Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
In A & S , the latest rumor has us all doing departmental strategic plans. Whoopie. So let's see, we do a plan, get a new dean and guess what? We do a new strategic plan yet again. I'm beginning to feel like that old Linda Ronstadt song, "I've been cheated, been mistreated, when will I find love?"
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Read more on the Katzenklavier here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katzenklavier
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
1. It is rumored that the provost has said Tom Brady will not be the dean of Arts and Sciences. While many of us are relieved let's make certain we understand what was not said. She did not say he might not be the dean of a college of Arts and Letters or the next president of UT. Gosh I love gossip.
2. It is my understanding that the provost wants all faculty misbehaviors to go through the provost's office and not be judged by fellow faculty. I wonder how that would play with the doctors over at Health Sciences? By the by the next time the want a provost over there I want the job. Nice bonus. Heck if Brady can run Education Dr. Tinkle can certainly run a little old hospital. Right?
3. As tenured faculty in A & S become a thing of the past, I assume they'll start recruiting trained seals from the Zoo.
4. Taking credit for increased enrollment during hard economic times is like taking credit for the sun rising.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
1. It provides necessary commentary in immediate terms.
2. It is not controlled by any administrator.
3. It actually constitutes free speech for the faculty.
4. While the administration can claim increased enrollment cancelled the furloughs, it is much more likely that public disclosure and immediate response were the causes. No one had to wait for an A & S Council or Faculty Senate Meeting. Also those groups have department chairs as members. This blog comes from the faculty.
5. Ask yourself who might still be dean of A & S if this blog were not present?
6. For those who think the blog is a bit acrimonious, I would reply that we are not in the business of being nice; we are in the business of trying to save the liberal arts for future generations of UT students. We are in the business of trying to remain a university and not a community college.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
University of Toledo calls off furlough plan over holidays
Jacobs cites enrollment; faculty note bonus fury
By MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER
After making plans to shut down the university around the holidays, the University of Toledo now says it will not require unpaid furlough days of its employees this year.
The reversal occurs after a public outcry over what some call excessive administrative bonuses, but UT President Lloyd Jacobs said the change is because enrollment is higher than expected.
UT had anticipated having more students than the 22,336 counted last fall, but apparently not as many as the 23,000 who Dr. Jacobs said are actually on campus now.
Official enrollment numbers will be released Tuesday.
“It is connected overall to our budgetary circumstance because the more students we have, the better we are,” Dr. Jacobs said.
“They make us better not only because they bring new ideas and fresh minds, but they also improve our budgetary situation,” he said.
UT receives about $5,000 in state funding per full-time undergraduate student.
Dr. Jacobs announced the cancellation of the fall furlough plan during a taping Friday of the “A Presidential Perspective” video posted weekly on UT’s Web site.
The furloughs were planned to save UT $1.3 million and address part of an $8 million shortfall caused by reductions in state funding.
While UT will not need the furloughs during the holidays, it’s likely that furloughs will be needed in the future and university officials will continue planning efforts on the best way to implement them, Dr. Jacobs said.
The furlough program was nixed rather than the planned program cuts or tuition increase in the spring because furloughs are a one-time cost savings, Dr. Jacobs said.
He said he was “pleased” and “delighted” to be able to postpone the furloughs.
But faculty members do not believe the reversal was solely based on a larger-than-expected student body.
“It’s hard to believe that all the attention to the bonuses hasn’t created this,” said Terry Cluse-Tolar, an associate professor of social work and chairman of the department.
While the form of the furlough idea has changed several times during the budget discussions, scrapping it altogether now is “curious timing,” she said.
A recent newsletter from the faculty union, the UT American Association of University Professors, drew attention to the extra compensation of administrators while UT instituted layoffs and announced furloughs of its employees.
A review by The Blade revealed the university paid out nearly $570,000 in administrative bonuses last school year and $1.5 million during the last four years.
Dr. Jacobs has defended the bonuses, saying they are part of the total compensation of the administrators, which is based on market value adjusted for performance.
Using the longevity and performance bonus method rather than incorporating the payments into their salaries promotes continuity and encourages good performance, he said.
A lengthy letter to Dr. Jacobs from Lawrence Anderson-Huang, a professor of physics and astronomy at UT, which questions the sense of the furlough plan and bonuses for doing their jobs, has been widely circulated around campus.
He said he was upset about the situation and the administration again making sweeping changes at the spur of the moment.
“You seem like fish flopping out of the water. These things keep happening over and over without respite,” he wrote.
But given that practice, it’s not a total shock that the furlough program is now being revisited, Mr. Anderson-Huang said.
“I kind of got the idea from the way things were treated that our administration has the same view of faculty that the general public does, that the only work we do is when we are in the classroom and that is certainly far from the truth,” he said.
Mr. Anderson-Huang and other faculty members have said they are glad the administrative pay and bonuses have received attention. If administrators need bonuses to stay, they are more committed to the money than UT, he said.
“In these times, those types of awards are a little outlandish,” Mr. Anderson-Huang said.
Friday, September 4, 2009
More UT students could mean no furloughs
The University of Toledo could scrap the planned furlough program because of a larger than expected fall enrollment.
UT had planned to require at least one day unpaid furlough for all employees to trim $1.3 million of an $8 million budget deficit caused by reductions in state funding.
But anticipated fall enrollment numbers around 23,000 students — the official count will be available Tuesday — might bring in enough money to postpone the furloughs.
UT is still crunching the numbers and the UT Board of Trustees would need to approve the budget amendment.
The university's 2008 enrollment was 22,336 students.
“'Employees Encouraged To Power Down Areas for Holiday Weekend'
(September 3rd, 2009).
In line with the University’s commitment to sustainability and energy conservation, employees are asked to turn off all appliances and machines possible for the Labor Day holiday weekend. These include computers, printers, copiers, lights and coffeemakers. This simple act can help reduce waste and save the University money. ..."
The following comment was posted in response, and is copied to this site:
“This “green” message is well-intended, but just another example of the lack of understanding this present administration has about university academic campus culture. Weekends and even holidays on our university campus are intuitively understood by our most idealistic, optimistic, diligent students and tenure-track and tenured faculty to be learning and research opportunities. We expect campus doors to be open and inviting, with lights and power and heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, all available so we can accomplish our academic missions and objectives. Students need access to campus library and computer labs, and faculty members need access to their offices and research materials within them, as well as to their computers. Here is the cold reality: This UT administration does not yet consider the Bancroft campus of this university to be a 24/7 operation like the Heath Services campus, and takes every opportunity to cut costs of the Bancroft campus university academic operation at night, on weekends and during holidays, making it increasingly difficult if not impossible to nurture academic excellence on its campus. When and if ever the Jacobs administration wakes up to its significant unmet responsibilities to promote academic excellence at the University of Toledo, then they will become responsible to their neglected mission, and will strive to become a 24/7 university and grow rapidly in reputation statewide and nationwide, as well as internationally. At present the Jacobs administration demonstrates no sincere inclination to improve academic excellence on the Bancroft Campus. Its day to day operations of the Bancroft campus over the past three years have been regressive rather than progressive. We remain a fourth-tier institution according to the national rankings while Bowling Green University has leaped into the third tier over the same span. We remain bogged down by a seemingly anti-intellectual maladministration and an incompetent leadership that simply does not understand or care what a state public institution of higher eduction is supposed to achieve academically in order to fulfill its promise as a valuable public service that parents, students, faculty and all Ohio taxpayers can be proud of. Turn off the lights on the weekends and holidays? This is a metapor for mediocrity. Welcome to the University of Toledo. The quest for excellence abandoned. Watch your step as your re-enter the dark ages.”