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Monday, June 30, 2008

Students' Freedom of Information Act Request Shows President Jacobs' Disrespect for A&S Faculty and Dean

The following press release was produced by University of Toledo A&S students and shows the results of their independent investigations as informed by a Freedom of Information Act request they made to examine emails sent by UT administrators concerning the No Confidence vote. The release and the emails that follow definitely help to open your eyes.

These emails were exchanged after the April 15 No Confidence vote while President Jacobs was in China accompanied by Dean Lee. Provost Hagget was holding down the administrative fort in Toledo. Others mentioned in the emails include Bill McMillen, in charge of government relations for the University, and Constantine Theodosiou, interim Dean of the UT Graduate School. These email discussions took place before Jacobs met with ASC Executive Council on May 9 to discuss the Dean and the vote--the meeting from which the President stalked out of in obvious anger after failing to put the faculty guilty of "bad behavior" in their place.

I understand the release went out to local media today. We do have the most excellent students:

Emails Reveal University President Lacks Confidence in Arts & Sciences Dean, Disrespects Faculty

President and provost express their attitude over faculty’s “bad behavior” as they weigh throwing disgraced Dean “under the bus”

June 30, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact: Evan Morrison 419.283.7244
Colleen Eldridge

Toledo, OH – Despite public assurances by the University of Toledo administration of its full support of College of Arts & Sciences Dean Yueh-Ting Lee, e-mails just made public under a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that behind the scenes they’re actively considering whether to “throw him under the bus.”

Members of the Arts & Sciences Faculty Council have voted “No Confidence” in Dean Lee and students of the college are calling for his removal. While privately recognizing that “the bus may still be [the administration’s] best option,” the administration has instead insisted on the hiring of an outside firm at great expense to the university before making a decision on the Dean’s fate.

In the email correspondence (attached below,) President Lloyd Jacobs notes that his only reason for keeping Dean Lee in his post is to not “reward bad behavior from the A & S folk.” Provost Rosemary Haggett and Vice President for Governmental Relations William McMillen go further, saying that even a meeting with the Arts and Sciences Council, which represents all faculty members in the college, should be avoided because they feel that meeting with them would “reward bad behavior” itself. This attitude reflects profound disrespect for faculty members and the faculty council.

Colleen Eldridge, the student leader who brought this to light says this about the situation: “This display of dishonesty and disrespect for faculty and students is contrary to Dr. Jacobs’ statements of support for the college of Arts and Sciences. It leads me to believe he does not have our best interests in mind.”

Under Jacobs, Arts & Sciences Dean Yueh-Ting Lee has pursued a restructuring of the College that has met with strong opposition from students and faculty alike. These proposed changes have included consolidating Sociology and Economics into one department and Philosophy and History into another. Students and educators in the college view this as an attempt to weaken faculty and eviscerate long-standing academic programs. Lee’s efforts resulted in the “No Confidence” vote from the College of Arts & Sciences faculty this past semester.

The students are still receiving information from the University General Counsel. They will be holding a rally at the next town hall meeting on July 17th to release more information they have identified.

From: "Haggett, Rosemary "
To: "Jacobs, Lloyd"
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 11:29:04 -0400
Subject: RE: stuff

I've been thinking a lot about this and what would be out best strategy. Bill McMillen and I talked about it too and I have to say, with all due respect, that neither one of us sees the benefit to a meeting like this with the A&S Council. It put us right where they want us, in a confrontational position. I think it actually rewards bad behavior. It also aligns us more directly with YT (when the bus may still be our best option) and makes it more difficult to facilitate a solution.

I feel I need to respond to Davis soon because I am being characterized as being nonresponsive, so let me suggest an alternate strategy. I suggest that Bill and I meet with Davis on Friday afternoon to get the "bill of particulars". Bill McM will be back in town then; he has a good rapport, can be my witness and help craft our subsequent strategy. This puts me in front of the faculty in a position of academic authority. If I set up the meeting before A&S Council meets tomorrow afternoon, people will know that I will be receiving their input (and they will know that I'll get that input before the end of the semester). I will not respond to the input at the meeting, just receive it.

Further strategy could me that I can then have subsequent meetings with the A&S chairs and college advisory council, but we will have time think more about that after you get back.

Please let me know what you think. I'm ready to meet the challenge.


From: Jacobs, Lloyd
Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2008 11:57 AM
To: Haggett, Rosemary
Cc: Hymore, Diane
Subject: stuff

Sorry to call so early this AM. Constantine has been asking me repeatedly if I've called you. I think today he decided to force the issue and called himself. I first realized you were on the phone was when I heard him say: 'do you want to talk to the president'... Hence my confusion. And at a time when I couldn't really talk.

Anyway, a few observations: if even a fraction of the stuff in the A&S bill of particulars is true, we've got a real problem. And some of it is our problem - perhaps we havn't supervised YT closely enough.

Furthermore, his behavior and utterances on this trip -up close and personal- has lead me to believe that his communication is worse than either of us thought. For several days I thought the best thing to do was to throw him under the bus and get on with our agenda. Maybe thats still the best thing - input please...

However, we probably can't do that because we can't reward the bad behavior that the A&S folk have displayed, I think. So, I'd like to meet with the A&S council myself, with you and YT present - you to fill in the blanks, YT to hear that we are going out on a limb for him. So, let's set up a time the week after I'm back, tuesday or wednesday, set up the room with three mics at a table in front, and have at it. Before that I need to meet with you, and then with you and YT to get all the issues straight and 'no surprises'. I will lay out some principles and a plan which I will share with you in our preliminary time together. For the session, I don't care who attends, Board, media, etc - no invitations, but let them come. I know that by the time this gets done, many will have left for the summer, but thats ok. I'm copying Diane on this so she can handle the logistics.

As regards the 'petition' that Constantine forwarded to you and me, my plan is to not react to it, other than to give the Chancellor and the Governor a heads up. I'll handle that. I'd like you to move ahead swiftly with the reorganization as planned, however. (I think that's what the 'petition' is really about.)

"These are times that try men's (and womens) souls" - we are being tested: let's meet the challenge. lj


Lafcadio said...

Thanks, Evan and Colleen! Even though President Jacobs instructs Provost Haggett in this exchange to "move ahead swiftly with the reorganization as planned," you show us how intelligent, resourceful and brave students can find innovative ways to resist strategic administrative thuggery and its clear and present to our excellent and beloved A&S College.

Jonny B Goode said...

I'm lookin' at a sandlot baseball game. On one side you got Jacobs,, with a bat and they won't play if they can't bat first they're going home.

On the other side you have faculty with the catcher's mit. And if their man can't catch, they'll take their glove and go home.

In the middle you got YT, he want's to play baseball, doesn't know what baseball is, and nobody told him the rules of the game in the first place.

Holy manure! Where are we, South Park Colorado?

tiger8monkey said...

Hah hah hah. They thought we were badly behaved before these emails got exposed? Ha ha ha.

insider said...

As an insider, I can tell you that you have only scratched the surface of something that the President and Provost (and their "team") have set in motion. Alerting the Governor? Perhaps tell the Governor all your dirty little secrets, including those having to do with the transition of staff in the Provost's Office (Main). What a nightmarish University, and now the world knows a snowflake of this Titanic iceberg! Come clean with EVERYTHING or resign!
This nonsense has gone too far and it is time to create a blog with the inside information. If COLUMBUS will not do their job (and these are democrats?) then the people will!
Perhaps there are other vice provosts (and provost) that should be thrown under the bus! Perhaps the Governor should step in and replace the Board that allows the factory to consistently run amok by poor leadership. And we (academics around the globe) thought Kapoor was poor leadership. At least Carty has good company in embarrassing the state of Ohio. Although I am considered to be vital to UT, I am joining several other in seeking employment elsewhere. I cannot remain in an organization that is more like a brutal dictatorship than a place of learning! Perhaps now you can promote more incompetent and narrow individuals to U Hall.

insider said...

A new blog exists to begin chipping away at the iceberg of UT's many cases of power gone wrong. Feel free to post anything you have. The more evidence, the better. If the Governor's office won't do anything, the people will:

concerned8027 said...

We can bet Jacobs and Haggett will no longer be communicating by email! I think instead they will use the floo network