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Friday, July 18, 2014

Tobacco Policy

Next, will they be coming up with an underwear policy?


Anonymous said...

There actually is an underwear provision in one of the HSC dress code policies

Anonymous said...

How about a policy about quality over cronyism?

See the Blade story about how low quality child care is coming to UT, thanks to Scarborough and Ioan Duca:

Anonymous said...

UTAAUP has a newsletter out (#143). It's a summary of the contract negotiations and call for the new admin to move forward. The chief item of interest is the BOT position that faculty pay 22% of health care (currently faculty pay 15%). My take on this is that, if agreed to, it will impact faculty negatively at the lower end of the pay scale, since any cost of living increase (5% was being discussed) will effectively offset the health care increase for the wealthiest faculty. This being the case, I don't see any reason to agree to a new contract, if it doesn't improve the situation of faculty in the lower salary regions. I have not done the numbers, but it seems to me a 5% cost of living increase would offset the 22% health care increase for faculty making approx 70K plus, and faculty making less would find their monthly paychecks less than they are currently.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that everyone will enjoy reading Scott's rules for Akron administrators:!/menu/standard/file/UA%20management%20principles.pdf

Anonymous said...

Given Scott's rules for Akron administrators, I predict he will re-create UT's messes in Akron. Sad for Akron faculty, students, and staff.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 20: Read the story - or rather, the non-story. Even Toledo Day Nursery says in the article that the process was fair. The real story is buried at the end.

Anonymous July 21: No futzing around - he's going to get it in writing this time.

Anonymous said...

If he would have done some of those things at UT, it would have been a better place.

Anonymous said...

Since the AAUP was mentioned in a previous posting,what ever happened to the civil complaint filed in 2013 by the AAUP against its former executive director for alleged theft in office — of making unauthorized credit-card charges, collecting unauthorized compensation, and making unauthorized electronic transfers of union funds to an E-Trade account calculated to be in excess of $50,000?

Anonymous said...

A judge froze the former executive director's account pending further investigation.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of blowing smoke, how about Mr. Deng's latest "accomplishment"...getting the Port Authority to buy back his defaulted loans? Of course they want to protect their bond rating, but I hope that they also learn to make better investment decisions in the future. Note that the same Mr. Szuch is on the UT Board of Trustees. Ms. Sharon Speyer, of the Huntington Bank issuing the letter of credit for Xunlight, is also on the UT Board. Do they make similar decisions for UT?

Anonymous said...

This morning at a special meeting, the Board approved new contract with CWA staff union and appointments of Interim President and Interim Provost

Anonymous said...

So Scott requires U of Akron to "create and sustain a culture of trust" and then they must sign the form that they agree that if found to be in violation of these principles,(several of which he publicly violated at UT) they will be disciplined, up to and including termination. Yeah, like that would make me trust him.

Anonymous said...

How it is that a university that for years has pled poverty, laid off dozens of staff members, eliminated hundreds of unfilled faculty and staff positions, experienced significant enrollment declines that affected the bottom line, and threw away millions in an ill-conceived, poorly administered economic development venture all of a sudden finds $1 million for a retiring president and thousands of dollars for pay increases for union members?

Next up will be increases for AFSCME employees , the police, and the faculty.

What breathtaking duplicity!

Anonymous said...

It is funny, companies have continually charged more for everything from energy to food to entertainment. Taxes on poor people services in Ohio have skyrocketed under Kasich while those for the rich have been cut and as far as I can tell no one bats an eye, but the poor union workers get a tiny raise after 7 years of no raise or zero sum raise because Jacobs always demanded they pay more for something else to cancel out a raise, and then people complain. If the uni has no money it is because the leadership was cutting increasingly bigger slabs of pies for themselves and friends, spending it on foolish projects, or just pretending or a combination of all of the above.

Anonymous said...

I also meant to say that under Jacobs union employee wages have actually gone backwards for seven years and their earning power has steadily decreased because of inflation and paying more for things like health care and even education with all of the ridiculous fees they added on such that the fee waiver does not cover. Also, more and more has been continually demanded of them so that have continually done more and more with less and less. Hell yeah they deserve a raise but a much bigger one.

Anonymous said...

I think union employees deserve a raise for the mental abuse they have undergone by being treated like crap, having their numbers decimated wholesale, being intimidated and way undervalued by the recent reign of terror. Never before Jacobs were employees made to feel ashamed and punished for taking legitimate sick days.

Anonymous said...

In many ways it is very difficult to get a ahead as a union employees. Faculty have at least nominally objective standards to make a case for merit increases. Professional staff do too or can benefit from friendships or being good looking in the eyes of their bosses, but a union employee only gets penalized when they do not do enough or when they do not go beyond the call of duty enough. They are never rewarded for going beyond the call of duty.

Anonymous said...

Here's BOT's basic negotiation/arbitration tactic: dump time into it. Compromises/surrenders that were inconceivable to membership the first 6 months become reasonable/victories after years of stalemate and 'any contract is better than no contact' becomes the mantra.

Anonymous said...

It didn't take long before they have decided to name a building after Jacobs. Sure wish it had been a port a pot.

But the new immersion center which in 10 years time will be something different since it will either be under used, under supported or just a boondoggle. So maybe we can just start to call it the jacob's boondoggle now.

Anonymous said...

Lloyd's Money Pit?

Anonymous said...

Let’s remember for the record that ProMedica, also known as “Big Green,” had pledged $18 million for development of the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center and then backed out at the last minute after much planning had started.

As many in the community will tell you, handshake agreements with ProMedica often end with one party nursing a bloody stump.

Anonymous said...

Re: Promedica. If the agreement wasn't in writing, then Jacobs and friends were more incompetent than I thought.

I see that Chris Cooper has been selected as the new dean of the medical college. In the few times I've talked to him, he seems like a decent fellow. The only concern I have is promoting deans from within. Seems to limit new ideas.

Anonymous said...

Chris Cooper is a good, solid selection for dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Focused, earnest, intense, and always measured and thoughtful in his comments, he epitomizes academic medicine’s “triple threat” physician with his outstanding teaching, research and patient care education resume.

It's important to underscore that he is assuming the deanship at a good time in the college’s history, with the college coming off an outstanding accreditation assessment by the tough Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the best in the college’s history.

That makes his job a bit easier at the start. A doff of the derby is owed to the faculty, staff and students for that achievement.

Cooper’s challenge will be to maintain that momentum, mindful of the ongoing challenge of operating a high-quality teaching hospital in Toledo’s spectacularly competitive and cut-throat hospital and health-care system environment; of ensuring that the curriculum is relevant, complies with the LCME’s always-changing standards, and reflects the impact of changes in the health-care delivery system; of maintaining and expanding quality clinical education sites for third- and fourth-year medical students; and of the importance of increasing funding for basic and clinical research.

Those will require difficult resource allocation decisions given UT’s tough economic environment.

Anonymous said...

CWA agreed to a contract, is anyone aware of the health care aspects, are there any changes to coverage or cost? Increasing the share of faculty contributions was a major issue in the AAUP negotiation, would be interested if CWA managed to keep status quo.

Anonymous said...

With a presidential search committee like this, what can be possibly go wrong? I am sure they will hire an academic (pun intended!). Here is the committee:
Dave Morlock, executive vice president for finance and administration and chief executive officer of the UT Medical Center;
· Dr. Karen Hoblet, president of the Faculty Senate and assistant professor of nursing;
· Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics;
· Dr. Johnnie Early, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences;
· Dr. Ali Fatemi, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering;
· Dr. Kris Brickman, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine;
· Dr. Sonia Najjar, Hiss Endowed Professor of Diabetes Research in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology
· Mike O’Brien, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics;
· Clayton Notestine, president of Student Government;
· Connie Zouhary, vice chair of the UT Foundation Board and executive vice president of Buckenmeyer & King, CPA;
· Bob Savage, Savage and Associates, former UT Board of Trustees member and a UT donor;
· Susan Palmer, former UT Board of Trustees member and a UT donor;
· George Chapman, former CEO of Health Care REIT, former MCO and UT Board of Trustees member and a UT donor;
· Luis Santiago, chief, Toledo Fire and Rescue;
· Greg Kopan, CEO of Beacon Financial, former president of the UT Foundation and a member of the UT real estate committee;
· Richard McQuade, former federal district judge, former UT Board of Trustees member, a UT donor and a holder of two UT degrees;
· Chuck Sullivan, retired CEO of Interstate Bakeries, former chair of the UT Foundation Board of Trustees, a UT donor and holds a UT honorary degree;
· Calvin Lawshe, former UT vice president for student affairs and former City of Toledo administrator.

Anonymous said...

Anyone see the presidential search committee in the Blade?

Essentially every committee member from the university is either from the health science campus or the sciences. Nobody from the arts, business,law, social sciences or education. I hope this committee isn't stacked to bring in Lloyd Jacobs II.

Anonymous said...

Two questions make up this savory dish of Friday fricassee served up one day early.

First, is anyone concerned that faculty members from the arts and humanities are not well represented on the presidential search committee announced earlier today? Seems full of scientific types to me. Ah yes, Toledo Tech University. Has a nice ring to it.

And, regrettably, there are no representatives from the Professional Staff Association or any of the non-academic employee unions. The Faculty Senate and Student Government are represented. Staff and union members suffered the brunt of the layoffs and then get left off the committee. Do I dare mention University Council?

All together now, a nice round of applause for shared governance!

And there are no graduate or professional school students, two student groups that are integral to the UT’s status as a research university and to its drive for academic excellence and national prominence.

What was the Board of Trustees thinking?

Second, with the interim Main Campus provost an unabashed wine connoisseur, are there any plans to resume the alcohol-fueled Friday afternoon faculty gabfests in Libbey Hall this fall?

Anonymous said...

I am the person who posted comment "July 31, 2014 at 9:07 AM", I am from NSM college and I am very worried about the choice of the committee members. On the other hand, I do not agree with the statements made by other commenters that the committee is "full of science types". I count only one person there, namely Dean Karen Bjorkman. The most part of the committee members are rich people from influential families in the area, nothing to do with the academic mission, all to do with scraping each other backs. Rest assured, Jacobs II and Scary II are coming, but certainly not because of the "science types".

Anonymous said...

Good morning, class.

It’s quiz time.

Here’s the question for the day: How many former members of the UT Board of Trustees does it take to serve on a presidential search committee?

Answer: Four.

One to do the work.

One to sift through the daily mail of search firm Witt/Kiefer to see if Vik Kapoor applies for the job.

One to bring crème-filled donuts to throw at the search committee chairman the first time he invokes the name of his boss in committee deliberations.

One to take a spot that should have gone to a member of the arts/humanities faculty.

Anonymous said...

Search committees actually have very little authority and power regardless of the representativeness of the membership. Yes it may look better to have more student and faculty members, but truth is that the full Board will select and appoint the next President. I am more concerned about the extent which the Board and search firm is going to work hard to get a deep quality pool of excellent candidates to draw from.

Anonymous said...

From the Blade story about the presidential search:

"Mr. Zerbey said he sent a list of suggested committee members to the board, and board members then made additions and deletions."

"The search committee will interview those semifinalists. Those interviews will be done at a regional airport — likely Detroit — and won’t be open to the public, Mr. Zerbey said.

“It enables them to have specific discussions and questions without a gallery there to make noise or intimidate the candidate or whatever,” he said when asked the purpose of not making those interviews public."



Anonymous said...

The BOT-hired consulting firm directing this search and pre-approving the composition of this search committee has done a disservice to the academic mission of state public higher education by all-but-excluding the voice of tenured Main Campus faculty from LLSS, NSM, and CoCA Colleges (essentially stalwart survivors of the same faculty that once comprised the Arts and Sciences College and that Jacobs Inc. unjustly dismantled for their perceived “bad behavior”).

Due to a calculated but hardly inspired or informed BOT/Consultant conspiracy the diverse voices of senior Main Campus teaching/research faculty with close day-to-day interactions with undergraduate and graduate students on the Main Campus are now formally excluded from participating in the search process.

The vaunted “transparency” of this presidential search process, as of today, reveals mainly that “the fix was in” from the get-go, and so that ugly, sad fact need no longer be rumored.

Jacobs 2 seems a foregone conclusion unless those many faculty, students, staff and alumni that will not stand for a Jacobs 2 administration (and eight more years of crony capitalism and corruption posing as responsible administrative leadership) make their dissenting voices heard loud and clear once the Fall Semester gets rolling.

Anonymous said...

My biggest concern is that nobody but the search committee will see any of the semi-finalists, and the finalists could be as few as two people. With possibly only two, it seems more like a set-up than an open process. Two people is crazy.

Anonymous said...

Besides the appearance of equity and representativeness, does any one really think by adding a few faculty from the former A&S colleges, or other colleges also not on the committee, to a committee of 18+ is really going to make any difference in the selection of finalists and the appointment of a President

Anonymous said...

Has anybody seen a job description with required qualifications and attributes for the new president? What about a compensation range that the university says it can afford for the next president?

Or is that the first task of the stacked presidential selection committee whose primary qualifications for their appointments was their ability to keep secrets and to be unwitting shills for the board?

Anonymous said...

Now that the Board of Trustees has emasculated Main Campus through its selection of presidential search committee members, the next indignity will be the cloak-and-dagger preliminary interviews of candidates that will be likely conducted at or near Detroit Metro airport, according to the board chairman (read conference rooms at the Westin Hotel in the McNamara Terminal, unless the BOT wants to be penurious and book the Tiki Motel in nearby Taylor.)

It could have all the elements of your favorite James Bond thriller or that great 60s spy-fi British television series, The Avengers, and the delicious actress Diana Rigg as the willowy Emma Peel—search committee members and candidates arriving in disguises to throw scoop-seeking Blade reporters hanging out in the Westin lobby off their trails, candidates wearing sunglasses and their raincoat collars up stealthily visiting the campuses on the sly on away-game football weekends to get the real skinny on UT, deleted emails, hushed midnight phone calls, last-minute entrants.

Unfortunately, top-secret university president searches aided by national search firms like Witt/Kieffer and William Funk have become a sad fact of academic life, and UT—almost by necessity—joins a growing list of big-name, publicly funded higher education institutions that have to engage in this depressing subterfuge.

All we can do is hope that Witt/Kieffer does its proper due diligence in vetting candidates to justify its compensation.

This process will be expensive—bills for candidates flying to Detroit Metro on NetJets, for limo trips carrying search committee members back and forth to Detroit for meetings, for food catering and meals, for conference room rentals, for hotel stays, for pricey dinners with the finalists, and for other items will add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Blade reporter Nolan Rosenkrans and his city editor need to insist on a complete disclosure of expenses associated with the search.

In the end, as cynics suggest, the board may end up selecting someone with a medical or health-care background and experience running a major health science center.

Sure, the fix may have been in along. Another view suggests that is a consequence of the 2006 merger with MCO.

UT has dramatically changed. Sorry, folks.

And don’t forget to have on hand a sweatshirt emblazoned with the Rocket logo and words TOLEDO that the new president will be able to hold at the news conference announcing his/her selection and to pledge undying fealty!

Go Rockets!

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding is that once fall term starts the search committee will be hosting forums and meetings on campus to receive input as to the type of characteristics the future President should have and to draft the job description

Anonymous said...

It is very common, including in the past here at UT, to conduct airport interviews of the 10-15 semi-finalists and not bring them to campus for public interviews, but do so for the finalists. OSU, Akron, and Youngstown all did the same, no semi-finalists for those jobs were brought in for a campus visit and interview.

Anonymous said...

It may be common, but considering how the last president worked out, I hope we can be more open about the candidates. UT can't afford another disaster.

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, Karen Bjorkman is the "last man standing" on the presidential search committee from the former Gang of 12 women who dismantled the former A & S.

Oh... how the mighty have fallen out of favor - though many did manage to net nifty golden parachute deanships and the like for themselves (LLSS, Communication and the Arts, Education) to help cushion their fall from the Olympic heights of the Provost's Office.

Who says membership doesn't have its benefits?

Someone mentioned the need to review former assorted ill-advised deanlet and other high level appointments and job creations made by Jacobs & Co.

For reasons related to both their(the deanlets') cronyism and (in)competence and (lack of) qualifications, this idea of replacing the old stacked deck full of "marked cards" with a fresh new clean deck should not go unheeded by the incoming regime.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see the listing yet again of Jacobs missteps by the delusional. If anything, the list highlights exactly why the general public regards academics as spoiled ivory tower elitists and the business community regards them as overpaid and underworked spoiled blow hards. Jacobs was not fired for anything listed by the delusional on this list. He was "retired" to a nice cushy position with benefits and a raise. His successor will have to swear in blood fealty to the cause, which will be more dismantling of the academic old guard and status quo at UT. Nothing will change at UT but a few of the players and eventually the old guard at UT will retire or die off and it will be transformed into the corporate, middle management factory that is the dream of the Koch bros and their ilk. The absolute bottom line is there are too many mid tier universities like UT in the US competing for too little money and too few students and there are way too many people out there with PhDs as a consequence of all these half-assed universities. The profession is going thru a long delayed period of downsizing and the pain will continue.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons for Jacobs's termination was the Stansley/UTIE embarassment. Perhaps the biggest reason was that the hospital was not the best, greatest thing that Jacobs's kept saying it was: the board was surprised when Morlock's report was so different from Jacobs's. Jacobs lied to the board. That's a good reason for firing him and it doesn't take "spoiled ivory tower elitists" to see that. The board may very well make the same mistake for the third time in its next choice for president, but the responsibility will be theirs. Their public reputations are on the line. In my opinion, Jacobs, Scarborough, Gold were the "overpaid and underworked spoiled blow hards." For all their high salaries, what did they accomplish? An overpriced, empty shell of a SIM center and medical catastrophes.

Anonymous said...

To Anon @ 10:01

Have you ever met Karen Bjorkman? She is a world class scientist and one of the best teachers at UT. She is loved by virtually all of her students, undergraduate and graduate. She genuinely cares for her students and will go out of her way to do anything for them. She served as Chair of my department for a few years. She was the best damned chair we ever had, and quite probably will ever have. She listens to people, communicates well, has vision, and inspires everyone around her. She is a well rounded scholar who values the arts and the Humanities. She is hard working, compassionate, honest, and dedicated to doing what is right. She brings people together and leads by example. She is a gem.

Yes, UT has problems. Yes, Jacobs' administration was a disaster. No, A+S should not have been broken up. Those things you and I agree upon, but to imply that she is/was nothing but some political carpet bagger is dead wrong and offensive.

Anonymous said...

“The search committee will be representative of the many constituent groups that make UT so special,” Zerbey said. “Serving on the committee will be faculty, staff, students, deans, alumni, donors and community members, and we are working to ensure we have diversity of gender, ethnicity, viewpoint and campus”— UT News, July 28, 2014

Who represents the voices of the university staff on the presidential search committee?

David Morlock, a vice president?

Mike O’Brien, another vice president?

They are both great guys, but it’s impossible for them to accurately represent the views and concerns of university staff members.

It’s abundantly clear that the Board of Trustees has exhibited an arrogant, cynical, contemptuous attitude toward the university’s rank-and-file by failing to give them a seat at the table. This is not an exemplary process.

I urge every member of Professional Staff Association member to attend the forums and meetings that will be held during the Fall semester and give your input on the qualifications, qualities, and attributes of the next UT president and steps that can be taken to improve the university.

Better yet, sit down and write letters to the chairman of the Board of Trustees expressing your views. Make your voices heard. Varying viewpoints are essential in this process.

As the cliché goes, it’s time to stop bringing a knife to a gunfight—and losing!

Please, do something. Anything.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 11:53. Let's just assume for discussion purposes that all Deans hired under Provost Scott Scarborough signed his notorious written "contract" to, in effect, set aside their private ethical principles and concerns once they accepted their appointments to Jacobs Inc.

We have all seen that screwball contract. It was published on this blog site and in the Independent Collegian and in the Toledo and Akron newspapers. Scott claimed in his Akron newspaper interviews that he has been using this contract "for the past 20 years" and so this would include the duration of all his administrative positions at the University of Toledo; including his short term as Main Campus provost.

In my (long-term tenured faculty member) opinion, any current administrator at the University of Toledo who agreed to sign that contract, or one similar to it, is corrupted by doing so.

If signers still on duty were once dedicated -- and even "beloved" -- teaching and research faculty at one time, they proved themselves unworthy of the trust of current faculty, not to mention current undergraduate and graduate students, when they sullied their own good names and their venerable academic profession by signing that contract to join the Jacobs Inc. leadership team. They had free choice. They could have refused to sign the contract and instead chosen to raise their voice against Jacobs Inc. during its 8-year-long regime of anti-intellectualism, mismanagement, and jaw-dropping, slapstick gaffes -- too many to sweep under the rug, as it turns out.

What? You say there was no Akron-like contract signed by high-level administrators at UT (including College deans) and that Scott prevaricated when he implied (in fact reported to the press) that there was?

Anonymous said...

I agree, Karen Bjorkman is as asset to UT.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:53 from anon 10:01

I do not know Karen Bjorkman personally but I have no reason to doubt anything you say about her and was predisposed in that direction anyway because of what I do know about her and because of her academic area of expertise.

Nor did I intend to imply otherwise - though I can see why you might infer that.

I do however have enough direct knowledge of some other folks as well as an understanding of their respective academic disciplines to stand by those assessments.

Anonymous said...

Just what in tarnation is the purpose of higher education anyway?

Or, please tell us again exactly what you all do over there in the university Witchcraft and Alchemy Department

Given that there is CLEARLY massive confusion on all fronts as to precisely what higher (or any) education is for, perhaps a good starting point would be for SOMEONE to be so kind as to bring the rest of us inside The Circle of Trust and tell us precisely what education IS for.

There is infinite TALK and conflict and demands and accusations and indignation and calls for more funding, research and reform – but clearly many, if not most, if not (and we certainly hope not!) ALL people involved with higher education are utterly clueless.

It is a conspiracy of cluelessness – the blind leading the blind – a confederacy of dunces.

We hear all sorts of political, ideological and academic discipline and pseudo-discipline turf war platitudes from all sides – from administrators and faculty and students and theorists and politicians and PR shills – platitudes which are all variously vacuous and biased and invariably partially or entirely false.

We would posit that the answer to this simple question, “What is higher education for?” might be something along the lines of this:

-- That students should receive substantive and demonstrably valuable, useful, good and valid knowledge, skill sets, experience, physical, mental and emotional development and socialization in college.

-- And that they should NOT receive false, meaningless, useless, trivial and redundant pseudo-academic make work nonsense, toxic ideology or behavioral norms or just all around bullshit.

-- That individual students should be regarded as, and treated as individuals, with differing needs and aptitudes – and not as a homogenous herd who are all exactly the same and must therefore (according to PC theory) not be “under-represented” in any area and must all get A’s in everything by definition.

-- That each student should be guided through an education that is best suited to THEIR particular needs and aptitudes and goals (and not merely directed to pursue pseudo-academic coursework so they may serve as tools for the academic careers of pseudo-academic professors or so they can satisfy artificial and arbitrary quotas or validate bogus political theories and agendas).

-- That all this should be done for each student’s own good and for the good of society as a whole – so that each student can be the best THEY can be and do the best THEY can do for themselves and for everyone else.

-- That these positive academic commodities should be delivered to students in as efficient and effective and economical and coherent and equitable a manner as possible.

-- That SOMEONE is actually in charge of seeing to it that something like this actually happens.

-- That all of this positive and productive effort should be presumed to take place in a “space” and according to methodologies and principles that are all at least loosely based upon something akin to our best contemporary understanding of objective, fact-based reality – regarding the actual real world circumstances of the universe and the planet Earth and human beings and the human condition.

-- In other words, NOT within a fanciful, incoherent politicized “hyper-space” of Marxist-Feminist Postmodern theory and delusion.

-- Moreover, that all of these principles and objectives should be formally stated and disseminated so that all stakeholders in higher education can be more or less on the same page and all pulling or pushing in the same direction.

So, we ask again:

Precisely WHAT knowledge and skill sets are students expected to acquire in return for the massive amounts of time, money and effort they expend in college?


Anonymous said...

WHAT are professors expected to do in terms of teaching, research, academic service and other duties?

HOW are they supposed to do it?

What is each department or program or college for?

What is their precise function and purpose?

Is what each department or program does necessary at all – even in theory?

Would it be better to do this, whatever it is, in a different manner, or somewhere else, or not at all?

Assuming an administrator, program or department does serve some actual valuable function or purpose, how are they supposed to achieve their objectives?

Whose job is it to see to it that this happens – to whom is anyone accountable?

Are these people competent and qualified for their duties?

Very, very basic questions. But has anyone asked them? Has anyone given any adequate answers?

The answers to these questions should be given thoughtfully and carefully and then critically reviewed in the same manner as a peer reviewed journal article in a substantive academic discipline might be analyzed.

The results should then be shared throughout the entire academic community so that the same simple exercise need not be repeated ad infinitum.

The Academy has become so mired in politics and money and power and careerism and unmitigated academic and ideological bullshit that it is difficult to even begin to know what the hell is going on and whether anything good or useful is actually happening anywhere in academia.

We believe there is and should continue to be much good in academia. But there is also MUCH that needs major reform or even total elimination. And what this all is should be plainly obvious to anyone with a clue.

But we speak from hard experience when we say that to even inquire is to be faced with indignant huffing and puffing and stonewalling on all sides – and everyone is so sick of perpetual change and reform and administrative and bureaucratic shenanigans that anymore they just walk around campus in a daze, hunched over under their careerist bullshit umbrellas and following the behind of the person in front of them as everyone marches in a continuous circle like mindless cattle.

Of course the careerist player’s make out like bandits in this game – doing the “a few years here at this high salary bullshit job… then pick up the Chronicle of Higher Education want ads… do a few years there at an even higher salary bullshit job… “ shuffle.

In an attempt to cut through all the nonsense an obvious starting point would be to mandate that ALL faculty and administrators be required to systematically post all relevant information about themselves and their work and their departments and programs online: CV’s, resumes, courses taught, syllabi, published work, administrative duties, mission statements, detailed descriptions of the academic and administrative functions and objectives of each program along with detailed descriptions of methodologies and outcomes, etc.

All of this SHOULD already exist and everyone worthy of the name “academic” SHOULD in any case be able to produce such documentation in their relevant areas of professional and disciplinary expertise at the drop of a hat.

Is there ANY good reason why everyone on campus or off (on or off ANY campus at least any publically funded campus) should not be able to know precisely what is going on in the Department of Redundancy Department or in the Department of Whatever Studies or anywhere else?

If Professor Pretentious has proven that he no longer exists and he has gone AWOL and cannot be found by anyone anywhere on campus – do we not all have a right to know about it?

Hello? Anyone?

Our guess is that hell will freeze over before anything as audacious as this sort of basic common sense could ever take place in academia.

We do expect that merely going through the motions could, however, generate countless billions of dollars in “further funding and research” and help facilitate the careers of countless pseudo-academics and bureaucrats for many decades to come.

Anonymous said...

One more remark regarding the troubles ailing higher ed.

All colleges and universities should stop competing and adopt a more unified education paradigm.

Declare a permanent nationwide moratorium and cease fire on ALL spending for outside marketing, advertising and PR.

It's all biased, self-serving BS anyway.

Instead, create a single nationwide online portal where all institutions can post their PR and sing their various virtues and link to their university websites more or less for free - and then redirect all the (hundreds of millions? billions?) of ad dollars to actual education initiatives.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 4:33, 4:39, 4:53 -- or may I just call you "Anonymous Rex" in the future? You are back on this blog with your trademark antics: you barrel into the productive conversation like a Jurassic Joe-the-Plumber, all verbose and full of blather, ire, and tea-party spittle; relentless in your pathetic attempt to hijack the agenda ...

Anonymous said...

You can call me whatever you like…

Just as long as you call me…

Anonymous said...


Upon further reflection and after assembling an emergency convocation of The 13 Illuminati and taking a secret ballot vote in the customary manner of the black and white marbles and the sable velveteen sack – the vote is unanimous and The Grand Wizard herewith issues the following amendment to our earlier proclamation – viz, in re Mmes. & Messrs. Deans, et al., - to wit:

Wherefore it is unlikely any more suitable candidates might be found to occupy the assorted said academic positions in question, or that, given the inherently dubious nature of the academic areas in question, whether either the present or any hypothetical alternative candidates might be expected to summon the requisite powers or abilities needed to affect any substantive improvement, let alone to implement any of the necessary sweeping reforms we envision…

…And moreover, given that these particular areas of the university in question have in any event to a significant degree already rendered themselves effectively moot -- a fate which may indeed soon befall the entire Empire of the Brick and Mortar Ivy-Covered Halls – due to the increasingly pervasive outbreaks throughout the Realm of Academe of the lethal Black Plague of Irrelevance and Unsustainability, as well as to the increasingly audacious and alarming incursions along the frontiers by roving armies of ferocious barbarian hordes, who have come sweeping across the vast Internet steppes like biblical swarms of locusts from the distant Kingdom of the Online Education Trolls…

…And given that said esteemed collegial person(s) in question have in any event paid their dues and accordingly deserve their respective places at The Hallowed Academic Round Table of Resplendent Repose as much as anyone else – if for no other reason than their demonstrated tenacious combat and survival skills in the treacherous Careerist Gladiatorial Arenas of Academe…

We, The 13 Venerable Illuminati, whose names dare not be spoken, do thus hereby amend our former verdict of “Off with their heads!” and reduce our decree to the more amelioratory prayer of “No comment, due to time already served” – and thus do we remand the accused back into the custody of The Sergeant at Arms, that they may be returned forthwith to the jurisdictions of the appropriate authorities, where their final fates may ultimately be justly and expeditiously adjudicated.

Solemnly and respectfully sealed and submitted,

The Supreme Grand Wizard of the Council of the 13 Illuminati

Formal Writ of Retraction attached hereto:

The Retractor

Anonymous said...

Who is the asshole who keeps writing all of that worthless shit?

Anonymous said...

Nice to see our new president was out front on the question of funding for Higher Education. Our last guy was always quick, too quick, to agree with the governor and last to support the institution that he was said to be the leader of.

Anonymous said...

August 4 Anonymous. Karen Bjorkman was NOT on the reorganization committee.

Anonymous said...


I’m sure glad we got Karen Bjorkman’s involvement—none—in the College of Arts and Sciences’ breakup clarified.

I’d hate for this blog to develop a reputation for disseminating inaccurate information, for nonexistent fact checking and confirmation ("If memory serves"), for rampant rumor mongering, and for promoting and engaging in vicious McCarthy-like reputational smear tactics.

Anonymous said...

My only concern was Jacobs. He's fired and gone. If we can have an open presidential search without a predetermined outcome, I'll be happy. No mongering here.

Anonymous said...

The current administration interim or not, seems more sane, less fantastical in spinning unrealistic phantom programs, and much more attuned to trying to run a university that was run down by the Jacobean era of madness and fluff.

Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern

Re August 8, 2014 10:19

“Who is the asshole who keeps writing all of that worthless shit?”

Who I am, or who am I?

It’s a question for the ages…

If you must know, we are your intellectual and moral superiors – those who possess the cojones and vastly superior values and intellects and knowledge and understanding that allow us to stand up to and soundly and effortlessly trounce degenerate, ignorant, pretentious, elitist, mean-spirited PC bullies like you –

… who soil the hallowed precincts of the Academy and sully the noble profession of serious dedicated academics with your politicized, mediocre, incoherent, juvenile personal and professional careerist agendas, misconduct, deluded pseudo-academic nonsense, playground tantrums and toxic childish narcissistic ideologies.

So take your Marxist-Feminist Baba and your Postmodern Pacifier and go have yourself a nice pseudo-academic nappy, you obnoxious little brat.

Re Anonymous August 7, 2014 at 5:06 AM

“We’re trying to have an important ‘conversation’ – so why don’t you just mind your own business and butt out!”

Why?? I’ll tell you why.

Because I’m walkin’ here!! I’m walkin’ here!

“Conversation” indeed.

We (The 13 Illuminati & Friends – and all those who value the higher ideals of the Academy) have been listening to you (The Self-Proclaimed Keepers of the Sacred Flame) having your “conversations” for 50 years now…

…interminable “conversations” regaling us with fanciful fables of all the secret hidden treasures and tantalizing intellectual delicacies you keep (along with any notions of academic accountability or transparency) secreted away in the impregnable Vault of the Ivory Tower…

…mythic tales of the magical mystical arcane knowledge to which only YOU, the academic cognoscenti possess the keys and which only YOU may bestow upon the faithful, loyal and unquestioningly obedient true believers…

…mouthwatering morsels of wisdom which might all someday be ours, if only we will sit at your feet and wait and listen patiently – decade after decade – to your rambling “conversations” about the ambrosial contents of The Vault…

We’re wise to your perennial, evasive bait and switch tactics and empty promises, but for old time’s sake go ahead and tease us once more with your “conversations” about the tempting delights you are keeping locked away for us within the deepest, non-transparent inner sanctum of The Academic Vault of Plenty …

Yes, pray do tell us – where’s the beef?

We’re all ears…

Anonymous said...

When I see your bullshit I alwazs skip right over it.

Anonymous said...

YES! Thank you to Anonymous at 6:53 on August 13th for the comment: "I’d hate for this blog to develop a reputation for disseminating inaccurate information, for nonexistent fact checking and confirmation ("If memory serves"), for rampant rumor mongering, and for promoting and engaging in vicious McCarthy-like reputational smear tactics."

Well said.

It's hilarious that Jacobs and Scarborough have been gone for a little bit now, a new school year is about to start and the infatuation with both continues to the point of posting comic strips. Time moves on even though some may be standing still (in their litter box).

Anonymous said...

Get rid of all of the Jacobs boondoggles and admin bloat and time will move on.

Anonymous said...

Jacobs and Scarborough may have moved on, but the consequences of their incompetence remain for us to clean up (speaking of litter boxes).

Anonymous said...

We don’t need a counter revolution. We don’t need witch trials. We don’t need to tear down institutions or people. We don’t need wholesale changes.
We need simple things. We need a gradual shift in emphasis from economic development to academics and research. We need an administration that values all employees (faculty and staff) and does not treat them as a variable cost that should be eliminated. We need stability and slow growth and not disruptive paradigm changing initiatives. We need a more balanced financial assessment and work together to increase revenue in all forms (grants, state-support, enrollment, gift, etc.) and not accept continuous austerity as the new normal. Finally we need to recognize the importance that technology plays in our lives, yet at the same time not forget the human element. We must invest in our people.
In seven weeks, this new administration seems to have recognized most or all of these thing. The optimism and morale on this campus is improving daily. Now is not the time to dwell on the past. It is time to move forward. Together.

Anonymous said...

Deconstructing the Dogmas of the Corrupt Corporate Church of Academia: Bertrand Russell, Karl Popper and why science works and Marxism and other pseudo-scientific theories do not

"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." - William James

In “Connections to the World: The Basic Concepts of Philosophy” renowned philosopher and art critic Arthur C. Danto says,

“But it is important to stress that [whatever one believes – ascetic Hindu, materialist, idealist etc.] the world as we experience it remains exactly the same. …The fierce controversies between contending philosophies disturb not a single leaf and cast not a troubling shadow over the world as we live in it as cognitive beings. …[P]hilosophical differences seem at once momentous and negligible.”

Our [the dreaded JdS, The 13 Illuminati, et al.] fundamental argument has been that the true purpose of academia and higher education is to seek out, determine, teach, preserve, defend and disseminate those cultural, intellectual and scientific principles, values, ideas and methodologies that most closely represent what is true, good, right, useful, honest, decent and just in the real world.

And moreover, that contrary to this noble mission, academia has become grossly perverted and has increasingly come to resemble not a Citadel of Truth and Reason but instead a corrupt, politicized, oppressive, elitist, bureaucratic, self-serving, multi-national, quasi-religious, pseudo-academic cult, church, corporation and monopoly of largely Marxist-Feminist Postmodern politically correct ideology…

…all of which serves primarily to indoctrinate true believers, promote totalitarian PC conformity, suppress dissent and enrich and enable the interests of partisan academics and other elites at the expense of the greater good of the Academy, faculty, students, other education stakeholders and society as a whole.

Witness the serious mental health crisis among students and faculty on college campuses as just one manifestation of these trends (see links at end):

Like most cults and corrupt corporations, the Kafkaesque education industrial complex has proven to be incredibly resistant to any constructive criticism or substantive, positive reformation. Heretics, whether outsiders or insiders, must be identified, isolated, demonized, excommunicated and/or neutralized.

We (the demonized outsiders and excommunicants) have accordingly advocated a systematic rational “deconstruction” reassessment, reformation and revaluation of the entire education enterprise from K-PhD and beyond – and a critique of the very notions of what it means to be an academic or an intellectual.

As one more example of this sort of “deconstruction” we offer the following brief critique of Marxism and irrationalism:

From the chapter on Hegel in “A History of Western Philosophy” (1945) by Bertrand Russell:

“It [Hegel’s strange menagerie of speculative, idealist, metaphysical, historicist notions like Absolute Idea and Spirit or Zeitgeist of History] was an interesting thesis giving unity and meaning to the revolutions of human affairs. Like other historical theories, it required, if it was to be made plausible, some distortion of facts and considerable ignorance.

Hegel, like Marx [with his Hegelian dialectical materialist historicism] and Spengler after him, possessed both these qualifications [i. e. delusion and ignorance].

…[Hegel’s (and Marx’s) philosophy] illustrates an important truth, namely, that the worse your logic, the more interesting the consequences to which it gives rise.”


Anonymous said...

Dogmas 2
Karl Popper is widely regarded as the preeminent philosopher of science of the 20th century. His views on science and induction are flawed but interesting and instructive.

Popper’s views on Marxism, however, are fatally flawed and because he is widely revered (wrongly and/or incoherently) by Marxist “progressive” central planning social engineering pols like Obama & Co. and by similarly besmitten self-proclaimed ideologues like “progressive” billionaire and avowed Popperian George Soros and by countless Marxist-Feminist Postmodern academics – perhaps we should have a closer look.

The following quotes are from “Debunking Popper: A Critique of Karl Popper's Critical Rationalism” by Nicholas Dykes (link to full text at end).

Dykes’s paper is devoted mostly to a critique of Popper’s notion of fallibilism and his theory of falsification and Popper’s rejection of scientific inductive reasoning as an overarching scientific paradigm, but for our purposes here it is noteworthy for its discussion of Popper’s views on Marxism.

“Popper's most egregious lapse as a critical rationalist concerns Karl Marx. Like so many young men of his era, Popper early embraced Marxism, but unlike so many, he also early rejected it - as an economic theory: he never discarded the Marxian ideal of social betterment for the working class, and for most of his life remained a dedicated interventionist and welfare-statist. Thus in Open Society, while criticizing Marxism, he presented an almost fulsome portrait of Marx the man as a brilliantly original thinker and philanthropist, and as one of the "liberators of mankind" [OSE2 122].

In 1948, however, Leopold Schwartzschild published The Red Prussian. In this critical biography, based on original sources such as the Marx-Engels correspondence, Marx emerged as anything but a philanthropist. He was in fact a disgraceful sponger and drunkard, as deceitful and vindictive as he was lazy, who loathed and despised the workers ("those asses") and whose only real animus was a deep lust for power.

Nor was Marx's thinking either original or based on original research. He borrowed most of his ideas from other socialists42 and his best-known thesis was pulled out of thin air without a shred of fact to support it. When he did bestir himself to try and corroborate "our view" - and found that the historical and economic data flatly contradicted him - he ignored or suppressed the evidence.43

Although Popper read The Red Prussian "some years" after it came out [OSE2 396], he never corrected or modified the glowing portrait of Marx he had given us in Open Society. It took him some 15 years even to acknowledge his awareness of the "shattering" evidence which had so drastically falsified his most famous work [OSE2 396].

In 1986, Anthony Flew, in his Introduction to a new edition of Schwartzschild's book, gently chastised Popper for not correcting his false picture of Marx.44 The publisher sent a copy to Popper, and two years later Popper wrote to Flew saying, "I wish to explain my final note [on Schwartzschild]. (1) Routleges [sic] never told me in time of a new reprint. I had to squeeze things in, at the last moment. (2) I was personally shattered by Schwartzschild's book; and it was only my view of Marx's moral stature that was shattered. The reason that my view of Marx's status as a scientist was not shattered is very simple: I had not had a very high opinion to start with, but I had given him all the benefit of the doubt; and my opinion had slowly deteriorated, both while writing the book and after.... it was only when I now read your Introduction that I saw I ought to have referred to my changed view of Marx's scientific sincerity. I therefore accept your criticism fully."45


Anonymous said...

Dogmas 3

Karl Marx was in fact a scoundrel and a charlatan, who has generated armies of epigones and hoodwinked millions of true believers – including contemporary politicians and intellectuals and even eminent intellectuals like Karl Popper – over several generations, with Marxist idealist propaganda. The toll in terms of human suffering has been staggering.

Despite his waffling on Marxism, Popper regarded Marxist theory – and Freudian theory and similar theories and methodologies (psychotherapy) and speculative philosophies (metaphysics) in the arts, humanities and social sciences – to all be definitively pseudo-scientific and thus fundamentally unsupportable and essentially indistinguishable from fiction, mythology or religion.

Regarding psychotherapy, in his book “Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom,” William Glasser, MD, notes,

“From the perspective of forty years of psychiatric practice, it has become apparent to me that all unhappy people have the same problem: They are unable to get along well with the people they want to get along well with.I have had many counseling successes, by I keep hearing my mentor, Dr. G. L. Harrington, the most skillfull psychiatrist I’ve ever known, saying, ‘If all the professionals in our field suddenly disappeared, the world would hardly note their absence.’”

On irrationalism and induction… Russell noted the seemingly intractable problem of inductive resoning in the chapter on David Hume in his “A History of Western Philosophy”:

“The growth of unreason [beginning with Rousseau and romanticism, and progressing through modernism and postmodernism] throughout the nineteenth century and what has passed of the twentieth [as of 1945], is a natural sequel to Hume’s destruction of empiricism. …Hume’s skepticism rests entirely on his rejection of the principle of induction [Is/Ought – Cause/Effect, etc.]. …Hume has proved that pure empiricism is not a sufficient basis for science. …What these arguments prove – and I do not think the proof can be controverted – is that induction is an independent logical principle, incapable of being inferred either from experience or from other logical principles, and that without this principle science is impossible.”

It was Hume who aroused Kant from his “dogmatic slumbers” and inspired him to try (but alas fail) to establish a firm epistemological foundation and justification for valid knowledge in his Critique of Pure Reason – by way of attempting to prove the possibility of the synthetic a priori.

Indeed, the more we learn about the universe and the human condition – the more mysteries and paradoxes are revealed.

To the wise these observations are noteworthy, interesting and instructive. Our everyday common sense experiences of science and technology and reality and the real world tend to be generally very uniform, predictable and reliable and, as Arthur Danto noted above, undisturbed by the fiercely inconsequential quibbles of philosophers – and yet mysteries remain and mysteries abound – from unpredictable weather and economics to Hume’s skepticism to Einstein’s relativity to Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle to as yet incurable diseases, etc.

This means there is room for wonder and room for further inquiry and industry and at least some room for positive idealism and even religious hope and faith – and these are all good things.

But to the “less than wise” relativist Marxist-Feminist Postmodern true believer, the fact that we do not know everything about everything all too often means:

“Yippeee! Anything goes! I am FREE to think, believe and do whatever I want and to be a totally ignorant, degenerate, deviant, obnoxious A-hole if I want to be – or to promote any totalitarian toxic ideologies I want to just because some guru said so or because I like the idea and it makes me feel good and allows me to rationalize my ignorance and degeneracy – even though all of this may be obviously and demonstrably destructive, false and wrong.”


Anonymous said...

Dogmas 4


Dykes continues “…A critical attitude, particularly a self-critical one, is also every bit as important in philosophy as Popper thought it was, even if he did not always exercise his own. Subjecting one's pet theories to the kind of penetrating analysis Popper was so good at is the healthiest mental activity one can undertake. Conviction is much easier to come by than rectitude and we must always be on guard against "cocksureness" - as Popper so rightly warned us.

It is also well worth keeping in mind that even if Popper was mistaken in his overall rejection of induction, CR [Popper’s Critical Rationalism] does share with induction one of its most important elements - disconfirmation - an element which has not lost one iota of its importance since Francis Bacon first drew our attention to it in the 17th Century. We are not omniscient. We are fallible. Disconfirming instances must be sought and, where not found, anticipated at any and all times.”

All high school and college curricula should include a mandatory and substantive survey course for students, teachers and administrators entitled something like:

“Basic Methods of Critical Thinking and Bullshit Detection – Including a Comprehensive Overview of the History of Ideas and the History of Bullshit In Politics, Education, Religion, Pseudoscience and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Occult and New Age, Media, Propaganda, Marketing, PR, Advertising, Sales, Academia and Elsewhere.

UT already has a noted propaganda scholar – so let’s get started here!

Have a great Fall term.


“Debunking Popper: A Critique of Karl Popper's Critical Rationalism” by Nicholas Dykes.

The Red Prussian: The Life and Legend of Karl Marx, by Leopold Schwartzschild

The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, by David Mamet
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, by Jonah Goldberg

Intellectuals and Society, by Thomas Sowell

What Is Causing the College Student Mental Health Crisis? A summary of possible causes contributing to increasing mental health problems

Articles from Psychology Today and The Chronicle of Higher Education


Anonymous said...

My view: the Union should NOT agree to a flat health care increase. This harms faculty making the least the most.

Latest on negotiations for tenure/tenure track:

The Nagi Administration has given us a Board of Trustees compensation proposal for tenured/tenure track faculty (T/TT). The proposal provides:
a 3% increase in 2014, 1% in 2015, and 1% in 2016 - a total of 5% across-the-board for the next three years.
a total of 1.5% for Merit over 3 years and 1.5% for Faculty Excellence Awards over 3 years.
Faculty will pay 20% of the Health Care premium costs. Faculty currently pay about 13% of Health Care premium costs. The proposed Health Care premium cost will be a $1000 annual increase for some families.
Summer is capped at $2800 per credit hour.
Undergraduate summer courses must have a minimum of 16 students. Graduate courses must have a minimum of 8 students. The Provost may cancel any summer class not meeting the minimum. If a class is allowed to run by the Provost, faculty compensation will be prorated for the enrollment below the minimum.
Extra compensation for faculty grants is capped.
The total UT-AAUP faculty salary and benefits (both the T/TT & Lecturers) represents about 15% of the UT Academic Budget. The corresponding Administration salary and benefit costs are about double the UT-AAUP faculty salary and benefit costs.

We ask that you read the BOT proposal carefully. We will be calling a meeting of the membership and will be seeking feedback and direction.

Anonymous said...

More on the BOT contract proposal:

"The UT-AAUP asks that you complete a brief survey on these proposals at the following link:

This link will take you to the survey hosted on SurveyPlanet.

We ask that you complete the survey by Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, 9pm."

Anonymous said...

"The total UT-AAUP faculty salary and benefits (both the T/TT & Lecturers) represents about 15% of the UT Academic Budget. The corresponding Administration salary and benefit costs are about double the UT-AAUP faculty salary and benefit costs."

This is outrageous, but... what exactly is meant by "Administration"? Does it include support staff? I wish the union or someone would compile a list of all the deans, provosts, mini deans, mini provosts and do a comparison of the costs (salary, perks, benefits) for the two groups: Admin/Tenure Tenure Track, as well as compare any increases that occurred in Admin pay during the 3 years faculty had no contract and no cost of living increases, etc.

Ironically, and fittingly, it seems to me a power point presentation on this issue would damn the Jacobs admin.

Anonymous said...

Under the current UT health insurance plans available for faculty, raising the faculty contribution from current 13% to 20% would cost $1,200 per 9 month year. So any 9 month faculty member making $45,000 or less that increase takes up the entire 3% salary increase in year one of the current proposal.

The main question I have is does the recently agreed CWA contract contain same increase in staff contributions to heath care insurance or are only the AAUP faculty being asked to pay more? And I thought faculty, staff and others employed full time always paid the same health insurance rates?

Anonymous said...

So much for the "new" admin having a sea change. It's a bad contract offer and I hope faculty have the sense to realize they are being asked to foot the bill for the BOT's financial mismanagement of UT.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this offer has anything to do with the new interims as it is very similar to financial offer made back several months ago. Does anyone actually believe that an interim President or Provost has the position to influence the Board in regards to the negotiations with the AAUP? It is clear that the negotiations are Board driven and this is simply their next offer, does not mean it is final or should be accepted by AAUP members, but instead counter offered all the way to fact finding if need be.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Lloyd Jacobs was escorted from the campus by UT police on his last day? Also, Jacobs' names is not listed as a Distinguished Fellow for the Council of Competitiveness website. Anyone know what happened?

Anonymous said...

There are no confirmed reports that he was led from his office on his last day (or any other previous day) or that he has been officially charged in any form. Story was that he received threats and had police outside his office, and escorted from his office to car. I believe that is what led to the rumors that he has arrested or escorted out of his office by police. Not sure when his new "appointment" starts but he is still maintaining an office on the Health Science Campus since stepping down end of June. I suspect in the coming months and years you will not see him on main campus or in any public setting or involved with any official University business or engagements.

Anonymous said...

The departure of Lloyd Jacobs and appointment of Nagi Naganathan as interim UT president was supposed to be the opportunity to bury old grudges and demonstrate more collegial leadership on Bancroft Street.

Judging from some recent posts, it hasn’t quite worked out that way, which leads to the question: Why is it that UT has a nest of angry faculty members who sole purpose in life is to maintain a log of long-held hurts and slights that influence campus debates, to cling to old entrenchments, to pass along unsubstantiated and vicious rumors, and to nurse grudges and resentments toward former presidents and administrators?

Sure, the last eight years have been difficult—and horrendous mistakes and miscalculations were made—as the Jacobs administration sorted through 1,001 merger-related challenges. Folks were constantly asked to do more with less, the lives of students, faculty and staff were disrupted, and numerous rounds of administrative reshuffling disturbed old working relationships and friendships. The consolidation of key administrative and academic support operations like human resources, marketing, IT, and finance—so-called “back room operations”—that were aimed at achieving economies of scale jeopardized livelihoods, put job roles and responsibilities up for grabs, led to tremendous insecurity about the future, and resulted in demoralizing layoffs of staff and union members, starting in 2009, as administrative savings went back to preserve the jobs of faculty members and academic programs.

But eight years after the merger, it’s about time to rise above old grudges and stale thinking, set aside personal agendas, and show some fresh, clear, well-seasoned perspective. It's time to focus on solutions for the future, not harbor grudges about the past. Much work remains to fulfill the potential of the merger. Otherwise, UT will always be a middling university with nice limestone buildings and good football teams that can’t beat Northern Illinois.

Anonymous said...

I've seen signs of serious, positive change at UT. Money is being put back into faculty development, the word from on high is that workload is back in the hands of departmental chairs, I've heard rumors of hiring plans being solicited from each of the colleges, and something about lines not being poached anymore by UHall. So it seems to me the departure of Jacobs did come with some kind of back room or whispered message from the BOT to change directions. As far as the BOT contract proposal goes, the ones that appeared in the last week is a revision of a Jacobs proposal from a few months ago. I'll think positively and consider it a legacy of that administration and hope that the next one will better reflect the new priorities that seem to be in place now.

Anonymous said...

Well, first of all, you're wrong about not being able to beat Northern Illinois in football. UT is 28-12 against them all-time including eleven straight wins between 1990-2004. Yes, NIU has had four good years.

I've been around UT for more than 50 years and have seen presidents who were incompetent, alcoholics, who dumped their wives to marry their secretaries and almost everything you can think of. There has never been such a mean spirited president as Jacobs. Add in the fact that almost everything he did was a disaster, and you should be able to understand why people are still upset.

Ricky said...

to Anonymous 11:25 AM: Agreed! Nothing, no how, can quickly erase the bitterness engendered by eight years under Jacobs Inc.'s "Reign of Error." The UT BOT still has a lot of 'splainin' to do, all prefaced with a sincere apology to betrayed Bancroft Campus students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend that faculty members angry about the BOT's "No Back Pay" position in their contract proposal to UT AAUP carefully read Steven Greenhouse's article in today's Labor Day edition of the New York Times about employer "wage theft." When you think about it, UT BOT's documented unjustifiable stonewalling is mainly responsible for stalling contract negotiations over the past four years. Their subterfuge resulted in no faculty raises all during that long stretch of time. Is this not a calculated employer wage theft by UT BOT from its patient, hard-working faculty? The UT AAUP negotiating team should therefore be demanding back pay for its faculty members long deprived of their reasonable pay raises due to BOT shenanigans. Happy Labor Day!

Anonymous said...

Hunting the Elusive Education Sasquatch: Another Pseudo-Academic Bigfoot Comedy of Errors

Citizens may be curious as to the origins and purposes of the ubiquitous roving bands of strange looking characters who can be seen seemingly everywhere these days – clad in safari garb complete with pith helmets and armed with binoculars, cameras, sunscreen, bug repellent, butterfly nets and Ed.D. degrees (Pseudo-Ph.D. Education Hunting Licenses).

These intrepid taxpayer funded adventurers earnestly and relentlessly roam the urban wilds of college campuses like Indiana Jones, armed with maps and charts and plans and theories – marking out search grids, rigging nets, setting up snares and trip wires and motion-detector-activated hidden microphones and cameras. They are obviously on a solemn and serious mission in search of something very important.

These are in fact the legions of dedicated missionary Education scholars and professionals who, not unlike the Knights Templar, have devoted their lives to the holy quest of finding… no, not The Holy Grail, but rather the fabled mythical creature whose existence has long been alluded to in countless ancient texts and world mythologies…

…from the Norse Sagas and Druidic Runes to the ancient Greek Mystery Religions and obscure passages in the sacred Hindu Scriptures of the Rig Veda – yes, we are speaking of none other than: Education Sasquatch.

According to the Old Testament, Education Sasquatch and his family were passengers in steerage on Noah’s Ark. In the Greek myths recorded by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules was to capture Education Sasquatch.

(We can only hope Hercules might someday get around to cleaning out the Augean Stables of the Marxist-Feminist Postmodern Academy…)

More recently, the legendary search for Education Sasquatch was taken up by a rogue 18th century pot-smoking hippie named Jean Jacques Rousseau.

More recently still, one of Rousseau’s acolytes, a certain Professor John Dewey, Esq., once again revived what many believed to be the utterly fanciful, misguided and delusional superstitious “progressive” idea of the renewed quest for Education Sasquatch, a quest which persists for better or worse to the present day.

Critics of the zealously cult-like Education Sasquatch hunters and theorists point out there is no great mystery to education at all.

People have been bestowing and receiving superior education since the days of Plato’s Academy – hence people like Aristotle, Isaac Newton, Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Harold Bloom, Noam Chomsky, et al. – and countless other lesser known but highly educated, bright and capable people around the globe, who have somehow managed to get smart and live fulfilling, productive and successful lives despite the fact that we have yet to capture Education Sasquatch.

The good news is that in the present digital age, we already have the ability to achieve the ultimate education dream of delivering essentially free, universally accessible world-class K-PhD online education to every person on Earth. It’s only a matter of time (and politics of course).

In the meantime, there is the urgent matter of the ongoing search for Education Sasquatch.

Critics of what insiders simply refer to as “The Eternal Holy Quest” also point to the obvious conflict of interest, namely the logical impossibility of disproving a negative –

… i. e. if Education Sasquatch does NOT exist, we will never have any possible definitive proof of his non-existence, so the hunt for Education Sasquatch (not to mention the seemingly endless lavish taxpayer funding for same) can in theory proceed forever – like a glorified snipe hunt.

Moreover, assuming Education Sasquatch really does exist, if he were ever actually captured the ongoing need for the continued search for Education Sasquatch (not to mention the seemingly endless lavish taxpayer funding for same) would cease immediately.


Anonymous said...

Sasquatch cont.

Clearly the ever vigilant Education Sasquatch hunters who tirelessly and bravely man the ramparts of our Education Colleges and utilize taxpayer education dollars to attend prestigious education conferences in exotic places and diligently search the golf courses and country clubs and resort beaches and expensive clothing boutiques and restaurants in their never ending search for Education Sasquatch, can never allow this to happen.

In the following clip a high ranking Education Sasquatch hunter explains the ropes of the education business to a group of hopeful trainees:

We can thus safely conclude that the ongoing search for Education Sasquatch cannot logically – and will not politically, ever come to fruition – whether or not Education Sasquatch actually exists at all.

Education Sasquatch hunters answer their critics by pointing out that according to Marxist-Feminist Postmodern Education Sasquatch Theory – the fur of Education Sasquatch, when properly heated in an alchemical retort and mixed with the appropriate arcane substances, creates a homeopathic Education Sasquatch Elixir so powerful that a single drop is capable of transmuting Mr. Peepers into Albert Einstein.

Only initiates of the Priesthood of Education Sasquatch Freemasons, who are sworn to secrecy, know the precise secret formula (“Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble… Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog…” – that sort of thing).

The catch (predictably enough) is that significant further funding and research for the continued hunt for Education Sasquatch will be needed (and we do mean SIGNIFICANT funding, as in hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in perpetuity).

Just imagine if all that dough actually went to education…

Education Sasquatch researchers hard at work:

We have no choice but to take the Education Sasquatch hunter professionals’ word for it. And remember, the Education Sasquatch research is for kids and it helps raise awareness and promote social justice – so dig deep and pony up and, um, just shut up if you don’t like it.

As we have indicated, evidence for the actual existence of Education Sasquatch is very sketchy – but we leave you with the following brief video clip as a helpful reference. It is the only verified evidence we have of Education Sasquatch:

Note: According to some conflicting reports the above video footage may actually represent definitive proof for the existence of an even more elusive mythical creature, namely yours truly, Johannes de Silentio.

Citizens are advised to take adequate precautions.

So, in joyful anticipation of the eventual capture of Education Sasquatch, we encourage everyone to continue going to school and college and believing everything the high priests of Education tell you (even though by definition educators and academics have no clue as to how to educate anyone – otherwise why would they continue their desperate search for Education Sasquatch?).

Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled and slow down in all designated Education Sasquatch crossing areas.

And it goes without saying we should all brake for Education Sasquatch if we ever do see him – and use the appropriate friendly greeting call...

Postscript: Please keep in mind the hunt for Education Sasquatch is very dangerous and only for skilled Education professionals. So please, don’t mess with Education Sasquatch.

Remember, amateurs are strongly advised to leave matters to the pros. Don’t try searching for Education Sasquatch on your own. It can only lead to serious injury and disappointment.

In the mad, mad world of academia, the never ending search for Education Sasquatch must go on…


Anonymous said...

I agree completely with Anonymous September 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM. The effect of the economic downturn was grossly and callously exaggerated by BOT/Jacobs. The financial trail supports this, including the recent Jacobs golden parachute, consulting fees, etc. And it's not just cost of living raises, either, and health care costs, it also includes Merit Increases: at every step the BOT/Jacobs group cried the sky is falling and they literally had to save pennies whenever they could, but only so long as the discussion was about faculty/staff costs. The BOT has been playing a bait and switch game all along and it's time the union negotiators held them accountable. Faculty and staff and taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the BOT financial disasters.

Anonymous said...

Just take a look at the Honor's college speakers, and you will understand why it ain't so easy to just move on. Reminders of the Jacobs admin are everywhere.