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Friday, July 2, 2010

Student Action - Online Petition and Facebook Group Formed


An online petition titled Postponement of Changes to UT College of Arts and Science has been started by an A&S student. You can read and sign the petition by clicking this link:

A Facebook group called The University of Toledo Arts and Science Student 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:


Anonymous said...

This from the June 28, 2010 issue of the UTNews, p. 2, in an article entitled "Phase one of strategic plan recalibration nearing completion":
"'We want to think about how this document starts to become whole, so that it isn't just six different parts but starts to weave itself together,' said Chuck Lehnert, vice president for facilities and construction and co-chair of the strategic planning committee.
For instance, goal one's focus of having a highly ranked and distinctive undergraduate education program includes the sub-goal of increasing participation in study abroad and online learning, which leads to a more sustainable use of energy because fewer students are on campus, and an increased role in global engagement (the main focus of the sixth goal."

So this university could be so much greener and more sustainable if we only had fewer students? I guess these comments and explanations are what you get when a VP for Facilities is a co-convener of a strategic planning committee.

sir lawrence said...

my responses to the Committee on Strategic Organization "Guiding Principles":
Avoids maintaining the status quo, unless the status quo is deemed to be ideal:
Argues for “change for the sake of change” unless one can demonstrate where the institution is NOT ideal and what would be better. Ancient Chinese proverb: “The new official starts three fires.”
Facilitates implementation of the University’s strategic plan and is consistent with the university mission and vision; the USO [Univ Syst of Ohio Strategic Plan], the HLC and the Relevant University documents:
An org chart does not facilitate implementation unless administrative offices, workload policies, and evaluation are changed to reflect the desired outcome. Simply shuffling the boxes does not help. Curricular issues are not related to the org chart. Charge Faculty Senate with meeting curricular goals of the USO.
Involves the entire university:
Don’t put all the attention on A&S.
Prepares students for the 21st century as defined by the “Relevant University”:
The “Relevant University” is an internal document with no credibility, and certainly no predictive value for the 21st century.
Ensures students gain transportable skills (e.g., teamwork, oral and written communication, interpersonal skills, adaptability, problem solving, responsibility, informational literacy) that prepare them for participation as engaged leaders and citizens in a diverse and global society. Provides a learning environment that ensures relevant, integrative, active learning experiences focused on solving grand challenges/societal issues:
Improve course delivery, modify the curriculum, provide more involvement for entering students. No need to change org chart, except to provide an office of resources (c.f. the CTL, Learning Ventures) and workload/evaluation incentives. Also hire faculty with methodology scholarship. The Academic Journey is a good start, but who defines which challenges are “grand” and how long they will remain so?
Results in UT graduates as preferred candidates for placement by employers:
Can only be determined from later assessment.
Provides for units to self select processes, strategies and practices that are aligned with general principles, guidelines and objectives:
Decentralize budget authority, allow some flexibility in faculty alignments, provide for “cover” if those re-alignments impact programs negatively.
Adapts and responds quickly and decisively to external changes and pressures. Adapts and supports sustainable outcomes (i.e., when change on the inside keeps pace with change on the outside):
Budget: can the university support itself. Administration driven
Politico-social: can the university respond to societal needs. Faculty driven
Charge Faculty Senate / College Councils with re-evaluating the need/relevancy of ALL programs in their purview.
Enhances our strengths and distinctions while creating opportunities for new areas of distinction:
Establish School of Integrated Creativity
Values and supports highly effective ongoing professional development:
Provide administrative office (c.f. CTL, grant writing workshops) and explicit recognition in T&P elaborations, workload adjustments.
Builds upon mutually beneficial partnerships that share educational, economic, environmental and social goals as evidenced by sustainable outcomes for all partners. Reflects the four domains of stewardship and engagement (e.g., human capital, health care and wellness, quality of place, and innovation system):
Provide administrative Office for Development at the College level.
Enables UT to achieve a higher level of status as an urban, metropolitan, research university:
Hire outstanding faculty.
Provides for external validation (i.e. accreditation) of our excellence:
Org chart is not relevant, unless it splits accreditation functions inappropriately.

Anonymous said...

Imagine what UT could be if it had faculty worth a damn...

Anonymous said...

I am in the college of Education. I know your petition has good intentions, however, because it is too vague, it doesn't make sense for people to sign it. E.g. who are the "stakeholders"? When will they do a 'thorough review'? What are the 'stakeholders' qualifications to ensure they know what they're doing? How do I know their review will be accepted by the University? What happens if their review is rejected? Will we all be able to critique their work as they review all the way to the final product? You should include all this information along with your petition.

And to the preceding anonymous posting - I understand your concern but I see a lot of value in UT encouraging studying abroad in this global community. Our students will be better prepared. Chuck Lehnert is a facilities guy it's only fitting that his comment be tied to his profession lest your reaction be "what does a facility guy know about studying abroad?". Thanks.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous-in-the-College-of-Education. Your attempt to inflict "death by a thousand wounds" on this important student-generated petition is mean-spirited. The petition provides the members of our campus community with a timely opportunity to vote thoughtful caution over reckless haste. There is nothing vague about that.

Anonymous said...

Student generated? Now who is spinning? The vast majority of the signers are faculty.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:35,

The petition is student generated in that a student did indeed generate it. Anyone can sign, even you.

horns n' fins said...

To anon 6:35 - Yes, a student started the petition. He also started the FB group. I saw the FB group through a FB friend, joined, saw the url for the petition and decided to post the information here. After that, several faculty signed and a little later, several students. I think it's a bit easier to get word out to faculty than to students, esp in the summer. The student started the initiative, many of the faculty are simply showing their support.

As anon 7:17 said, you are welcome to sign too.