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Friday, January 18, 2013

Imaginosis 2018: When Incoherence Becomes Policy

The optimal thing, from an administrative point of view, about Five 
Year Plans is that it only takes about five minutes to knock one out.  

Are you ready for the future, Komrade?

First Ingredient: A Glorious Leader (with bonus package)

We must think positively!

The minnow. . .

 . . . will swallow the whale.

 Great minds will employ . . . 

 . . . new technologies . . . 

 . . . to install new knowledge and remove all doubt . . .

 . . . under the omniscient guidance of an ever-growing bureaucracy. . . 

 to reach the masses.

 The New University will allow immediate penetration into virgin minds.

 It will allow us to showcase ever more glorious leaders.

Let us pray. 


Anonymous said...

As these images imply, the campus community enters 2013 continuing to suffer absurd edicts and indignities hand over fist with no relief in sight. For example, minutes ago the University News announced its new reality for its Town Hall meetings:

"The first [Town Hall] will feature a question-and-answer period, and detailed information on the new Main Campus strategic plan, athletics and successes in customer satisfaction at The University of Toledo Medical Center. The program also will feature a performance by music faculty members." Not necessarily in that order.

In other words, our campus Town Hall meetings are going to be transformed into UT marketing extravaganzas: 10% Town Hall and 90% shit-storm.

Leave it to Jacobs Inc. to be reinventing the traditional Town Hall format of 1) inviting the local citizens to come and speak their minds and responding their tough questions and valid complaints to 2) instituting, out of mounting desperation, an absurd new mix of mind-control and media circus. Next they will be serving up finger food to the masses.

The question now is how much -- and in how many ways -- can Jacobs Inc. shovel shit in a new Town Hall media minute?

Anonymous said...

It never ends....firing faculty and staff who actually do work by the score....declining enrollment....but we are getting a brand new VICE PRESIDENT OF ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT AND ONLINE EDUCATION! How long before this heavily listing, top-heavy galleon bristling with vice-presidents completely capsizes?

Anonymous said...

The answer is : as fast as the new College of Communication can help.

Anonymous said...

Re: "100 Faculty Fired at Bowling Green University"

Intercepted email:

L.L. Jacobs, Inc. to M.E. Mazey Inc.

"Anything you can do,
I can do better."

Anonymous said...

Pissing and Dissing

Oh, swell. Jacobs Inc. and Mazey Inc. are engaging in a pissing contest to decide which one can disrespect their university faculties the most.

The wisdom of the crowd is that Prez Jacobs is the better equipped of the two for this contest. But this remains conjecture. He does have by far the longer, stronger record of faculty-dissing.

Moreover: Pres Jacobs is now able to stuff his bladder at will in his new sports bar on the UT main campus. His personal trainer there is an active NFL QB. Quarterbacks on any given Sunday are well known to be able to piss over the moon. Yet let us note here that BGSU has been serving beer on campus since 1970.

This means that Mazey and Jacobs will likely be topping off their beer tanks and disrespectfully pissing on their faculties as often as they like.

Anonymous said...

The "firing" in the headline is misleading. No faculty are being "fired" - at least not yet. Retired faculty are not being replaced, one year contracts are not being renewed, etc.

Will someone report on the Jan 22 LLSS meeting? The Provost is scheduled to attend to talk again about the workload bomb.

Last I heard, after he appeared at Senate a group of Senators went to him and discussed the form sent from his office. He is supposed to have indicated he hadn't read the final version and agreed it needed/might need to be revised since it "might" be in violation of the contract. As far as I know, the work load is on hold pending a new form (and the union has advised all faculty NOT to complete, sign and return the form in its current version).

Amazingly, the Provost has stated a deadline of Feb 6 for workloads to be completed and returned to his office.

Can someone report on the LLSS meeting?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of reporting on meetings: It's problematic that it takes two months for minutes of the Faculty Senate meetings to appear online. Are these meetings open to non-faculty so interested parties can witness the proceedings ourselves?

Anonymous said...

Besides faculty, Jacobs and co have been horrible to non-administrative staff as well. What kind of layoffs will PSA, CWA, police and exempt people see? Any hints? With their disdain of any kind of organized labor it can't be good.

Anonymous said...

Follow up to anonymous 5:42. Two months if we're lucky! And that's because the person responsible is swamped with work. A senate meeting over two months ago vehemently questioned the 39 million deficit and questioned whether the 39 million deficit and 39 million bill at the medical college weren't connected. It's plausible and even likely that the academic faculty are being given increased workloads so as to help pay for bills raked up at the medical college. What everyone needs to realize is that while the Jacobs administration is yelling 'the sky is falling the sky is falling' it has been on a spending frenzy: new colleges, new high paying administrative positions, construction projects... it's a house of cards if enrollment continues to decline.

Anonymous said...

To 5:42 AM. You're right. The official Faculty Senate minutes take far too long to disseminate to the public for any useful purpose. Unofficial coverage of FS meetings should be published at latest within a week after each meeting. They could be published the very next day. This blog is an appropriate place to do accomplish this task. It would be a real public service.

Anonymous said...

LLSS solicited questions for the Provost:

THEME 1: The high level of skepticism regarding the $36 million budget deficit, and the $20 million cost reductions in administrative and academic support versus the $200,000 cost reductions in the academic budgets.

Many faculty are interested in seeing an independent analysis of the balance sheets and income statements that show the sources of revenues and spending, as well as an explanation of how the cost reductions for the various units were calculated. Would you supply the evidence that supports these dollar figures?
THEME 2: The minimum class size policy.

How did you determine the minimum enrollment necessary for a class to count towards workload would be 8 Ph.D. students, 15 graduate students, and 30 undergraduates?

What are the best practices that support these minimum enrollment requirements?

Will this policy be applied to programs that have selective and limited admission due to accreditation, limited funding and/or faculty?
THEME 3: The workload policy and budget deficit.

What portion of the deficit is due to the current workload?

How much of the deficit will be closed by the change in workload?
THEME 4: The unintended consequences of changes in both the work load and the minimum class size policy on the following:
Retention and Enrollment.

UT has one of the lowest retention rates in the state of Ohio, and there is documented evidence that personal, face-to-face contact between professors and students is key to improving retention. What is the administration’s projection of these policies’ effects on retention rates?

Along the same lines, has there been any discussion of how these policies will affect future enrollment?
Tenure and Promotion. These new workload expectations are likely to have a direct impact on the research productivity of tenured and tenure-track faculty members.

Will letters of expectation be honored or renegotiated?

Will department and college elaborations on tenure and promotion be modified to reflect the changes in workload?
Student Research.

Many graduate programs require theses and dissertations. If supervising these projects will not count toward workload, how will we maintain graduate programs without faculty to supervise student projects?

Along the same lines, the workload policy will also reduce the incentive to supervise undergraduate research (independent studies, honors theses). Will students be informed these opportunities may not be available at the University of Toledo?
The relationship between teaching and research.

What do you see as the relationship between teaching and research?
Academic quality.

Given you have stated you’d work to promote and protect academic quality, what discussions have you had regarding how the workload policy will affect the quality of education offered by the University?
THEME 5. The DL Policy.

The DL policy that allows a 3-hour reduction to faculty workload per semester for every 40 students who enroll in the course offers some perverse incentives, e.g., satisfying the 12 credit hour teaching load with 1 section of DL with 120 students . We understand that you’ve talked in other venues about revising this section of the workload policy. What type of revisions are you considering?
THEME 6. Communication.

The construction of the workload policy was not discussed openly with faculty leaders until it was signed by the Deans. Why not approach the faculty with changes before they are announced allowing us to work together to develop solutions?

Anonymous said...

Something just occurred to me. In all the years he has been lording it over UT, I have never ever once heard anyone say anything good about generalissimo Jacobs. Not once, never, nada....

Anonymous said...

I don't work at UT (an alum), and so I don't have any skin in the game, but why hasn't the faculty taken a "no confidence" vote on Jacobs? When he got the job, he said he would stay 10 years. I, and the University, can't wait that long.

Anonymous said...

Jacobs has the support of the BOT, Columbus, and, for the most part, the courts. The courts, traditionally the recourse of last resort for the union, have, in Ohio, moved away from workers rights. The last time Jacobs raised workload the union took it to the courts as a violation of the contract (which seems to state explicitly that individual departments determine workload and not higher ups). The union lost.

Anonymous said...

If the faculty took the time to take a no confidence vote, it would be worth far more in value than the effort that goes into looking up pictures of prairie dogs. Imagine complaining for seven years and never taking a faculty vote? Doesn't this mean faculty prefer to complain in this juvenile fashion than to professionally assume their responsibilities? I also am not a current member of UT faculty.

Anonymous said...

The latest turn is departments are taking a shot at submitting "exceptions" to the new workload to the Provost.

He was supposed to meet LLSS from 4-4:45 today.

Hope someone(s) will report on the meeting!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I guess that is the real reason behind this, the republican push to continue to neuter and hamstring anything that can aid the democratic party including public employees, public education and their unions. That is what it is all about and will have to be fought at the statehouse level.

Anonymous said...

UT AAUP just disclosed a link (used by the Provost) to the publication by Nathan Harden "The end of the university as we know it" predicting that Harvard will enroll 10,000,000 students on line, etc.

That prediction and the willingness to use it by the Provost only tell that neither the author nor the provost have a faintest idea of how Harvard, MIT, Yale and other big universities succeed.

A major factor of their success is not that they have brilliant instructors implementing best teaching success. Quite the opposite, many professors there are relatively poor instructors missing advanced teaching skills compared to many instructors in second rate universities.

What makes Harvard, MIT, Stanford and similar schools unique, attractive, and very successful is that they (1) select faculty based on their research abilities and achievements; (2) that faculty present material from the unique perspective of active successful researchers; sometimes that presentations can be clumsy and hard to follow, yet reflecting the live science approach; (3) that that scientifically active faculty introduce their students to the club making directing them individually, setting the necessary connections for their future careers, etc.

Enrolling 10,000,000 students will effectively destroy all the above making those famous schools equal to any second rate college trying to broadcast its lectures. Of course, these schools can try IN ADDITION to broadcast their teaching material, but that will never become their major attraction.

It's sad we have to explain these basic mechanisms to our Provost who is planning against research, against non standard teaching, and against personal mentoring.

Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 12:20 Re: prairie dogs and no confidence votes

Very well said! Too bad it will fall on deaf ears.

You know, if you disagree with the tactics (such that they are) of this blog you get labeled a shill. Sometimes I wonder if this entire blog is a shill, meant to give the faculty a sandbox to vent in, rather than to take "revoltionary action".

As I said before, victims can become collaborators through their inactions.

Anonymous said...

Re: Pissing and Dissing
If you speak for the "crowd" as you profess, then please explain why the crowd does not take a no confidence vote? If you speak just for the flamers on campus who are all hot air and no committment to change, then keep pissing and dissing, it won't matter.

Anonymous said...

The record will reveal that "no confidence" votes against Jacobs Inc. were formally introduced on five separate occassions during the past five years, four times in A&S Council and once in Faculty Senate. On three of these occasions a vots was proposed by an elected representative. On two occasions the vote was proposed from the floor. In every instance the vote was tabled by timid brown-nosers who have all since taken administration positions at increased pay. Like it or not, this is the way the corrupting reward system for faculty works at UT under the thumb of Jacobs Inc.

Anonymous said...

If you're concerned about the workload policy and how it will affect students, come to the open forum tomorrow, thurs. Jan. 24, 3-5 in Doermann Theater. The forum is sponsored by the Faculty Senate, the AAUP and the Provost's office. Air your concerns and opinions. Now is the time.

Anonymous said...

Almost all area colleges experienced enrollment drops again but none as HUGE as UT. 4% as opposed to 1% for BG. I think the problem with UT is akin to what is described here, only it involves what Jacobs and co is doing to the university over the past years with all of their attempts at experimentation, examination and prescription for "improvement":

Anonymous said...

The biggest drop of 4% at UT can be attributed to the most radical restructuring of colleges compared to other area schools that didn't undergo such transformations. The related sense of instability have certainly affected plans of our potential students. Based on this interpretation, the currently proposed changes will have even more destructive effect: expect another 10% drop next year.

Anonymous said...

And when enrollment takes another hit next year Jacobs will simply give the BOT a powerpoint of Nathan Harden's "The end of the university as we know it" and conclude with "I told you so!"

Anonymous said...

A work stoppage for 5 days will cause people to sit up and notice.

Anonymous said...

Of course rumors are all over the place about an angry president attacking faculty and changing everything for the sake of change. As a result prospective students can't plan ahead lost in rapidly changing landscape of colleges and programs. I'm surprised it's only 4% drop by now. Also, we'll see a noticeable fraction of current students leaving UT soon: they can't plan either and are deeply concerned.

Gabba said...

Let us sing a song of no confidence, brethren.

Anonymous said...

Report on what transpired at the LLSS meeting with the Provost today?

Anonymous said...

The Provost worked through his incoherent deck of P-point slides for an hour. Then lots of excellent questions/comments from faculty and suggestions, too. I saw no admins other than Scarborough weathering the storm of questions standing center stage.

Anonymous said...

The man is stalwart. The salary helps.

Anonymous said...

Will the salary go up after he is done with his training period? Seriously, no commitment to UT, no long range vision of what a real university should be. People like him know in advance that they only come to stir up a dust storm of change, suck up a big salary and bonuses, and then bail out with the golden parachutes they give themselves, leaving a dizzy, weary, and much poorer university for the next round of snake oil salesmen. I have seen it over and over again right here at good old UT.

Anonymous said...

It is indeed more than time to take a vote of no confidence in the BOT, Lloyd Jacobs, Jeff Gold and Scott Scarborough. Note that the first initiatives Scott launched when he first arrived at UT included trying to sneak HigherEd Holdings past the faculty, and a re-evaluation of "unnecessary courses" that he labelled as "boutique courses". Like Jacobs, he keeps trying the same thing over and over. He continues to repeat the same thing again and again as if repeating it will make it true that we have a huge budget shortfall. His solution is always that the students and the faculty have to sacrifice, even as he and Dave Dabney can't seem to control administrative extravagance. IF we have the budget shortfall he claims, doesn't he bear the responsibility for the repeated shortfalls that previously occured on his watch as CFO and that set the stage for the current "crisis"? Doesn't Dave Dabney bear responsibility for his performance as CFO during this last crisis? Where has Jacobs led us except into one failed experiment (i.e., COIL, JHCOEHSHS) after another, one enrollment decline after another? Isn't a university president supposed to devote a large part of his time to raising funds for the institution? How much money has he raised for this institution? As for Jeff Gold, he has decimated the budget and assets of this university with his short-sighted pursuit of rankings and outrageously expensive construction projects. They have all siphoned off resources to pay their bloated salaries and bonuses. Meanwhile, the BOT sees nothing, hears nothing, says nothing. Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 7:56

That was exceptionally well said. It it time for action, not cartoons.

Anonymous said...

The faculty should demand an open, external audit of UT' finances in an open letter to the administration printed in the Blade. How does our budget crisis compared to our peer group in Ohio, for example BGSU, YSU, CSU, KSU, etc.

Anonymous said...

So, with only one attempted no-confidence in Faculty Senate in 7 years (that was tabled and presumably could not get a 2/3 to over-ride)what is meant by enough is enough? Even the mice in Walt Disney movies have been known to strike.

Anonymous said...

Some may think it unfair that anonymous folks on the internet are demanding direct action from the faculty while not starting anything on our own. But please consider the reality on campus. Who actually has the organizational struture to effect change, besides the faculty?

Student government is made up of bootlickers, and the PSA and CWA seem impotent (maybe there's hope for AFSCME), but the faculty have both a union and a senate that can make things happen. With faculty leadership, a lot of us who have no effective representation of our own would come aboard and participate in protest actions.

Many of us respect the faculty and the history of UT and are wondering when you'll take your university back.

Anonymous said...

Jacobs Inc. is like a plague cycle; very sad but there is no magic pill. You just have to tough it out and vow to never sell yourself out to the Devil Rat.

Its been a seven year plague to date. That is about how long it takes until a bad plague plays out. Seven years. It says so in the Bible.

The tyranny of this plague at UT has about played itself out. Looking back, I have watched friends and other members of our beloved campus community drop dead, disappear, and go ditzy paranoid. All victims of an asenine Strategic Plan.

Carpetbagging administrators and their faculty stooges are genetically coded to move up and out. Call it the "seven-year itch" or the "seven-year plague;" what's the difference? Time is about up for these plague rats and their fleas. The biggest fish in this kettle of calamity is already floundering in its own net.

Meanwhile, Rick, Rihana and Ruby Rocket will just persevere while completing their tasks the best they can. They continue to pass in the halls with knowing winks. They bide their time. They strive on, day by day, vowing to outlast the rat b******s.

And after the last rat administrator leaves the survivors of the rubble left behind can sit down at their keyboards and compose essays and books about The History of the UT Decline Owing to the Plague of 2006-2013, full of juicy anecdotes and making sure to name names. They can publish their indictments of Jacobs Inc. on the Internet for all to see and to know and to remember.