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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Playing Together in the Sandbox of Life

Okay Playdate Friends:

There seems to be, on the part of a few responders, some misconceptions about what we do here in Bloggie Land.  First, we are not omniscient.  While some may believe that getting an advanced degree or being named an administrator comes with this ability, they are wrong.  It follows that we do not know everything about everybody.  We often have opinions, which since it is our blog, we feel free to expound upon.  Second, some of the opinions of responders will agravate some of our readers.  That's the nature of a blog.  Frankly I would be disappointed if someone wasn't getting mad about something.  Third, there are the false assumptions that some responders have about who we are.  To assume that those who respond to the blog aren't working toward bettering the university is nonsense.  I haven't been here over 27 years; served on numerous committees; and wasted enormous amounts of time doing make work that administrators said was important not to care what happens here.  Finally, I would suggest that how this administration handles its problems with deans in several colleges and negotiations with the union will go a long way toward giving the faculty some idea as to whom they really are. 

I lied.  I have one more thing to say.  The blog has no idea who responds to the posts.  They could be faculty, staff, students, alums, or dare I say it, administrators.  Since I'm the only one with a name, we'll just have to guess.  Now return to the previous post where you can confess to Father Bloggie.

36 comments:

Rocky said...

Here, Here.

I haven't replied to a post in quite a while as I am no longer at UT and not totally in touch. But, the sentiments expressed are my sentiments exactly. I did the things that I did at the university because I cared about it. I still care about it and wish for the best to happen. I still read the blog.

Walt Olson

Anonymous said...

I agree with David Tucker and couldn't have said it any better.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Walt. We appreciated your efforts and your courage.

Anonymous said...

Let’s not forget the initial remark that led to this latest thread and the previous blog sections. A majority of the senior faculty of the The College of Education have voted no confidence in the Dean who was placed upon them without benefit of a national search. Administration response to this is muted at best. The digression into fear and punishment was an unexpected detour (Actually LLJ was wonderful at detouring faculty into blind alleys, leaving him free to act). Response to the concern raised by the College of Education seemed lukewarm – surprising in light of the forced appointments (and restructuring) of A&S. Is there no collegial support in the blog for folks in Education?

Anonymous said...

First, what about a post from someone in Education who can discuss the issues firsthand, rather than this blog and others jumping to support them when we have no idea what the problem is?

Anonymous said...

Someone from the College of Education? After all these years, why, at this point, would someone educated post anything on this blog?

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. The problem of a non-recruited/non-selected Dean should be self-evident to all. But, perhaps the "Senior Faculty" are wary of the same outcome that happened to A&S? Perhaps they thought a letter to the President/Provost should be sufficient? Perhaps this Blog is only for A&S refugees?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, someone should read the Blog's title.

Anonymous said...

There are problems not just in the College of Eduation with an appointed dean rather than someone selected from a national search. The College of Social Justice and Human Services's department of Higher Ed has a few issues as well, in particular people with no graduate faculty status proposing and teaching graduate courses. Take a look at who is teaching HED 6700 Finance of Higher Education and HED 5910 Diversity Beginnings.

Anonymous said...

College of Ed. faculty persists in trying to purge themselves of the Jake appointed Dean. All paths being pursued including Faculty Senate evaluation of her to corroborate the malaise created by the unfortunate selection.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous October 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM. It should be be no surprise that Higher Ed. has problems. The husband is in Higher Ed. and his wife is the charliatan Ed. Dean who holds tenure in Higher Ed. in the College of Social Justice and Human Services.

Anonymous said...

All of these complaints about how "the blog" works have to come from people who are new to the internet. As someone who's been wandering around in anonymous comment sections since the late 90s, I don't find any of the dynamics here to be odd or surprising or problematic.

A mixture of truth and BS? check.

Long off-topic rants? check.

Unproductive but psychologically necessary venting? check.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it make more sense for the dean of the College of Ed to apply for the deanship in College of Social Justice and Human Service since that is where she is tenured?

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps this Blog is only for A&S refugees?"

Yes! Let's hear it for the A&S refugee/survivors! They endured the deliberate humiliation, neglect, discrimination and outright hostility of Jacobs Inc. for eight long years.

They now rejoice to see its corrupt leadership finally banished, routed and searching for employment elsewhere.

Only now will it be possible under a new and ethical administration to begin to restore a healthy climate for intellectual pursuits on the Main Campus that Jacobs Inc. all-but-destroyed.

Perhaps Carlson Library can soon again embrace books as friends, and aggressively pursue as its first priority promoting the higher purpose and worthy goals of building UT's academic reputation through faculty/student scholarship and publication.

And how about restoring A&S College? What vindictive Jacobs Inc. tore asunder can be made whole again to the long-term benefit of UT students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Anonymous said...

I agree: it's time to consider re-uniting the former Arts and Sciences College. It would greatly benefit the students who could more easily double major in a science and humanities or art discipline, or in a humanities and art discipline. Advising would be more coherent. Team-teaching and interdisciplinary courses could be more easily scheduled and compensated. Then, there are the savings in administrative costs...
By the way, with all the administrative hope that as many tenured faculty as possible will retire, has anyone surveyed the deans and VPs and other administrators to see how many of them plan to retire SOON? Perhaps we could replace them with part-timers. We could save a bundle and be more flexible and nimble in responding to the future.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the College of Arts and Sciences should be restored.

In the meantime, I think concerned A&S College senior faculty refugee/survivors in-exile (having lost their happy home under a big tent to Jacobs' divide-and-conquer machinations) should sit down with the still-Teflon UT marketing team (Larry Burns et al) eyeball to eyeball and hash out exactly what the Bancroft Campus should aspire to become in this new post-Jacobs era in order to succeed in recruiting top students locally, regionally, nationwide and throughout the world.

I am tired of our administration's still abiding with and throwing money at academic mediocrity and self-destructive anti-intellectualism as the overall uninspiring mission for our university.

Devaluing the traditional UT Honors Program standards in search of mediocrity (a shameless trolling for tuition dollars) was the last big bad idea launched under the crumbling, despotic Jacobs mal-administration -- and the first that needs to be addressed in a public forum.

Meanwhile, what folly! This new Honors College is shaping up to be and expensive farce! Life-experience for credit toward graduation????

Hello! How about our undergraduate students putting their noses to the grindstone for four years in a brick-and-mortar classroom in the hands of a distinguished faculty and EARNING their degrees, instead of conspiring with a miscreant administration filled with bean-counters that encourages them to feel entitled to be able BUY their degrees by sporting scarce little intellectual effort or sense of civic duty.

The UT academic reputation will even more quickly spin down the toilet nationwide if our current anti-intellectual marketing objectives are encouraged to persist.

Concerned faculty, and especially those who value ethical student recruitment, liberal arts education, and increasing our academic reputation, need to sit down right now with our high-paid wayward marketing/branding team and discuss in a civil way the urgent need for their redirecting their efforts from mediocrity towards excellence.

Talk about silos! UT marketing has marched to its own tune (hail the almighty dollar and let's dismantle and plow under the ivory tower with salt) unchallenged for too long.

Anonymous said...

Someone at one of the presidential forums called it: as long as we have the same board, the problems are likely to remain. It's worm-circle time, as some will recall:

http://astro1.panet.utoledo.edu/~ljc/chronicle.htm

Anonymous said...

The Board will have no interest in reforming A&S. Although I understand the passion and reasoning behind having an A&S College, other then UT every other university I attended and worked at did not have an A&S college and a few years ago when I assisted a family member with looking at colleges to attend, many including top schools did not have A&S colleges. So I am not so sure one is needed included at UT. What is more important is the faculty, resources, recognition and support for the liberal arts and humanities which does continue to be a need and important issue here. I am not sure that simply putting A&S back together will solve those and many other problems at UT

Anonymous said...

These are a just sample of universities in the Midwest with A&S Colleges: The Ohio State; Western Michigan; Eastern Michigan; Ohio University; University of Kentucky ...

Larry Wilcox said...

Could "Anonymous" (October 6, 2014) name some of the "top schools" that do not have a College of Arts AND Sciences? My own research, admittedly incomplete, indicates otherwise.

An internet search documents that eight of the state universities in Ohio have a College of Arts AND Sciences: Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Kent State, Miami, Ohio U., Ohio State, and Shawnee State. The other five state universities in Ohio, now including UT, have something less than a College of Arts AND Sciences: Central State, Cleveland State, Wright State, and Youngstown State. All five of the universities from which I or my children have graduated still have a College of Arts AND Sciences, three public and two private in three different states and DC. The only other higher education institution with which my family has had any close connection over the past half century without a College of Arts AND Sciences is a state university branch campus in the deep south.

Everyone should do a bit of research on what types of institutions have a College of Arts AND Sciences, and those that choose to fragment the liberal arts and sciences. For example, check out the Ohio State A & S website: "The arts and sciences at Ohio State is the academic core and the heart of the university." http://artsandsciences.osu.edu/about/welcome

A & S IS ONE, as it should be, at our flagship state institution, and at most of the institutions I would like to consider UT's peers.

The damage done to UT by the Lloyd Jacobs administration has been unimaginable, but the destruction of the College of Arts and Sciences should be at the top of any list of the many ill-advised decisions made by Lloyd Jacobs.

One of the quickest ways the interim UT administration and BOT could demonstrate a change of direction would be the immediate re-establishment of the College of Arts and Sciences. Of course, such a decision would have to be followed by the restoration of resources drained from the humanities and social sciences by the Jacobs administration.

Anonymous said...

Without a College of Arts and Sciences includes Penn St, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan St, University of Chicago, point is that you need not have a A&S to be a top academic school.

Anonymous said...

A&S worked well for our students and provided good programs and ease of double majors. We had a coherent set of requirements and opportunities. We also had a strong faculty voice and THAT was the problem. What Jacobs didn't understand and what the current interim administration and BOT don't understand, is that this faculty is committed to the profession, the future of this institution, and our students. We are the stewards of this university--and a good thing, too, because most of our administrators can only think about their next raise, bonus, and their next job.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the question is why you don't have a college of A&S. If the faculty and administration have good reasons, then fine. If it is forced upon a university for some pathological reason by a president, then that is a different situation. If you look at some of the new colleges that were formed, like Social Justice and Human Service, they don't make much sense. Who's paying for all of these new deans?

Anonymous said...

As much as Jacobs disliked A&S and its large strong vocal faculty, it was the Board who really wanted A&S and that faculty broken apart - and not enough has changed with the Board to change that attitude that would see A&S put back together. No interim President or Provost is going to undo that action, I have doubts that even the next President regardless of who they are is going to support such a move against the wishes of the Board. One real and serious outcome of Jacobs will be much less interest from the Board in giving so much authority and freedom to the next President.

Anonymous said...

Well then, the question "Do you plan to restore the College of Arts and Sciences on the Main Campus if offered the UT presidency?" may pop up when the shortlisted applicants first face the members of our campus community.

Anonymous said...

To October 9, 2014 at 7:34 AM. I agree the College of Social Justice and Human Service makes little sense. School Psychology? Counselor Education? Maybe I am naive, but aren't these careers related to K-12 Schools? Why aren't they in the Ed. College? Criminal Justice; couldn't that be in the Law College? Ditto with Legal Specialities. Why isn't that in the Law College? It would be very easy to eliminate this college by aligning programs where they belong and save on a few dean's salaries.

Larry Wilcox said...

More research on Arts AND Sciences at "top colleges" is very instructive. Lloyd Jacobs and the UT BOT should have done such research before they spread the A & S departments over four new colleges, with even more administrators: Communications and Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Justice and Human Service, and the etc. College of Languages, Literature, and Social Sciences. (Note NO mention of the Humanities.) Some may believe that UT does not need an Arts & Sciences College to be a "top school", but most such schools do still have such a foundational undergraduate college encompassing all liberal arts disciplines including the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

The University of Chicago does have an undergraduate liberal arts academic unit called "The College" with 50 majors in all field of the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. If it matters, all eight of the Ivy League universities have broad based Arts AND Sciences undergraduate colleges, some of which are also called "The College." The best known "public ivies" also have an A & S college, including UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, and University of Virginia.

Notre Dame has a College of Liberal Arts encompassing all the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, much more than UT's truncated LLSS. 10 of the 14 Big Ten universities have Colleges of Arts AND Sciences, as do eight of the 12 Mid-Am schools. Two of the other Mid Am schools have much broader liberal arts colleges than UT. Ball State has a College of Sciences and Humanities, and Northern Illinois has a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the Mid Am, only Central Michigan and UT have colleges limited to the Humanities and Social Sciences. These two institutions may be the leading edge of a trend in higher education in fragmenting the liberal arts, but my limited research indicates that is not the case.

The Lloyd Jacobs administration succeeded in seriously undermining the liberal arts and sciences at UT, and that makes UT a much weaker institution than it was before the destruction of the UT College of Arts and Sciences. The re-establishment of the UT College of Arts and Sciences could be the beginning for a reversal of the decline of UT because it would constitute a public acknowledgement of one of the most serious errors of the Jacobs administration.

Anonymous said...

And if that questions were to be asked to any candidate for UT President they would likely be noncommittal having not the facts, knowledge or advice and insight to comment.

From all measures the folks in NSM seem to be doing well post A&S, making one wonder if they were asked or polled how many would support going back into A&S - may also be a good question to current LLSS and COCA faculty? I think the results may surprise a number of regulars on this board (all five of you)

Anonymous said...

"(all five of you)"

Thus spake our bean counter (administrator-flunky).

Anonymous said...

LLJ was NOT influenced by the BOT to eliminate A&S. Anyone who says so was not there at the time. A&S was hardly on the horizon of the BOT (sorry for the acronyms). LLJ sold the BOT on his plan to eliminate A&S as a part of his larger plan to eliminate shared governance on the main campus.

Anonymous said...

Stansley's still in the news, UT picks another winner, and Kasich slinks away:

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/10/12/Loans-went-to-solar-execs-other-firms.html

Anonymous said...

The odoriferous dumpster fire stench that is UT’s economic development efforts that wafts over the Main Campus has prompted to me to pledge never again to give a dime to UT.

I urge all faculty members to file a complaint with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools because of the failure of the Board of Trustees to accept responsibility for mismanagement and poor governance of UT. Only people who are serious about good governance should be appointed to the UT board.

Anonymous said...

Rest assured the Board knew very well about A&S and supported the case made by Jacobs to split the college, a former Board member told a friend of mine that the Board wanted to break up the large vocal faculty that where in A&S and dominated campus politics including Faculty Senate and AAUP. Jacobs may have pushed them but the Board full well what they were doing and why.

Anonymous said...

And yet more about UTIE, Stansley, and Jacobs in today's Blade. The comments following this second article indicate how disgusted the community is with such "initiatives."

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/10/13/UT-officials-tied-to-deals-for-solar-firm-execs.html

Anonymous said...

Well, it was all obvious while they were all taking money from here to columbus, it is now even more obvious what has been going on. Still nothing is being done. It looks as if nothing will be done. So it will all happen very soon again with the next round of leadership. I am really getting tired of this....this has been too many times for too long...I want to be at a real university where the goal is creating a positive atmosphere for a while rounded education, not just a place that "gets me a job" and stamps me out like a Toyota part with the cheapest and fastest method possible.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking at actions to address the issues and financial decisions of the past you are going to need to look to Columbus and the State to get involved (including possible legal actions and charges) as it is clear that the current Board on its own is not going to do so and certainly the interim President or the future one are not going to deal with the past. Unfortunately as to the role and place of higher education, including "getting a job" and "career training" that is also not going to change as that mindset also comes directly from Columbus and without a change in Governor or State legislature in the future it will be the focus - no new President or Board is going to alter that path on their own without direction and support of the State.