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Monday, February 6, 2012

The Relevant University? To Jacobs Inc: Cut Bait, Fish, or Get Real!


Anonymous said...

Posted in the latest UTAAUP Newsletter (#74).

Investing in UT Faculty

By Lloyd A. Jacobs, M.D.

Sent: Friday, February 03, 2012 9:35 AM
To: McMillen, William; Gold, Jeffrey
Subject: Investing in UT Faculty
From: Jacobs, Lloyd

Provost McMillen and Chancellor Gold:

In our continuing quest for higher quality at lower cost, we must scrutinize new hires more carefully in every part of the organization. I wish to address certain aspects of the decision to hire faculty to the Tenure/Tenure Track (3T) ranks. These requirements apply to every 3T hire, every college.

The history of the position is unimportant. It makes no difference if a vacancy was created by retirement, early retirement, resignation, or death. It makes no difference if the vacant position is of long standing or if a new position is proposed. Every hire to the 3T must be justified as follows.

A detailed analysis of teaching workload will be required. Workloads for a predecessor should be evaluated by analysis of ARPA's and other data. The credit hours produced by the entire department, division, or unit must be presented. Externally funded research dollars must be tallied and presented. Fundamentally, hiring must be justified by workload. Workload statistics must be verified by our internal auditor.

It will be necessary to justify why the work cannot be performed by a lecturer or an adjunct faculty member. The most common justification, I expect, will relate to a research component to the job description. In that regard, new faculty bringing pre-existing external funding will be advantaged.

In general, a research justification for hiring will require that the research proposed relates to one of our approved Centers of Excellence, or one of our approved interdisciplinary schools. Practically, no hiring will be approved without at least 50% of a faculty members' time being spent in an interdisciplinary school.

One of our fundamental institutional values is "diversity." Every effort will be made to hire underrepresented minority faculty.

Every proposal to hire will require a written Mini Business Plan (MBP). What will the faculty member do, what will be the cost, what will be the revenue generated? How will contributions to the mission be measured? Every MBP will require my signature. Every letter of offer must be patterned upon the elements of this MBP.

Faculty are our most important investment vehicle. We don't primarily invest in stocks, derivatives, or real estate; we invest in faculty. We must continue that investment. Faculty hiring is not "frozen." However, in these lean times we must invest carefully, consciously, and with adequate due diligence. That is the purpose of my asking for this approach. Keep recruiting. Continuing seeking out great investments. Find and encourage and hire innovators. Do not allow paralysis to set in!


Anonymous said...

Did you see the e-mail that Jacobs sent to his minions about "Investing in UT Faculty"? Priceless!

Anonymous said...

If we could use the same criteria for "investing in administrators" we could cut most of those positions.

some alum said...

When I read yesterday's letter from ole' Lloyd, I thought, "I wish the profs I had in UT's honors program could have reached Lloyd before his writing got so bad." The passive voice is rarely your friend.

Anonymous said...

"Investment" is a nice word. Sounds positive doesn't it? However, when you read about this "investment strategy" you realize it is "exploitation" that he is talking about. Squeezing "productivity" and "dollars" out of these "workers" is not an investment strategy.

Investing in faculty would have required the use of the word "student" and maybe more than one reference to "teaching"(although he thinks of teaching as a "workload" not as a profession).


a teacher

Anonymous said...

And specificlly, "lj" is saying he has to sign off on every 3t hire in every college: "Every MBP will require my signature. Every letter of offer must be patterned upon the elements of this MBP"

Anonymous said...

Hot off the presses: lj has mandated that UT be the first (or amongst the first) to offer 3 year degrees and the dean of LLSS has volunteered to have LLSS as the first UT college to offer 3 year degrees.

And by way of opinion: it would seem to be that an open university like UT is the LEAST likely university to succeed with 3 year degrees. Only a university with many full time, VERY highly motivated students could make this work.

Arts and Sciences alumnus said...

That letter from 'lj' confirms that the University of Toledo has become an abject disaster. If that's the administration's attitude, no accomplished young scholar is going to join UT's faculty with any purpose in mind other than lengthening a CV for future employment at a *legitimate* university.

As an alumnus of UT and resident of Toledo, I am frustrated at my diploma's loss of value in the community compared to ten years ago.

When is the board of trustees going to stop playing games and bring in an actual leader? Five years is way too long for this hack and his goons.

Anonymous said...

The 3 year degree is being planned - with Fall, 2012, as the projected start for some degrees. The idea is to crunch the Gen Ed classes into one year and one summer semester. Students will still have 120 hours to complete and pay for. I'm sure Distance Learning figures heavily into the equation.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to OSU's response to the 3 year degree mandate:

Anonymous said...

How interesting that Dr. Jacobs' letter proposes such stringent requirements for hiring faculty while making no mention of imposing more stringent requirements for hiring administrators or consultants.

I would like to suggest that we hire no more full-time administrators at bloated salaries when the work could be done by part-time administrators who would work for the same salary as an adjunct instructor with no benefits. Additionally, the viability of that potential administrative candidate should be evaluated on the basis of the previous employee's performance. Furthermore, that candidate's hire would be determined by the performance of the rest of the employees in that unit. No more administrators should be hired without a mini business plan demonstrating how much revenue this administrator would generate versus a complete financial projection of the candidate's cost.

Dr. Jacobs' letter is not about investing in faculty: it is about decimating the faculty.

Anonymous said...

There is no impediment to getting a degree in 3years as things currently stand, unless your required class is cancelled at the last minute or summer session classes under-enroll.

Dean Barlowe's plan calls for students in her three-year program to take 28 hours in the first semester and 26 in the second, followed by 6 in the summer.

Anonymous said...

As has been pointed out repeatedly, UT consistently comes up with meetings and committees, reorganizations, strategic plans, new schools, new administrative hires, admin promotions to reinvent the wheel. 3 year degrees? has been possible all along. What UT administrators are good at is the shell game and smoke and mirrors so as to justify their existences/salaries/bonuses/perks and pad their resumes. It's a game even faculty can play if they learn the requisite ppt skills.

Anonymous said...

Here is one question I have, relating to Anonymous 7:23 PM's post: if the 3 year program envisioned by Dean Barlowe is something students are recruited in to, then won't UT have an obligation to offer the classes necessary to complete it? In other words, won't UT have to offer the classes, even if they would otherwise be cancelled for low enrollment or another reason?

Anonymous said...

I reviewed the information at Ohio State for meeting the 3 year degree program. If a student comes from HS with enough college credits, they can graduate in 3 years. That puts the burden on the High Schools. The burden on Universities is to raise the standards of the students so that they come with enough AP or college credits to graduate early. Interesting, though, OSU recommends against graduating in 3 years since they will miss so much of the college experience and opportunities.

However, it is the newest thing that LJ can chase.

Bloggie said...

Here is comment slightly edited to remove some apparently heartfelt vulgarity. Bloggie apologizes to the commenter for editorial intrusion....

I think LG&S -- Lloydie, Goldie, and the Stooges (BOT, Provost, Mayor, Governor as underwriters) -- are thinking "investment" for real. We are talking ROI - return on investment -- the kind of investment UT is making in maintaining the LG&S Mob and its faculty/staff pawns, but not in faculty that demands intellectual honesty, academic freedom, and political autonomy. No, these ones have got to go -- they are a thorn in your side after all! In these "hard" times, they stop hiring faculty, lay off hundreds of good workers who keep the facilities running, chase away their political enemies and intellectual critics, so they can boost the bonus of these fat cats who may one day run for president on a GOP (grand obsolete party) or Tea Party (teabagger) ticket. Hard times, my foot! Lloydie, llyodie, hear our prayer since you act like some god, thou art so full of EDITED in UT heaven -- UT Hall third floor -- you must have had EDITED for dinner. Tell us something: where did you get your MD? Or is that your license to ruin academia so you can operate a for-profit diploma mill?

Anonymous said...

UT charges a student higher tuition for credit hours taken above 16 (used to be 18).

So while it is true that students could theoretically graduate in 3 years prior to the "new" 3 year proposal, UT in effect penalized any such attempt by charging considerably higher tuition.

Lloyd Jacobs said...

Johns Hopkins

Lloyd Jacobs said...

Johns Hopkins

Anonymous said...

Interesting. "Lloyd Jacobs" ends the conversation by answering the one question no one really cares about.