Article published March 30, 2009
I am reluctant to write this letter because I do not question the ethics or integrity of Lloyd Jacobs or Thomas Brady and do not wish to create doubts about these. However, I am concerned about potential entanglements and the appearance of impropriety that can sully their reputations and that of the University of Toledo.
Like your recent editorial, I, too, question the wisdom of President Jacobs' nomination of local businessman and UT trustee Thomas Brady for interim dean of the Judith Herb College of Education. Mr. Brady's academic training is in engineering and he has never held an academic position of any kind.
More troubling, however, is appointing one of the people who determine the president's salary and bonuses to a highly paid administrative position within the university. This past October, Mr. Brady and the other trustees extended President Jacobs' contract and added a third $150,000 longevity bonus to it. Now President Jacobs wants Mr. Brady appointed to a position for which he has no experience or academic qualifications that pays upwards of $150,000.
Such an arrangement, even if not technically unethical, doesn't pass the "smell test" for many people and smacks of the cronyism that led to the disastrous appointment of Michael Brown as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In addition, if things aren't working out well, will the president and provost be reluctant to take action since Mr. Brady would return to a position of authority over the president once again?
At a recent UT Faculty Senate meeting, Provost Rosemary Haggett said there are several people currently in the education college who could fill this interim position, so there seems to be no compelling need to make the risky and questionable appointment of Mr. Brady to this deanship.
Editor's note: The writer is an associate professor of psychology at UT and is a member of the faculty senate.