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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saying "No!" to Profit-Driven Public Higher Education at UT

I have moved reference to a provocative article by a concerned member of the UT community from the sidebar to the center of discussion. Here follows some of its content:

"In the face of $7.8 million in state cuts to higher education, the people who run the University of Toledo (UT) are trying desperately to find ways to cut costs. The immediate response was to notify students that, on top of the 60 percent cut in their Ohio Choice Opportunity Grants awarded by the state, they would be facing a tuition hike next year. At a time when working-class families are suffering from wage cuts, loss of jobs and home foreclosures, this is only one more added worry to those who were subsidized for the prodigious costs of post-secondary education."

"Even more preposterous is, as the Independent Collegian reported, [are] plans to make working people pay for the cuts: 'Aside from looking at programs, administrators will be approaching the various unions which received contractually negotiated salary raises and ask them to consider forfeiting them, [Chief Financial Officer] Scarborough said. According to estimates from last semester, this would free up approximately $6 million annually. Administrators may also consider stopping the previously approved salary raises for those non-union personnel making under $40,000. Personnel making more than that didn't receive a raise'."

"[If high-paid UT administrators] do not seem willing to fork over their bloated salaries, why should regular working people? Why would they be willing to hand out money to private companies like Higher Ed [Holdings] while they attempt to cut workers' pay?"

Read more here:

(Thanks, Derek, for your commitment to fighting for-profit driven mismanagement and injustices here at UT!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

'nuff said

Hagar the Horrible
By Chris Browne

Have a look at this comic. More fitting than funny for us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

They Don't Care

With the publication of the bonuses, or whatever they're being called, it should now be obvious to all that this administration just does not care what most of us are doing as long as we don't cost them very much. There are favored programs and favored individuals. The rest of us are living in the middle ages. We are the peasants who come with the estate. Most of us are nothing more than interchangeable field hands who, quite frankly, don't count. They have used the cover of a financial crisis to rid themselves of people they did not like. They will do the same thing to programs and even colleges. There will be a medical school, and those related fields; there will be an engineering college and perhaps a business college. The rest of us are already well on our way to becoming nothing more than a community college.

Courtesy of UT-AAUP

The above is of interest, timely, too. Share it with students, too, if you think it appropriate, for they also should understand the nature of the higher education enterprise as a "business model" as practiced under the present administration at University of Toledo. Thank you Don Wedding:

The whole article, appearing in the UT AAUP newsletter, is appropriately called:

Pigs at the Public Trough

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

nurse ratched lives!

Ratchet it up whose?! See the story in today's Blade (online version--probably not in print until tomorrow's edition) at

Does Jacobs include himself in the proposed required furlough--as BGSU's president is including herself in BGSU's furlough program? Or is his market value really so much higher than hers? Are other administrators included? Or just the faculty and staff? The administrators should not forget that without faculty and staff--who along with the students are the real heart and soul of the University--they have no job!

Along these lines, let me repost some information; some of this information on administrative salaries was posted on the Blog on 5/22/2009 and—to the best of my knowledge—is as yet uncontested by anyone who could / would / should do so; these salaries will go nowhere but up, I suppose (I did the math for the per diems):

2009 Administrative Salaries (no benefits or bonuses included)

Person..............Annual salary...Approx. per diem; salary / 365.25;

...............................cents .5 + rounded up to next cent

Compare what these 5 people together make in one day to what you or I do (gross) in a typical 2-week pay period! Including people who earn these salaries in any furlough would certainly whittle away the deficit more quickly.

Also, look again at the post “Back to the future …” (10/30/2008), which gives us the agreement between UT and the TLA, including the price, as found at

Note especially the sixth paragraph:

“For this special set of roundtables and the benchmarking study we ask that The University of Toledo compensate The Learning Alliance an estimated $75,900 to cover the professional service fees for [5 members of the TLA]. In addition, the University will agree to pay all travel and hotel expenses related to the TLA staff’s trips to campus for meetings, the interview process and the roundtable sessions. The University will also make arrangements for and cover all costs of the on-campus roundtable sessions (meals, space rental fees, etc.)”

and in the seventh, detailing of reimbursement for each member; the two lowest-paid receive $1500 per day—again, compare this two what you gross per day!!! (And we don’t get room, board, etc., in addition.)

How many potential furloughs could this amount of money prevent?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One Furloughver the Cuckoo's Nest

Enrollment is way up and the Jacob's administration with BOT full approval will soon be demanding that UT employees take unpaid furloughs! Sound's crazy! Someone's cookin' the books! Holy Nurse Ratched B.O.T. Jacobs! What's going on?

Nurse Ratched B.O.T. Jacobs: "If these ingrates don't want to take their medication orally, I'm sure we can arrange that they can have it some other way."

Today is Saturday. The BOT meets Monday. Time to demand sanity at the top -- or bend over!

Monday, August 17, 2009

all furlough one, one furlough all?

Here are a couple interesting news items from recent issues of the Toledo Blade:

BGSU furloughs in general--note that the President includes herself in these!

More specific information:

And on the UT front:
Who do "everybody" and "all university positions" really include?

Excerpts:President outlines four-part budget adjustment at town hall meeting
By Chris Ankney : August 10th, 2009

At a town hall meeting on Thursday, UT President Lloyd Jacobs outlined a four-part budget adjustment that would call for a spring semester tuition increase, a university-wide furlough program and some layoffs.

President Lloyd Jacobs answered a question about how UT will cope with an $8 million budget deficit during the town hall meeting on Health Science Campus last week. Larry Burns, vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity, moderated the event....

“The first one-quarter of that $8 million shortfall will be made up by the continued re-engineering and downsizing of the work force that unfortunately we’ve been experiencing for a year,” Jacobs said, adding it would be premature to guess at an exact number of layoffs.

The layoffs and downsizing of the work force will be balanced, Jacobs said, with a university-wide furlough program. The program, which will make up the second $2 million of the $8 million gap, is in the design phases, with details still being developed. But Jacobs said it will likely include every person in the institution on staggered days concentrated when students are not on campus.

“The balance between furloughs and layoffs is one that we have considered and debated,” Jacobs said. “Furloughs affect everyone … everybody is treated more or less the same. On the other hand, the analysis of the 7 and 15 percent scenarios that were discussed extensively during the original budget process suggest that there is still some room for work-force downsizing. Balancing those seems not only wise, but fair.”... You can watch the whole thing yourself here--if you can get it to come up!
Note that Scarborough says:

If the budget shortfall is not satisfied after exploring these contingencies, administrators will judge whether to reduce the number of full-time equivalent employees or raise undergraduate tuition.

“All university positions are on the table [for termination] at this point,” Scarborough said.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A "Furlough" is a "Lockout"

If you conduct a word search of our UT AAUP contract you will not find this word “furlough”. However, President Jacobs is recommending to the BOT to invoke contract language (ARTICLE 19.0- FINANCIAL EMERGENCY PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES) that will result in an employee furlough program that, by definition “asks or forces employees to take days off without pay.” Full-time professors are among the employees at UT that may or may not be “asked” or “forced” to take several days off without pay.

The President of Bowling Green University, just a few days ago, announced her own employee furlough program and specified that it would not include full-time professors. By recognizing that employees who are full-time professors are not only able to work but essential and valued employees central to the educational mission of state public higher education in Ohio, she is avoiding short-changing tuition-paying students who require and expect the best available teaching and advising all during the academic year.

It is regrettable that our own President Jacobs during the past three years has consistently disrespected the full-time professoriate on this UT campus, and particularly alienated and demoralized A&S College tenured professors, whose mission it is to teach, conduct research and provide service ON CAMPUS. Classrooms and offices are essential to the educational mission of the professoriate. Most A&S tenure-track and tenured professors are passionate about their careers and commit 60 to 80 hours a week to teaching, research and service. This has been documented in the long history of ARPA reporting.

Forcing full-time professors to stay off campus during a furlough accomplishes the same ends as a “lockout,” where able employees are not allowed to work and can be arrested for doing so. If and when this bizarre and probably illegal furlough/lockout is implemented on this campus, I will persist in my sacred mission and not allow myself to be criminalized for continuing to perform my teaching, research and service duties, in the classroom, and in my office. I will not be “locked out” of my spiritual domain by confused and desperate administrators and their and faculty-hostile consultants (Zemsky et al), nor betray the trust of my students.

Post-Tenure Review is a "Death Panel"

Hello? High time to get off the fence to fight and save your venerable profession, now moribund.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Jobless Graduate Sues Her College for $70,000"

This happened in New York. Could it happen here at the University of Toledo? Potentially. In fact, this news item represents a growing nationwide trend that was inevitable once state higher education institutions began to adopt the business model for selling degrees in a competitive market and began centering and empowering its students as paying "customers." Read about the New York lawsuit here:

Think about the similar lawsuits that may emerge here if our present administration does not abandon this unsavory business model and remove the false impressions implied in its advertizing for students now paying for job-training. Our degrees are not in fact guaranteed or warranted "tickets to employment," and disgruntled degree-holders who discover this the hard way cannot be faulted for crying "fraud" and seeking to reclaim all or part of their investments.