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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"I have some ideas ..." -- Lloyd Jacobs

And that is the problem Mr. President. Your ideas over the past three years have tossed us, and suddenly you, into a Great Pickle. As you are on your way out, now A&S and UT in general must turn to polishing up its tarnished (thanks to your caustic Big Ideas) reputation. Why did you ever think that turning our fine public higher education institution into a Fordist mass production line selling cheap degrees would make UT "great"? Because you read a silly five-step book titled From Good to Great (Collins, 2001)? And now you and Provost Haggett and Dean Nina will be coaching A&S students to learn whatever curriculum reconfiguration and implementation that emerges from your sponsored Zemsky Report’s "five-step" tango-to-greatness! Wake up, Sir! The Fordist system is in ruins! Bankrupt, failed -- kaput! Look to Detroit to see the future of UT if it continues to be shaped by your rusty Fordist pipe dreams posed as New Paradigm. Even stuffed with microchips, your Big is doomed! Your New Entity is Postmodern Jurassic education! However, with your rehabilitation or departure on the near horizon, I remain optimistic that A&S and UT can still be saved from the legacy of your initial follies. UT’s A&S College should not be under siege by you and your minions at this celebratory time. Instead, it should be proud of the 100 years of Goodness embodied in every earned degree it ever awarded while advancing quality public-sector liberal education. Goodness will always trump Greatness, Lloyd. Goodness nurtures and erects resilient economic stability, productivity and civic responsibility on its strong ethical foundations. Greatness – as embodied in your outdated and simplistic notion that "bigger is better," and given spin as a New Paradigm -- is, in contrast, just noisy carnival, founded on a fescennine fantasy that feeds raw ambition to an administrative cadre raised on a disciplined diet of corrupt practices. We can no longer abide your relentless striving for a Greatness that sows injury and disenchantment among students, faculty, staff and alumni. In the end, your Greatness will revert to mediocrity at best and at worst -- oblivion. In sum, you President Jacobs and your swill ideas are transforming UT into a dinosaur. You are a clear and present danger to A&S and UT. Leave it to concerned UT students to themselves come up with a better idea for the immediate and long-term future of our beloved institution. They are fed up and finally demanding you sell your snake oil someplace else.

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