Friday, October 3, 2008

Tell It to "The Committee"

This is my last post before HighEdWeb. Sorry prophead, but your fate will hang in the balance all week. I actually don't have any ideas on how to save him from his well-deserved fate, so I'm open to suggestions.

OK, so seriously I'm divided on this issue. On the one hand I hate the oppression of committees in forcing everyone to do things the same way and to get approval. On the other hand, I've seen way too many crappy Web sites go out on campus that have no campus branding, are poorly designed, confusingly organized, and horribly written. Having a central body to enforce minimal standards actually serves to improve the overall campus Web presence.

What to do, what to do? Honestly, I hate to side with the forces of darkness, but I think the benefits of enforcing standards on a university Web site outweigh the value the individual freedom that departments are used to having. In the particular case at hand (which, of course, as always, NEVER EVER happened) though, I thought the response was a bit heavy-handed.

BTW, there's an obscure movie reference in this comic. Who knows what it is?


drew said...

oh. wow. This is one of your best cartoons yet, and that's saying alot.

I find myself embroiled in this conflict almost every week.

Karlyn said...

classic! well done :-)

tonya said...

drew (above) has given me the task of hugging you at the conference next week. I'll be the one with the frantic look - trying to imagine what's happening in my absence from the office.

Anonymous said...

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." It's ugly getting sentenced I think.

Tony Dunn said...

Glenn Rice is correct. The sentencing comes right out of the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, and was also used in a Big Audio Dynamite song.

Andrew Bauserman said...

Tony - I know someone else already go the movie reference... But the white wig and black-and-white accents on top of the absurdity of the committee reminds me of "the Assembly" in the final episode of The Prisoner ("Fall Out").

If you haven't seen The Prisoner, it's a British cult classic with Patrick McGoohan of the "Danger Man" (aka "Secret Agent") TV series.

Here's a clip:

Dave said...

I had two other solutions (going freelance and waiting for a follow-up meeting of doom that never comes), but I think this is the best:

Our hero could immediately shut down the site, apologize profusely to the committee, apologize to the site owners for accidentally breaking policy in their name, and sit back and wait for everyone to ask for the website to come back.

Of course, it's the best because the hero was right to make the site, and this solution requires the committee to admit it. Whatever the solution is, I think the key is that the committee have to acknowledge that they are wrong to micro-manage like this instead of deferring to the actual experts.

Dave said...

...erm, can you tell that there's a "committee" where I work, too? :)