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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Visions of Reorganization

So, the UT faculty member goes into the psychiatrists's office and is shown the fabled inkblots.  Says the faculty member to the psychiatrist, "Doctor, I didn't come here to look at dirty pictures."


Anonymous said...

Two evil garden gnomes giving high-5s?

Anonymous said...

"Two evil garden gnomes giving high-5s?"

Honestly, I saw that too before I read this!

Anonymous said...

Gnomes, deans, whatever...

mary ellen edwards said...

This was always my favorite Rorschach.

Anonymous said...

What does it mean if you see happy elves giving each other high fives?

Anonymous said...

Happy blood-drenched elves? Means another orc done gone! Anyway, we are talking garden gnomes here. Changing the topic won't save one dean on the President's *hit list.

Anonymous said...

I thought they were happy chrstmas elves with red caPs aboots....

Anonymous said...

Instead of complaining about organizational structure, counting deans, and complaining about the quality of our incoming students we should embrace our role as a metropolitan university.

Anonymous said...

When Sharon Gaber was named earlier this year as UT’s new president, she was hailed as a “transformative”—what a clich√©—leader who will elevate UT’s national academic reputation and stature.

Here’s hoping she knows the herculean task in front of her.

In its inaugural ranking of four-year U.S. universities, The Economist, a well-respected British weekly, attempted to gauge universities’ and colleges’ value added, untangling the thorny question of financial return on investment based on salary, with regard to bachelor’s degree programs only.

The magazine’s analysts calculated expected earnings based on entering student SAT scores and sex ratio, along with the university size and other variables. The magazine then subtracted expected earnings from actual earnings.

So, where does UT stand in the rankings?




Missing in action.

Call an Amber alert.

Entering UT’s name in the search database yields this frustrating, embarrassing response: “We do not have data on that college.” (See

What the hell!!

The magazine relied on the U.S Department of Education‘s college scorecard website that contains a wealth of information about universities and colleges.

Was the data about UT incomplete or perhaps not submitted at all?

What administrative unit is responsible for ensuring that UT submits accurate, timely, complete data to the U.S Department of Education, Ohio Board of Regents and other federal and state agencies that collect statistics that are then used in these national surveys and rankings?

The first thing the new UT president should do Monday morning is to determine what UT administrative unit is responsible and hold it accountable.

What about other area universities?

BGSU is listed and is estimated to add value. So does Ohio Northern University, Columbus School of Art and Design, Ursuline University, Muskingum University, Baldwin-Wallace University and Defiance College. Most of UT’s MAC peer schools appear in the survey, although the magazine estimates some fail to add value. Even tiny Lourdes University in Sylvania is listed, although it is estimated to subtract value.

Perhaps The Economist, which is just the latest magazine to get into the ranking business, used a somewhat dubious, daffy methodology to judge U.S. universities. But the hard truth is that students and their parents rely on magazine rankings like this to bet their futures and spend their hard-earned money.

UT needs to become a more data-driven university and put in place more effective and productive systems and processes that collect and use data to inform school improvement strategies, to provide information for accountability, and finally to allow UT to at least be included in these kinds of surveys that are not going away.

If the Office of Institutional Research needs more resources, provide it. We live in a data-driven culture and all kinds of data about UT should be readily available.

Relying on nationally televised Tuesday night ESPN football games at the Glass Bowl to jumpstart UT’s national standing isn’t going to cut it.

Anonymous said...

Institutional Research is being reorganized and with new leadership and President Gaber has already stated her intention to provide better data for the surveys that are used in these ratings and to place more effort behind the factors that drive such surveys.

Anonymous said...

A piece disinformation is being floated. At a recent LSS meeting someone claimed that feelings in the Communication Department about separating from COCA are divided, that some felt one way and some another. This is UNTRUE. Department members have discussed the reorganization and consensus is this: Communication Department faculty wants OUT of COCA and IN to a larger reorganized college. No dean, assistant dean, chair or other person speaks for COMM regarding this matter. Period.

Anonymous said...

Some of the COCA folks are talking like the fix is in and they already have their own school, directors and development officers. This I disbelieve..

Anonymous said...

yes deal has already been struck by administration for a School of Arts within but independent from merged CLLSS/COCA - believe it.

Anonymous said...

Why did the LLSS Dean let COMM go to COCA in the first place? Why did she not use the same tactics she is using now to impede the merging of COCA and LLSS? Now she campaigns against re-structuring, but where was she when Scarborough siphoned off COMM to prop up CVPA? The goal of the 2010 restructuring was to break down siloes. Result: we have more siloes, and more turf warfare and pilfering.

Anonymous said...

As long as COCA doesn't steal the COMM department's budget when it forms this new school with all these administrators, then good luck to them.

Anonymous said...

Did not matter then, does not matter now what the Deans think, Provost took COMM away from CLLSS, and movement by administration is now to merge CLLSS/COCA. Deans have no real power or decision-making, once upper administration decides on such changes they are done. I give credit to COCA Dean who has been able to keep independence for the Arts,via School of Art structure within CLLSS/COCA.

Current CLLSS + COCA = two Deans, three Assoc Deans
new CLSS/COCA = one Dean, one School Director, 2 or 3 Assoc Deans or School Directors

No increase or decrease in college administration and President already said merger is not about cost savings, but about appearances - too many Deans and Colleges at UT.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Disney Do a Movie called "Bad News Deans?" Get rid of these bad news deans and start fresh with someone that half of the people on campus may actually come to trust. National search! It's bad news to keep the old guard around when trying to accomplish organizational change. Too much baggage and deeply rooted nefariousness. And there is more than "optics" involved here. Say bye bye to COCA and LSS deans and don't make them directors or some such nonsense. Less bureaucrats is best. Don't kid yourselves, considerable money can be saved and appearance improved simultaneously. One dean. No directors. make things easy on the students instead of the deans for a change.

Anonymous said...

With a merged CLLSS/COCA college there will come a national search for a new Dean(who likely will end up making more than one the current Deans).

And merging the College does not represent considerable cost savings - President already has admitted as much. ex Deans and Assoc Deans go back to faculty, saving perhaps total of perhaps $100,000 at most in salaries and benefits. Real impact could fall on 2 executive assistants and deans office secretaries (CWA positions) displaced and having to force others out of positions somewhere on campus, perhaps 2 job positions lost somewhere down the road somewhere on campus.

And I am not so sure how the specific deans, number of them, having directors, or having current two colleges or one merged college, makes anything easier for the students?

Anonymous said...

students will benefit by having to maneuver through the bureaucracy of fewer colleges. More deans = more BS. And we will all benefit from a lessening of their nonsense. I do admit the deans seems to exhibit plenty of self-love. Get them mirrors as a parting gift.

Anonymous said...

All this incessant strum und drang over college configuration and number of deans is a red herring. The real problem is that the University cannot demonstrate the value--or value added--of a UT education. The academic management structure has nothing to do with fixing that problem.

Anonymous said...

"students will benefit by having to maneuver through the bureaucracy of fewer colleges" Unless you are doing a double or duel major across colleges, how do the Deans and college structure impact our students?? Vast majority of our majors are currently in one college with one dean, and same will be case after the merger.

"The real problem is that the University cannot demonstrate the value--or value added--of a UT education." If you are a faculty member or staff, this is also your role, perhaps more so then the Dean or President as students and their parents will interact more with staff and faculty then others. And I can do this using numerous examples of successful recent grads from our programs to show current and perspective students the value of our degree, and often do at many recruitment events. If you work at UT with students can you say the same about your efforts? If not, stop blaming the Deans and President get to work doing it within your department.

Anonymous said...

To 5:53 am: if the current structure is so useful, with more deans to interact with more students, why are enrollments dropping? Yes, after the merger of LLSS and COCA, students will still be in one college with one dean, but they will also be in a college with more departments and degrees, and it will be easier for students to complete degrees that span the disciplines. We should encourage more double majors and double minors. Students cannot rely on specializing in one discipline that will see them through their careers. They need more than one major and minor to see them through all the professional changes they will have to make over their lives.

Anonymous said...

Enrollment drops are a reflection of poor marketing and promotion campus wide with the focus on sports and UTMC (plus the largest drop this year came from graduate students, specifically Business and Education), plus lack of college based resources for recruitment within CLLSS and COCA specifically (and the loss of faculty focusing fewer course options and students seeking courses to complete degree elsewhere besides UT. Some programs have 50% less faculty and have seen huge drops in enrollment as they can not support students without faculty and resources and less course offerings.

I never said or implied the current structure was useful, just that the number of colleges and deans, and their interaction with students, were not factors in enrollment drops. I agree and support the opportunities with duel and double majors across programs within a CLLSS/COCA college, but one less Dean is not going to impact student recruitment or retention, which need to be the focus of the institution and everyone here, including staff and faculty working on these efforts at the department and program level.

Anonymous said...

And having that one more dean apparently has not helped retention and recruitment. Staff and faculty already work at recruitment and retention. But the University has neglected many units in its resource allocation; the University has not helped certain departments and programs to market their opportunities to students.

Unknown said...

The condom maker Trojan recently released its 2015 Sexual Health Report Card, which ranks college campuses across their country based on accessibility to health resources. The report card measures the level of sexual education and available sexual health resources on college campuses across the nation. (See

So how did UT rank in still another college survey?

According to “Ohio State ranked 28th, dropping five spots compared to 2014. Other schools and their rank compared to 2014 are University of Cincinnati (rising 7 spots to 39th), Bowling Green State University (rising 10 spots to 69th), Miami University, (rising 13 spots to 70th), Ohio University (dropping 34 spots to 75th), Kent State University (dropping 15 spots to 76th), University of Akron (rising 1 spot to 105th) and University of Toledo (dropping 15 spots to 110th).

Holy Alfred Kinsey, Batman!

But do not despair.

UT did top Brigham Young University — Utah’s private school run by the Mormon church — which finished in last place of the 140 schools that were ranked.

The top-ranked school?

Oregon State University.

Go Beavers!

Anonymous said...

Re "Go Beavers!" I can't define irony, but I know it when I see it. ~ Hemingway?

Anonymous said...

Here's my guess.

It's Hef!