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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Arts and Sciences? Really?

Given the responses to the last post, there seems to be some interest in trying to revive (or not) the old Arts and Sciences College.  Anyone who was around knows that our previous president broke up the college because he was mad that anyone would question his decision to name an unqualified dean and did not like the fact that so many faculty actually got together and discussed stuff.  But, the real issue is, "Did he do the right thing for all the wrong reasons?"  or "Did he do the wrong thing for all the wrong reasons?"  It has always been my belief, often stated here, that almost any structure works if you have the right people and almost no structure works if you have the wrong ones.  So to help get the ball rolling let me throw the first log on the fire.  I am not in favor of returning to an Arts and Sciences College.  As a member of a primarily undergraduate program I often felt as if we got the short end of the goodies if we got any at all.  We are now in a much smaller college where we have common interests with the other departments and access to the dean.  Okay folks, have at it. Should we reconstitute the A and S College or not.  Please explain your answer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Playing Together in the Sandbox of Life

Okay Playdate Friends:

There seems to be, on the part of a few responders, some misconceptions about what we do here in Bloggie Land.  First, we are not omniscient.  While some may believe that getting an advanced degree or being named an administrator comes with this ability, they are wrong.  It follows that we do not know everything about everybody.  We often have opinions, which since it is our blog, we feel free to expound upon.  Second, some of the opinions of responders will agravate some of our readers.  That's the nature of a blog.  Frankly I would be disappointed if someone wasn't getting mad about something.  Third, there are the false assumptions that some responders have about who we are.  To assume that those who respond to the blog aren't working toward bettering the university is nonsense.  I haven't been here over 27 years; served on numerous committees; and wasted enormous amounts of time doing make work that administrators said was important not to care what happens here.  Finally, I would suggest that how this administration handles its problems with deans in several colleges and negotiations with the union will go a long way toward giving the faculty some idea as to whom they really are. 

I lied.  I have one more thing to say.  The blog has no idea who responds to the posts.  They could be faculty, staff, students, alums, or dare I say it, administrators.  Since I'm the only one with a name, we'll just have to guess.  Now return to the previous post where you can confess to Father Bloggie.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Confess and be Shriven!

Bloggie will henceforth hear confessions, with a special emphasis on the confessions of the administrative careerists who have for so long blighted UT, and who now, in this new era may have a chance to mend their ways.

Bloggie is not interested in hearing about sexual peccadilloes.  God save us from this fate!  Share these, if you must, with the always informative UT Confessions.

You will be assigned a suitable penance, up to and including a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, deans will wear sack clothe and ashes, with assistant deans to carry their luggage and scourges.  


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In comments to the previous post, references were made to the College of Education and its vote of no confidence in their dean. I have no idea what goes on in the College of Ed.  However, what I do have is twenty-seven plus years of history here at UT. Please allow me a little story.  Once Upon a Time there was a college of Arts and Sciences.  and, if memory serves me correctly after two years of searching for a new dean, the search committee sent three names up to President Jacobs.  He insisted a fourth name be added to the list.  The Committee believed the fourth candidate was not suitable for the position.  Of course you can guess who became the next dean of A & S.  While a very nice person, he seemed in over his head.  Then, similar to what Education has done, the Council of Arts and Sciences voted no confidence in the dean who was subsequently removed.  An interim dean, from the outside, who had done little if any college teaching was named.  In addition the President initiated the Arts and Sciences Roundtable led by an outside consultant, Robert Zemsky.  There were over forty people involved from all walks of life.  The summer and fall after the Roundtable, a report was written by a smaller group that discussed the future of Arts and Sciences.  It took a long time and a lot of effort on the part of some faculty.  The President recieved the report and then divided the College of Arts and Sciences into three separate entities (now four).  That seems to have been his purpose all along and the rest of this was just for show.  Given new leadership, I have no idea what path will be followed with the College of Education.  It has long been my belief that if you have the right people almost any organizational structure will work; and, if you have the wrong people almost no orgranizational structure can save you.  History has not been particularly kind to those faculty who have spoken out in the past.  One other thing I do know is that faculty are good at talking but not so hot when it comes to taking action.  Therefore, I conclude that things must be very difficult in the College of Ed.  for them to have taken such an action.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I attended two meetings yesterday.  The first was conducted by the firm hired by the university to help find a new president.  The second was held by the AAUP.  The first, led by the search firm, was  upbeat and had a hopeful spirit to it.  We were asked what we wanted in a new president and practically everyone chipped in.  I personally noted that someone who had taught undergraduates sometime recently would be nice.  I also said I did not want another MD.  Others wanted a unifier, a scholar, someone familiar with the liberal arts, or even someone who might stay a while.  The one very interesting thing about the meeting was the comments were recorded.  There are several possibilities.  First, the BOT is creating a hit list and several of us will disappear over the next couple of weeks.  The more likely possibility is that the BOT wants to hear the comments themselves rather than have our comments "interpreted" for them by others. I leave it to the conspiracy buffs amongst us to gain meaning from such an action.  The goal of the search committee is to have on campus interviews during January of next year (2015).  January is of course when Toledo looks its best.  Let us hope his/her plane does not get cancelled either coming or going.

The second meeting (AAUP) had a sense of deep frustration.  The Union has been negotiating for over three years and is now in its fourth.  After giving a golden parachute, including what appears to be eternal employment at an exorbitant salary, to our last president, the BOT's offer included nothing for the faculty for the last three years.  If you want more specifics please go to today's meeting.  It is in Nietszche Auditorium at 3:30.  Perhaps the BOT will connect the dots and realize bringing candidates to campus while informational picketing is taking place (yes I will stand in the cold and snow) is not such a good idea.  Good luck to our negotiating team.