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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Denunciation of the Jacobs' Gang

Lori Edgeworth, former UT Director of Student Involvement who was "laid off" by the Jacobs administration after 26 years of service, has written to the Independent Collegian about "lies" the Jacobs administration told her. Here is the link:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Job Search?

The following was submitted to Bloggie with a request that its author remain anonymous:

Job Searches
I'm puzzled: how is it that UT can start interviewing for a basketball coach withing two weeks of a "resignation," yet we still have someone who is essentially an interim dean in Arts and Sciences and there has been NO announcement, not even a suggestion that the search for a permanent dean has progressed at all? In fact, the whole matter is insulting.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

From Silo-Babble to Departmental Dissolution and Merger

Provost Haggett has launched an insidious campaign of “silo-babble” across our main campus academic forums. Flunkie spokespersons for the UT Strategic Plan Committee (last seen slouching towards Bethlehem) are meanwhile busy spreading this manure pile across the main campus. The “silo” meme in academic discourse derives from a business-model notion that disparages “information silos” for impeding structural changes perceived as necessary to accomplish managerial efficiencies, mainly cost-cutting. See here:

The prime and targeted examples of her perceived “silos” impeding the rapid progress of business-like restructuring at the University of Toledo and in the College of Arts and Sciences are its traditional academic departments. "These have to go!" she decrees. This means that the deliberate dissolution of existing departments through mergers into “schools” by administrative fiat is on the near horizon. Gird your loins. The battle is upon us. It’s now or never. Actively resist all silo-babble and its intended consequences. Unite and fight to save our institution of public higher education, our College of Arts and Sciences, our academic departments, and the vital flesh, blood and voice of an empowered and free-thinking tenured professoriate to teach quality-conscious students in our main campus classrooms.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Rumor has it that administrative types are continuing to duck the Faculty Senate. Rumor has it that Freedom of Information Requests for budget information are being ducked as well. Rumor has it that our "transparent administration" is anything but transparent.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another Institute

I notice that the BOT has approved a new Institute for Sustainable Engineering Materials. Wow! I wonder how many of the fine folks involved will actually teach a class? No cost figures were attached but I'm sure this will lead to millions of dollars just flowing into the old university.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trustees Pledge Support of Foundering Jacobs' Presidency.

The following press release was issued by University officials today:

Trustees support scholarship strategy, president

By Meghan Cunningham : March 16th, 2010

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees has expressed its support for a scholarship model that will raise the caliber of the institution in the next decade and in UT President Lloyd Jacobs as he interviews faculty members for tenure.

During the board’s March meeting Monday afternoon, trustees learned about the successes of changes in UT’s scholarship strategy since 2007 that have led to increases in tuition revenue and enrollment, including additional out-of-state students and a more diverse student body.

In his presentation, UT Vice President for External Affairs and Interim Vice President for Equity and Diversity Lawrence J. Burns also described a 10-year goal for the University that includes maintaining 4,000 to 4,500 freshmen and a diverse student body. The plan includes deferring underprepared students to the spring semester, raising the retention rate from the current 69 percent to 75 percent, and increasing the average ACT scores from 21 up to 24 and 25.

The scholarship strategy is about the character and the mission of the institution as it envisions what it wants to look like in the future, Jacobs said.

The president notified trustees that he has conducted 10 interviews with faculty members seeking tenure and learned a great deal about the expertise of UT faculty through those discussions.

Board Chair Olivia Summons read a statement of support for Jacobs’ interview process as the University seeks to elevate the stature of the institution. She said that many practices, although rooted in history and pure habit, need to be examined to see if they are contributing to the vibrant institution UT is striving for.

“Faced with mounting state deficits and uncertain state funding in the near future, it is imperative that we accelerate our efforts. In that vein, and to ensure that The University of Toledo continues its quest, the board supports the current decisions of the president to interview tenure candidates as a final step prior to his recommendations to the board,” the statement read.

“We respect the recent resolution passed by Faculty Senate regarding tenure interviews conducted by the president. However, it is important to underscore the major academic and economic impact that tenure implies. We assume the faculty are reviewing their tenure process, which we believe is thorough, although like every practice is not above review, improvement and modification. And once again, the financial ramifications of tenure cannot be excluded from the review.”

Several board members also expressed their individual support for the interviews following Summons’ comments.

In other action at the meeting, the trustees approved:

• Three renovation projects totaling $5.3 million, including $2 million for the Center for Performing Arts, $1 million for the third floor of the Snyder Memorial Building and $2.3 million for Wolfe Hall, which is in addition to $5.6 million in grant and state capital funding for that project.

• The creation of a new Institute for Sustainable Engineering Materials that will serve as a portal for industry to access University resources. The application-driven design of such materials requires large collaborative efforts, and the new institute will help coordinate those efforts.

• A resolution in support of the Ohio Third Frontier, the funding for which will be on the ballot in May for Ohio voters to renew. Since 2002, the Third Frontier has helped create 48,000 jobs in the state through investing tax dollars in innovative companies.

PowerPoint Phluff

The above image with text is excerpted from Edward Tuft's most excellent monograph, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint and is offered to shed some light on the PowerPoint propensities of UT administrators whose Stalinist "informational sessions" perpetually obscure more than they reveal. As you will see when reading Mr. Tuft's text, he knows UT administrators better than they know themselves.  

Below, as a more timely example, please find a PowerPoint Slide from UT VP Scarborough's recent budget-thought-control presentations on the direction of the budget at UT.  Do you feel edified yet? 


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Driving Careerist Administrators from the University

How's this as a precedent for a furlough plan?  It's the only one that the University really needs.  

Monday, March 1, 2010

Further Report on Council Activities

Council unanimously passed the following resolution on February 23 concerning the Roundtable. The concern is, of course, that the president, provost and dean, all of whom who have shown themselves inimical to faculty, genuine shared governance and students, will tendentiously treat the vague, hopeful and optimistic recommendations of the Roundtable as carte blanche to destroy the College of Arts and Sciences in all but name. They seem to want a big high school or community college that can be run cheaply and in a tawdry manner.  Remember the three rules of business ethics:  1. Get the money 2. Get the money 3. Get the money. Bloggie remembers when Lloyd Jacobs first addressed Council.  Among other things, he said that he always tried to make ethical decisions. Boy, does he!  And what dictator doesn't?  Already the Learning Ventures people are working on ways to redeploy tenured faculty displaced by the destruction of learning planned for UT by its political bosses. 

Here is the resolution as passed:

Resolution on Amendments to Roundtable Report

Resolved that the following amendments, representing the views of Arts & Sciences College faculty, be included in the final Report of the Roundtable Implementation Committee:

  1. Regarding the broadness and optimism of the visionary language of this Roundtable report, matters of final interpretation of meaning, application and operationalization of its terms and recommendations remain the province of CAS faculty as constituted and assembled by its existing academic departments, programs, and the Arts and Sciences Council, and consistent with the spirit of the Liberal Arts.
  2. Departmental autonomy in electing chairs and controlling departmental programs and initiatives is respected, guaranteed, and encouraged by this report.
  3. Academic freedom is respected, guaranteed and further enabled by this report, such that recommendations for technological, integrative, and interdisciplinary change are used creatively to expand scholarship and teaching options, rather than as a basis for any negative evaluation or comparison.
  4. Faculty Shared Governance and control of curriculum and its delivery is respected, guaranteed and further enabled by this report, such shared governance being manifested and exercised in formats controlled, initiated, elected, or designated by CAS faculty, Arts and Sciences Council, and academic departments.