Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Response to charges

Dr. Tinkle has been accused of being racist because in my latest effort I suggested that admissions had been recruiting alums from Lucasville. This charge has come from None who blogs at None claims the reference was to our minority student population. First, the reference was not meant racially. If it was taken that way I apologize. Second, in his comments, None must be assuming that the only alums of Lucasville are minorities. How racist is that? What this really represents is an attempt to sidetrack the issue by bringing up one small part of my previous entry and attaching the charged word racisim to it. The real issue addressed by my last blog had to do with the interview process. That process has remained rather secretive. LAH has suggested you go find a participant. For some, and some departments or programs, that is more easily said than done. In my never ending effort to supply information to the masses I, the one and only Dr. Tinkle, have done that for you. I went looking and came upon Dr. David E. Tucker an associate professor in the Communication Department. Rather than give you information second hand, I am turning over the remainder of this entry to him. He will review how he obtained a spot on the panel and exactly what went on in the interview process. Dr. Tucker:

First things first. I obtained a spot on the roundtable by asking for a spot on the roundtable. I also asked two colleagues to write e-mails in support of my candidacy. While I won't bore you with all the details, I have a background and publications in the areas of curriculum and assessment. I was also the Head of the Courses, Curricula and Administrative Division of the Broadcast Education Association. This is the national organization most closely allied with what I teach.

Now on to the information you are probably most interested in--the interview. I spent an hour with Ann Duffield. In an interesting sidelight she was on campus for the Pew Roundtables back in the mid nineties. We had a wide-ranging discussion that I will attempt to condense. But, before I start that let me give you my e-mail, campus phone and office address so that if you have questions you can contact me easily. 2172 I reside at 4740-C University Hall. In our discussion I raised what I thought were several essential issues. First, I believe we are charging university prices for a community college education. That is not true in all departments but with the ever increasing number of lecturers and visiting professors I see it as a distinct possibility. Second, I told her I believe there is difference between obtaining a degree and getting an education. We are being pushed in the direction of becoming a diploma mill in some areas. She asked two questions. First she wanted five words that I would use to describe the college. These are the five: underappreciated, underfunded, community college-ish, argumentative, and self-absorbed. Why I specifically chose these five and not others will make for a hearty debate. It is a debate I am willing to openly engage in. Second, she asked where I wanted to see the college in 2018. I told her I wanted to see a communication department in 2018. We both laughed. I told her I wanted to see a more intellectually rigorous college, known for its academics. She then asked what three things I thought were necessary to achieve this vision. I said we should quit worrying about retention. We should pay for the best and brightest students we can find and not just in the natural sciences. Finally I said we need to recruit scholar/teachers and pay them to stay. As a sidelight to this we discussed branding. It is my personal opinion that universities do not create brands--they have them assigned. To this end if the University of Toledo and the College of Arts and Sciences want to be known as something other than a place to get the diploma and get on with life, then we must begin to act like a major college and demand resources that will take us there. Ms Duffield offered the opinion that departments and colleges needed to do more for themselves. While I agreed to a point noting that my own department now had made some efforts in that area, I did say the problem was faculty. While a social science department may raise some funds, there is hardly enough grant money out there to start our own faculty lines. That has to come from the central administration. We parted friends, I think. My impression is that the Learning Alliance really believes itself to be a facilitator and not an evaluator. I will now make a request. In the interest of open dialogue, I believe all the other 34 participants should likewise inform the faculty of their interviews. Rather than having the Learning Alliance do a synopsis of what they claim was present in the interviews, we can judge for ourselves and perhaps begin to draw some of own conclusions or at the very least begin to examine some possible directions. To that end I suggest you all send your summaries to Brian Patrick the blog facilitator. He will be more than happy to help in this effort at an open dialogue. I thank you for this opportunity to inform my colleagues.

1 comment:

sir lawrence said...

wow, again!
(the first one was for diogenes many comments deep in the "first round table meeting" illustration entry below.) finally we are seeing something substantive! i heartily endorse a compilation of the interviews, as far as folks remember them and are comfortable in revealing information that they do not feel is confidential. thank you, dr. tucker, and thank you dr.t for publishing the report. i have no idea why you remain anonymous, although i would be a little more careful with your sarcasm...