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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

University Strategic Plan

 Incorporation of Student Centeredness into the University Strategic Plan 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Proposal Tanks

Tanks a Lot!
The Joint Committee wants to thank Bloggie and those readers who participated in the two “UT Degree Guarantee” proposal surveys. We have we have kicked around the significance of the survey results also have carefully have read over the many “Comments” in response to the proposal. The initial week-long survey showed that there was strong but far from unanimous support for the proposal. So the survey deadline was extended a week. In the second survey the proposal got hammered. 
The Joint Committee has concluded from the comments that opponents of the proposal shared a general animosity toward new proposals. Some of the Committee members conclude that opponents of the proposal rejected it on principle and are disappointed that there was no evidence and that they had bothered to study the merits of the proposal in any great depth.
The Committee acknowledges that there is a “new proposal fatigue” that presently prevails across campus. It is a rare day when the UT campus community is asked to vote on a significant new proposal. We observe, for example, that the decision to serve beer at football games was imposed from above and never a topic widely discussed or voted on prior to implementation.
That is the just way things are done around here and nobody seems to care. Oligarchy prevails. This “UT Degree Guarantee” proposal is now dead in the water. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Public Comments Requested/Poll


Responding to deepening student and parental concerns about economic security and unsustainable debt loads consequent to higher education, University of Toledo’s Joint Academic Committee proposes a program innovation: The UT Degree Guarantee™.

The UT Degree Guarantee™ warrants the marketability of a UT degree. The University enters into a contract with the student whereupon, if the student satisfies the conditions enumerated below, in the event of being unable to find a job in his or her chosen educational field, the University will make the payments on the student’s educational loan indebtedness until such suitable employment is achieved.

The program offers a number of incentives designed to accommodate committed students. By selecting for highly motivated, productive students, the program assures its own long-range success:         
  •      Students must volunteer and sign a memorandum of understanding to demonstrate commitment, diligence, consistency, and compliance with appropriate levels of academic performance.
  •      The University must aggressively and in good faith seek meaningful, appropriate job placement locally, regionally or in-state for contracting graduating students.
  •      Guaranteed jobs must be local, regional or in-state, in this order of emphasis.
  •       Student educational goals, university coursework and labor market demand matches must be data-driven and transparent at the time the contract is signed. An agreed-upon plan of study reflecting these realities must be implemented and pursued.
  •     The student must maintain a 3.0 overall GPA with acceptable progress toward graduation (a record of completed classes and full time equivalence) 
  •      Students must, prior to entering into the agreement, undergo the Strengthquest aptitude process as offered by the Gallup firm, and which will be made available on the UT campus, as administered by certified UT faculty members, an aptitude metric now is use at a number of top rated universities and business schools.
  •      UT Degree Guarantee™ students must also make use of UT career services, specifically in the areas of resume writing, networking, and interviewing skills.  These include pursuit in good faith of internship opportunities posted at the department and other levels within the university.
  •       Graduates must demonstrate good faith efforts at obtaining employment. 
  •       Changes in contracted student career goals are grounds for mutual renegotiation or termination of the contract.
  •        Freshmen enrolled on the UT Guarantee™ track must negotiate the contract at the completion of 60 credit hours of progress toward the degree, if they have maintained eligibility
  •       UT Guarantee™-track students must meet regularly with special “guarantee” advisors
  •       Transfer students are not eligible to participate in the contracted job guarantee program

The program would be launched as an “experimental” program, and closely monitored via a formal formative evaluation process.   

Returns can be plowed back into costs and scholarships for contracted students in the program.

Owing to the highly motivated nature of the students (and their parents) involved in the program, providing the program is properly monitored in its formative stages, it is most unlikely that the UT Guarantee™ graduates will prove a financial burden to the University. Quite the reverse, would be expected.  Moreover it would incentivize students (and parents) by removing much of the anxiety partial to the inevitable costs of higher education in the U.S.  

The program would establish a reputation for UT, a unique market position, while enhancing the marketability of the UT degree.