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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Ongoing Epistemological Crisis in UT Higher Administration

Welcome back students and faculty!


Anonymous said...

Our administration is certainly where the epistemology hits the fan!

Anonymous said...

The postings and commentary on the ASC blog seem to have slowed to a mere trickle - especially when compared to the previous torrent of frequent, numerous and often voluminous postings of the past year or so.

Are heavy-handed campus censors by any chance trying to suppress dissent and apply behind-the-scenes pressure to the blog moderators again?

Anonymous said...

My welcome to the new academic year was an e-mail message from Parking Services declaring ' you ate not eligible for parking. " I hold faculty emeritus status and naively assumed that the administration would honor its promise at the time of my retirement to continue my parking privileges. Now, if I read their welcome back message literally, I'm not allowed to even visit if I come by car. Would an application of the brown stuff resolve this bit of epistemological confusion ? I have no desire to find out. My response is " you re no longer eligible for my donations. "

Anonymous said...

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan says declining American education standards and Gen-X slackers' inability to match the productivity of harder working and more capable retiring baby boomers threatens the future of the American economy:

Anonymous said...

Excerpt from the Greenspan article:

It has been difficult for American students to keep pace with those from overseas when viewed through the lens of quantitative, objective metrics like standardized tests.

But the lack of productivity Greenspan frets over can arguably also be set at the feet of our growing entitlement culture, which we explored in some detail several weeks ago for Entitlement Nation Week. Being a productive worker means having a commitment to honest labor.

That has eroded as more people have relied upon the federal government for the growth of their household wealth. That, in turn, has led to a troubling change in attitude in this country.

As [Pulitzer prize winning syndicated columnist] George Will put it, “Americans, endowed by their solicitous government with an ever-expanding array of entitlements, now have the whiny mentality that an entitlement culture breeds.”

"Most high-income people in our country do not realize that their incomes are being subsidized by their protection from competition from highly skilled people who are prevented from immigrating to the United States,” Greenspan said. “But we need such skills in order to staff our productive economy, so that the standard of living for Americans as a whole can grow."

Think of that last line for a moment. We need to import labor – intelligent, skilled labor – to guarantee that Americans’ standard of living is maintained.

Have we indeed fallen so far?

Anonymous said...

Dumb and Dumber go to Ed school:

American students are dumb because American teachers are dumb because American Ed schools suck.

Yo, duh!

some guy said...

Nice of Tom Brady to weigh in on the parking controversy. I'm relatively new to campus, but I would have expected better rhetorical skills from a former dean. Just asserting stuff without evidence is no way to make your case. What's his background?

Anonymous said...

One of the parking people told me last year that Brady and Jake's other buddies were on the "Do not Ticket" list that is programmed into the little ticket writing devices they carry. Brady was exempt. No wonder he liked the system. He was a beneficiary of it.


Anonymous said...

Tom Brady's background ? He's a retired businessman with an Engineering degree. Despite his cozy relationship with Jake, the Blade published an editorial urging that he not be appointed Interim Dean of the College of Education ---on the grounds that deans ought to have some background in the field

some guy said...

Yes, with Brady and his whole "I have nine cars" bit, he's clearly in that class of people who have the resources to evade little things like parking violations. Even if he has to pay a ticket, it's not like he's going to notice an impact on his finances. It's almost as though his response to the AAUP was some kind of intentional self-parody.

I'm more interested in hearing from the economically challenged first-generation college students we're supposed to be serving. Folks in that group lack extra time and resources to fight parking tickets due to technological glitches.

umbraged said...

Re Tom Brady's rebuttal: in addition to what others have already said, consider this: How many of us have as many vehicles--"9 cars and a motorcycle"--as Brady brags about having? How many of those 9 cars are taking up "do not ticket" parking spaces at one time?

Anonymous said...

On my commute to and from UT, I often listen to NPR—they’ve just had a story: “Making professors more productive”
which is part of the series

There is also a related series:

Potentially dangerous stuff going on—worth a look—or a listen!

Anonymous said...

Re NPR Anon 10:11 am

Thanks for the info, but these UT profs are clearly far more concerned with the usual petty "gotcha" campus politics of name calling, parking spaces, etc. - as opposed to any real substantive issues concerning students, professors and indeed the questionable future sustainability of UT, Toledo, America and American higher education.

It's no wonder people are increasingly cynical about academics and academia.

Anonymous said...

How will the new permit system affect UT / BGSU parking reciprocity? Is that one more thing we will lose--if we haven't already lost it? Will BGSU have the same scanner devices?

Louie L. Lee said...

Simple. UT students will be issued new hang tags to be used in case they want to park at BG to drink beer (until Gradowski's Pub and Poolhouse finally opens on the UT campus).

When and if BG becomes as financially robust as UT they will discuss in a demcratic fashion any move to adopting the new "parking" surveillance technology -- assuming the new system works at UToledo.

Meanwhile a new plastic "boot" device designed to both immobilize and asphyxiate parking scofflaws has been patented by Tom Brady Industries and will be introduced around the time of Halloween, when it will undergo stress tests in the faculty parking lot next to Bowman-Oddy. Till then, those that have seen the completed device have been sworn to secrecy about its existence.

A photo of the nefarious device is however circulating on the Internet. Viewers of blogs that have uploaded this photograph have commented unanimously that it looks "just like a bow tie." Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

As an educator with more than 40 years experience at several different universities and under numerous administrations, I have never before witnessed an administration so interested in excluding the professorate from the decision making processes of the university as I have the Jacob's administration. If one wants to complain that the professorate is not interested in the sustainability of this university they should provide facts rather than innuendos.

This administration has all but eliminated faculty discussion and input on substantive factors that influence the future of this university. A new school at Scott Park was established without any faculty input. Three colleges were formed on the main campus without faculty input. A college was combined with another without any faculty input. Programs were eliminated without any faculty input. The faculty had no input on the budget creation, the establishment of new student fees or where the fees collected would be spent.

These are the major factors which influence the sustainability of the University of Toledo. Yet, any time the faculty attempted to provide input, the input was either accepted with a smile and never again considered, the input was impugned in both public and in private or the input was outright rejected. In an attempt to allow for faculty input and to enforce the provisions of the Faculty Senate Constitution, this administration was taken into the courtroom. This is the first time that I, as an educator have ever seen a body of faculty become so frustrated with an administration that this was deemed necessary.

This administration has shown time after time that they do not respect the faculty. Many of the problems of this campus are rather easy to solve IF this administration would enlist the aid of the faculty and give sincere consideration to what the faculty are advising. However, this administration from the very top is so insecure that they feel they must be the source of all ideas, that they must mandate solution and demonstrate it is they who are in power. We have experts in the professorate, experts that are recognized externally by successful people throughout in the world. Yet, This administration can not acknowledge that our experts in public policy, social sciences, arts and humanities, sciences, business, engineering and in medicine can solve the problems of this campus and refuses to capitalize on their talents.

The professorate is interested in the survival of the University of Toledo. Most of the professorate were here before this administration and plan to be here after they depart. We do discuss what it takes to have a successful university today. But on-campus forums for working with the administration do not exist. The administration probably will claim that they have created such forums. Yet when faculty attempt to discuss the relevant issues, they are quickly closed out by the administrative indifference and lack of feedback from the administration that indicates that they have heard and considered the faculty voice.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget that whenever the admin "invites" faculty to participate in discussions they schedule the length of the discussions in such a way that faculty cannot possibly stay the entire time.

Anonymous said...

Re Anon 12:57

Radical change at UT and in higher ed and indeed all education in general is being mandated by some harsh global, national, regional and local economic, political, technological, scientific and intellectual realities of the 21st century.

We can either confront these realities realistically or be crushed by them.

Academia is notoriously slow and reluctant to change - even if change is necessary and beneficial.

What's done is done and it remains to be seen whether or not Jacobs & Co. are on the right track.

That said, the faculty DID in fact buy in - well, at least sort of.

The CSO Gang of 12 who orchestrated the restructuring of A&S at the behest of Jacobs & Co. were nearly all prominent tenured faculty and ALL women (albeit mostly mediocre faculty from mediocre pseudo-disciplines like Women's Studies, Education etc.)

They, along with Pryor and a few other opportunistic sycophants were more than happy to buy-in and help the Jacobs juggernaut steamroll wayward fellow faculty into submission.

Of course the fact that they all knew they were going to be duly rewarded and bought-off with high salary dean and vice provost administrative positions in the New Campus Order may have had something to do with their zealous cooperation...

Anonymous said...

There is a powerpoint (what else) floating around that the President used at a Board meeting: its an argument for increased class size and teaching loads. It seems to argue that the "base" load should be either 4/4 or 5/5 and then will be "reduced" only after written approval (by dean or provost). It also seems to be arguing that a formula/matrix will be created that will generate teaching loads, based on class size and other factors. The first slide or so has a pie chart with 70% being a 4/4 teaching load, 20% research, and 10% service.. but later it uses a 5/5 load as the base. He proposes that this change take effect 8/13. Maybe there are others who have seen or heard more about this forthcoming change? The ppt I've seen is short - only about a dozen slides.

Anonymous said...

Washington Monthly's National University Rankings - "contribution to the public good."

UT is at 211/258

Luke said...

Being ranked 211th out of 258 is not all that bad. Considering.

Anonymous said...

I've looked at a number of rankings of universities lately. I haven't found a single one that doesn't rank UT near the bottom in academic quality. Even BGSU outranks us . I have heard, however, that we rank near the top in administrative costs , and, as the latest AAUP bulletin points out , the Jacobs regime has taken steps in the last few months to reallocate even more dollars to administrators' salaries. I guess that's the way they propose to meet the "sustainability " challenge. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

More lies from that liberal rag:

"In a nutshell: schools are spending billions on technology, even as they cut budgets and lay off teachers, with little proof that this approach is improving basic learning."