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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Email From A&S Student in GEPL

The following is a cut and paste of an email sent out by an A&S student:

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Attachments can contain viruses that may harm your computer. Attachments may not display correctly.
 From:  Kodysh, Jeffrey Benjamin [] Sent:  Sat 7/10/2010 2:22 PM
 Attachments:  Committee on Strategic Reorganization PowerPoint.ppt(4MB)
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Summertime greetings to the GEPL community,


I know, I know... you are all probably asking "why is that Jeff kid sending

emails yet once again? Doesn't he know it is summertime? School doesn't 

start for another 7 weeks or so." While it is true that I have taken both a 

summertime and permanent hiatus from sending any more inbox stuffing 

emails (the new GTU officers are in charge of that!), I feel that I must con-

tact you to inform you about recent strategic developments taking place at 

the  University of Toledo, as they stand to shake the fundamental essence 

of our  geography department, as well as the entire university.   


The University of Toledo Implementation Committee on Strategic Orga-

nization, a committee recently formed by Dr. Jacobs to look at the organi-

zational structure of the University of Toledo, recently released a list 

(see attached PowerPoint) of recommendations for the reorganization of 

UT. As you can see from the PowerPoint, these recommendations are quite 

broad in scope, and if they are implemented as suggested, they have po-

tential to profoundly impact the entire university in unforeseen and potentially

negative ways.


Of particular interest to GEPL community in this report, however,  is the

implicit threat of elimination of both the College of Arts and Sciences 

(A&S) and the Department of Geography and Planning. Instead of the 

current organizational structure (the GEPLdepartment within the College of 

A&S), the strategic organization committee recommended that the College

of A&S would be replaced with something called the "College for the Study

of the Human Condition", while the Department of Geography would be

replaced with the "School of Geographic & Political Sciences & Public 

Affairs Faculties". It should be noted that these ideas are only recom-

mendations at this time; however, the UT administration is very interested

in implementing these recommendations as soon as possible.  


As to why this reorganization is taking place, I am not quite sure, nor is any-

one else. A list of guiding principles   sheds some light on the reasoning behind

 this reorganization. Another possible reason is that the State of Ohio is facing 

a $8 billion dollar budget deficit in its next budget. A reorganization of the 

current structure of state universities would allow "fiscal flexibility" --

"fiscal flexibilty" being a buzzword for the elimination of academic programs 

and the firing of university workers-- by university administrators. All in all, 

this process has been extremely nebulous and unclear to the vast majority of 

and UT students, and accordingly, most UT students and staff are unaware of

this list of recommendations. Indeed, many of the GEPL students I have 

recently talked with are completely unaware of this potentially department 

breaking development. Hence, I decided it was time that I sent this email out

to the entire GEPL community...


These recommendations, especially the ones that pertain to the College of 

A&S and the GEPL department, are, in my opinion, a terrible idea. They 

threaten to destroy the traditional and venerable integrity and identity of our

GEPL department if implemented. They implicitly and explicitly reduce 

our credibility as a department, a college, and a university. Nowhere else 

throughout American system of higher education exists a "College for the 

Study of the Human Condition", and if we implement such a silly college 

at UT, our academic reputation is sure to suffer. Even more important than 

this semantic concern, however, is the concern that these recommendations 

were developed with minimal student input -- at best, it appears that only two 

members of student government were involved in the drafting of these recom-

mendations, according to a recent IC article. I find this lack of student participation extremely disconcerting and difficult to understand, as 

UT will be changed forever with the implementation of this plan... how can

Jacob's committee make decisions on our behalf  (as students) if we have not

first been consulted?      


All in all, it is imperative that the GEPL department, as well as other A&S 

departments, provide much needed student (and faculty) input to this committee 

on why these nebulous recommendations are not worth the paper they are printed



Here are a few links that will help you do just that.


1. I encourage everyone to learn more about this proposed strategic plan by 

looking at the attached PowerPoint, and by browsing the UT Strategic Planning webpage, .   


2. If you disagree with the proposed changes, an online petition titled 

Postponement of Changes to UT College of Arts and Sciences has been started 

by an A&S student named Ken Evans. You can read and sign the petition by 

clicking this link: Also, it 

is very important that written and verbal feedback be directed at stratigic plan 

comittee members, administrators, and other involved with this process. I don't 

have all of this contact information, but a good place to start adding your input 

is through the various persons found on the stratigic plan webpage:  

2. And for you Facebook users out there, a Facebook group called The 

University of Toledo Arts and Science Council has also been formed. This is an 

open group and any Facebook member can join. You can view the group page 

by clicking this link: 

This is a great Facebook group to join, as it easily allows for information about 

the college of A&S to be easily shared.


Again, I apologize for this long tirade of an email. The reorganization of 

UT's orgnizational stucture has the potential to profoundly impact us as GEPL 

students, faculty and staff. We must make our opinions and vocies heard! As 

always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions... I'll be more 

than happy to assist in anyway that I can.




Jeffrey Kodysh
The University of Toledo

Geography and Planning '10

Former President, Gamma Theta Upsilon Zeta Xi (2009-2010)

419-902-5138 mobile

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