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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chronicle Commentary on Imprudent University Investments


The article examines abuses of the so called "Prudent Investment Rule." You may recall a great deal of conversation a year or so back on UT investments. 



Anonymous said...

Really? The entire economy crashes, investments nose dive all over the world and at universities across the nation and this is somehow evidence of Jacobs' evil as well? Seriously? Come on, you people are educated!

Oldster said...

To Anonymous 7:04:

You are the one who mentioned Jacobs. Do you know something that others don't?

And what's all this "you people" stuff? You can't write a simple comment without resorting to stereotyping?

Remove the beam from your eye, sonny.


Anonymous said...

"The wicked flee, though none pursue..."

Anonymous said...

I would like this to be posted not as a comment, but as a contribution: please have a look at this excellent article:
I would like this to be published not as a comment, but as a contribution. It is from Forbes:

"Where's My Professor?"
Ellen Schrecker,
The disappearing faculty and the lost soul of American higher education.

Anonymous said...

Re Anonymous 1:43 posted Forbes magazine article

A college professor writes an article about the vital importance of college professors, citing one cherry-picked, unreferenced and essentially meaningless and inconclusive piece of data (that could doubtless be critiqued and interpreted in numerous different ways to arrive at virtually any desired conclusion).

From this the professor’s article segues to the trouble with underpaid and inadequate adjunct professors and finally incoherently concludes that only traditional academia and tenured faculty (as opposed to obvious superior alternatives such as cutting edge online education) can provide the first rate education students need and deserve.


This is the sort of narrow, biased, dogmatic, jumbled, self-serving propaganda that far too often poses as “research” in academia.

The proliferation of pseudo-research propaganda is only one of myriad serious problems in higher education that persist (and will continue to persist) so long as higher education elites remain committed to worn out, self-serving, cult-like academic dogmas.

See this article from Business Week as just one of countless counter-examples:

Anonymous said...

In the name of "efficienies," TPTB are tossing out everything in American society that they regard as "frivolous," at least for the common people. Why let prolies talk to a real bonified professor who might challenge them to think and ask questions, when all they really need to do is watch a video on how to connect nut 1 to bolt 3?

It is much safer to automate the insemination of carefully controlled doses of what one should hesitate to call "learning" on a need to know basis and at the same time keep students as slaves to the cycle of work, debt, high tuition costs, and a hedonistic life-style. Makes them all much more controllable in their post college life.

Real professors might teach them to think and besides, they cost slightly more than web pages and DVDs.

Anonymous said...

Did you see Jacobs article today in the Blade? According to him, the problem is that he wants to work hard and the faculty don't want to work hard. That's the root of the conflict. And the Blade leaves that impression. This is real second class leadership. If they hold faculty and staff in this much contempt, the situation is pretty hopeless. That is not the attitude of quality leadership. They are ruining UT.

Anonymous said...

Say the people coming back from their three-month vacation...

R. Alamo said...

I read that article. Talk about spooning in public! The pandering editorial/interview with President Jacobs you refer to is highly offensive. The piece insults the integrity of the journalistic profession. Every paragraph is a sham and an insult to the a critial readership searching for honest reporting about what is really going on at UT.

Jacobs proclaims "You own it. You change it." What scurrilous and self-serving philosophy is this?

Does Jacobs really believe he owns our priceless regional fount of public higher education? Take note, BOT: The University of Toledo belongs to the taxpayers of Ohio who ought to be more than fed up by now with this inept and arrogant Jacobs administration.

Let's get rid of this mercenary scrapper and his entire gang of vandalizing carpetbaggers. Save our good reputation and hard-earned academic accreditation. Save the liberal arts. Save the A&S College. Save what's left before it is ALL gone!

"Four years and out!" Fight for what's right! Now is the time - and not a minute too soon!

Anonymous said...

anon 3:40, faculty are PAID for 9months. Do you have something against market rates and contracts? Even at that it is a pittance compared to what administrators make. Maybe the president and the administration should not be paid for summers that way they would do less damage!

Anonymous said...

You can't read the article any other way. Jacob's red herring to distract from the real issue. That is definitely not quality leadership. In the end his policies will have the exact opposite effect of what is intended.

Anonymous said...

yeah, 100K for nine months. must be rough.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, thousands of UT faculty and staff are all lazy, but Jake likes to work hard. Simply amazing.

some postdoc said...

None of the faculty I know have been on vacation for three months. Around here, summer is when you finally have time to get your research done.

I understand the value of open discourse, but some of these comments are so ignorant.

Anonymous said...

To Some post doc:

Yes, I agree with you. After watching and participating on this blog for quite some time, I think these "you earn too much lazy faculty" comments are coming from administrators who think they should earn all the money, while everyone else, who they seem to think works for them, earns low dollar and should be grateful for a job they provide. They really seem to think this way.

The fact is that education-wise and experience wise, the faculty generally outclass the administrators. Are they thinking to keep someone with experience and a PHD for less than 100K annually is even possible?

Of course what they want is all lecturers with maybe MAs and such, who teach much, get paid little, therefore leaving more money to give to administrators . And of course, do what they are told by administrators with no possibility of talking back.

These UT administrators are a sad lot of puffed up egomaniacs/

Anonymous said...

200K+ for sitting around complaining for 12 mos, having posh lunches, retreats, figuring out how many staff you need to layoff for the next round of bonuses...sounds like administrators have a real rough time...

Anonymous said...

New trustee is a banker I see. Even the Democratic governor is giving UT business people for trustees. If Kasich wins in November we'll get cave men for trustees. The choice is evidently between business people and anti-education business people.

yo, duh! said...

Here's the link:

to the David Kushma editorial many people have been referring to; read it for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Even if I knew nothing about UT, Jacob's words in that article would sound arrogant, self-serving, and conceited.

Anonymous said...

Nice entry at Instapundit:

HIGHER ED BUBBLE UPDATE: Administrative Bloat at American Universities: The Real Reason for High Costs in Higher Education. “Between 1993 and 2007, the number of full-time administrators per 100 students at America’s leading universities grew by 39 percent, while the number of employees engaged in teaching, research or service only grew by 18 percent. Inflation-adjusted spending on administration per student increased by 61 percent during the same period, while instructional spending per student rose 39 percent. Arizona State University, for example, increased the number of administrators per 100 students by 94 percent during this period while actually reducing the number of employees engaged in instruction, research and service by 2 percent. Nearly half of all full-time employees at Arizona State University are administrators.”

Now I understand why the UT administratoisie is so keen on mimicking Arizona State.

Yr humble & obt

John Dickinson.

Anonymous said...

Don't you guys get it yet?

Mr. Scarbough has said on many occasions, the reason tuition is going up is because of faculty salaries. He reports for the University. Quit fighting the official and fianl word on this issue!

Anonymous said...

The US News & World Report rankings are out. See if you can find UT? My search found it about seven places from the absolute bottom of one set of listings.

However, all of this really doesn't count, eh?

Anonymous said...

^On rankings, Forbes has us at #589 out of 610. I'm sure Larry Burns will figure out how to get that on a very very large foam rubber hand with 589 extended index fingers.

On the other hand, we're ahead of Kent, Akron, and Youngstown, so we've got that going for us, anyway.

My understanding of the scuttlebutt is that the trustees want to go in two directions. The Republican appointees want to remake us into the Univ. of Phoenix, and the Democrats into Libbey High School. This is the result.

Yr humble & obt

John Dickinson.

Anonymous said...

All these years Jacobs and the BOT have been having their way with UT and this is the best they can do?

Anonymous said...

Guess they can't bully US News& World Report.....

Anonymous said...

OK, John Dickinson, you've made some good points in the past but your last two (particularly your last one) are non-sensical.

First you seem to be saying that every employee who is not a faculty member is an administrator. Or rather you quote Inside Higher Ed saying it because you have faith in the matter. For this argument to be true at a school the size of Arizona State, there would have to be, what, some 2,000-plus AVPs and VPs? That's ridiculous. I don't think the ASU folks who serve in similar positions as our Professional Staff should universally and in all circumstances be classified as "administrators" unless the goal is to disparage the work they do.

Also, I'm frankly shocked you bring up the Forbes ranking and provide it any sort of credibility. The rankings are based in large part on rankings from and Who's Who in Higher Education. The former includes a rating for a professor's "hotness" and membership in the latter is pay-for-play. The Forbes rankings refer to "John Hopkins University (yes, John, not Johns) and intermingle the two Wheaton Colleges' stats.

UT's ranking in US news and world report is a function of open enrollment with no branch campus and UT's lack of reputation (despite the seemingly sexual charge so many seem to get from bashing the organization they claim to love). Further, UT's position has been static in this ranking for more than a decade.

The irony of so many decrying UT turning into a business model university and then pointing to a business magazine for evidence of a college's worth is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I'm very surprised at the faith you give to the Forbes rankings. Have you seen their methodology?

I don't think the education I provide my students can be measured by a magazine trying to sell itself and I'm surprised you do.

Anonymous said...

Check out the ratemyprofessor site with John Dickinson thinks is sound methodology for ranking universities.

Students think UT professors are a 3 out of 5 and ignoring "hotness" faculty are graded on 1.) helpfulness, 2.) clarity and 3.) easiness. Nowhere do faculty get graded on their grasp of the subject or the effort put into planning lessons and lectures. No results are measured. In fact an easy professor gets ranked higher and therefore would raise UT's ranking in the Forbes magazine.

John, if you think this is what a university education should be based on and if you're going to give in creedence, I would have to say you likely received your degree from U of Phoenix. I'm really surprised you'd lend your named to something without checking out the veracity of the data.

Anonymous said...

According to the ratemyprofessor rankings Forbes uses, Andy Jorgenson ranks 1 out of 5. Any ranking system that ranks colleges that has Andy Jorgensen as anything less than one of the most outstanding professors at UT is a slur against talented, dedicated faculty across this institution and I'm disappointed this blog is trafficking in those slurs.

Anonymous said...

I already know how the UT leadership will attempt to address this awful evaluation by US News & World Report. They will do one of the following:

Try blowing large amounts of the UT budget on advertising in US News, invite their leaders to be members of the BOT, force students to subscribe to digital versions of their magazine, and kick all other magazines off campus.

Or, denounce US News as an increasingly backward and irrelevent outspoken minority among magazines that refuses to focus on "the good things happening at UT." Also they are lazy and just plain jealous of Jake.

Or over fall break, form a committee to restructure US News to make it "more manageable."

I don't think any of these will work outside the 43606 zipcode, but hey, they are the only tools they seem to have in their bag.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the rankings be publishedin the UT News? Our administration should want all of to know how successful they are in making this a better university for students.

Anonymous said...

what was UT's ranking before Jacobs?

Anonymous said...

Bowling Green got a nice complement from TV-13 for their placement in the USNWR rankings.

The same station said nothing about UT.

Nobody looks at these? Dream on.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:59,
Indeed, teaching evaluations are pretty bogus, aren't they? Now, how does your department assign teaching merit scores?

Anon 10:04,
Look again. Jorgensen has 69 reviews that put him about on average. But, perhaps you mean that to slime him is to slime all UT faculty, and isn't that an indictment of our entire university? Oh hell, just start at 2:23.

Anon 9:21
Yes, we stunk when Jacobs was lording it over MCO. But opening our seacocks will not make our ship ride higher.

We could be a better university, but you have to want to be better. Neither disbelief in criticism nor putting Dilbert's pointy haired boss in charge will get us there.

Yr humble & obt

John Dickinson.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:59. Why trash the authority and validity of the RMP student evaluation data? The student comments on their site invariably offer the sort of valuable insights and details about teaching effectiveness and the quality of course content that students need to make their decisions about which courses to take and from which professors.

Don't make a chore out of this professor evaluation process. RMP works. It is genius. All my friends use it. Plus it is entertaining. So get off the haystack and move to the city. Learn to disco. RMP is the real deal.

It is not mainly slackers that seek out and contribute to RMP data. Diligent students by the busload want, deserve and and are willing to pay for top-quality professors. RMP is calibrated to the wants and needs of the current generation of college freshmen. Use it, don't abuse it.

Even the "Hotness" category is useful (as this week's Chronicle of Higher Education reveals). Students pack those classrooms with hunks and hunketts at the helm, even if they grade on a curve.

Average students will work to earn "A"s just to impress these RMP professors with chillies. They will enjoy the pain. Gym rats will crowd the front of the class and muscle the weak to the rear of the room, then eat them on the day of the final exam. Intellectual Darwinism will prevail.

Stranger's interrupt their relentless searching to audit the "Hot" classes. Administrators will find excuses to drift in and scope out the scene. Everyone gathered will like tigers and wolves remain alert to every lesson, every move, and pounce on every opportunity to participate in class discussions.

In sum, President Jacobs please embrace RMP data. Procure "Hot" professors and UT will proceed rapidly to the top tier of Newsweek and Forbes rankings. Their ends will justify your means.

Anonymous said...

From the Chronicle, for those who feel the US News rankings are credible:

Anonymous said...

Forbes ranks 610 colleges by specific numeric rank. Forbes started doing their rankings in 2008.

Here are the Forbes College Rankings for UT by year:

2010 – UT ranked 589th out of 610
2009 – UT ranked 583
2008 – UT ranked 564

Though there has been a slight decline in UT’s ranking since 2008, the positive or negative effect of the Jacob’s administration (or any other factors) on UT’s Forbes rankings are in all likelihood statistically insignificant.

U. S. News places lower ranked colleges in a second tier by alphabetical order with no actual numeric ranking in the second tier.

It is therefore not possible to track movement in second tier colleges or determine exactly how close to the bottom UT is in the U. S. News rankings.

Anonymous said...

Rankings? Beyond a certain point on a list of over 600, these rankings don't mean much. So we are not in the top tier? Move on.

We aren't even sure what a "comprehensive" university means at Toledo. Is it a Tech University with a community college for the liberal arts. Oh and a medical school. Rankings are for football teams based on wins and losses.

We have all learned recently that evaluations don't matter. So let's not worry about RMP. Rate my Administrator is only "silly kid stuff", right?

So what should we do? We need to walk out of our individual classrooms proud of the job we have done, each day. Beyond that, there is much less we can control.


Anonymous said...

Before you put much faith in ratemy professor, the first name is listed is the Angel of Death. I think he retired three or four years ago. And they couldn't even spell my name correctly: it may not be as easy as Jones but it sure isn't Wjokowski!