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Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Couple of Thoughts

Just when one thought the world might be getting a little brighter two things happen that remind you of your place versus that of the chosen few.  First, our President has been given a large bonus.  To place the $90,000 bonus in perspective, it is larger than most of our salaries.  I have no idea what kind of a job the President has done.  I have no idea what she was or was not told when she took this "fixer upper".  What I do know is that we are running a deficit and that the appearance of this bonus makes it look like it's back to business as usual.

At the other end of the financial spectrum there is the Phoenicia.  Word on the street is that they will be forced out by December.  It seems 22 years of faithful service is not good enough.  Aramark wants their kitchen.  So, there you have it:  a big bonus for one year's service and a kick in the but for 22 years.


Unknown said...

Loyalty has never been a strong value, a core principle at UT.

Just ask the dozens of committed staff members jettisoned by the university in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in the name of economies of scale.

Anonymous said...

Enrollment is up. Retention is up. Morale is up. She's avoided staff layoffs. She's made modest first steps to reduce administrative overhead. She has been the most open and transparent president since McComas. She bring energy and enthusiasm and is visible (in a positive way) in the community.

The US News and World Report are trailing indicators. They are a reflection on Jacobs not her. Now if we don't show improvement in two or three year, then its on her.

She's the best thing to happen to UT in a long time. If an additional $90K keeps her here, it is well worth the investment.

Anonymous said...

The arrogance and self center dens of this bonus is remarkable, and yet familiar....when will the BOT figure out they are hurting UT?

Anonymous said...

Aramark. The company that gets kicked out of Michigan prisons for serving bad food.

Dave Tucker said...

It's always about the money.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Aramark, say what you will, the food service is better on campus now than at anytime in the last 30 years. There is more choice than ever before. No, it isn't perfect, but it is reasonable good at a reasonable price. Most importantly the trend is positive. So give the negativity a rest for once.

Anonymous said...

“ProMedica confirms downtown purchase,” The Blade, Sept. 22, 2016

Dave is right. It’s always about the money. And the ProMedica money printing presses are working three shifts.

Question for the BOT.

Is it time for a name change, Say, the University of ProMedicaville?

Anonymous said...

Only time will tell, but so far Dr. Gaber is an asset and blessing to this University and City.

The time spent complaining about her raise would be better used lobbying or working on the Provost's strategic plan. We know nothing about this person; he has been rather quiet.

If UT continues the failed strategy of running an open-enrollment college, setting many young adults up for failure (those who are not fit or prepared for college; but "heck, everyone deserves and belongs in college"), then they will continue fighting an uphill and unwinnable battle. Rankings will not change, reputation will continue to degrade, and the smart students will smarten up and go elsewhere.

So, it will be interesting to see if the anticipated Provost's strategic plan diverges from the GOP-approved approach (yes it is political) which just means a very slow death for UT.

How about splitting into two colleges: UT Main campus is the "university", and UT-University College (scott park) is the junior college? UT-University College (scott park) functions to remediate students and help them get admitted to UT or eslwhere. Main Campus downsizes and focuses (invests) in a select number of programs and departments, while still supporting all other departments and maintaining a strong liberal arts education.

This way UT at least has a chance of becoming a top tier university, while at the same time being inclusive and supportive, rather than setting some students up for failure (which is what we do now)......or just passing them (which is what some administrators tell us to do now too).

Anonymous said...

"Open admissions" is a regular target on this blog. However, it is my understanding that Columbus dictates that policy, not individual public universities in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what the GOP approved approach is, but UT chose to be an open enrollment university (was not mandated by state nor in state law), UT could make strategic decision to phase out of open enrollment, in fact that has and is currently an option discussed. However it is my understanding that by state law UT is not able to operate a regional campus, but it is the approach used by many other 4 year colleges in Ohio to separate less prepared, and lower DHS GPA students, away from main campus so they are not counted in any state data or unofficial ranking systems. Look at Kent State as example of how regional campuses works in their favor in that regard. So the issue is not what UT can or should do but what the state will allow us to do - and we should be lobbying for those changes.

mary ellen edwards said...

Oh you mean Com Tech?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:44 is right on the mark, and his idea deserves serious consideration by the Gaber administration.

UT’s top priority—one supported by many alumni and people in the community—has to be improvement of its academic reputation and its academic rigor.

That requires, among other things, more stringent undergraduate admissions policies—something that all of UT’s senior colleges have adopted in recent years—and by improving student retention and graduation rates.

In some ways, the 2006 merger with Medical University of Ohio is part of the natural evolution of UT’s pursuit of greater distinction.

That momentum, which died six or seven years ago, must be reignited, with a focus on quality, not quantity. Trimming the number of undergraduates while tightening admission standards might cost the university money in the short run, but will boost UT’s national standing. Higher academic aspirations and higher admissions standards eventually will attract, not drive away, more students.

Let’s have admissions standards that require high school students looking to gain guaranteed admission to UT to hit the books harder. UT should want students to come to the university, to be passionate about the university and about continuing their education, and to stay. Admit only students who have the greatest potential for academic success. Increase the requirement to 950 or 1,000 for SAT scores or 20-21 for ACT scores.

University College’s “bridge” programs and the first-year experience programs should continue and be strengthened to assist students who might struggle with the transition from high school to college and accompany the new admission standards.

Sure, there is always going to be a tension between accessibility and affordability and excellence because excellence is expensive. But UT has to begin a strategy to be more like universities that are members of the Association of American Universities and compete for the best faculty and staff members and students.

Sure, that’s a big stretch, but with the breadth of its professional and graduate programs, there is absolutely no reason why UT cannot become more of a “reach” university for students.

At its core, UT is an academic institution, a center for scholarship, and its energy, resources, time, and innovation must be directed toward student education.

UT should continue to focus on success measures that are characteristic of elite schools. Believe me, UT alumni are more interested in seeing the university set its academic sights higher, in seeing improvements in the GPAs and test scores of entering undergraduate classes, in four- and six-year graduation rates, in the number of students earning prestigious national fellowships such as the Fulbright or Woodrow Wilson and in the number of students continuing their education in graduate or professional schools rather than the number of jobs created by UT start-up businesses or wins on the football field.

That would greatly enhance the value of each and every degree program and diploma earned from UT, especially in this day and age when there is so much competition.

Reputations don’t change overnight and it takes time and it takes results to change impressions.

But UT must continue and quicken the process.


Anonymous said...

At one point, Toledo, Cleveland St, Akron and Youngstown were open admissions schools in Ohio, mostly because they were in cities. There were a lot of ways that the other Ohio schools "hid" their lower performing admitted students so that they didn't effect their USN&WR rankings.

The state is interested in graduation rates now, and the other open admission universities have said they are moving away from OA.

If UT insists on admitting poorly prepared students, put them in an associate degree program to get them prepared to move on. USN&WR rankings are based on bachelor's degree direct from HS admissions. This is a work around that would help UT's ranking.

Unknown said...

With today's announcement on myut of the start of a new strategic planning process, this is an excellent time for a full-throated universitywide debate and discussion of UT's open-enrollment policy?

Anonymous said...

As part of the Strategic Enrollment planning that has been underway for several months, the open enrollment policy has been discussed frequently. Keeping in mind that losing the current, several hundred students who are at UT do not yet meet any specific college requirements to qualify as degree majors, would have significant impacts on the UT budget. So it is not an easy discussion nor does a simple solution exist, but a discussion worth having.

Anonymous said...

Yes, as it stands now open admission is hurting our ratings and doing a disservice to the unprepared students. Eliminating open admission would positively impact our rankings, and would eliminate the harm we are inflicting on unprepared students. HOWEVER, there is a better solution. Maintain open enrollment and significantly increase the quantity and quality of our remediation efforts. As a metropolitan university I think we have a responsibility to the unprepared students.

I see about 500 mostly freshman every semester. I would say ten percent of them are not ready for university level work. They are not bad kids. They want to learn, but they don't know how. They don't know what is expected of them, they don't know how to behave. They don't have study skills. They fall through the cracks. With a little effort most are salvageable. I think we owe them more than we are giving them.

I don't think being a university that is known for meeting the needs of its community and being a destination university have to be mutually exclusive.

On a related note, what universities should we be emulating? Who should our role models be?

Anonymous said...

12:36: Well said. We could just offer remedial courses without state reimbursement. It would be the right thing to do to help these young people. Don't we have a summer bridge program? Couldn't we expand it even without state subsidy? The payoff for the students would be great and UT would eventually benefit from the degrees granted.

Anonymous said...

The more important question is whether improving our rankings from third party sources like US & World Report would actually improve our enrollment? And UT already provides plenty of resources to assist underprepared students including tutoring and specialized programs for math and english comp (although we get no state subsidy for offering any remedial courses). I think it would be very hard for UT to keep with a dual mission of meeting the needs of the community and being a destination university as those are two different cohorts of students with much different expectations and needs. A regional campus, like many other state institutions in Ohio have for students not meeting a specific college HS GPA or ACT requirement, is the route for UT to take.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that as a metropolitan university we have an obligation to teach all students. UT is a university, not a community college. Owens really needs students. Send them there for a year and make them get a decent GPA and then admit them.

As far as universities we could emulate, Cincinnati or Ohio U.