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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Free Speech?

I have a couple seemingly unrelated pieces of information that I thought folks might like to know about. First, the Independent Collegian is moving back on campus with an advisor. He will apparently report to Tobin Klinger. It will now change its name to the Dependent Collegian. My how short some memories are.

Second the Board of Trustees, that group of happy campers, has amended its by-laws so that Board Members are not allowed to disagree in public with announced Board Policy. As I always say let by-laws be by-laws.


Jon Strunk said...

Hi Dr. Tucker,

I'm disappointed you didn't work to find out more of the facts on this before posting.

The new advisor is named Erik Gable, special projects editor for the Adrian Telegram. He reports to the Independent Collegian Media Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) organization with its own board. He will have no reporting relationship to anyone in the Univ. Communications office.

The relationship between the UT/the University Communications Office and the IC is the same as it is between UT and other independent news organizations in town.

The implication that moving on campus will automatically cause IC editors and reporters to lose their ability to think critically and print the news as they see fit seems to me an unwarranted slight against their abilities.

The fact that they have an independent newspaperman serving as an advisor strikes me as a very positive step for them and a way for them to get professional advice on how an independent newspaper operates.

I hope you'll consider positing this comment.

For those who may not know, I serve as media relations manager for UT and, full disclose, I had Dr. Tucker as a professor for three different classes in college and had a great deal of respect for him. I enjoyed his sense of humor and his cat stories.

Anonymous said...

Free Speech?? What are you talking about? It seems to me like they are paying pretty good money for it. With speech, you only get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

Independent Council on Foreign Relations report warns US educational failures pose national security threat

Lack of adequate STEM education a key component in educational failure

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where the "facts" are at the University of Toledo? It seems to me that our administrators have taken particular care to make the "facts," as they are traditionally known, unobtainable.

For example, there are no more "Blue Books" printed for the public and not so public. Special purpose fees now get hidden in the General Fund. The University owns a company in the Cayman Islands to hold funds for the Docs. The voices of faculty have been stamped on. People have been intimidated by the actions against those who dare to speak out.

Pray tell, where are these "facts" kept so that we can find them out?

Anonymous said...

This BOT will soon be internally divided and will hopefully implode, causing the same in UT's high ranks.

Blue Book? Since Jacobs Inc has hijacked this university -- turning it into a private/for-profit pseudo-academic enterprise (you may learn just as much by reading Reader's Digest in Dr. Gold's lobby incidentally also called the UTMC) -- at tax-payers cost-- there is no need to go public.

No Lemon Law will apply to UT until this administration and its friends among deans, faculty, media, and other scab will line up to support this madness. They do not realize they are digging their own graves (and for others) on the long run.

You can have all the science, medical, engineering you want -- I am not talking down on these -- but when you undercut or destroy the Humanities, you take the creative/intellectual component out. We might as well rename UT, the Boor-Land College, because it will only produce boorish graduates if this continues. You have been warned!

Anonymous said...

"Board Members are not allowed to disagree in public with announced Board Policy." // This sounds like the action of an organization with serious doubts about its own credibility. I'm glad the board is starting to grasp what everyone else in town has known since 2006.

Anonymous said...

Does the Board have any credibility to start with? So, they need not to doubt what they ain't got, because they will get no respect till they divorce themselves from Jacobs, Inc.

They may regain some of that by splitting MCO from UT and restore a semblance of what this university was...with a respectable library (lose COIL!)

Anonymous said...

The Board doesn't merger and split UT and MCO. That was an act by the Ohio legislature and even the most liberal Dems down there would never do that. Merging campuses is an efficiency talking point for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Please show me the "efficiency" that we gained by merging the universities. It seems that MUO has gained a larger budget based on what they can pull out of UT. Meanwhile UT has a "20 million dollar shortfall" despite revenue increases. And yet we don't even have enough people to get a simple action like preparing W-2's correctly!

Anonymous said...

While the average American gets hammered from all sides with unemployment and unrelenting economic hardship, public sector hot-shots on the dole (i.e. living on the taxpayers' dime) continue to party like it's 1999:

Anonymous said...

Re ‘Boorish’ Anonymous April 14, 2012 6:59 AM

…Then again, given the “ascent” from the gutter into the mainstream rationalizing and enabling postmodern academy, of the degenerate “bohemian” lives “art” and ideology (i.e. ugly, toxic, incoherent, sex, drugs, booze, rock and roll, revolution, narcissism, mental illness, suicide, psycho-babble and pseudo-intellectual raving and propaganda) – from the likes of Marx, Rimbaud, Picasso, Joyce, Woolf, Henry Miller, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Hunter Thompson, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Michel Foucault to Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and countless jazz, rock, blues and hip-hop artists, to Richard Pryor, John Belushi, Chris Farley and countless comedians, to countless artists, writers, journalists, musicians, movie stars and media personalities to Madonna, Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Kanye West, Bobbie Brown, Whitney Houston, Robert Downey Jr., Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan and Demi Moore, etc. etc. – the demise of contemporary liberal arts academic, artworld and pop-cultural boorishness and degeneracy-worship might actually result in a return to some civility, common decency, social values, high-mindedness and real art, culture and higher education for a change.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous of April 18, 2012 1:13 PM

I must agree. There is a cyclic or pendulum-like movement between the two extremes. There is a lot more to humanities than the names you listed -- courtesy of a media further propagating the boorish side of popular culture through some celebrities and the likes. Not everything is trashy in postmodernism and poplar culture, except when we get too much Jerry Springer and the likes.

The only way the pendulum gets to swing in the right direction if it is given a chance by the educational system.

Jacobs, Inc. & Co (of cronies) need to understand that the arts and humanities are taught for the values and aesthetics and not the profits that the business, medical, engineering, and science programs are expected to generate.

Singed: the "boorish" anonymous

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:36: The merger does not need to have *actually* increased efficiency; it is enough for proponents merely to claim that it did. Remember, we are adopting practices from corporate America, and accepting whatever makes you feel good without evidence is Corporate Practice #1.

Anonymous said...

Re boorish anon 2

Glad you agree. There is FAR too much emphasis on the modernist and postmodernist degenerates of art, literature, culture and pop culture - and in academia of all places - to the point where young people are too often led to infer that the way to creative genius (or at least an appearance on Oprah) is through extreme, irresponsible self-destructive behaviors, drugs and the bottom of a booze bottle i.e. if I want to be the next Van Gogh or Hemingway – it’s booze, drugs, insanity and suicide all the way, baby.

If ever their was a time that we did not need the arts to be cynical and degenerate and self-absorbed and preoccupied with political correctness and telling us all that we are crap and life is crap and there is darkness in the human condition – it’s now.

Jane Austen, George Eliot and the Brontes get their due in the current canon and rightly so (perhaps more than their due if for no other reason than that they’re girls) along with a few others, but many Victorian and Edwardian novelists for instance have been widely and very wrongly dismissed as bourgeois – in favor of the self-indulgent and/or dark and degenerate drivel of everyone from Gertrude Stein, Henry Miller (who, full disclosure, I did read and enjoy during my ill-spent youth) and Eugene O’Neill to Hunter Thompson & Co. etc.

And this is no Victorian prude speaking here – I can actually “get” even the likes of Palahniuk’s Fight Club or McCarthy’s Blood Meridian or Ellis’s American Psycho.

But for truly masterly writing, the sort that lingers on your palette like fine wine, you absolutely cannot beat the likes of Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope, Henry James, T. S. Eliot, Kipling, P. G. Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Robert Graves, Lawrence Durrell, Somerset Maugham, E. M Forrester, Edith Wharton etc. – people who in turn took their cues from earlier masters of the language – Gibbon et al.

The Great Books and Western Canon of Mortimer Adler, Harold Bloom, the U of Chicago and Honors Programs are the only hope.

Anyway – who knows if people will even still be reading the written word 50 years from now – let alone reading good literature or appreciating great paintings or classical music.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon. posting on April 20, 2012 12:59 PM (boorish anon 2.)

Perhaps the greatest assault on true narratives after Cliff Notes is the Web. Not only has it caused the average attention span (when it comes to deep reading) among today's youth to decline -- hats off to any exception; there are those who truly belong to serious academic work -- but it has lead to the deterioration of writing as well. Mass media will give you what you need to know, so you do not need to go to libraries (for purposes other than facebook and more texting -- and UT libraries are headed that way -- only one more floor of books to go...)

Here is twitter -- if you need more than 140 characters to get someone's attention you do not belong there. So, you start using texting shorthand (OMG, LOL, etc.) to the point that it becomes the standard, and some instructors may even embrace that.

Off those you listed, I really like P. G. Wodehouse, but Dickens, Austen, and others (Dostoyevsky) are worth reading. I agree with your concern that in 50 years, the narrative will be extinct either in the hands of popular culture or the PC police. We will see Cliff Notes Masterworks, narratives with 80% of text redacted by the PC police, and course texts 140 or fewer characters in length may emerge as standard. Who needs textbooks???

If the anti-Humanities assault by Jacobs, Inc and Co (of cronies) continues, UT will become TU - Twitter University...