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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Administration for Administration's Sake (Or Where's All the Money?)


Anonymous said...


I am so tired of my lowly existence as faculty; I need me a real job in enrollment management with 220K pay and fringe benefits. How can I apply?

My qualifications:

-- learned to use the iPad at Best Buy University...was the class valedictorian in the graduating class of 1! You think your Harvard PhD was difficult...

Anonymous said...

perhaps he is worth the continual decline in enrollment? sort of like rewarding surgeons for the number of people who die (and hence have fewer later costs).

Anonymous said...

"sort of like rewarding surgeons for the number of people who die".

I love the analogy! What's worse is a failing surgeon still in the hot seat ruining thos mockery of higher education.

What's wore is that Toledo is tolerating this. Toledo does not need a university when it has a number of other higher education institutions taking education more seriously. Why does it need another community college when there is Owens CC?

If Toledo had really cared, it would have forced its local media to lead a serious inquiry into this; it would have boycotted the businesses of those with BOT members sucking taxpayers' money for their own financial gain.

None of this has happened, so Toledo, here is crap to you -- Love it or leave it!

Anonymous said...

"Leadership in enrollment management" = Using the Internet and false advertising in higher education administration to sqeeze blood (profits) from stones (students and taxpayers) in a depressed economy without breaking into a sweat or losing any sleep over it.

Akin in both theory and practice to well injection.

Anonymous said...

"What's even funnier is that we call it "The University of Toledo." It reads like "The Surgeon" of Toledo is in charge of "the university" that no Toledoan cares about. Perhaps Mike Bell and Kasich can sell it to the highest bidder -- who would notice as long as there are free UT tickets and free pizza for students? El Gordo: you can gorge yourself on free food, but a number of us are eager to see you and your cronies leave ASAP!!!


excuse me for the typos in a previous posting:

What's worse is a failing surgeon still in the hot seat RUNNING THIS mockery of higher education.

What's EVEN WORSE is that Toledo is tolerating this.

Anonymous said...

Half the city still thinks it's TU. Don't expect them to force any kind of change.

Anonymous said...

"Half the city still thinks it's TU. Don't expect them to force any kind of change."

Holy Gordo!

Imagine Lordy Gordy sitting on the TU throne for almost 70 years. Nobody in Toledo would have questioned, or that might have been too much of a progress in Holy Toledo.

Anonymous said...

What follows might be interesting given what is happening at UT and elsewhere; it is the editorial review of The University in Ruins, by Bill Readings, Harvard University Press, 1997.

It is no longer clear what role the University plays in society. The structure of the contemporary University is changing rapidly, and we have yet to understand what precisely these changes will mean. Is a new age dawning for the University, the renaissance of higher education under way? Or is the University in the twilight of its social function, the demise of higher education fast approaching?

We can answer such questions only if we look carefully at the different roles the University has played historically and then imagine how it might be possible to live, and to think, amid the ruins of the University. Tracing the roots of the modern American University in German philosophy and in the work of British thinkers such as Newman and Arnold, Bill Readings argues that historically the integrity of the modern University has been linked to the nation-state, which it has served by promoting and protecting the idea of a national culture. But now the nation-state is in decline, and national culture no longer needs to be either promoted or protected. Increasingly, universities are turning into transnational corporations, and the idea of culture is being replaced by the discourse of "excellence." On the surface, this does not seem particularly pernicious.

The author cautions, however, that we should not embrace this techno-bureaucratic appeal too quickly. The new University of Excellence is a corporation driven by market forces, and, as such, is more interested in profit margins than in thought. Readings urges us to imagine how to think, without concession to corporate excellence or recourse to romantic nostalgia within an institution in ruins. The result is a passionate appeal for a new community of thinkers.

Anonymous said...

There is another review of Reading's book at I think this is serious stuff for a liberal arts university or college. Professional schools, such nursing, pharmacy, medicine, dentistry etc are the exception to the book and I think are profitable still. The problem remains pre-professional education. Is there some general knowledge that a students needs to know before entering a professional school? Or can professional schools deliver all that is needed?

Anonymous said...

so, one important quest....who (how many) of our colleagues do we represent? I propose an election in which every individual who contributes to this blog checks "yes". That will yield an unduplicated count (voluntarily) of participants. So, hown many are we? 20 or 200? 30 or 300?. Time to shit or piss.

Anonymous said...

A vote is a good idea.

Just came in: Egyptian President Morsi has been deposed. Depending on affiliation, this is either good or bad, but an elected president has been removed. And here we are in a self-declared democracy in the USA where we cannot even do anything about the Jacobs regime! They are ransacking the university...politically, intellectually, and financially ...and here we are in an impotent democracy that forces us to watch.

July 4 is around the corner. While it commemorates political independence from Britain, we are still slaves of a mentality that prevents us from freeing ourselves intellectually from dictators like Jacobs, cronies, and the BOT. So, we may be celebrating some slogan used to dull masses, not our intellectual independence. That, dear colleagues, we have yet to earn.

Anonymous said...

University Suspends Online Classes After More Than Half the Students Fail

By Will Oremus

Posted Friday, July 19, 2013, at 5:16 PM
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Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun speaks after receiving an ingenuity award for education last fall.

Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun speaks after receiving Smithsonian Magazine's ingenuity award for education last fall.

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images for Smithsonian Magazine

In January, San Jose State University made a big announcement: It had reached a deal with the startup Udacity to offer college classes for credit online, for a modest fee, not only to its own students but to anyone who wanted to take them. The move was touted as a major step in online learning’s Clay Christensen-approved march toward the ultimate disruption of higher education.

It seems, however, that there are a few more kinks to work out before we all toss out the books and the buildings for good. Inside Higher Ed reported on Thursday that San Jose State is suspending the Udacity partnership just six months after it launched. The problem: More than half the students in the first batch of online courses failed their final exams.

Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun, a machine-learning legend at Stanford and Google, told the AP that the failure rates in the five classes ranged from 56 to 76 percent. Nor was the course material exactly rocket science—the five classes were in elementary statistics, college algebra, entry-level math, introduction to programming, and introduction to psychology.

Thrun did note that 83 percent of students had completed the classes, a far higher rate than is typical for the free, open courses that have come to be known as MOOCs. Why so many failed is not fully clear, though the AP cites “officials” saying that a lot of the students who signed up had little college experience or were working full-time while taking the classes.

On the bright side, Thrun said Udacity had gained some valuable data from the experience. “We are experimenting and learning,” he said. “That to me is a positive.”

Sure, gaining experience is good. And there’s nothing wrong with experimentation. It’s a sure bet that somehow, at some point, online instruction will indeed reshape higher education, if perhaps in more modest ways than its most ardent backers assume. Missteps are part of the process.

Still, this is not the first heavily hyped online-learning venture to make headlines for going dramatically awry. The question is, what university will be eager to offer up its students as the next lab rats in what amounts to a massive pedagogical R&D program by for-profit Silicon Valley startups?

Anonymous said...

Interesting how little traffic there is during summer. Almost as if faculty expect to relax and vacation summer. So much for real life anxiety, maybe revolutions all took summer off. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the San Jose State story. I expect we'll hear more stories like this as people experience first-hand that there is no such thing as a free lunch!

Anonymous said...

"University Suspends Online Classes After More Than Half the Students Fail"

The problem is not with the students but with a faculty working hard to retain some respect and dignity to the term "higher education" or "university." Please do not force them to write longer than 140 characters, as they are not aspiring to be keynote speakers or novelists. Jacobs's Academy is the Relevant University: University to Masses Uninterested in Education, so the University decided to be Relevant to the Mediocracy.
They just wanna party and get a UT diploma from Grand Masters Jacobs, Scarborough, Gold, and the cronies.

Anonymous said...

Survey your students about online classes. I asked my students who had taken an online class before and what they thought of it. Half the students had taken online classes. Half of those had taken the same class that I was teaching them in a traditional class.

What? They had already received credit for my course? All of these students said they received an A for their online course but were retaking it since they hadn't learned anything.

So they did better (on paper?) than these students at San Jose State. But they were smart enough to know that you don't go to college just to get an A. Sometimes you want to learn something too.

my 2 cents

Anonymous said...

Re low summer posting traffic on the ASC Blog…

Perhaps a little JdS critique and levity might help spice things up a bit.


Did you know that sometimes the way some people feel about some things can make them feel like feeling other things about other things – and that this can sometimes make them feel like doing some things – or sometimes doing other things for whatever reason – or not?

Well, it’s true.

And the cutting edge published education research article linked below, with all the obligatory meaningless pseudo-scientific data and charts and copious references to each other’s silly, meaningless work proves it.

Reading this sort of pretentious nonsense will literally hurt any intelligent reader’s brain. Proceed at your own risk.

Don’t worry – we have tons more where this came from to back it all up – and our massive nationwide consortium of pseudo-academic college and university taxpayer subsidized education busy work factories – utilizing cheap student, staff and adjunct slave labor – are diligently working 24-7 to churn out truckloads more daily.

If the reader applies the proverbial academic bullshit extrusion and disposal methodologies to cut out all the extraneous crap in this journal article (utilizing what serious academics often refer to as Occam’s Razor) – to remove the obligatory profusion of references to each other’s meaningless pseudo-academic research and all the nifty pseudo-scientific charts, graphs, buzzwords, pseudo-academic jargon, arbitrary subjective, qualitative dart throwing speculation and other assorted pseudo-academic bells and whistles – all that remains after all the BS has been removed is, well, precisely nothing.

This journal article (which in this particular instance represents some of the recent published academic work of a certain Distinguished Professor of Education, who receives a salary of over $300K per year and has been the recipient of a steady stream of large federal “research” funding grants) represents the sort of ubiquitous pseudo-academic “important research” Martin Anderson refers to in his scathing critique of higher education “Imposters in the Temple: The Decline of the American University”.

In case you ever wondered where all those hundreds of billions of American federal, state and local taxpayer education dollars disappear to each year, while our education system continues its flaming death spiral – well, now you know.

We do not begrudge people the right to earn good livings (or at least a living wage) – nor do we begrudge particularly ambitious, hard working, dedicated, intelligent, capable and gifted people the reward of having a prestigious high salary career – especially if they have gone to all the trouble of paying their dues and enduring many years out of coping with the often unimaginably stifling politics and bullshit and petty office or department intrigues and endless “issues” with A-hole bosses and “colleagues” and assorted clients and constituents – all of which come with simply trying to earn a living and have a career in academia, non-profits, government or pretty much anywhere else.

But is there really nothing better for good, intelligent people to do in academia than this?


Anonymous said...

Ed School Confidential continued.

Is their really no better use of our limited human and capital resources (especially now in the current economic climate), when they are so obviously desperately needed elsewhere – than having an endless proliferation of pseudo-academic programs and departments and an elite corps of privileged high-salary, big-title education pseudo-academics and armies of assorted public sector busy work drones and bureaucrats spending their entire careers engaged in the tedious and meaningless Kafkaesque enterprise of self-serving careerist self-promotion and PoMo PC gibber-jabber – shuffling mountains of meaningless and useless paper from the In Box to the Out Box and shoveling what amounts to little more than massive heaps of pretentious verbal manure into endless memos and studies and programs and publications?

In academia as with life in general, we should all always adhere to the Hippocratic Oath: Primum non nocere (first, do no harm).

Step one in academia would be removing the proverbial and much loathed and dreaded “publish or perish” mandate.

Unless someone actually has something meaningful to say, please don’t force them (or indeed even allow them) to say it – at least not on the public dime.

Find something else for them to do where nobody has to get hurt.

Step two would be getting rid of tenure, so that we could far more easily jettison the pseudo-academic dead weight without having to move heaven and earth just to get rid of one single bad apple – which is pretty much what is required now.

Even modestly competent people would have little to worry about from the elimination of tenure – indeed it would be much easier for more really good people to advance – but the notorious campus slackers and deadbeats and posers and charlatans would definitely need to either straighten up or start looking over their shoulders for flying pink slips.

How about some serious research into finding enough meaningful, useful and fulfilling work for American academics and indeed people in general to do?

Wouldn’t it be great if one day we could all go to work and not only earn a good living but actually love our jobs and know we were doing something that actually mattered – and not merely punching a clock and wasting our lives playing silly political mind games and mass-producing bullshit?

I’m just sayin’…

Supporting Qualitative Data:

Using Innovative Postmodern Child Education, Development, Parenting and Therapy Theory to mold the psyche of the inevitably perpetually adolescent and dysfunctional contemporary PC male child (and future Marxist-Feminist Postmodern academic or artist):


Anonymous said...

"Interesting how little traffic there is during summer. Almost as if faculty expect to relax and vacation summer. So much for real life anxiety, maybe revolutions all took summer off. What a joke."

You are assuming that a large number of faculty post here or even care about this blog - the vast majority do not as only a hand full drive this board. Those other faculty apparently have much better things to do (writing, research, summer teaching, and yes vacations) then to bother with this blog. If you are looking for a revolution it certainly is not going to start here.

Anonymous said...

God, I will never complain about a slow blog again....

Anonymous said...

I see Bloggie threw your rants into the recyclables bin by mistake. So here they are again. What a manure pile you generate: What do you do, eat the Wall Stree Journal every day with Forbes for dessert? Than fart to the tune of lunatic Fox radio? I bet you have a lot of cats -- though they keep running away for some reason that you have yet to comprehend.

Bloggie said...

Nothing quite like civil discourse.

Anonymous said...

this blog has its place and role, but it would be delusional to think for a moment that a revolution woudl spring here by a handful of posters when vast majority of faculty are not here nor even aware of its existence. Sure it is some fun home for discussion and debates but certainly not for all the truth and facts as to want is happening at UT, to gain a better understanding actually talk to faculty or better attend the many public meetings of the BOT, Faculty Senate, Grad Council, Colleges etc... to learn and understand the massive changes going on and concerns raised - much of which you never see posted here and if you do it is often late and watered down.

Anonymous said...

As some may recall, the halcyon days for this blog were back when the college was also still "A&S" and Barlowe wanted to discuss a motion, was it at the faculty senate?, to contact this blog and ask it to change its name, or some such. In the years since I've gotten into the habit of only giving the blog cursory attention. I listen to and discuss UT's problems in countless meetings and hallways and via personal email and phone converstaions, and repeating it all on this blog isn't a priority or even worth the time anymore, particularly since this blog is usually preoccupied with issues that don't interest me (personal attacks, over the top calls for "revolutions," rantings about postmodernism, etc). Instead of learning anything or discussing the issues relevant to UT, mostly what happens here just give glimpses into the psyches and preoccupations of the half dozen or so posters who regularly contribute.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Went to BOT meetings (all is well). Read senate minutes (oh kind master would you please explain?). talked to faculty who are too afraid to be identified. Saw the big salaries of the current administrators. Watched enrollment decline and administrative profit bloat, explaining the economy as the factor (never mind the promises of bright boys in recent years). The whirl pool in the toilet is pretty evident. What am i missing?

Anonymous said...

"What am I missing"

Pretty much everything if you ready and reply on this blog.

My point being that this blog adds nothing new to the discussion, the previous poster is very correct this blog adds very little to the discussions and actions regarding issues and concerns on this campus.

Many important issues of concern never get raised here, to name just a few:

changes to Honors College, the new YouCollege, move of Communications, cut of part time faculty and VAPS, status of AAUP contract, changes to advising..etc...

Instead we are subject to silly and petty debates and posts, leading to a blog read by few and relevant to fewer....

Bloggie said...

Then add something, whiner.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you do not have a legitimate contract and haven't had one for several years shows how gutless the faculty really are. You are content to work for 2011 salaries which were below national norms to begin with to avoid your responsibilities in being a partner in leading the improvement of education at your 4th tier university. You fail to even comment on important changes occurring at the university despite your displeasure with them. You are vassals and accept your fate as you head to the gallows, or worse, starvation. Give it up, all up. Apparently, you do not regard your profession as a calling. You have a "job"and you are happy for only that. Let your corporate bosses determine how and what you will profess. You are nothing but paid mouthpieces since you refuse to act. You serve their interests, not those of your profession. You exist at the convenience of the management and you are regarded as entirely replaceable if you fail to cower like a dog to their whims.

Anonymous said...

the only whining I see here is from posters calling for a revolution to rise from this blog - a dead blog with little involvement of faculty and no relevant discussions and debates of the real and current issues facing UT

Bloggie said...

Whining about the blog that you don't read? Yeah. right.

Anonymous said...

Contract: takes two to tango. If the admin doesn't agree to meetings, doesn't bargain in good faith, etc, then nothing the faculty do can force a new contract. In fact, faculty probably benefit from keeping the old contract, because of the faculty-friendly benefits package. Any small increase in pay in any new contract would be more than offset by an increase in faculty contributions to benefits. Thinking is also the admins are waiting for something from Columbus - 'right to work' legislation, whatever, that will empower the admins to break the back of the union, tenure, etc... or their just waiting until the anticipated round of retirements... or both. In any case, it's the admin that's stalling.

Anonymous said...

Anyone see the article in the Chronicle that notes that an accreditor has ordered Tiffin University to stop enrolling students in their Ivy Bridge College? Now, where exactly have I heard about Tiffin University and the successful enrollment management at Ivy Bridge College? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

How pathetic!

You ever hear of a strike to a complaint to the Labor Relations Board? Have you gotten your State Representatives involved? Have you gotten your State or/and National AAUP organizations involved? Surely you can do better than just accept the status quo! Even an informational picket would be better than doing nothing but wait on the other side to favorable reactions in Columbus.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Blade article about Ivy Bridge.

I have no doubt that Ivy Bridge was "break-even" for TU. I doubt it was "break-even" for Altius.

Wonder what Cruickshank earned on this arrangement?

Anonymous said...

Well let's see, last year the union hosted numerous meetings to answer questions about the workload increase and other issues, so I guess I'll repeat all of that again. Faculty are under contract and cannot legally strike. The labor relations board is dominated by conservative appointments and hasn't issued a favorable ruling to labor in years, and the union prefers to use its limited resources in another venue: arbitration. Apparently concerns generated in letter writing campaigns have had an effect in Columbus, since the most recent 'right to work' legislation was tabled (probably until the lame duck session). The union had sent out email to the membership encouraging members to contact their state reps and voice their concerns. The UTAAUP is involved, with numerous grievances and arbitrations. Point of fact - UTAAUP has won a number of grievances and the admin has taken the unprecedented step of going to court to try and void artibtrators decisions. And of course faculty at numerous levels recently voted down the admins 'supremacy' clause.

Anonymous said...

Tiffin has announced it will end Ivy League College October 27. The public announcement states "HLC has changed certain policies and procedures and recently notified TU that the business structure of our joint venture does not meet HLC's current policies."

Anonymous said...

"this blog has its place and role, but it would be delusional to think for a moment that a revolution woudl spring here by a handful of posters when vast majority of faculty are not here nor even aware of its existence."

I am a regular contributor, TT faculty, anonymous albeit, because the idea here is to start a discourse on solidarity because that word is missing from American society, which has been segmented , thanks to the billions of junk media, political/religious brainwashing that poison otherwise active minds.

The revolution needs to be in physical space aiming to remove the likes of Crookskank, Lloydie, Goldie, Scotty, and their BOT masters.

Look at that new Huntington Center in Student Union! I first thought it was a fancy toilet with tellers pointing you to the toilet bowl where you can s(h)it while you bank. No, this is a real bank outfit that Oceans 14 will need to target in a new sequel. Boycott Huntington and the Blade!

You cannot expect the blog to do the revolution -- faculty and allied staff and administrators need to do that. Gather the important points made here and at AAUP,CWA, PSA meetings, and draw up a plan at member meetings, then strike when the moment is right. How about informational picket at Libbey Hall now used for schmoozing between admins and uninformed parents? Or in front of U-Hall? The Blade is not the only media here.

The Arab spring also used social media, but eventually all that anger spilled out into the streets. Turn off your junk media and start listening for a change. That is how Communism when down the toilet, and that is how we can slow down our free fall. Eventually we will all have to come out of anonymity.

I am not worried if one of these UT admin types is reading or contributing to the blog -- at least you will see when they are suddenly escorted by spit guards (UT police, private security contractor, etc.)

Anonymous said...

It saddens me to report the obituary of Dr. Abid A. Al-Marayati in today’s Toledo Blade. I had the honor of taking three classes from him in the 1980’s. He was one of the finest professors I have ever known. He was a passionate scholar who genuinely cared for improving the human condition.

Anonymous said...

Unfair Ivy Bridge

Your tendrils grip the ivory towers.

Ripe alma maters feed your greed.

Yo! Ivy Bridge! Unfair! Not good!

You strangle students in indentured servitude!

We see right through your heartless scam.

For which you will soon answer to Uncle Sam.

Anonymous said...

Article about UCLA admins and their lavish expenditures, including their method for getting around a prohibition on traveling business class. And the defense of the admins is pathetic.

"UCLA deans travel like rock stars as tuition soars out of midde-class reach"

Anonymous said...

It appears that Bloggie has Small Penis Syndrome Resulting in Inverted Narcissism

“Small penis syndrome may be describing something more than simple anxiety and depression issues in some cases. The degree of rigidity of beliefs about the penis and about the rejecting nature of women is very high in some of these men, suggesting something akin to a personality disorder, or, more simply, a developmental delay that some of these men may have experienced in terms of their social maturity, perhaps as a consequence of the trauma of their shame over their small penis.

We have come up with the term Inverted Narcissism in our attempts to try to characterize the nature of the developmental delay we've perceived occurring in Small Penis Syndrome. To understand what we mean by inverted narcissism, it is first important to understand the psychological term narcissism.
Fundamentally, narcissism refers to a person's excessive interest in their self and in the way they look. The narcissist displays a grandiose way of thinking about their own talents, beauty, masculinity or femininity and intelligence. While they have an inflated sense of self-worth, they are generally devaluing and dismissive of others. In fact, to the narcissist, other people are generally not treated as peers, but instead as mere objects to be exploited for selfish motives.”

Does this all sound familiar? Bloggie seems to enjoy nothing more than attacking the scholarship and status of peers, the administration at UT, and anyone who doesn't think like him. He seems to believe that he and his academic background are superior to anyone else at the University.

Will Bloggie allow this post?

Anonymous said...

Ivy Bridge at UT? It's come to this? Fracking for students! Once was that students had to fight hard to get into an accredited university and then earn their degrees. With this newfangled restructuring of public higher education all a student has to do to get a degree these days is bend over for four years or so: "Oh, you must have graduated from UT." ... "How'd you guess?" ... "Why you've got that special Rocket-up-your-socket walk, you know? ...

Bloggie said...

Bloggie says that people who copulate in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:35
Zounds! "Fracking for students!" I wish I had thought of that. A perfect analogy. This is the way the business-model in public higher education works these days. After they've profitably drilled deep into the local and regional pool of college-loan eligible warm bodies and sucked it dry, they conjure up and market (to investors)a new technology featuring no-bid MOOC-like online/canned courses from unacredited shady private "learning" corporations with no track record of educational success to squeeze more profit from the well, by seducing more students into debt slavery at the taxpayer expense. This is freaking fracking! Yo!Somebody blow the whistle on these parasites quick!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"This is freaking fracking! Yo! Somebody blow the whistle on these parasites quick!"

I think this is what this blog has been doing all along -- blowing the whistle, but society's (the media's) ears have adapted to the frequency and they no longer care to hear. They want to be bedazzled by glass bowls (with phony displays of respect to faculty and staff), Huntington center in the food court, Libbey Hall re-purposed as a VIP lounge for prospective UT parents, and so on.

Still wanna blow the whistle? Sure, use Wikileaks...

Anonymous said...

I applaud bloggie for his/her restraint. I no longer work for UT - left years ago when the writing was on the wall and when my career goals were greater than my loyaties to UT. I have many friends on faculty who are still at UT and I want to assume that Bloggie among them. While I may not aways appreciate the satire - I want to apologize to Bloggie for the idiots who rant after hm/her and offer no suggestions. I do check the blog several ties a week and I sincerely hope it outlasts the administrators - big and small who are taking obscene salaries when the money is offered - while enrollment and quality tank in positively the same slope lines.

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