The Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis executive has launched its cabinet application on their Stanford 2.0 website. Obviously the people who join will largely come to define their positions, but it’s worth a look at their organizational chart just to get an idea of where things might go.
- A diagram of the Cruz/Macgregor-Dennis cabinet structure (Photo: Stanford 2.0).
Before I get too far, let’s consider a comparison to the prior Cardona/Wharton cabinet. What do we see?
The first is that the Cabinet has (technically) shrunk. There are only 10 named Cabinet slots, compared to 13 from this past year. It’s difficult to make precise comparisons, since the names might have changed, while the roles remain similar. However, the first thing to see is that the Chair of Women’s Issues has been dropped to a position in the category of “Community Action Representatives,” as has the Chair of Disabilities and Accessible Education (likewise, the Chair of Communities has subsumed the Chair of Diversity and Tolerance). Campus Outreach has likewise been eliminated, although the Chair of Communities might pick up that portfolio. Social Life has disappeared, perhaps replaced in part by the Chair of Student Life. The most notable additions are the Chair of Entrepreneurship, Chair of Leadership Development, Chair of Project Management and Implementation, and the aforementioned Chair of Communities.
By and large, these new Chairs seem to reflect the two lead interests of the new Executive: community outreach, something emphasized by President Cruz, and entrepreneurship, something emphasized by Vice President Macgregor-Dennis. In addition, they disguise a major expansion of the Executive. The Chair of Project Management and Implementation arguably has a larger portfolio than many other Cabinet members put together…and a team to match. A full 10 “Director” positions are tasked to this Chair, which would seem to double the size of the Cabinet immediately, irrespective of any additional Executive Fellows or other non-Cabinet members of the Executive. The Chair of Communities will also be overseeing at least eight more representatives and possibly more, if the number of representatives or communities represented expands.
Is this an unmanageable size? The Gobaud administration was criticized for having 22 members by its end – depending on how Directors and Community Representatives are counted, this administration could have even more. However, this organizational design has several advantages that might allow this administration to be more successful. The first is that there is a clear set of hierarchies over some of the larger elements to ensure that the competition for the Executive’s attention is more limited. The second is that this design chart is simply more explicit about the myriad people who are involved in the Executive than many other Cabinets. It might hard to imagine that, for example, the Chairs of Diversity and Tolerance in previous administrations carefully convened committees of community representatives, but it’s almost certain that they were receiving input from a variety of sources. This current administration may be simply formalizing that existing process. Overall, it’s almost certain that the size of the Executive will be on the rise, which will be a challenge for the new administration to manage effectively, but it may not grow as much as their application would indicate at first glance.
I remain interested to see how certain new positions will manifest themselves (e.g. the Chair of Entrepreneurship) and how much emphasis will be placed on accomplishing the campaign action plan (their vague earlier response notwithstanding), but we’ll keep learning more after the Cabinet is ultimately selected.