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Monday, November 28, 2016

As the semester ends

There are a couple of quick items of which you should be aware.  The semester nonsense of changing (or shortening) is not for anyone's benefit except the states.  If you think students are going to take a bunch of two week classes over winter break you've been hitting the eggnog a little early.  The state wants everybody together so we will all look alike walk alike, well you get the idea.  It will make no difference to students whether we teach 16 or 15 weeks.  You want meaningful change?  I have an idea let's go to quarters, oh wait we've been there and before that we were on semesters.  Don't administrators have enough to do without make work projects like this?

The other point is the great unveiling of the new master plan.  Oh boy.  It will be interesting to see if any attention was paid to all those "thank you for your input" public meetings.  Some will find coal in their stockings; others will perhaps find something more valuable.  Come one come all it's December 7th.  (Incredible timing.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Sorry for the lengthy absence but I had rotator cuff surgery and they filed down a bone spur while they were at it.  Word on the street claims the University is at a standstill in terms of approving new or replacement hires.  On the one hand this saves money; while on the other hand it doesn't do much to help our students.  If the University wishes to continue its upward "surge" in enrollment, then students taking courses in their major field of study are going to require more than part-time instructors.  The more part-timers you have the more difficult it becomes to control the curriculum and the overall pattern of instruction.  This is not meant as a slam on all part-time instructors but students need full-time faculty for mentoring and career advising.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Couple of Thoughts

Just when one thought the world might be getting a little brighter two things happen that remind you of your place versus that of the chosen few.  First, our President has been given a large bonus.  To place the $90,000 bonus in perspective, it is larger than most of our salaries.  I have no idea what kind of a job the President has done.  I have no idea what she was or was not told when she took this "fixer upper".  What I do know is that we are running a deficit and that the appearance of this bonus makes it look like it's back to business as usual.

At the other end of the financial spectrum there is the Phoenicia.  Word on the street is that they will be forced out by December.  It seems 22 years of faithful service is not good enough.  Aramark wants their kitchen.  So, there you have it:  a big bonus for one year's service and a kick in the but for 22 years.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What Now??

Okay, so we've all had fun at Larry's expense.(see below)  The question is what now????  Where does the university and more importantly for my local interests the College of Arts and Letters go?  We seem to almost be back where we started organizationally, which is not good.  By my count we have more administrators than when we were separate entities.  This saves money?  We're paying the football coach more than the last guy; we're paying his assistants more.  This saves money.  I have now taught here for twenty nine years and for practically every one of them I have been told in August (September when we were on quarters) how exciting the year will be; and, oh yes we have no money.  We are going to search for a Dean for Arts and Letters.  I would like to be the Dean and will do it for less than whomever you bring in.  Barring that I want on the search committee.  My governing motto:  The First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  After that everything is open.  Design courses, experiment, start centers, have fun and by all means argue logically and sensibly.  That is after all what we claim to teach.  Should be an exciting year and oh yea we have no money.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Art Leaders Call for Mass Meeting

A Visionary Leader?

The manifesto, however, remains inarticulate, unknown.

Perhaps the below will help in way of an example, a very small excerpt from Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's "What is to be Done? Burning Questions of our Movement."

We urged the necessity of carrying the class struggle into the rural districts in connection with the fortieth anniversary of the emancipation of the peasantry (issue No. 3[20] and spoke of the irreconcilability of the local government bodies and the autocracy in relation to Witte’s secret Memorandum (No. 4). In connection with the new law we attacked the feudal landlords and the government which serves them (No. 8[21]) and we welcomed the illegal Zemstvo congress. We urged the Zemstvo to pass over from abject petitions (No. 8[22]) to struggle. We encouraged the students, who had begun to understand the need for the political struggle, and to undertake this struggle (No. 3), while, at the same time, we lashed out at the “outrageous incomprehension” revealed by the adherents of the “purely student” movement, who called upon the students to abstain from participating in the street demonstrations (No. 3, in connection with the manifesto issued by the Executive Committee of the Moscow students on February 25). We exposed the “senseless dreams” and the “lying hypocrisy” of the cunning liberals of Rossiya[26] (No. 5), while pointing to the violent fury with which the government-gaoler persecuted “peaceful writers, aged professors, scientists, and well-known liberal Zemstvo members” (No. 5, “Police Raid on Literature”). We exposed the real significance of the programme of “state protection for the welfare of the workers” and welcomed the “valuable admission” that “it is better, by granting reforms from above, to forestall the demand for such reforms from below than to wait for those demands to be put forward” (No. 6[23]). We encouraged the protesting statisticians (No. 7) and censured the strike-breaking statisticians (No. 9). He who sees in these tactics an obscuring of the class-consciousness of the proletariat and a compromise with liberalism reveals his utter failure to understand the true significance of the programme of the Credo and carries out that programme de facto, however much he may repudiate it. For by such an approach he drags Social-Democracy towards the “economic struggle against the employers and the government” and yields to liberalism, abandons the task of actively intervening in every “liberal” issue and of determining his own, Social-Democratic, attitude towards this question.

  Get to it!