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Sunday, April 11, 2010

UNIVERSITY CITY!







16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Notice they're reaching the end of the poppy field, where they succumbed to the opiate effect of that huge number of flowers--but they do eventually make it to the Emerald City, where everyone gets his/her wish after trials. So I take this as an optimistic view that once we make it through Jacobsville, we have a chance at saving A & S and UT.

Anonymous said...

Great leaders have great dreams.

Anonymous said...

Attila the Hun had great dreams. His leadership did nothing to improve the human condition across the Valley of the Danube.

Anonymous said...

That's the same. Good analogy. Entirely equivalent.

Anonymous said...

Great and even the not so great leaders have great ambitions: like dogs marking their territory.

Ambitions are not the same as dreams!

Anonymous said...

"Jacobs Dons Lyotard for Annual Speech; Poor Fit"

I for one applauded President Jacobs today for boldly endorsing and embracing “postmodernism” as the sure cure in the name of relevancy for what ails this university.

Professors of STEMM were audibly gnashing their teeth in the wake of his introduction of the “p-word” and as he continued on to quote extensively from Jean-Francois Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition (1979).

Inspired with the postmodern spirit of presenting the un-presentable the president reached into his high hat and pulled out the green rabbit of “Sustainability.” He proceeded then to publicly beat it to death by inflicting the term on his audience no less than fifty-three times.

Some knowledgeable philosophers of knowledge in the audience might have quibbled out loud that Lyotard’s book mainly revealed incredulity toward metanarratives as being postmodern, and that “Sustainability” is a good example of a metanarrative.

We can now look forward to Provost Haggett’s follow-up speech, wherein she will attempt to sell the magic of the alchemy of President Jacobs’ “postmodern Sustainability” in the context introducing her transformative plan for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, am disappointed by the president's speech. It seemed to me to be a weak speech that failed to inspire, failed to loft ideas that could carry us into the future and reiterated the failures of the past. Relevant? This speech was certainly wasn’t.


What ideas does the speech propose as beacons for the future?


Sustainability? I have heard this term for more than twenty years now and no one, no scientist, no economist and not ethicist has be able to define what this term really means. Are we sustainable for one year, 10 years, a century, or perhaps forever? How do you measure it? Can you point out a single instance of sustainability in the complete history of the world form the big bang, if it ever happened? These are not rhetorical questions. The answers are not self evident.


Even the famous Bruntland definition of 1987 is flawed: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts: the concept of 'needs', in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs." Priorities given to the poor will not result in a sustainable world as more resources, more energy and more pollution will necessarily result to improve their conditions.


The remaining four “boundaries” are similarly flawed. Engagement, Thematic Reorganization, “Leadership in Health Care” and “understanding of knowledge” are problematic. The current organization is thematic by fields of the colleges and departments. The speech confuses thematic with anti-thematic. Engagement with the community: are we to replace the constituted governments and missions of the City of Toledo and Lucas County? Leadership in Health Care: is this the Medical University of Toledo? Is that what is the penultimate future for this diverse university? And last, the understanding of knowledge is a field of Philosophy known as Epistemology which has been debated in Philosophy for more than a couple millennium: how does he expect the University of Toledo to overturn the past millennia of investigation?


This was a poor speech, not well thought out and not well delivered. But did we really expect more?

Anonymous said...

"The Postmodern Condition was written as a report on the influence of technology on the notion of knowledge in exact sciences, commissioned by the Qu├ębec government. Lyotard later admitted that he had a 'less than limited' knowledge of the science he was to write about, and to compensate for this knowledge, he 'made stories up' and referred to a number of books that he hadn't actually read. In retrospect, he called it 'a parody' and 'simply the worst of all my books'.[3]" from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Postmodern_Condition

So much for our President's eruditism.

Anonymous said...

Across Danube = Across Dorr Street

Good analogy. Entirely equivalent.

umbraged said...

I wasn't able to go to the speech and haven't been able to find it on the UT site (or anywhere) so that I could have a look. Can anyone help me find it? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Did you look on the president's page? Or on the announcements page? or in the UT Update that was sent to the campus with links?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:50 –

Just go to the UT Home Page and search "annual address." Click open "Second Annual Address." It will reveal instead President Jacobs "Fourth Annual Address" from Wednesday.

Why the misdirection? We can only speculate that the UT Psychological Defense Unit is intent on hiding this astonishing clunker from the public gaze.

Anonymous said...

Sure! Here you are the text of Jacobs ramblings:
http://www.utoledo.edu/offices/president/docs/annual_address10.pdf

Also you can find a nice editorial written by students at The Independent Collegian:
http://www.independentcollegian.com/forum/rethink-the-theme-1.2225123
I came to realize these students are WAY smarter than senior administrators and guess what: students get a loan, senior administrators get a bonus. Life sucks!

Anonymous said...

It's obviously time for a "sustainability" pool. Those in attendance at these presentations can bet on the number of times he uses the term and win the "sustainability" pot. Thus they can actually profit from attending.

At a not-to-be-mentioned university decades ago, I won one of these pots keyed to the number of times the prof used his favorite, "for instance." Got enough out of it for several evenings of pizza and beer, enough to sustain me through almost all of finals week.

umbraged said...

Thanks, A 1:08 and A 1:30, for your suggestions! I will go there.

Anonymous said...

LJ needs to consider some transformational change to decaf.