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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.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

The College of Ed sense of hope just disappeared today. This summer more than 2/3 of the tenured faculty signed a letter sent to the Interim President and Interim Provost asking for an evaluation of the dean and to conduct a dean search. The letter asked for both commence now; fall 2014. Barrett is going to have Faculty Senate do an evaluation in spring, but he will not begin a search for a dean despite 2/3 asking for a search immediately. The dean was a political appointment who the majority in the college do not want as dean. The college wants to select their own dean whom they trust, believe in, and who can provide a strong vision for the college.

Anonymous said...

Here we have an unpopular dean and an interim provost who would rather soldier on in the muddy footsteps of Herr Jacobs than demonstrate their own untested abilities to shoulder some respectable leadership responsibilities by doing the right thing, right now.

Students in the College of Education and across the Main Campus will heretofore suffer most from what is shaping up to be a school-spirit-sucking "Jacobs 2 Era." Obviously the BOT has learned NOTHING from the Jacob 1 debacle.

The unpopular dean should straightaway man up and resign. If he does not, Interim Provost Barrett should quickly demonstrate some spine and initiative and step up to the plate to encourage his resignation.

Where is the bold, intelligent, honest administrative leadership we all hoped for in the wake of Jacob's ultimate managerial fiasco and ugly exit? To the frustrated tenured faculty in the College of Ed: See you on the picket line.

Anonymous said...

The interim president and provost are quickly squandering their political capital: they need to fix what Jacobs broke, or they too will be out and the BOT won't be able to hide behind them.
I agree: time to picket.

Anonymous said...

This is the Jacobs 2 Era? Right now? This? If you see no difference between the last admin and this one, pack up the blog and let a computer run it. A computer can copy and paste negative views forever and you all can move on with your lives. Only humans can speak to nuances and differences.

Bloggie said...

Anonymous 9:04 You seem seriously confused. The "comments" are from persons who are not posting on the blog, some of them with odd perspectives and some possible deranged, and even you. The commenters do not run the blog. They simply offer observations. The people who do run the blog, who post and control it, are kindly enough to let people like you post some pretty questionable (or even stupid comments.) Negative? You sound pretty negative to Bloggie.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 9:04.

"If you see no difference between the last admin and this one ..."

I see no difference. I do see a bum contract proposal from this administration (Jacobs 2) to AAUP that is worse even than the toxic contract proposal coughed up earlier by Jacobs 1.

Aside from that, all I hear is sweet talking jibber-jabber from the interim president and the interim provost. Where's the beef?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone figured out that the interim provost (appointed by the Interim president) is on the search committee for the permanent president? If this loop is accurate, what does it say about all appointments made by both?

Anonymous said...

@4:14: Barrett isn't on the search committee. The members are right here: http://www.utoledo.edu/presidential-search/process.html

What are you referring to in your comment?

@1:58 I'm sorry that you don't like the interim president's accent. Perhaps more respect than referring to it as "jibber-jabber" would be appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Has it occurred to anyone that the BOT may have learned a lesson? I submit to you that Jacobs probably kept the BOT in the dark about quite a few things. I’m no fan of the BOT, but they are intelligent people who do care for the University. They may be guilty of being a bit naïve and falling for Jacob’s bullshit. If so, they have seen the light and acted accordingly. I wouldn’t expect a public apology or admission of error. That is not the American way of doing business, and these are mostly business people.
The tone of the interim administration has clearly changed for the better. The moral on campus is higher than it has been in a few years. The budgetary interpretations are much more realistic and balanced. The days of crying financial wolf seem to be over.
You can sit here and find fault for ever. No administration is perfect, but let’s acknowledge progress when it happens. Things are better. There is reason for optimism. If you don’t see it than you have been blinded by your own negativity.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe the statement jibber-jabber refers to anyone's accent. Where did you get that?

My concern is whether the new president is preordained by the BOT and the search is just another dog and pony show.

And what happened to the open process when the first meeting started with a private meeting?

Anonymous said...

Every search committee meeting anywhere is in executive session. Public or private. Pretending otherwise to gin up anger is intellectually dishonest in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Rodney De-rangerfield here…

…I tell ya, I get no respect…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwu-6GxBHN4

No worries though… I’ll just mosey on over to the faculty club and see if I can make some new friends…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=171FURqSIQc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3A9rLoz_0o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMVvTl83gWg

Whatever the actual facts may be regarding the qualifications (or lack thereof) of the current Ed College dean (from which deliberations, readers may recall, The 13 Illuminati have formally recused ourselves) the bar is set so low in the pseudo-academic discipline of Education that it should not require too much for the new dean to exceed all expectations.

We have already been over all this at some length, but for the sake of review the following brief clip shows yours truly, JdS, demonstrating some cutting edge contemporary education theory in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg8lSyGavc4

The situation in the pseudo-discipline of Education has become so bad in fact that the former Pope of the Education Vatican itself (Columbia University Teachers College President, Arthur Levine) felt compelled to issue a scathing encyclical of reprimand some years back, viz., the anti-bull Education Papal Bull: “Contra Educatium Sasquatchium”.

http://www.edschools.org/

We suspect the UT Ed School faculty’s displeasure with the current dean may stem not so much from any putative inadequacy in said dean as from the sense among Ed School faculty (who have effectively had the unsupervised run of the place for years) that a systematic paradigm shift may be in the offing and that a several decades long party in the Ed School (and indeed in the many various other academic strongholds of PC Marxist-Feminist Postmodernism and affiliated purveyors of academic woo in general) may at long last be coming to an end.

From the outside looking in, it is difficult to determine the precise origins or motivations for this most recent unseemly uprising among the local Ed School peerage.

It’s anyone’s guess, given that the sort of rapidly shape shifting, clandestine and Byzantine Machiavellian alliances commonly manifested at all levels of the contemporary political landscape of academia have not been seen since the halcyon days of the Renaissance Borgias.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUT07eZoXPw

Of course we have our own controversial views regarding the most expeditious way to serve the greater good and cure the Academy of all that ails it in the way of pseudo-academic nonsense and superfluous administrative and academic positions, departments, programs and colleges…

First, get the proper authorization with the trusty obligatory PP presentation…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aocZo3oeNxw

Then, before initiating implementation, find something else meaningful and productive for all the affected people to do, where intellectual and moral integrity need not be blatantly compromised, where human and capital resources are not wantonly squandered and where nobody has to get hurt…

…and then start going door to door on campus to each pseudo-course, office, program or department and…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ8cjlEMLR0

And then, just once more to be absolutely sure…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb1gA17Y1o0




Anonymous said...

Thank you Larry.

Anonymous said...

to Anon 5:20 pm:

Just because everyone else is hiding behind closed doors to do their dastardedly deeds does not make it right that our BOT chooses to ignore its own promise to be transparent. I fear that once again the BOT is going to make a huge mistake and the faculty, staff, and students will pay for it while former trustees get $135,000 positions (as J. Tuschman recently has), and other trustees will blatantly ignore their conflicts of interest (as Sharon Speyer of the Huntington Bank does). Jacobs, Gold, Scarborough: these were the nasty tip of the iceberg. The bottom cowardly, incompetent and criminal two-thirds of the iceberg hiding in the dark murky water is the BOT.

Anonymous said...

The anger, bitterness and mean-spiritedness of the remarks reflected in this faculty blog are breathtaking in their depth and breadth and lead to one important question: What self-respecting academic leader would ever want to become UT president?

Anonymous said...

What self-respecting academic leader would ever want to pick up the mess left behind by Lloyd Jacobs?

Anonymous said...

Great post by anonymous at 9:31! Maybe an even bigger question for the mean-spirited and eternally bitter people who are still mad at Jacobs and will be until who knows when is this: Why are they still working at a place where they harbor such bitterness? Are they part of any kind of a solution or are they part of the problem?

There is a new leadership team on board and things seem to be going in a different direction. President Nagi has been in office less than three months and the whining and complaining is already at a fever pitch. It amazes me how much some people complain WHILE having no problems cashing a check.

Wyatt said...

Back in The Day upstanding citizens didn't "get out of Dodge" because a bunch of louche cowpokes rode through town and trashed the place. Instead, they got themselves some new sheriffs: straight shooters; Incorruptibles.

The Jacobs Gang will be back in short order unless we get a new BOT and fast. The present BOT seems to be a box of rocks when it comes to appreciating the three main ingredients of a high-ranking state public university that students will choose to flock to and graduate from in a timely manner with pride and a strong feeling accomplishment:

1) high academic reputation;
2) a tenured faculty comprised of often cited prolific publishers across the colleges;
3) a healthy ratio of tenured-faculty to undergraduate students.

Anonymous said...

Well, 7:06 PM, some of us have been burned so badly, for so many years, that's it's difficult to trust many of the same people to make any decisions that are not a repeat of the past. Now if the BOT would issue a statement that they were wrong, that would be a starting point.

I have absolutely nothing against President Nagi, but I believe there should be an open process for the next UT president. He will be the president, the search is just a charade.

Anonymous said...

Keep in perspective that there are perhaps only 10-15 regular posters here, a very small percentage of faculty and staff working at UT, so I would not take their views, and continued complaining (and often complete lack of understanding of issues and situations) as in anyway reflective of the majority of faculty and staff at UT.

And regardless of the LJ legacy and mess left behind, someone will -and should - become the next President, as in many respects they have a great opportunity since the chance to present a much more improved leader is there for the taking.

As to the BOT, there a number of new members, and it is too soon (nor is there any evidence to date) to judge how they will function and whether the BOT will change their view and approach to governing UT. To date, the search for a new President appears to be following the usual path for such searches as since at other recent President searches including public universities in Ohio, and for the first time since 2000 UT will actually an open and public search with a pool of candidates and finalists brought to campus - for me that is great progress.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Anonymous 11:51 AM, I have that position announcement for the UT presidential search published in the Chronicle of Higher Education right in front of me. Had you read it, you would not be so optimistic about a dramatic change for the better in the immediate future.

For example, I see no mention of an enthusiastic, skilled, and experienced academic faculty, nor any mention of any administration commitment to the philosophy of shared governance.

The first paragraph to the ad is highlighted, and announces that UT offers programs "in business, education, engineering, law, medicine, nursing and pharmacy." Research in solar and other STEMM projects, as well as football, are also highlighted in the second paragraph.

There is no mention in the ad of any commitment to the liberal arts. The term "excellence" in relation to the UT academic mission does not appear once.

Instead, just after mention of Toledo's fine zoo, there is this stand-alone paragraph: "The University of Toledo's new president ... can anticipate the support of a broad range of University constituencies in moving the institution forward."

Hardly. The many academic faculty represented by AAUP are a key constituency that, absent any fair contract offer from the BOT, will most likely be greeting any short-listed visiting prospective presidents in the dead of winter from a long picket line that will include students, staff and alumni.

Anonymous said...

The Block family wants a medical doctor and their emissary is the board chair. I don't think it will be Nagi. Zerbery can't overrule the Blocks

Anonymous said...

I have seen the advert for the President position and see nothing that would stop a deep and qualified pool of candidates from applying including traditional academics from non-professional colleges. And the chair of the BOT does not appoint the next President, he has only one vote, the entire BOT will make that final decision so I am not concerned about the influence of the Blade and the Blocks.

Anonymous said...

Getting Jacobs as UT President was part of the merger deal and certainly a move made behind the scene by the Board and others. Board and others will not have the same ability under a public search by a committee and most of those board members are now gone

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 7:06 PM

You write: "There is a new leadership team on board and things seem to be going in a different direction."

Meanwhile, Jacobs/Klein authored "Relevant University" is the official compass direction by which the BOT and "interim administration" continues to aggressively move.

Thank you Bloggie for archiving all these key controversial documents and all previous critical analyses of them, and all previous discussions related to them:

http://ascforum.blogspot.com/2010/04/highly-relevant-review-of-relevant.html