ut to unveil "new" strategic plan on December 17

The University of Toledo will roll out its newest strategic plan on December 17. A friend of mine, who works at UT and has seen the plan, shared some of its highlights with me. Although it will be heralded as containing fresh ideas for the future of UT, a more appropriate label would be “Been there, done that.”

An institution that pays its three top officials a total annual income of well over $1 million came up with the following tired ideas for its strategic plan:

Re-establish University College—That’s the college that President Jacobs demolished a few years back. Apparently, it was a bad idea four years ago—but now—not so much.

Title change for non-tenured faculty—Full-time, non-tenured faculty will go from being called “Lecturers” to “Professors of Practice.” Most importantly—these faculty will now be given 3- to 5-year renewable contracts. (Translation: Jacobs can more easily terminate faculty in the non-science areas in favor of hiring more medical faculty.) Window dressing—for sure.

Divide the College of Education, Health Science and Human Service into several colleges—Remember when the colleges of Education and Health and Human Services were separate entities? Then they were combined? Now they will be separated again—this time into three colleges. I’d like to have the stationery printing contract for UT!

Enhance student internships and co-ops—Remember when Vik Kapoor did away with UT’s Office of Professional Experience Programs? Yep, like University College, the importance of experiential learning is back.

Along with the typical useless tripe that is included in a strategic plan is the cronyism of Vice President of External Affairs, Larry Burns’ rubbing elbows with Quicken Loans’ Chairman Dan Gilbert on some digital resume project that Burns is touting as revolutionary (can anyone say “MonsterTrak”). One supposes that Burns feels like a real mover and shaker since he does a periodic radio show on WJR. (I wonder how much that costs UT?)

What’s wrong with the members of the UT Board of Trustees? Is there no institutional memory that would indicate that this new strategic plan is primarily a rehash of what has been tried in the past--and has failed?

UT continues to be the victim of clueless, arrogant, and overpaid administrators who use the institution to enhance their resumes for future jobs.

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I don't see any part of that so-called strategic plan highlights that offers any means at all of reducing the horrible costs of obtaining a 4-yr degree at UT. That's the primary problem. That they're still pretending it doesn't exist, is arrogant beyond measure.

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