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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

President's Message on Merger

Dear CoCA and LLSS Faculty,
As you know, the College Councils have worked diligently on proposed structures for a merged college. On March 24th, the two deans brought forward a proposal that has a “School of the Arts” embedded within a combined college.
It is important to note, the “School of the Arts” has been a consistent discussion point from CoCA representatives and something that I had indicated seemed reasonable since this would not be a College with a School “tacked on,” but rather a School integrated into the College. 
As with all of our Schools, there would be a Director who would be expected to teach and work actively to enhance existing local relationships, such as those with the Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Symphony and the Toledo School of the Arts. 
I envision that the new college will have a college council with proportional representation from all 14 departments. While there are curricular issues to resolve, those are the purview of the faculty and should be discussed collectively. However, there should not be an imposition of majority will, or curriculum, on any departments. Instead, academic integrity and pedagogy should prevail.
Finally, I encourage us to make progress and position our newly constituted college for increased future success. As such, I propose that we complete this transition and then we allow new Provost Hsu to initiate a national search in August 2017 for the next dean of this new college.
It is my hope that we can proceed with the merged college and begin the process of working through the details. To defer this to next year extends this period of uncertainty.
Thank you for your help and patience in this process.

Sincerely,
Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D.
President

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

"[T]here should not be an imposition of majority will, or curriculum, on any departments" - that's the sentence that will be interpreted and argued, especially in light of the declaration that curriculum issues will be handled by Council. Isn't that what Council frequently does - impose the majority will? The proposed national search for a new dean also caught my attention, as it will either result in a current dean being sent back into faculty ranks with her current salary (I'm presuming that golden parachute is still in place) or she will be moved sideways into some other position or a new position will be created for her. I can't imagine conducting a national search just to end up selecting the current dean. Moreover we have to be talking about the current LLSS dean, as it only seems reasonable the the school of the arts director will be the COCA dean, doubtless at her current dean salary. Frankly, I don't see how this saves UT any money at all, and can only see ways in which it costs money in the short term, but then I heard it's not about saving money.

Anonymous said...

Cavil much? No wonder this all had to be resolved solved by decree. I think it is a respectful and sane solution.

Anonymous said...

"However, there should not be an imposition of majority will, or curriculum, on any departments. Instead, academic integrity and pedagogy should prevail."

Anarchy looms.

Auf Wiedersehen! Au Revoir! Say┼Źnara! and Adios!

There's your cost savings leading to a balanced budget.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we all agree that integrity and pedagogy should prevail. How about a college requirement of 2 semesters of a foreign language and then let each program decide whether to require two additional semesters of either a foreign language, math/research methods, science, writing, or some advanced techniques in the fine arts. Or some combination thereof.

Anonymous said...

Foreign language optional. No more tyranny of the foreign language department!! They cost us students and are not producing results (i.e., fluency).

Anonymous said...


Hmm.

So UT will have a new dean for the newly formed college, the product of a national search, someone presumably with youthful enthusiasm, fresh ideas, and a bold, new vision for arts and humanities at UT.

And the new dean will be greeted by still another new provost—how many does that make since 2006?—also ready and eager to tackle UT chronic, core undergraduate enrollment problems, multimillion-dollar budget issues and nonexistent national image.

To be honest, given UT’s unexceptional track record since the merger, all these new arrivals remind me of one of the most famous quotes to come from the Vietnam War, an observation coined by New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan. In 1963, at Tan Son Nhut air base, Sheehan, while listening to a newly arrived American general make his airport speech about imminent victory, turned to a colleague and said, “ Ah, another foolish westerner come to lose to reputation to Ho Chi Minh.”

Anonymous said...

We've had lots of internal promotions, from deans to provost. Where has it gotten us? We've been circling the drain. Time for fresh faces from outside UT.

Anonymous said...

Administrators do not return to 9 month faculty with the full salary intact. Yes, higher then average faculty salaries but it is a reduction from their administrative salary. And note that effective July 1st a new university policy will set 9 month base salary for all new faculty to administrative appointments, so as to stop traditional practice of high 9 month faculty salary post administrative appointment.

Anonymous said...

The President has stated publicly on several occasions that cost savings were not the issue nor would they be significant, but fewer Colleges and Deans was the aim and intended to show reduction in administration. Eventually there will be one new Dean (at $200,000+) and one less Dean - either returning to faculty or as Art School Director/Assoc Dean at lower salary, with another former Dean back to faculty or retired. Former Deans do not return to faculty with their full Dean salaries, but at a reduced 9 month salary (still high among salaries in their college, but not Dean salary level).

Also worthwhile to note that effective July 1st a new policy for all future faculty to administrator positions will set their 9 month salary at time of administrative appointment to which they will then return to if back to 9 month faculty position. No longer will they be able to simply convert 12 month to 9 month at level of their Dean salary or negotiate a higher faculty salary upon leaving administration. So no more former Deans and Provosts on the faculty at salaries way above their peers.

Anonymous said...


Where are the cost savings to make up the $11 million budget deficit coming from?

Is the Board of Trustees prepared to carry over a budget deficit from this year into the 2017 fiscal year budget? I think the Ohio Revised Code prohibits that.

Anonymous said...

Hiring freeze and across the board 1% cut already resolved the mid year FY16 budget deficit

Anonymous said...

UT academic and operations budget (hospital excluded) is around $600 million, so 1% represents $6 million in cuts, certainly manageable across the board - keeping in mind savings from not filling positions simply pushes remaining needed work on those still working here. Now for FY17 3.5% or around $21 millions means finding lots of unallocated funds, not filling those positions, and direct cuts including jobs - those impacts still under discussion as FY17 is being built, will be real mean and hard decisions impacting real jobs and people and the offices and departments they work in and support.

Anonymous said...

There's going to be a transition period, as far as I understand the merger, and there won't be a new dean until 2018 - that's what I heard, anyway. I don't know if the president will want the controversial stuff decided before the new dean arrives or will want the controversial stuff delayed until after. If it's the latter, then I guess the new college will have departments with different curriculum until 2018, and if it's the former, there will still be quite a bit of time taken to merge the two college councils, revise the college constitution, etc.

As far as the, yet again, completely unfounded fear mongering on this forum about people losing jobs - there are no plans for anyone to lose their jobs to make up the budget shortfall.

Anonymous said...

Effective July 1st there will be one new college, when faculty return in the fall there will be one college council, simple for group to revise existing bylaws into one for new college. And not sure what you mean by "controversial stuff" but President made it clear she has no interest in running the college or dealing with curriculum. Faculty in the new college will control curriculum (not a future Dean) and if they decide in fall and next spring to revise college curriculum, they the faculty have the right and authority to do so - does not require approval of the Dean or President or waiting on a new Dean in 2018.

And yes a 3.5% cut in FY17 does raise legitimate concerns about jobs as the money has to come from somewhere and with over 80% of unit costs consisting of job positions fair to consider impacts may occur there.

Meanwhile a current administrator making $500,000 cashes in on contract provision to walk away with another $250,000 while leaving his UT job. When will the board start to consider their administrative hires from outside academia who are only in it for the money???

Anonymous said...


Anonymous 5:53 a.m., How in the hell is UT going to fill a $21 million budget hole without layoffs?

Anonymous said...


What an incredibly feckless, hapless band of patsies!

That’s the only conclusion one can reach about the UT Board of Trustees after reading the story in today’s Blade (“UT official to leave; will receive $250,000”) about the imminent departure of the UT Medical Center chief executive officer to join the world’s greediest, most heartless profession—investment banking—and the contract that allows him to exercise a provision that permits him to terminate his employment agreement “for good reason” and be paid $250,000.

What were the trustees, who really are nothing more than a bunch of hand-picked political appointees with widely varying levels of intelligence, experience and expertise, thinking when they negotiated the contract? Were they paying attention? Do they even care?

Entering into such a deal and then having the university pick up the tab at a time when layoffs are just around the corner is simply unconscionable.

This board might even get failing grades at Trump University for this fiasco!

Anonymous said...

earlier this week CLLSS Council voted to accept the merger proposal, any word on how faculty in COCA are doing?

Anonymous said...

I can guarantee that a few faculty in Arts, and certainly some in Comm, are going to be difficult and obstructists when it comes to the new college once official on July 1st. They will insist on two identities when in fact it will be one college with one CCAP, one college council and one Dean.

And is it true what I hear that some Communication faculty are so distressed that they attempted to bypass their own current college (including their department faculty chair, and current Dean) with proposal to eliminate the foreign language for Comm majors, instead taking it directly to Faculty Senate?

Will the Comm faculty members we all know to be long time contributors here on this blog, stand up and account for themselves and their actions against their current college colleagues and leadership?

Bloggie said...

To Anonymous 2:11 PM on April 12:

Just for you, please see "How to Make a Tinfoil Hat" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGkFRs6eng4.