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Saturday, February 7, 2009

"turn the page"

Our own Dean has suggested we cease to embrace our traditions and ideals as a proud professoriate and become passive sheep led to our slaughter. I have read "The Last Professors" and my "Chronicle of Higher Education" and my Omar Khayyam, Iqbal and I Ching – and, alas, my Zemsky. Against all odds I still strongly believe the tenured professorship in public higher education is a venerable institution worth fighting for -- and in the public interest. The public tax dollars support our loyal opposition in threat of totalitarian trends. Real First Amendment space in this country has eroded over the past hundred years to the point where it only resides now on the campuses of public higher education throughout The Land. The business model in public higher education seeks to privatize this last bastion of hope in the face of totalitarianism. It is up to us, the remaining core of our proud professoriate here at the University of Toledo, to fight this fight now and to win it or go down embracing a lost and worthy cause -- but in the end with dignity and pride. To not do so is to be ignorant of who we are and what we represent, and to betray the public trust, mainly by allowing ourselves and our students and the future of Feedom in America to be ground down under the cold heel of fascist tyranny, right here on our own campus. We can begin by dusting off the trusty p******r and resuming our c*********e resistance. We meet next on February 14 at the old location. Students, staff and alumni welcome. Free pizza and beer. Bring your best ideas. Anything goes ... theoretically (winkwink).


UTlawstudent said...

You seem to think the First Amendment guarantees you the right to an audience as opposed to the right to speak. As a law student who immigrated to the United States from a country that was actually totalitarian, I find your references to your tantrums as evidence of fascist tyranny offensive. In the most literal sense of the words, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Give me the names of the people who you know personally who have died for speaking out; literally died. Then perhaps you will have some authority to talk of tyranny.

You've also exhausted your superlative vocabulary for when the living nightmare of your tenured professorship gets even worse.

Diogenes said...

Then I guess you won't be joining us next week? You are a good writer. I look forward to reading some day the lessons of your personal experiences under tyranny, and what you learned from them about the importance of First Amendment freedoms in the United States; freedoms which too many here take for granted while too few strive to perpetuate and expand despite current fascist trends. As for my having exhausted my superlatives in support of this call for solidarity against our UT administration's reckless pursuit of its madcap strategic plan, you are mistaken; the best is yet to come! Thank you for participating in our ASCBlog discussions. I hope more concerned and articulate UT students, staff and faculty feel free to do the same in the coming months as simmering pots come to full boil.

UTlawstudent said...

I would be happy to share lessons. To what address should I send a copy of my grandfather's obituary?

Century said...

Centennial Woes.

Without using too many superlatives, let me add my observation/fear about current budget, teaching and staff related events in the college. I fear that defacto, on the eve of the College centennial celebration, the board and administration will have succeeded in turning ASC into a third-rate community college--which is about the only educational model they seem to be able to hold in their heads. Teaching and will be done more and more by part-timers, and the less qualified, and there are no new hires, neither to replace the faculty whom they are successfully trying to pressure out, nor for extant vacancies in departments.

A sad aspect of this is that the people in and around Toledo deserve a real university, for which they will now have to go elsewhere . Many of course won't know the difference, including, apparently most of the board, the president and provost, and don't care either, apparently: Who needs book learning? they probably ask one another.

But the most talented people, with the most potential who come here will be the most cheated.

And the bonuses just keep on coming. Let's hire another three VPs! But a newly-minted PHD from a good university who can teach and research in the A&S college and bring reputation and honor to the University? No way!

friendofUTlawstudent said...

Huh, would these part-timers keep their office hours? Cause that would be a nice change, as there's currently no punishment for blowing those off but students can be punished for missing class.

And hey, maybe you faculty would get bonuses, maybe excellent faculty would be rewarded for their excellence if you guys weren't in a collective bargaining unit. You guys have traded the right to raises based on merit in exchange for the (double) security of a union (on top of your tenure).

Perhaps if you guys weren't so tone deaf to everything and existed in the outside world, you'd understand why you guys' cushy jobs don't engender a great deal of sympathy from people outside your echo chamber.

Just a thought as you guys compare your situation to Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.

Diogenes said...

The main difference between fascist and communist tyrannies as experienced by those who suffer under their regimes is that 1) fascist tyrants tell the citizens where they are headed, however unpleasant; 2) communist tyrants lie to their citizens about where they are headed, however unpleasant. The trend towards fascist tyranny as exemplified by the "Directions" Strategic Plan for UT, which emphasizes discipline and a centralizing authority, represents a dangerous trend that -- if not nipped in the bud -- can result in more and deeper despotism. Your statements and those of None meanwhile serve well the purpose and agenda of propagandist LB and his large and well-financed Psychological Defense Unit here at UT. His unit was created to grease the gears of the “Directions” implementation machine, now fast picking up speed. This mechanical monster now approaching full throttle, and especially since Zemsky Inc. was invited on board, has been observed already to target A&S College and graduate-level liberal arts curriculum and the tenure-track and tenured liberal arts professoriate for chopping block treatment. Traditional A&S College integrity will be rendered into sausage and discounted for the wholesale market. This sort of central planning by hog-butchers that side-steps and undermines the traditional faculty role in shared governance seems clearly a fascist trend as defined above. It is not yet accomplished. Solidarity of concerned A&S students, faculty, staff and alumni still stands between a venerable democratic teaching tradition at UT and the implementation of its planned "Learning for Dollars" scheme, a bizarre and inane script concocted from an inappropriate for-profit business model. I would much rather work with my dedicated professional colleagues to help this fine university to continue to aim for excellence in civic education than be forced to abide and tolerate this wayward administration’s lockstep march in its plan to become the University of Phoenix, Toledo.