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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Link to Inside Higher Ed Article on Disappearing Departments

Dear Bloggie: the following link is to an article that appears in
today's issue of Inside Higher Ed: "Disappearing Departments."

Disappearing Departments

I request that you post the link, perhaps even the article itself. It is important reading for our colleagues. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

At the end of the article, last two paragraphs:
Mervyn D’Souza, a professor of philosophy, also disputes the accuracy of the budgetary data used to shut down his department. D’souza contends that departments that have challenged the administration are punished, noting that professors in philosophy and social work – a department also being phased out – have been consistent critics.

“Data has been misused,” he said, “and I have never witnessed such vindictiveness.”

Interesting, isn't it: punishing the "...departments that have challenged the administration" and phasing out departments whose faculty have been "constistent critics" as well as the vindictiveness noted ... sounds a lot like here, doesn't it? I can't say whether or not they've misused any data to get what they want, but it's a warning that we ought to keep our eyes open.

Anonymous said...

Disappearing departments?

How about a disappearing library? The intellectual capital of this university is being destroyed as complete floors of books, documents and maps are tossed into the trash. And it is happening to the University of Toledo Library at this time! In the past, the library was the center of the university. Today, that is an outdated idea according to the administration and needs to be discarded.

And they are doing it with absolutely no notification to the faculty!

When I read a thesis, almost invariably, I will have to ask the student to reference ideas and concepts that not new. I use to tell them: “Go to the library. Spend some time there. Do your basic literary research before giving me vacuous platitudes of reality!” No longer can we do that. Now the students go to the internet pick up favorable but frankly incorrect and poorly thought out web pages on the subjects and use these for references.

The students do not understand that proper referencing requires peer review and this is not a feature of most web sites. But it was a feature of most of the items in the library: books needed editors and reviewers before publishing (with the possible rare exception of self published books.) Most web pages are not peer reviewed.

We need our library if we are to perform scholarship.

But the administration doesn’t perform scholarship: so they do not need a library. Thus, to the garbage heap it goes!

Anonymous said...


Not to worry. The library has invested in a large number of video games which students can borrow. If you're really frustrated, go to the library and borrow some video games and potboilers (on your left as you enter across from the circ desk) and mellow out.

Equally Embarrassed.