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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Seen at University of Toledo's Homecoming Parade

Presidential Legacy?


Anonymous said...

I know this blog emphasizes Arts and Sciences, but really, the entire university is suffering under the leadership's Stalinist re-organization.

Anonymous said...

Interesting letter to the editor in today's blade:

I also agree with 7:35am: the entire university and the medical center area suffering from the so-called leadership of Jacobs, Gold and the trustees.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should hold a wake for the College. We can all wear black on the day of the Board meeting and have a 100th birthday party on campus to celebrate 100 years and to give a proper send off to Arts and Sciences.

Anonymous said...

It is reputed that the President said on one occasion, “He will not obey the Faculty.”

When I first heard this comment, I was taken aback. Why would he say such a thing? The Faculty do not expect him to be a slave nor does the Faculty expect to be giving the President commands that he must execute.

Then, after further thought about this, I began to realize that President Jacobs seems to view the “President-Faculty” relationship as one that is entirely hierarchal. One is on top and the other on the bottom. Furthermore the one on the bottom has very little to say in the relationship.

This top-bottom relationship is a very unhealthy relationship at a university.

University professors expect a certain amount of freedom in pursuing their profession. Even as Graduate Students, they freely chose, with guidance in many cases, their fields of study and their research topics. Furthermore, they had the freedom to expand on the knowledge that was current at the time. It was the freedom to act and chose that led to their ability to become authorities in their fields. Yet a top-bottom implies that they will be told what to do and when to do it.

A President who feels that he is on top and the Professorate are on the bottom will expect instant obeisance from the Faculty and will be astonished to find that they do not react this way. Rather than understanding academic freedom, such a President will become more and more entrenched in trying to limit the freedoms of the Professorate through more administration, increased oversight and increased control of resources. This will lead to Faculty alienation, Faculty demands, Faculty disengagement and Faculty early departures from the university. Furthermore, the university will have increasingly more difficult time trying to hire quality Faculty as they learn about this relationship.

The top-bottom also engenders disrespect. The Faculty feel disrespected because after serving their professional most of their adult lives and having achieved a position of authority in their profession, here is a President who seems to express that he knows what is best without consultation for transmitting that profession to future generations. And the President probably feels disrespected because the Faculty who he views as employees are questioning his decisions.

Can this type of relationship, once initiated be reversed to one of mutual respect?

It certainly can by a change of leadership! But short of that it takes willingness on both that of the President and the Faculty to believe that it can be changed. So far, this has not been demonstrated at the University of Toledo.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, your assessement is absolutely right and I fear that is the consensus among faculty and staff on campus. He is the top, we are the bottom, you must do as he says and any attempt at discussion is regarded as weakness upon his part. I tell you that is a lousy way to run a university and I think most business leaders will tell you it is also a lousy way to run a business. Please no more arrogant doctors who think they are god incarnate!

Anonymous said...

We have a lot of people in "rectal defilade." I was over in Engineering listening to several professors discuss the reorganization. They think that enrollemnt is way up and that morale is high because of this administration. I had a hard time believing that they were talking about the same university where I am a Professor!

Anonymous said...

I know that the UT Ministry of Propaganda has been claiming that enrollments are up, but have you noticed that , unlike past years, it has been fairly easy to find parking places in lots such as 13 and 13N during the day? This seems to belie official claims.

The problem is of course that officials have control over the flow of information and arbitrarily release only selective bits to make themselves look good.