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Monday, September 29, 2014

Confess and be Shriven!

Bloggie will henceforth hear confessions, with a special emphasis on the confessions of the administrative careerists who have for so long blighted UT, and who now, in this new era may have a chance to mend their ways.

Bloggie is not interested in hearing about sexual peccadilloes.  God save us from this fate!  Share these, if you must, with the always informative UT Confessions.

You will be assigned a suitable penance, up to and including a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, deans will wear sack clothe and ashes, with assistant deans to carry their luggage and scourges.  


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In comments to the previous post, references were made to the College of Education and its vote of no confidence in their dean. I have no idea what goes on in the College of Ed.  However, what I do have is twenty-seven plus years of history here at UT. Please allow me a little story.  Once Upon a Time there was a college of Arts and Sciences.  and, if memory serves me correctly after two years of searching for a new dean, the search committee sent three names up to President Jacobs.  He insisted a fourth name be added to the list.  The Committee believed the fourth candidate was not suitable for the position.  Of course you can guess who became the next dean of A & S.  While a very nice person, he seemed in over his head.  Then, similar to what Education has done, the Council of Arts and Sciences voted no confidence in the dean who was subsequently removed.  An interim dean, from the outside, who had done little if any college teaching was named.  In addition the President initiated the Arts and Sciences Roundtable led by an outside consultant, Robert Zemsky.  There were over forty people involved from all walks of life.  The summer and fall after the Roundtable, a report was written by a smaller group that discussed the future of Arts and Sciences.  It took a long time and a lot of effort on the part of some faculty.  The President recieved the report and then divided the College of Arts and Sciences into three separate entities (now four).  That seems to have been his purpose all along and the rest of this was just for show.  Given new leadership, I have no idea what path will be followed with the College of Education.  It has long been my belief that if you have the right people almost any organizational structure will work; and, if you have the wrong people almost no orgranizational structure can save you.  History has not been particularly kind to those faculty who have spoken out in the past.  One other thing I do know is that faculty are good at talking but not so hot when it comes to taking action.  Therefore, I conclude that things must be very difficult in the College of Ed.  for them to have taken such an action.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I attended two meetings yesterday.  The first was conducted by the firm hired by the university to help find a new president.  The second was held by the AAUP.  The first, led by the search firm, was  upbeat and had a hopeful spirit to it.  We were asked what we wanted in a new president and practically everyone chipped in.  I personally noted that someone who had taught undergraduates sometime recently would be nice.  I also said I did not want another MD.  Others wanted a unifier, a scholar, someone familiar with the liberal arts, or even someone who might stay a while.  The one very interesting thing about the meeting was the comments were recorded.  There are several possibilities.  First, the BOT is creating a hit list and several of us will disappear over the next couple of weeks.  The more likely possibility is that the BOT wants to hear the comments themselves rather than have our comments "interpreted" for them by others. I leave it to the conspiracy buffs amongst us to gain meaning from such an action.  The goal of the search committee is to have on campus interviews during January of next year (2015).  January is of course when Toledo looks its best.  Let us hope his/her plane does not get cancelled either coming or going.

The second meeting (AAUP) had a sense of deep frustration.  The Union has been negotiating for over three years and is now in its fourth.  After giving a golden parachute, including what appears to be eternal employment at an exorbitant salary, to our last president, the BOT's offer included nothing for the faculty for the last three years.  If you want more specifics please go to today's meeting.  It is in Nietszche Auditorium at 3:30.  Perhaps the BOT will connect the dots and realize bringing candidates to campus while informational picketing is taking place (yes I will stand in the cold and snow) is not such a good idea.  Good luck to our negotiating team.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Just a quick note to our readers, all fifteen of you.  There are AAUP meetings scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week over in Engineering at 3:30. (I am told both HO and Lionel are welcome. Be sure to wear appropriate hats.) There are also meetings scheduled at various times on Wednesday and Thursday for you to voice your opinion on what you wish to see in a new President.  My guess is what the BOT is looking for may be quite different than what the faculty might want.  Just a hunch.  Aside from the ability to walk on water and cultivate money trees, I don't want much.  After 35 years of college teaching, my expectations are not what they used to be.  I want a faculty member.  Yes, I want someone who has been in a classroom and has some understanding of the time and effort that takes and values that process.  I want someone who actually values the liberal arts tradition in education  and considers it more than junior college material. And, I want a scholar.  I want someone who actually reads and writes.  I am tired of having my discipline and those of others looked at as not relevant for today's students.  I am tired of being the serf who came with the estate.  Go to the meetings and let yourself be heard.  I have no idea if it will do any good, but you will at least be on record.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nice to be back

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
     It has been a while since I participated actively in the blog but I believe it is time for a return engagement.  There is obviously a lot of residual anger being carried forward from the last regime.  The makeup of the Presidential Search Committee and the BOT contract offer have not exactly been helpful either.  However, having said that I believe it is time for a new discussion.  I want transparancy.  I want to see the budget and not have to go through eighty different passwords to get to something.  I would like an accounting of the 36 million dollar simulator and why anyone actually thought that would make money.  I want to know why the university keeps paying former presidents.  This is important because the BOT seems to not want to give us anything for the last two years while giving others what seems like a small fortune.  It is even more important in terms of public credibility.  Most of the folks I talk to believe we have money to burn here at UT.  What's worse is they also believe that I as a faculty member have some control over the way money is spent; and, that I am getting reimbursed in a manner similar to administrators. I am sure you all have questions you would like answered as well.  Let's ask a few here and see if anyone is listening.