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Friday, October 8, 2010

Transformational Change: The Paradigm Begins, Berlin 1961


Anonymous said...

When do we start calling each other "Genosse" and "Genossin"?

Anonymous said...

I prefer Kampfgenosse, please.

Anonymous said...

When University Presidents and their staffs lie, all things are possible at a university.

The University of Toledo is facing budget shortfalls, some of which are known and some of which are not. Because of the lack of transparency of this administration and the refusal of the Chief Finance Officer to put numbers on the problems, the exact amount of the shortfalls is unknown. After talking with three members of the Finance and Strategy Committee, it is reputed that Professor Olson asked at the meeting, "Can we conclude that this university has a potential $15,000,000 shortfall and we are not going to do anything about it until November?" Apparently, he was given an affirmative answer by the Chief Finance Officer.

In at least one area of the shortfall, the public has been lied to by the Senior Administration of the University through their public information offices. At least part of the shortfall is due to enrollments not meeting the budget assumptions. Apparently, the budget was based on 4100 new incoming students. The actual number was less than 3800. Yet this administration allowed a statement to be made on behalf of the university that they expected fewer enrollments due to tightening of the College of Nursing entry requirements. If this statement were true, then why did the Senior Administrators allow a budget to be built on an assumption of 4100 new students? I can only conclude that our Senior Administration did not plan (the budget document is a planning tool) for the shortfall of students that occurred. Nor did they inform the Board of Trustees about this expectation when they presented the budget to the Board. Furthermore, it does not appear that the Board of Trustees, who are fiducially liable for the university, went and questioned our Senior Administration about these inconsistencies.

In court, once a witness lies, all of that witness's statements are subject to question. What else is this Administration lying about?

Anonymous said...

Bloggie, I commend your use of a historical parallel to illustrate our situation. It continues nicely after Chamberlain-esque attempts at appeasement, which of course did not work as Chamberlain had hoped. And while my first reaction to this was a slight historical correction--the Berlin Wall did not go up until after the fall of Fascism--it was erected under a totalitarian, oppressive regime, and so it does indeed fit.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 6:52 AM. You write:
"Yet this administration allowed a statement to be made on behalf of the university that they expected fewer enrollments due to tightening of the College of Nursing entry requirements."

If this statement is deliberately false, then it is an example of egregious spin created by this university's highly paid public relations (marketing) staff.

Accepting that they are "just doing their jobs" and have hungry mouths to feed at home like everyone else in the campus community, they should not be congratulated or offered bonuses for indulging in such disingenuous, deceptive and manipulative tactics. These are not "best practices" but dirty tricks and shame our administration and Board of Trustees when they are exposed.

So thanks for posting your assessment of these current events and the corruptions our marketing staff indulges from time to time, if not yet on a daily basis.

Someone should seek out the Spin Room and nail the door shut before the Chronicle of Higher Education begins to take its inevitable hard look at our institution, its leadership, and more symptoms of the ethical malaise that seems promoted -- indeed rewarded -- here.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone thinks that change is necessarily bad. I just say the following:

First, UT has continuously changed without the radical dilettantism of overzealous boards. UT is not the same as it was 100 years ago.

Second, under Jacobs and the radical dillettantism of the current board, UT resembles a patient who has been over-operated on, over-poked, over-proded, over x-rayed, over-medicated, such that is becoming a zombie university. Will someone please get these folks finger out of our collective behind for at least one day?

Third, we seem to be going in a circle.

Fourth, the only thing that seems to change is the number of administrators and their salaries that continue to skyrocket!

Fifth, change must occur together with students, faculty, and staff, not imposed with an iron fist from above. Their collective institutional history and input are important. True, this means slower and more careful change, not a bad thing.

Ward said...

Mr. Fall's argument here that “UT must embrace change” because “change is predestined” is na├»ve or disingenuous. Either way it insults the Blade’s critical thinkers (if any).

This appearance today of Mr. Fall’s opinion, so full of boilerplate corporate jargon, is disturbing because it offers a justification for a decision that won't be made by the Board members until tomorrow. So much for suspense.

The charge that UT is “stagnant” is an undocumented and unproved accusation that has been repeatedly asserted by President Jacobs (and now for the first time by the chairman of the Board of Trustees). Dr. Jacobs arrived on our academic campus intent on acting in dramatic, progressive moves toward implementing drastic change -- all based on this false assumption.

What a tragi-comedy! Suddenly the new chairman of the BOT breaks silence on behalf of the Board to claim that the "risky" four-year Jacobs-directed proposal process has all along had the imprimatur of the BOT!

Note how this Blade essay conveniently takes President Jacobs “off the hook” for his heavy-handed agency in paving the way to the present decision.

President Jacobs’ tactical retreat from the battlefront to his tent at this time is not responsible leadership and it is not motivated by modesty.

Where were C. William Fall and each and every member of the UT Board of Trustees when concerned members of the campus community repeatedly requested to engage in direct communication with them during the four years it took to develop this restructuring plan? They were hiding behind the President. Now, at this crucial time, the President is hiding behind the Board. What absurd machinations!

Who might fathom to articulate the depth of the deviations and deceits on the part of this administration and the BOT that has led to their final act of solemn dispatch of our Arts & Sciences College? Where is Shakespeare when you need him?

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:06--thank you for posting this link.
As Fall notes, "The world is constantly evolving"--and so is UT. Change may be inevitable, but it is not "predestined." And "evolving" is a gradual, natural process. What Fall, Jacobs et al. are promoting is cataclysmic, UT being "destined" to wind up in an unrecognizable, mutant UT.
By the way, I find Mr. Fall's essay very poorly written. I don't know if he's simply using words he doesn't really know in the hope of sounding intelligent, or twisting them to suit his purpose, hoping we won't notice. And this from the head of the Board of Trustees--the group who is to determine our A&S future? In any case, it doesn't bode well.

Jim Nemeth said...

The BOT just voted unanimously to accept President Jacobs' restructuring plan. However, I assure you that we are kicking their butts in some parallel universe. Fight on in this one.