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Friday, October 7, 2011

UT Transparency: As Clear as Mud?

The UT Administrative Wallow

Bloggie hears rumors of important events that have been covered over.

It is said by the Knowledgeable that UT administrators recently surveyed a fairly large number of our students to probe the topic of decreasing enrollments and that administrators are dismayed at the results.

Students blasted the Jacobs administration, skipping over the survey questions and going straight to the comments section to report their ire in no uncertain terms. These surveys and their results apparently have been covered up by administration.

Secret meetings--at least undisclosed to the rest of the University and public--were held involving deans and other administrators on this matter

Is this true? Can anyone provide further intelligence?

Is it the case, as far as truthful and forthright information is concerned, that the Jacobs administration professes the Orthodox Orwellian faith?


Anonymous said...

It is completely true. I heard sentries were posted to ensure no one but the select elite were able to enter.

Anonymous said...

Your comparison between pigs and UT administration is an insult to pigs everywhere. The pig, at least, is being true to his nature. UT administrators are not being true to human nature which is capable of far better and more noble acts than we have seen. I guess I'm an optimist.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much UT has spent on expensive software that has ended up a disaster and abandoned, even though the idea was to replace employees with it and save money?

Pete the Plumber said...

Eat the rich!

"Kasich and eggs!
Side o' Jacobs!
More coffee!"

Anonymous said...

So, Ohio has the most far reaching freedom of information acts of any state. Demand copies of the surveys, the notes, the minutes, the logs, the email messages, the digitized content which relates to the surveys.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:25--Idealistic pap! Probably delivered by the same UT flacks who paste their nonsense up on the comments section of every news article published on the university. They run interference for their bosses.
I have experience in dealing with UT administration in FOIA requests--they dodge and evade, putting off requests by claiming that requests are "too broad", which may mean that unless the requester can specifically name a document (which means that you have already seen it and have knowledge of it) , then the request is too vague. These people are dodgers--and they use public money to dodge accountability.

Anonymous said...

From UT main webpage: Why UT?
"Because it is where you can get the nation's best and most realistic sales training."
Sure, just learn from Big Jake who was able to sell a bag of crap to the Trustees (although, admittedly, these Trustees really could not care less about the UT, so it must be an easy task to sell them anything...).

Anonymous said...

I keep getting messages from the administrations how important it is to give to the UT charitable campaign. Are they serious? I have given for years even though my real wages have sliden backwards because I pay more for energy, food, medical care, and insurance. I work three jobs to make ends meet even though I do not live in a fancy house, drive a fancy car, or have anything fancy. Very ordinary all of it. Yet they continue to cut from us little people, make us feel more and more insignificant and disposable, demand us to more and more do more and more with less and less while they themselves always enjoy five and six digit bonuses and who knows what other perks. They can take their friggin charitable campaign and shove it up their....well

Duke of Oil said...

Did you read this in the online UTNews yesterday? “UT gets high marks from organization touting learning outcomes”. A prominent website that surveys the core academic requirements of all major public and private universities across the country has listed The University of Toledo as one of 16 “hidden gems” that maintains strong core curriculum requirements.

Ironic, yes? The award is for the rich and diverse core as described in the 2009-2010 Catalog and now on the chopping block.

The long and the short of it is that we finally win an excellence award at the undergraduate level (Hooray!) and this administration makes a mockery of the wisdom behind it (Boo!).

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Duke of Oil... - the issue here is power. Notice the way all these administrators, particularly the newbies, reinvent the wheel so they can fatten their resumes. There was no reason to completely dump the old core - this is being done simply so that the people running the dump can A. demonstrate to people below them how powerful they are by making them do a hell of a lot of pointless work and B. get a line on their resume for the inevitable moment when they submit their resumes to move up the admin ladder.

A general rule is this: many faculty members dream of being administrators and all administrators dream of being more well paid administrators. That's the game.

Anonymous said...

Ohio isn't the only state with politicians seeking to reboot universities. The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has just be heard to say that Anthropology is unnecessary in his state (because it does not create jobs) and should receive less state funding. Scott wants to create a funding model in which STEM disciplines receive more money and disciplines that, in his opinion don't create jobs, less.

Anonymous said...

STEM is no way to grow any university as STEM education is expensive and not every student is interested in or capable of STEM programs. Any University researching their student market and enrollment will clearly see this. There is nothing wrong in trying to improve and recruit STEM students, but not at the cost of an overall decline in enrollment and impacts to non STEM programs that many students are interested in and can in many cases provide jobs. Future job growth is not only predicted for STEM but also many non STEM fields. As a society we can debate and argue for more STEM graduates, but the reality is many students are simply not capable or interested in STEM regardless of efforts Universities make to recruit them. The basic problem with STEM efforts at UT is that any high quality potential STEM student from HS is going to have many more better options available to them besides UT since all schools, including those in Ohio are also after those same students. Given a choice a STEM student can earn scholarships and grants to attend a higher quality STEM program elsewhere. Again UT needs to look at their market and student enrollments to determine how to recruit.

Rocky said...

Before this University can improve, the leaders including the Board of Trustee memebers must understand and embody the following statement from the late Steve Jobs:

"Technology is not enough. It's technology married with liberal arts, married with humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing."

Quoted at the Introduction of the IPAD 2 as stated in the Ecomist Magazine, October 8, 2011, Vol. 401 No. 8754, page 82.

Anonymous said...









Anonymous said...

Here's a link to the student loan piece:

Anonymous said...

The Blade and most of the biased left wing mainstream media continue to ignore this politically incorrect student loan catastrophe in the making.

Just like they conveniently ignore countless other politically incorrect stories - like Democrat billionaire sugar daddy George Soros being convicted of insider trading in Europe TEN YEARS AGO and even having his billionaire-funded decade-long appeal recently overturned by European courts.

If you want the truth you can't rely on "Pravda" and other Marxist media, folks (CNN, MSNBC, NYT, Blade etc.)

You need to look at Fox News (which ran the Ron Paul - student loan piece), The Wall Street Journal, National Review etc. and books like Patrick Buchanan's most recent work - "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive until 2025?" or Mark Steyn's "After America: Get Ready for Armageddon."

We're not just talking about the same old "gotcha" politics here.

We're talking about the end of the world as we know it ...and I don't feel fine...

Anonymous said...


Did I shame them into it??

Anonymous said...

You know, all modern civilization and everything we have is some sort of bubble that we have constructed. Seems republicans want to burst them all and get us back to just skins, caves and everyone hunting their own food everyday themselves. I'm not being sarcastic, it is the truth. They are collapsing our nation and standard of living along with our civilization.

Anonymous said...

Re Anon 5:28 response to Duke of Oil

Anon 5:28, significant reform in core curriculum and everything else is needed at UT and in higher ed in general, BUT - you are right on the money in your description of the self-serving, careerist, power hungry and money hungry mentality that drives mediocre administrator wannabe faculty from their modest-paying dead-end academic careers in mediocre pseudo disciplines onto the fast-track schmoozer gravy train of upper administration.

You said:

"A general rule is this: many faculty members dream of being administrators and all administrators dream of being more well paid administrators. That's the game."

Absolutely correct.

The result is the best and brightest faculty wind up being led around by the nose and demoralized with one newfangled bullshit administrative boondoggle and politically correct program or policy after another, by the worst and dimmest elements among their idiot colleagues.

The primary purpose of all this noise - as you point out - is for administrators - particularly the most ambitious and insidious newbies - to justify their existences and advance their careers.

This is exactly what happens when new power drunk managers and CEO's take over in business - they flex their muscles and slash and burn everywhere because they can and because they want to justify themselves by arbitrarily changing everything.

The fundamental problem with education from K-PhD is that the reforms are almost inevitably orchestrated by the worst elements of the usual suspects - education bureaucrats, politicians and administrators - and wind up being at best ineffective and at worst even much worse than the original problems.

The only way out is for the best and brightest in higher ed - the Steve Jobs's of academia - to make a clean break from the status quo and go online with a totally new lean and mean affordable and sustainable (possibly even free by funding through online advertising - Google Ads etc.) super university that blows everybody else out of the water.

The danger here is that the mediocrities from mainstream ed have already found their way into the for-profits, charter schools etc.

Anonymous said...

Did this blog die? There's big do-uns around here. We now have a Vice President for Customer Service, and a plan to tie faculty pay to student evaluations (which means all Mr. Nice Guy, all the time, right? -- at least, if you want to get yer quid.)

Don't abdicate your responsibility to be the watchdog, Bloggie.

Anonymous said...

Distinguished Professor Richard Demillo discusses the impending student loan bubble collapse in a video clip below.

The student loan default rate reported for 2009 was 8.8% and it is expected to increase steadily.

Demillo, Distinguished Professor of Computing and Professor of Management at Georgia Institute of Technology and author of "Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities" - MIT Press, 2011 discusses the student loan bubble crisis in a very recent video clip here:

Demillo is also author of over 100 articles, books, and patents, he has held academic positions at Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Padua. He directed the Computer and Computation Research Division of the National Science Foundation and was Hewlett-Packard's first Chief Technology Officer.

Anonymous said...

The system of occasional blog posts followed by a winding road of comments might not be the best way to discuss the hostile takeover of UT. I wonder if there is a way to start an A&S discussion board. Our needs might be better served by a system that allows anyone to start a topic.

Anonymous said...

Who's liking this latest employee evaluation boondoggle? The big guys are using the so-called financial crisis as a way to implement their corporate fantasies. It's pretty clear that there will be no raises in the future outside the context of a collective bargaining agreement. Instead, we'll get a more-or-less arbitrary system of bonuses for perceived merit -- with, naturally, a cut of public money going to "a leading global professional services company," whatever that means.

I hear that PIs of research grants are now unable to use their own grant money to give raises to their research staff. Instead, they must evaluate their researchers on things like "nimbleness" and "customer service" (are solar cells the customers? I don't know) and submit a report to some central committee. The notion that a bunch of suits with maybe nine credit hours in intro science among them will be evaluating scientific staff for bonuses would be funny if it weren't so sad.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:04 has a good point.

Re Anon 2:36

Forest and the trees...

You may be displeased that student loans and certain other pressing matters in academia are being discussed here – but focusing on campus minutia while ignoring the big picture has brought higher education to its present sorry state.

The reason things are getting so bad so fast – with the dramatic changes brought to A & S by Jacobs, SB 5, massive budget cuts and impending student loan bubble implosion etc. – is because American K-12 and higher education have been failing for decades in their mission to deliver high quality affordable education to American citizens.

The Big 3 American automakers didn’t implode overnight. They started getting fat and lazy and arrogant and making crappy cars and appeasing unions with unsustainable contracts back in the 1970’s.

That’s about the same time everything also pretty much went to hell in American education.

That’s when higher education began transforming itself into a politically correct gold rush not unlike the recent real estate crisis.

In real estate the mission changed from delivering quality homes to those who could afford them to the politically correct government subsidized mission of delivering over-priced homes of marginal quality to everybody (most especially women and minorities) whether they could afford them or not.

We saw what happened there.

The mission in higher Ed similarly changed from delivering high quality affordable education to those who needed it, wanted it and had the aptitude and drive to earn it – to the liberal government funded politically correct mission of mass-producing pseudo education for everybody (most especially women and minorities) whether or not they wanted it or needed it or could accomplish it on an even playing field with rigorous standards.

Accompanying this was the blatant politicization of the academy through the disintegration of the traditional core curriculum into fragmented politically correct indoctrination seminars (Women’s Studies, Africana Studies, Sex Studies…), the implementation of trendy pedagogies and the promulgation of Marxist/Feminist/Postmodernist research agendas and leftist academic propaganda.

Costs and prices skyrocketed, quality duly plummeted and the die was cast for unsustainability and eventual inevitable collapse.

Now we have arrived at the point where the Piper must be paid.

Now higher education is facing the very real possibility of widespread institutional extinctions.

The Ivies have massive endowments and alumni support to tide them over through the cataclysmic environmental transitions in academia.

But public universities and smaller private colleges will literally go out of business almost instantaneously if their publicly funded grants and publicly funded customers (students) disappear, because there will no longer be enough money to support their elite, lavish and fiscally unsustainable ways of doing business.

One way or another – UT needs to become self-sustaining, or die.

You might feel pretty silly complaining about petty UT campus politics on this blog if the campus has been abandoned, all the windows in U-Hall are broken and tumbleweed are blowing down the hallways.

Anonymous said...

I found the lost video from the UTNews on the UT leadersheep team. The best news is never completely lost.

Anonymous said...

The use of an outside consulting company to handle merit increases for non-union employees sounds like a bribe: look, you don't need a union, we're giving you raises. PSA employees, you do indeed deserve raises and you have all along. Why did administration wait until now? Perhaps because HLC is coming? Perhaps because SB5 will go down in flames and they're afraid you might vote to join a union?

To Anonymous 6:04--What's stopping you? Start a blog. No one owns the internet...YET!

Anonymous said...

“Accompanying this was the blatant politicization of the academy through the disintegration of the traditional core curriculum into fragmented politically correct indoctrination seminars (Women’s Studies, Africana Studies, Sex Studies…), the implementation of trendy pedagogies and the promulgation of Marxist/Feminist/Postmodernist research agendas and leftist academic propaganda.”

These programs are very small in term of majors and course enrollments, and the core curriculum at UT (now or as revised) does not require students to take any of these seminars you are so dismissive of and see as some form of indoctrination of selected political and leftist academic agendas. The vast majority of college majors at UT and elsewhere in public universities never take any of those courses, and the few that do so are by their choice of courses and programs. So your view that college students are having their education driven by these ideologies is simply not supported by the most basic of data: those program and course enrollments.

Anonymous said...

For decades?? The affordability issue with a public college education is a more recent occurrence and a direct result of the need to increase student tuition as states cut their base funding to support colleges, a budget trend that has occurred within the last ten years. Look at the revenues in the annual budgets of any public university, including UT and you can clearly see that trend. And if higher education has failed American citizens for decades why has the number of college educated citizens continued to increase and their unemployment rates are half that of high school graduates?

Since women now make up almost 60% of all college graduates, (and across a wide range of degrees), and the numbers of minorities has also increased (including in professional fields such as business, law, medicine and nursing) how is that a problem?? UT has been an open enrollment public university since its formation yet you now claim that a liberal government funded politically correct mission of mass producing education (including oh my gosh women and minorities) is now the current root of the problems at UT and with public education?

The cost and affordability issues are very serious and require careful attention and due focus. But as long as employers seek college educated students over high school students for the skills, knowledge and expertise the vast majority of college graduates obtain, and then there will always be a role for institutions of higher education. How else are the future writers, nurses, engineers, planners, teachers and other professionals going to be trained?

Public universities have always been funded by public programs, how is the current situation any different than the past in that regard? The only burden that has changed (and again the data is all there to see in annual budgets) is that the form of public spending has shifted from state support to federal support (student loans) as state cut budgets and tuition increased. Also note that the same trend is happening in major public institutions of higher education all over the world. By the way, the vast amount of research (which supports faculty, students, labs, staff, overhead, etc..) at the major private colleges is also funded by public grant programs, so they have just as much to lose and in fact private universities are also not sustainable without public funding as private tuition and alumni cannot make up the loss of research grant support from public sources.

No public institution of higher education can become self-sustaining, that is the model of private institutions which already have the corner on that market of students and alumni. By its very definition public universities are here to serve the general public and society which gain the benefits of an educated society and employable workforce. Yes in many ways UT and other public institutions need to reform and address the affordability issues, but your argument that a liberal drive ideology had led to the decline and failure of public universities and programs is simply wrong, the issue is cost and the larger debate in a society about investing in higher education rather than simply abandoning it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:16 -- While I do agree that the offer to PSA sounds like a bribe, it's important to clarify that these are NOT raises. They're one-time bonuses. It's a great tactic to improve morale a little without actually making a commitment to your staff.

Anonymous said...

The repeated attacks against some kind of "leftist" overthrow of academia is just drivel. The Africana Studies program and the Women Studies department were started after student lobbying, not as the consequence of some kind of hippie consipiracy. Both have never been funded or supported with faculty hires. And as the previous post pointed out, students are not required to take any of the classes they offer. The "name" Africana hire threw his hands up and left a few years ago after it became clear UT had no interest in the program and it was for PR only.

El Guapo said...

From the IC today:

"One option Pryor mentioned in proctoring sudents while they take online exams is to have students install a camera that watches them while they take an exam at home. The student would pay $25 per exam fee to be watched."

Perfect 10s who agree to take their exams naked can have this fee waived.

Go Rockets!

Anonymous said...

Whats funny about this latest engagement with consultants, the letter to employees says that supervisors will meet with the impacted employees individually to discuss this and in one specific department at UT, the VP has told his staff who are supervisors that they will not be the ones handling this and that he will handle these meetings himself. To me this means that our department will not have anybody get raises or bonuses because of this. Once again, the managers and directors who know what people are doing will not be allowed to have an opinion in the outcome of these meetings.