claim she did not raise taxes. Its a bet on the future, that gas and oil will boom again, and never go bust.  Sorry, but its was a bad bet, and its still a sucker’s bet! The boom days of gas and oil are over. The loopholes are still there, so that money is going out of state. Yes, there may be a war, and gas and oil may be in demand, and that will mean more money for NMSU. Do you really want to bet the future of the education of children in New Mexico on that? Make a smart intelligent bet, and reform the tax base on a productive capitalism. Speculative capitalism is like what happens on Wall Street (remember to stock market crash). Productive capitalism is investing in enterprises that make things, sell things, not selling speculation or gambling which way commodity prices will go.

Al is right, a major problem in New Mexico. We are overly dependent on oil and gas for revenue. “The biggest problem part of that problem is that over the last 50 years the legislature (for what it is worth almost entirely democratic) has created a system that is full of special interest loopholes.” New Mexico legislature has 300 exemptions to corporate (and personal) taxes, which includes spaceship fuel, horse winnings and events at Pan Am Center at NMSU. There is tax pyramiding that discourages small business. Let’s ask that State of New Mexico stop giving us golf courses and buildings at NMSU and instead change the tax structure so it does not handicap the university, the small business community, the small ranch and farm. Tax reform to eliminate special interests so there is adequate financing of K-12 and higher education. I vote yes.

For the economists, I am speaking about German Bernacer’s kind of distinction, a contemporary of Keynes, and Schumpeter, but it is Schumpeter’s long cycle (creative destruction) we have in U.S. when what we need is Bernacer’s productive economics. For more on this see

Boje, D. M. (in press) “Global Capitalism is Unsustainable”, PREFACE to the Savall, Péron, Zardet & Bonnet book Socially Responsible Capitalism” London: Routledge. Click here for pdf

Contingent faculty are being exploited in New Mexico? Yes they are real teachers, real professionals.  I got this from Al, and from someone who wants to be anonymous.:

“I started at NMSU in 2000 as an adjunct professor.  I am now working on becoming a full college professor.  I have 20+ years of ‘real’ world experience, experience that my students value.  I am not however tenured. I believe that our students, and our land grant university, benefits most from a well rounded faculty – those that have done, and those that have read and researched about doing.  Being ‘tenured’ does not in itself prove the effectiveness of ones teaching ability.  In fact in my time at NMSU, I am always dismayed that the faculty that attend teaching academy events tend to be mostly college track faculty and adjuncts – maybe ‘real; faculty already know all the best practices in teaching, although I sincerely doubt it.  They maybe academic experts in their fields, but this doesn’t automatically translate into being expert teachers, or for that matter, expert professionals.”
I say this person is right on. Let’s support adjunct professors, with a real wage, real benefits, and get them tenured ‘expert professionals.’ Go for it.
In my opinion, “quality of teaching and learning goes up” when students receive a well rounded education that prepares them to think and function in the ‘real’ world.  Teaching that comes from tenured faculty, college faculty and adjuncts.


Figure 3: Tenure-line and contingent as it is now

At it says “Who are “contingent faculty”? Depending on the institution, they can be known as adjuncts, postdocs, TAs, non-tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, part-timers, lecturers, instructors, or nonsenate faculty. What they all have in common: they serve in insecure, unsupported positions with little job security and few protections for academic freedom. And they are the vast majority of US faculty today. Something needs to change.” Her at NMSU adjuncts are senate faculty. That is a good thing, but not enough.

Over the past five decades we have more and more contingent faculty and fewer and fewer tenure-line faculty. That way, you don’t have tenured full time faculty who actually have a voice, can speak out, like yours truly, and not lose their job. We can be assigned more classes to teach, we can lose our doctoral program future, by cutting off funding of our future GA/TAs. Sacrifices must be made.

Here is another view, a trend line of what has happened to tenure-line and adjunct positions, to full and to part time positions over the last 5 decades


Figure 4: Trend lines in full and part-time and graduate student employment since Reaganomics took hold of both parties

Notice the changes above coincide with the Thatcher/Reagan economics which switched over from a knowledge society where public university education was a social good to a knowledge economy where public university education became a social commodity.

My recommendation is that NMSU is one faculty, and that instead of contingent appointments we get people on tenure-lines, pay our teaching assistants actual medical benefits, instead of cutting out the Management Department’s graduate assistants, to pay the remaining TA/GAs $500 to purchase Obama care insurance (which by the way, I am told by the remaining TA/GAs its costs $850 a year, not $500). To kill the future of the Management Ph.D. program so NMSU does not have to pay medical benefits, its unethical, in my view. To have adjuncts and TA/GAs teaching more students in more classes (e.g. two of our remaining TA/GAs teach 45 and 55 students in online classes, and they need to be in classroom learning how to teach, not exploited, to keep the enrollment counts up).

“In the 1970s, 80 percent of college professors were full-time employees, according to the National Education Association. Today, part-time adjunct professors represent more than 50 percent of college faculty, says the American Association of University Professors”

Adjuncts offer NMSU huge saving, typically paid several time less that tenure track faculty and with no benefits, paid less (about $3000 each course), double or quadruple the teaching load, and lots of committee work.  Nationwide, except at NMSU, adjuncts are fighting back by unionizing (e.g Duke University.

With the Great Recession of 2007, came still more New Mexico legislative funding cuts, and the steady growth of adjunct professors to keep university enrollment up.  “The only reason most are adjuncts is because there is not a place for them in the tenure track system” Carmichael President of North Carolin conference of AAUP said.

Ifs pathetic to have no voice in the department, the college, or the university, because speaking out, ends your adjunct employment contract. In Charlotte (UNC) 541 of 1450 professors are adjuncts.

NMSU also hires adjuncts because as part-time faculty they have specific skills and competencies to bring to the classroom, you don’t have to provide them office, or benefits. Not providing our GA/TA with medical benefits, so they must go on Obama care, is not, in my view, a responsible leadership act.

Here is what I propose:. Let’s implement a new kind of leadership, called ‘Ensemble Leadership.’ Rosile, Grace Ann; Boje, David M.; Nez, Carma Claw. (2016). “Ensemble Leadership Theory:…” published in the Leadership journal. CLICK HERE for online prepublication draft,

Mary Parker Follett’s (1941: 247) new conception of leadership, is what Rosile et al are calling Ensemble Leadership. It is a new conception of human relations, and its is a doctrine of the consent of the governed by energizing the entire student body, faculty body, and staff body at NMSU. Mary Parker Follett had a new conception of power and conflict, a democratic leadership she called “circular response” by which she meant that the currents of influence, power, and conflict resolutions ahve to go both ways, in a continuous flow of democratic participation. It a new idea of power: 

1. Power of arms and force to dominate

2. Power of Kings divine right to rule, or power of position in a bureaucratic institution

3. Power of Priests divine right to lead

4. Power of majority rule (what passes for democracy these days)

5. Power of ‘real’ participative democracy (the new conception of Ensemble Leadership).

Instead of 1 through 4, lets try Ensemble Leadership at NMSU. Instead of the domination model or the compromise model of conflict resolution at NMSU, lets try integrative unity, fitting together our diversity, our play of differences into workable scientific methods of experiments with change, rather than autocratic #2 or old style #4, try #5.  The leader is not that person in the group or department sitting in the appointed or anointed position as ‘leader.’ Rather in Ensemble Leadership, everyone is trained to be a responsible leader.  Instead of leaders with will to power, or will to dominate, lets move past autocratic, strongman submission leadership to participative leadership, to Ensemble Leadership.  Ensemble Leadership means working out a system of leadership in a new kind of human relations, in what Mary Park Follett called the Law of the Situation. 

The current system of autocratic leadership at NMSU works as badly as possible, with according to Deloitte consulting’s ($622,700) report, six layers of authority (bureaucratic hierarchy) when efficient university of 21st Century can run on three. “We must learn to integrate” (Follett, p. 251), to co-operatively combine our differences, to work in diversity as celebration if we are to work without three layers of administrative order, and find that new form and system of democratic governance we call Ensemble Leadership.

Ensemble Leadership is not what Team 6 is doing. It is not training us in participative democracy. It is more as Follett says, “the way you manage an unruly horse” (p. 252) or hitch doctoral students to excessive teaching loads (45 and 55 students in their distance ed course, is kind of abusive). It is not brining students, faculty, staff, and three remaining layers of administration into -co-operative or fore-caring leadership. 

In doing leadership teaching, in Mgt388v, and my own research, I do not buy into the old superstition: “Leaders are born, not made”  and neither did Follett (p. 260). In Ensemble Leadership, NMSU would be training its students, faculty, and staff to be leaders of a varity of diverse specialities, and to make leaders of tomorrow.

Fore-caring for the future of New Mexico, and the nation, and the world (last two aspects have disappeared for NMSU mission statement in past four years, but our Faculty Senate is bringing back the old mission statement, in full).

Ensemble Leadership is about democratic participative leadership displacing top-down leadership in the public university, and in society.  It is closing the circle, so there is two=way influence, not one-way influence. By closing the circle, Mary Parker Follett is referring to Hegel, to a dialectic that had a manifesting spirit, in the spirit of reason, and that included scientific methods of working out a Situation. Ensemble Leadership is dialectic, and it is the Law of the Situation, surrender to the situation, just like Alice in Wonderland. What is a university if not a Wonderland? “”You must remember how Alice in Wonderland had to run as fast as she could to stand still” (Follett, p. 264). Is that not how fast our adjuncts and graduate student teachers are running?

Ensemble Leadership is fore-caring for the good of the New Mexico Community (the nation, the world) and its fore-caring for the ecology, it’s fore-caring for the Total Situation of NMSU. That Situation is evolving, changing, and developing in ways where there are many potential futures NMSU has to choose among. My advice as a leadership researcher, and a leadership teacher at NMSU, is give Ensemble Leadership a chance. Organize lots and lots of students, faculty, and staff working with our administrators to use scientific methods to study the Situation of NMSU and New Mexicans, the nation, and the world.

Why not create the best public university on Earth, instead of paying for expensive outsider consultant advice, why not train the leaders of tomorrow, and do it today.

My Key Points.

I make ten suggestions I believe will help create a Sustainable University of the Future in New Mexico:

1. Adopt Bernie Sanders’ recommendation that no tuition for students attending public universities and colleges. This would actually increase enrollment. The strategy of spending one million on marketing ads in movie theaters, billboards, and four-color brochures has been implemented, and guess what, enrollment has fallen. Students want quality teaching and learning moments, not a business marketing spectacle.
2. Adopt Bernie Sanders’ recommendation that number of full-time tenure line faculty be increased instead of adding more adjuncts. Hire ‘real’ faculty and the enrollment will go up because the quality of teaching and learning goes up.
3. Adopt Mary Parker Follett’s (1941: 94) recommendation to have the imagination to see the possibilities of enterprise democracy to ‘integrative unity.” Both Sanders and Follett advocated democratic socialism as an alternative to what is not happening in higher education that would “get at the facts” “irrespective of sides” (Follett, 1941: 74). As Follett puts it we need to implement the Principle of the Situation, in a process of scientific discovery, experiment, and evaluation of the results. The facts of the case, the Situation at NMSU is that change strategies are being implemented at NMSU that lack any scientific foundation. Instead of actually studying the evolving, changing Situation, NMSU is implementing expert consultation, and arbitrary top-down, power-over, and domination rather than engaging in democratic participation to get the fact, using scientific methods.
4. I recommend that Mary Parker Follett’s consulting approach be adopted and NMSU never again hire the Deloitte consulting firm, who were paid $622,700 dollars of tax payer money for 10 weeks and one PowerPoint presentation to the Republican Board of Regent and the Republican Chancellor, are not scientifically proven to be best practice, are actually discredited in the peer reviewed literature. I should know I have published three articles with colleagues, challenging the efficacy of their business process reengineering approach. See the Deloitte Consulting study which recommended NMSU develop task teams, to study the Situation, and the result was each team only wrote 2 to 4 pages (far less that Follett would recommend), then the downsizing, dismantling the employee health, destroying equestrian program, letting go faculty in survey engineering, and so on, began, without proper democratic participation, and without any scientific method. Follett’s Principle of the Situation was wholly ignored.
5. I recommend democratic socialism that would stop the practice of a Republican Governor, appointing Republican Board of Regents, who appoints a form Republican Governor as Chancellor, who then appoints deans of the two professional colleges (Engineering and Business) to head up ‘Team Six.’ My alternative is science, fact-gathering by scores of teams that are face-to-face meetings of students, with faculty, with staff, with administrators the jointly do science according to Follett’s Law of the Situation, engage in co-operative study, making actual experiments, evaluate results, and only then make an informed decision about university reorganization. As Follett (1941: 51) puts it “we should try experiments, and note whether they succeed or fail, most important of all, why they succeed or fail.”
6. I recommend NMSU disband Team Six! Team 6 is in charge of reorganizing the colleges, collapsing departments, etc. “Work will begin in February to form a new Team – called Team 6- which will lead our efforts to redesign and streamline our College operations, much as we did with 19 units on the administrative side” This Team 6 is not participative democracy. Rather, it is a rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic, instead of doing ‘real’ scientific methods of university change. What Follett proposes is a joint responsibility for integrative unity, implementing democratic participation by everyone taking responsibility, and jointly analyzing the Total Situation, scientifically.
7. I recommend that NMSU stop using tax money to develop a 27-hole golf course, and in the name of transparency put the reports back on line of how golf at NMSU with 18 holes used one million gallons of water a day, that could be better used by agriculture, keeping the Rio Grande River flowing all year round, getting water to the colonias on both sides of Mexico-New Mexico border. Colonias are considered semi-rural subdivisions of substandard housing lacking basic physical infrastructure, potable water, sanitary sewage, and adequate roads.
8. I recommend that NMSU and New Mexico citizens, deconstruct the TINA Narrative. TINA stands for ‘There Is No Alternative’ a favorite saying of Margaret Thatcher, and repeated by Ronald Ragan, was they went after Public Education budgets. There is an alternative to TINA! The Republican governor and the legislature of New Mexico, the Republican Board of Regents, and the Republican Chancellor, and his Republican economists, say TINA! And NMSU just downsize. I say there is an alternative to TINA! Just stop using roulette speculative capital funding of K-12 and higher education with gas and oil severance taxes. This is the Situation, the facts of the case: Gas and oil is boom and bust cycles, which serve to send public education into downward spiral. Stop TINA narrative. It’s a broken record. Instead, do some democratic participation and problem solving of the root causes of our Situation in New Mexico. The Republican Governor and the legislature need to change the funding to gas and oil taxes, tobacco taxes, etc. so we get off the boom and bust cycle. Hoping for the next gas and oil boom is a form of gambling addition, and its playing casino games with tax payer money.
9. I recommend the Republican governor appoint bipartisan Board of Regents, each of whom has a masters degrees or Ph.D., preferably in Education. The current practice is to appoint Republicans with no degree, or a business background. In this way the Board of Regents would have the requisite competencies to make decisions. The university is not a business and should not be run like one.
10. I recommend we follow Mary Parker Follett’s ways of resolving conflict. There are three ways to resolve conflict. First, by domination, the administrative order (from the Republican Governor to the Republican Board of Regents, to the Republican Chancellor) can implement by domination, by power-over, by top-down authoritarian rule, appoint task teams of narrow or no participation, to decide all the changes made. Second, conflict can be resolved by compromise, where there are sides, and one side wins while the other loses.


Right now students, faculty and staff on losing, forced to comprise to the administrative order. The third way is by integration of the diverse differences that make up a university, and a multicultural state in this land of enchantment. By integrative unity, conflicts are resolves by face-to-face communication, by jointly investigating the facts and values, then jointly fitting the interests into one another (Follett, 1941: 39). Fact-finding in integrative approach to conflict resolution means going beneath the surface, into the whole “field of desire” (Ibid.). NMSU needs to stop with the domination and compromise, and the TINA narrative, and get down to root cause analysis, and using imagination to come up with creative alternatives, then experiment, then analyze results, and only then reorganize the university. That is why Deloitte and Team Six are the biggest mistakes NMSU and the State of New Mexico have made in public administration. It is not democratic. It is not participation. It is not integrative conflict resolution. It is not the science of administration of a public university.

It is through genuine democratic participation in scientific methods, not by Taylorism, and not by administrative coercion, domination, and compromise that New Mexico State University (NMSU) can be saved from ruination.

Mary Parker Follett advocated coactive control as an alternative to Taylor’ scientific management, the expert reengineering of the labor process that treated humans as if they were nothing more than machines. Follett (1941: 117) offered a different foundation of science than Taylorism. Bernie Sanders’ and Follett’s democratic socialism is a viable alternative to the autocratic, strongman, Tweeting leadership of Donald J. Trump and the reengineering downsizing, tuition raising, and tenured faculty displacement with lesser paid and less trained adjunct replacement practices of NMSU. I have been publishing articles with colleagues on why reengineering is the wrong consultative practice to apply to any Public University (PU) (Boje & Hillon, 2017; Boje, Hillon, & Mele, 2017). The wrong models of organizational development are being used to reorganize public universities. NMSU’s business Process Reengineering (BPR) won’t get us to their goal of a 21st Century University. There are predictable consequences of the reengineering. A  Mary Park Follett and Benie Sanders inspired socioeconomic approach is decidedly against reengineering, and is proposed here as an alternative path forward. A socioeconomic approach, so inspired, (Worley et al, 2015) builds human potential and launches revenue development projects self-financed by diagnosing and redressing hidden costs.

What will the future of higher education be in New Mexico?

Will the public university go the way of the dinosaur, becoming extinct, unable to adapt to the ‘free market’ Laissez-faire (or neoliberal, or knowledge economy) capitalism? Or, will the democratic socialism practices of Mary Parker Follett and the Bernie Sanders’ promises free tuition for all students attending public universities (and colleges) win out?

NMSU is betting its future on privatization, cost-control, displacing full-time tenure lines with adjusts, mallification (turning universities into malls of shopping at Barnes & Noble, Starbuck, and fast food joints), more marketing budgets, and expanding athletics and golf courses to by the adaptive strategy of laissez-faire capitalism. This is also called academic capitalism (Slaughter & Leslie, 1997: 11) defined as  “market and market-like behaviors on the part of universities and faculty”, a focus on for-profit activity and market competition for every facet of the university.

The Public University (PU) is facing major problems and may not survive. Since the Thatcher/Reagan years, funding for PU has been declining, and a neoliberal agenda has appealed to state legislatures in the US to defund them (Plant, 2010; Newfield, 2008, 2016). The PU was declared to be a commodity, rather than a ‘public good’ that would be central to democracy of educated citizens. Tuitions increased steadily since the 1980s, and in California, a PU education can exceed $250,000 to earn an undergraduate diploma. Specific aspects of Pus need analysis. For example, with neoliberalism, and a lack of state funding, the PU responded by engaging in academic capitalism (Slaughter & Leslie, 1997).

NMSU has been hiring experts in downsizing, outsourcing, and reengineering to bring about its academic capitalism. For instance, Deloitte consulting was paid $618,905 for 10- week study to address its organizing problems at New Mexico State University. NMSU has 6 layers of bureaucracy, with too many people doing financial ret tape meddling, and too few people reporting to administrative posts that have mushroomed in past decades (Williams, 2015; Villagram, 2015). The outside expert consultancy is combined with strange “arbitrary authority” of the Republican President, the Republican Governor, the appointed Republican Board of Regents, and the Republican Chancellor, has created a state of public education disaster in New Mexico. At each level in this chain of command, leaders are carrying out domination by sheer force of strongman (or strongwoman) personality. The problem is the personality cult of leadership is divorced from science. “A trembling subordinate enters, states his problem; snap goes the decision from the chair” (Follett, 1941: 119).

Snap goes the decision from Trump about stranding students in airports who have valid visa, and the court swiftly reversed his executive order. Snap goes the decision by Governor Suzanne Martinez, to continue to tie k-12 and higher education funding to gas and oil severance taxes, rather than put education in New Mexico on a solid funding foundation. Snap goes the decision of the Regents to eliminate the equestrian sport, but to invest more an more in football, to eliminate survey engineering department without any study at all, and to build more buildings on campus while defunding faculty and staff lines, and in their latest snap decision to tear out the 18 hole golf course in order for a developer to construct a 27 hole golf course. Snap goes the decision from Chancellor Carruthers to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic by bringing in Deloitte consultants to eliminate faculty and staff lines, and appoint Team Six that will combine any departments across the university that each have fewer than eight faculty left after the downsizing. “ “consolidating or eliminating managerial positions with fewer than three direct reports — while aiming for a target of at least 8-to-1, and ideally 12-to-1” (Williams, 2015, online).

These massive brain ‘administrative heads’ sit in their swivel chairs all day Tweeting and emailing followers their special knowledge, without any scientific research.

NMSU is a vast, complex organization that needs daily and hourly co-ordination that is very different from rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking ship. These co-ordination decisions should rest more than a claim to position ‘rights’ of office, and more than ‘hunch.’ Rather, the need is to have actual scientific foundations for co-ordination. The fatalistic rhythms, the enrollment and funding cycles are now considered susceptible to study, not mysteries beyond the comprehension of humans (Follett, 1941: 120, paraphrase).

Take enrollment, you can calculate pretty well the demand for higher education in New Mexico. Birth rates are falling. “Colleges across New Mexico are seeing falling enrollment, and NMSU has been hit hard. On the main campus in Las Cruces, enrollment dropped to 15,490 students this fall compared with a peak of 18,024 students in fall 2011 – a 14 percent decline”(Villagram, 2015, online). We are told by the Republican economists that education revenue is a function of gas and oil revenue, and as Margaret Thatcher put it “There Is No Alternative” but to downsize, which we now abbreviate as the TINA narrative. However, there are important calculations left out of this TINA narrative. ‘Yes There Are Alternatives’ to pegging education funding in New Mexico to gas and oil revenues. ‘Yes There Are Alternatives’ to the lack of science in Deloitte consulting advice. ‘Yes There Are Alternatives’ to the doctrine of free market capitalism, and it’s what Bernie Sanders calls ‘socialism.’

“A recent YouGov survey found that 43 percent of respondents under the age of 30 had a favorable view of socialism. Only 32 percent had a favorable view of capitalism. Another recent survey, this one by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, found in the words of U.S. News’s Ken Walsh that “[58] percent of young people choose socialism over capitalism [which was chosen by 33 percent of young people] … as the most compassionate system. Sixty-six percent say corporate America ‘embodies everything that is wrong with America,’ compared with 34 percent who say corporate America embodies what’s right with America” (Tupy, 2016: online).

Sanders is not a socialist, he is a ‘social democrat’ advocating democratic socialism (wealth redistribution to achieve income equality brought about by democratic participation). US does not have a pure capitalist economy, it has a mixed economy of private ownership mixed with regulation and taxation. Rather than capitalism separated from government, with the lobbying, the subsidies for oil and gas industries, and so on we have a corporate-government mixture. “Sanders is not a typical socialist. Sure, he believes in a highly regulated and heavily taxed private enterprise, but he does not seem to want the state to own banks and make cars” (Tupy, 2016).

Like Sanders, Mary Parker Follett (1941: 121) was in “favor of deliberate, conscious control of economic forces for the sake of the general social good”. She was not in favor of the “speculative enterprise” so touted in the “doctrine of laissez-faire” or bailing out bankers, “unscrupulousness of competitors, the abominable behavior of trade unions” (IBID., p 121).

To increase staff and faculty salaries without raising tuition is a scientifically solvable problem. The solution is change State of New Mexico’s founding policies, and stop funding buildings at the expense of funding the people who actually deliver education. Stop the formula founding that demands 3% growth in enrollment per year, or cuts of millions in funds. Scientifically, we know that birth rates, and migration into New Mexico have both declined.

New Mexico’s population growth was 1.3% compared to 9.2% in Texas, 8.5% in Colorado, 8.4% in Utah, and 6.8% in Arizona (Quigley, 2016).


Figure 5: New Mexico Population Changes (source Quigley, 2016, online)

“The picture is worse than people think,” Sanderoff said in an interview (Quigley, 2016). The population increase was due entirely to nature; 53,000 more people were born in New Mexico than died. At the same time, 27,000 more people moved out of New Mexico than moved into New Mexico. In 2013-2014 there was negative (-.1%) growth, and in 2014-2015 there was no population growth at all (Quigley, 2016). People with college education are moving out of New Mexico. Jim Peach, for NMSU economics department, testified, “From 2010 to 2014, 21 of the state’s 33 counties lost population. The demographic trends are not the sign of a healthy economy” (Quigley, 2016).

With scientific management (not Taylor’s brand of reengineering), there are several priorities (Follett, 1941: 122):

  1. Efficient management has to take the place of that exploitation of our natural resources whose day is now nearly over.
  2. Keener competition;
  3. Scarcity of labor
  4. Broader conception of the ethics of human relations
  5. Growing idea of business as a public service, which carries with it a sense of responsibility for its efficient conduct.

Follett lived and wrote at a time when U.S. and U.K. were devoted to Taylorism scientific management, to the engineers doing time and motion studies of labor, to get the most efficiency, with no regard to human potential. Fayol created special way of organizing, by a functional system of organization, and established unity of command and centralized direction, which is again the opposite of Follett’s participative, self-organizing, power-sharing approach. Weberian ‘ideal’ bureaucracy form stress a rational functional structure with clear lines of hierarchical authority, technical qualification for jobs, in what Worley et al. (2015: 26) call the ‘soulless iron cage’ that traps individual initiative. This TFW virus systems notion dominates the contemporary organization from the multi-divisional corporation, to the university, and government agencyIn this way we can see how both approaches combine to counteract what Henri Savall and colleagues call the TFW virus (Savall, 1973, 1975, 2003, 2010; Worley, Zardet, Bonnet, & Savall, 2015). TFW stands for Taylorism, Fayolism, and Weberianism, which combine into a sort of virus of public administration that has infected the Public University (PU).

The century old TFW doctrines need to be distinguished from Follett’s focus on human potential (human well being), co-active participation (participation leadership), self-organizing teams, and shared power in a system of organization adaptation to continuously shifting environment. Follett viewed organizational systems as communities of diverse individuals (and networks of self-managed teams) that need not have dominance over one another. The innovative ideas of Follett, her focus in humanizing organizations, building human potential, developing participative leadership systems of co-action and power sharing need to be situated as an alternative to the TFW virus.

O’Connor (2000), Boje and Rosile (2001), and many others have developed the Hegelian dialectic grounding of Follett’s concept. Follett (1924) develops the law of the situation in its “total situation: (p. 152) and “as part of a total process” and “of the continuous process of self-renewal” (p. 153). The total situation is within the “total environment: the “immediate relation to the individual that its forces can be reckoned with both as cause of and effect of his activity, that is, that much of environment which comes within the appreciable range of circular behavior” (p. 109). Circular or integrative behavior is considered “seminal for our future thinking, a conception which is surely destined to influence largely the social sciences: (p. xv).

“Follett’s views are in concert with feminist approaches to the ethical resolution of conflict, which focus on dialectical communication between participants to reach an integrative solution that attends to the needs of all” (Monin & Bathurst, 2008: online). It is a Feminist ontology, the relational aspects of world [and] self without being dualistic (oppositional). Follett’s ontology is the relationality and diversity of industrial democracy, which has no meaningful existence in individualism or in domination in power-over. “Give your difference, welcome my difference, unify all difference in the larger whole–such is the law of growth. The unifying of difference is the eternal process of life–the creative synthesis, the highest act of creation” (Follett, 1918/1926, p. 40).

Follett (p. 163) refers to Hebert Spencer’s social darwinism (survival of the fittest) as a “false political philosophy built on an unrelated individual” and to the “disastrous results of laissez-faire” (p. 163). Follett is looking at dialectics as complex interpenetration in a social process “out of the intermingling, interacting activities of men and women surge up the forces of life” powers are born which we had not dreamed of, ideas take shape and grow, forces are generated which act and react on each other. This is the dialectic of life” (p. 149). Follett’s conflict and power in her notion of integrative unity among differences are embedded within a dialectic process.

I believe that Follett’s philosophy constitutes an alternative to TFW that is consistent with Savall’s socioeconomic approach to management (SEAM). Savall’s recent work is a critique of speculative forms of capitalism. My contribution is to make the connection between SEAM (and TFW) and the work of Mary Parker Follett. This means I need to develop how Follett’s dialectic (Hegelian) approach is similar and different to Savall’s socioeconomic critiques of speculative capitalism. Both share a focus on systems thinking, and both are implementing democratic modes of organizational administration. Follett rejected the idea of Hegelian synthesis as a misunderstanding of Hegelian dialectic. This more precise understanding of dialectic, as the uncovering of differences, and how to develop power-with rather than power-over, is something that could extend the socioeconomic approach of Savall.

Mary Parker Follett (1918) has bearing on the political problems of contemporary Public Universities (PUs). Follett brings many difficulties of the PU to light. In “The New State” Follett establishes a standpoint on the problems between (faculty) labor and (university administration) management, in which case the state provides the capital. Faculty labor power is gathered up and is exercised outside of State government in ways that can influence the State funding of PUs. It is the self-organization of faculty, and students, and staff that can counter the State and negotiate democracy in the future. There are two issues here:

  1. The unique configuration of labor, management, and capital in public universities.
  1. The ability of labor to organize pressure on the state as the holder of capital in this system.

Follett’s democracy is the political dualism of liberty and equality. It’s leaders not bosses in political pluralism. PRUs can enact creative citizenship. “The ‘harmony’ that comes from the domination of one man is not the kind we want” (p. 26). It is not the Board of Regents, to Chancellor or Provost, or the Deans that harmonize cooperation, by bribing, coercing, or bullying faculty, staff, and students into submission.

Let’s look at what Bernie Sanders and Mary Parker Follett would have to say about these five aspects at NMSU that are in need of scientific treatment:

  1. NMSU is touting efficient management while continuing to use 3 million gallons a day (1 million for golf course greens, 1 million for main campus green lawns, & 1 million for human consumption). Expanding golf to 27 holes will not reduce water usage at NMSU.
  2. NMSU is among the least competitive of its peer institutions when it comes to library funding, faculty and staff salaries, time it takes to get Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, and student enrollment (check out the Star Audit, the most non-competitive system in higher education).
  3. NMSU is losing faculty, staff, and middle administration labor to nearby states because salary offers are higher, and there are fewer layers of administration (6 layers at NMSU instead of usual 4 layers at peer universities) and far less red tape barriers).
  4. Ethics of human relations at NMSU has narrowed to filling out tedious online certification quizzes in human subject, and the Family Medical Leave Act, in order to fend off lawsuits brought by parents and employees.
  5. NMSU idea of business is called ‘Academic Capitalism’ (making every facet of NMSU a profit center, at the exclusion of higher education being a ‘public service’ (or a ‘public good’).

Rather than “systematic observation, experiment, and reasoning” through democratic participation proposed by Follett (1941: 123) in the scientific methods, NMSU makes snap decisions, by the Board of Regents to use Deloitte consulting downsizers, and snap a decision by the Chancellor to appoint two college deans and a few others in the college to the ‘Task Force Six’ to carry out cost-cutting and reorganization of departments, the rearranging the deck chairs on this Titanic.

Follett argues that there can be a science of human relations co-operation, to use experiment after experiment in methods of co-operation, pooling results, so an organization can “learn how to co-operate” (Follett, 1941: 123-124).

One of the first things to be done to make NMSU more scientific is to apply scientific methods to the problems NMSU is facing. Rather than scientific management of faculty and staff jobs, we should make an analysis of the Governor’s, Board of Regents’, Chancellor’s, and College dean’s jobs. “We need to get away from tradition, prejudice, stereotypes, guesswork, and find the factual basis for managerial jobs” (p. 125). We know, for example, that administration at NMSU has been expanding (to 6 at NMSU rather than usual 4 layers of hierarchy at peer institutions[1], plus digitalization of faculty and staff and student control has increased dramatically in the last two decades, and that the administrative waste of natural resources (water, lack of xeriscaping of the grounds, over building the campus while cutting back on humans, legislature funding more campus buildings instead of lowering tuition). We know that since NMSU converted from 9-month chairs of department to 12-month department heads in order to effect greater administrative control over faculty, and more power-over faculty, there has been a decrease in what Follett calls co-active control with, and power-with participative democratic governance.

“Bernie Sanders believes that all students deserve the opportunity to receive an affordable, quality education from the earliest stages of schooling to high-level degrees.” In an editorial for the Huffington Post, he asks: “Why do we accept a situation where hundreds of thousands of qualified people are unable to go to college because their families don’t have enough money?” (Feel the Bern):

  1. All public universities should be tuition-free.
  2. Students should not go into student loan debt to pay for an undergraduate or graduate degree. When Pell Grants began in 1965 75% of tuition costs were covered, but since 2012 its 32%
  3. Students should not have to reapply every year for their financial aid.
  4. All public universities need to hire more tenured and tenure-track full time faculty, rather than hiring more adjuncts and lower cost college-track (non-research faculty) or over work teaching assistants with heavy course loads.
  5. Student work-study programs should be available to all interested students.
  6. DREAM-ers brought into U.S. at a young age need a fair opportunity to remain in the U.S., get an education, and contribute to the economy.


Figure 6 – Increases in Tuition, Fees, Room and Board since Reaganomics took hold (source).

Times have changed since I went to school, funded by the GI Bill paying Vietnam veterans to go to college, able to work during summers and week ends to keep up with costs of college. I graduated with my Ph.D. in 1978. “In 1978, it was possible for a minimum wage worker to earn the cost of a year’s college tuition over the course of a summer. Today, that same worker would have to work full-time for an entire year – just to cover the cost of tuition” (Feel the Bern).

Why have costs of university education increased so dramatically. For Sanders, it’s the paying university administrators rates similar to CEOs of large corporations, hiring extra administrators (VPs, assistants) to do manage the digital technologies, and its spending on athletic programs with high paid coaches. This diverts student tuition and state funding to projects such as building golf courses, shopping malls, and administrators leaving a legacy of buildings (Skeen Hall, Domenici Hall, the planned shopping mall on campus, a café in Zuhl library now under construction, and so on), rather than actually investing in more full-time tenured faculty and students getting free tuition to directly invest in ‘real’ education. Compare what NMSU is doing with Arrowhead Center to appropriate faculty and student intellectual property rights and give them over to Angel investors and corporations, the mallification of the campus, the expansion of golf course to 32 holes, while demolishing the equestrian program, and so on. Compare this to Bernie Sanders who wants all pubic universities and community colleges to have free tuition. Sanders believes education should be a ‘public good’ not a ‘private commodity.’

When tuition is free to public universities, then family can spend their savings, their liquid capital in the economy, on purchasing goods and services (clothing, electronics, and recreation). This combination of a highly educated work force, an educated citizenry that understands the difference between facts and propaganda, and more shared wealthy will make a positive impact on the U.S. economy.

References for Further Study

Bathurst, R., & Monin, N. (2010). Shaping leadership for today: Mary Parker Follett’s aesthetic. Leadership, 6(2): 115-131.’s_Aesthetic/links/541224d70cf2788c4b355450.pdf

Boje, D. M.; Hillon, Yue; Mele, Tara M. (2017). 21st Century University and the Failure of Business Process Reengineering.Accepted Jan 6 2017, will be published in Organization Development Journal, Spring 2017 – Volume 35, Number 1.  Click here for pre-press PDF.

Boje, D. M.; Hillon, Yue. 2017. “The Dialectical Development of “Storytelling” Learning Organizations: A Case Study of a Public Research University” accepted Feb 6 2017 for publication in The Learning Organization journal.  Click here for PDF

Boje, D. M., & Rosile, G. A. (2001). Where’s the power in empowerment? Answers from Follett and Clegg. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 37(1), 90-117.

Eylon, D. (1998). Understanding empowerment and resolving its paradox: Lessons from Mary Parker Follett. Journal of Management History, 4(1), 16-28.

Fayol, H. (1949). General and Industrial Management Translated by J.A. Coubrough, London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, from French 1916.


Follett, M. P. (1898). The Speaker of the House of Representatives. Longmans, Green & Co. NY, NY.

Follett, M. P., & Hart, A. B. (1902). The Speaker of the House of Representatives with an Introduction by AB Hart. Longmans, Green, & Company.

Follett, M. P. (1918). The New State: Group organization the solution of popular government. University Park, PN: Penn State Press.

Follett, M. P. (1919). Community is a process. The Philosophical Review, 28(6), 576-588.

Follett, M. P. (1924/1930). Creative Experience. Рипол Классик; NY/London: Longmans, Green and Co. on line at

Follett, M. P. (1926). The giving of orders. Scientific foundations of business administration, 156-162.

Follett, M. P. (1941). Dynamic Administration: The Collected Papers of mary Parker Follett, edited by Metcalf, H. C., & Urwick, L. F. NY/London: Harper and Brothers.

Follett, M.P. (1949.1987). Freedom and Co-ordination. Lectures in Business Organization. Edited, with an Introduction by L. Urwick. NY/London: Garland Publishing.

Kaag, J. (2008). Women and forgotten movements in American philosophy: the work of Ella Lyman Cabot and Mary Parker Follett. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy, 44(1), 134-157.

Melé, D. (2007). Ethics in management: Exploring the contribution of Mary Parker Follett. International Journal of Public Administration, 30(4), 405-424.

Monin, N., & Bathurst, R. (2008). Mary Follett on the leadership of ‘Everyman’. Ephemera-theory & politics in organization, 8(4), 447-46.

Morton, N. O. R., & Lindquist, S. A. (1997). Revealing the feminist in Mary Parker Follett. Administration & Society, 29(3), 348-371.

Newfield, Christopher. (2016). The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them (Critical University Studies) Johns Hopkins University Press

Newfield, Christopher. (2011). Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class. Harvard University Press.

O’Connor, Ellen S. (2000). Integrating Follett: History, philosophy and management. Journal of Management History, Vol. 6 (4): 167-190.

Plant, R. (2010). The neo-liberal state. Oxford University Press on Demand.

Quigley, Winthrop. (2016). New Mexico’s population struggle. Albuquerque Journal, Jan 28th.

Salimath, M. S., & Lemak, D. J. (2004). Mary P. Follett: translating philosophy into a paradigm of lifelong learning. Management Decision, 42(10), 1284-1296.

Savall, Henri. (1973). German Bernacer, économiste espagnol (1883-1965): une theorie generale de l’emploi, de la rente et de la thesaurisation. Université de Paris II.

Savall, Henri. G. (1975). Bernácer: économiste espagnol contemporain: l’hétérodoxie en science économique. Vol. 14. Dalloz.

Savall, Henri. (2003). “International dissemination of the socio-economic method.”Journal of Organizational Change Management 16.1: 107-115.

Savall, Henri. (2012). “Origine radicale des crises économiques: Germán Bernácer, précurseur visionnaire.”

Savall, Henri, and Véronique Zardet, eds.  (2011).. The Qualimetrics Approach: Observing the Complex Object (HC). IAP.

Slaughter, S., & Leslie, L. L. (1997). Academic capitalism: Politics, policies, and the entrepreneurial university. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4319.

Taylor, F. W. (1911/ 1998). The Principles of Scientific Management. NY: Dover, Mineola.

Tupy, Marian. (2016). Bernie Is Not a Socialist and America Is Not Capitalist. The Atlantic (Mar 1). 

Verstegen Ryan, L., & Rutherford, M. A. (2000). Mary Parker Follett: individualist or collectivist? Or both?. Journal of management history, 6(5), 207-223.

Villagram, Lauren (2015). NMSU to look at boosting staff efficiency. Las Cruces Bulletin, Sept 22nd

Weber, M. (1909/2009). The theory of social and economic organization. Simon and Schuster. In German 1909.

Whitney Gibson, J., Chen, W., Henry, E., Humphreys, J., & Lian, Y. (2013). Examining the work of Mary Parker Follett through the lens of critical biography. Journal of management history, 19(4), 441-458.

Williams, Damien (2015). NMSU staffing study finds organizational issues. Sept. 22

Worley, C. G., Zardet, V., Bonnet, M., & Savall, A. (2015). Becoming Agile: How the SEAM Approach to Management Builds Adaptability. John Wiley & Sons.