Be There for the People

13-14 The next day Moses took his place to judge the people.  People were standing before him all day long, from morning to night.  When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What’s going on here?  Why are you doing all this, and all by yourself, letting everybody line up before you from morning to night?”

15-16 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me with questions about God.  When something comes up, they come to me.  I judge between a man and his neighbor and teach them God’s laws and instructions.”

17-23 Moses’ father-in-law said, “This is no way to go about it.  You’ll burn out, and the people right along with you.  This is way too much for you—you can’t do this alone.  Now listen to me. Let me tell you how to do this so that God will be in this with you.  Be there for the people before God [italics added for emphasis], but let the matters of concern be presented to God.  Your job is to teach them the rules and instructions, to show them how to live, what to do.  And then you need to keep a sharp eye out for competent men—men who fear God, men of integrity, men who are incorruptible—and appoint them as leaders over groups organized by the thousand, by the hundred, by fifty, and by ten.  They’ll be responsible for the everyday work of judging among the people.  They’ll bring the hard cases to you, but in the routine cases they’ll be the judges. They will share your load and that will make it easier for you.

If you handle the work this way, you’ll have the strength to carry out whatever God commands you, and the people in their settings will flourish also.”

24-27 Moses listened to the counsel of his father-in-law and did everything he said.  Moses picked competent men from all Israel and set them as leaders over the people who were organized by the thousand, by the hundred, by fifty, and by ten.  They took over the everyday work of judging among the people.  They brought the hard cases to Moses, but in the routine cases they were the judges. (Exodus 18:13-27 The Message)

There comes a time when each of us needs to listen to the wise counsel of others—those who, being led by God, see a better way of doing things.  The DeVoe School of Business had one of those moments several months ago.  The connection to our adjunct faculty was very limited.  With over 700 adjuncts at that time, the DeVoe School of Business recognized the need to develop and implement a new organizational structure.

A pilot study was developed to test an organizational structure model for the adjunct faculty within the DeVoe School of Business.  The resulting model resembled a pyramid with layered construction.  Structure was needed to embrace a more refined reporting mechanism and to develop a specific communication process that would enable the implementation of policy, the ability to develop organized faculty reviews, rank positioning for adjunct faculty, more control of part-time employee workloads, and centralized control of the curriculum delivery.

The establishment of faculty departments based on academic expertise created the genesis of the new structure.  Adjunct faculty were organized in groups of thirty (30) under peer leadership called key adjuncts.  Key adjuncts now report directly to department chairs.  Through the creation of clusters for each pyramid layer, the faculty department chairs have approximately five key adjuncts reporting to them.  Each key adjunct has 30 adjuncts reporting to them.  As the layers were constructed, all active adjuncts (adjunct faculty who have taught a minimum of 30 students in six months) were organized into a structure of 500 adjuncts, with direct oversight from 17 key adjuncts who report to 3 department chairs.  Moving up the pyramid respectively are two additional layers: the assistant dean and dean of the DeVoe School of Business.  The revised organization chart, key adjunct and department chair roles, and reporting system was fully implemented over an 18-month period.  The accomplishments of this new structure have been significant.  They include, but are not limited to:

  • the systematic observation and review of all adjunct faculty in structure,
  • establishment of a regularly occurring observation and review of all adjunct faculty,
  • development and implementation of a written mentoring program for adjunct faculty,
  • implementation of performance improvement plans for those adjunct faculty needing faculty development support,
  • assignment of performance improvement plan participants (PIP) to the mentoring program, and
  • development and implementation of a ranking process with accompanying policy for adjunct faculty.

God’s wisdom gives us the tools to work with, the ability to see things through, and the grace to measure ourselves at the end of the task.  We must have the insight to recognize the need for His instruction in our lives.

Scripture says—
“Without good direction, people lose their way;
the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances” (Proverbs 11:14).
“…wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel” (Proverbs 13:10b).

  1. Who are the wise men and women in your circle of counsel?
  2. Do you need to expand your wise counsel base?
  3. How intentional have you been to seek the wise counsel of others and to listen…really listen?
  4. To whom are you the giver of wise counsel? To whom should you be?

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