UConn's Provost leaves to become U. Missouri's President

Discussion in 'Conference Realignment Board' started by upstater, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. upstater

    upstater

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  2. Butch

    Butch truthaboutislam.org

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    We're hopeless.

    Connecticut must be better than Missouri. I mean, c'mon. We don't even have massage parlors here anymore.
     
  3. Husky25

    Husky25 Dink & Dunk beat the Greatest Show on Turf.

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    She probably wasn't a candidate and quite possibly didn't have the "background" they wanted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  4. UConnJim

    UConnJim

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    University of Missouri is in rough shape right now due to all of the turmoil on campus and I'm sure this was not an easy position to fill. This year's freshman class is down 23% from last year! That is not a misprint and unless the this is turned around, Missouri is facing some severe financial problems.
     
  5. upstater

    upstater

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    It is a tough situation. But on the other hand, he will have a big credit on his resume. He will be known as the guy who improved the school's financial situation by a huge amount, and increased enrollment and SATs by a huge % over the classes that preceded him. How do I know this? Because U. Missouri is the state school in a decently-sized state. They can't afford to abandon it, and therefore they won't.
     
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  6. pj

    pj

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    All Missouri has to do is return to being a university and the trouble will go away. They let the inmates run the asylum.
     
  7. UConnJim

    UConnJim

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    I think the enrollment issues will continue for a few years. The decline in freshmen enrollment will persist for 3 more years, so you really have to plan for 3 or 4 years of below 2015 enrollment levels. Also, about 1/3 of students are from out of state who pay a $15k/yr. premium to attend. That could be another source of financial weakness.
     
  8. Western PA

    Western PA Used Member

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    Enrollment woes may continue in Columbia, but the tuition number is deceiving. Through a quirk in residency requirements, any out-of-state freshman can stay in town during the summer, work some hours and gain in-state tuition at Mizzou. It is a big factor is many students fom Chicago going there.
     
  9. Da_Aisijimo_Gou

    Da_Aisijimo_Gou

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    Korean, Chicagoland high school grad, Illinois undergrad and Princeton Masters/PhD alumnus engineer?
     
  10. upstater

    upstater

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    The biggest problem with Missouri is NOT the strife and protests on the campus, nor is it the dropoff in attendance and the financial issues, but rather it is that the politicians have shown absolutely no compunction in playing politics with university procedures, thereby undermining and gutting the administration. In other words, the school has already been sanctioned by national agencies for overriding academic protocols. This is the problem with the job.
     
  11. pj

    pj

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    Sorry, the people who were responsible for maintaining a good academic environment bailed on their jobs as soon as the going got tough. It is a state university, an agent of the state. If administrators won't manage the university, you have to expect the political leadership to step in. The new leadership has a chance to right the boat, hopefully they will.
     
  12. upstater

    upstater

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    ??? Are you familiar with the details? It doesn't sound like it.

    No President wants interference from people who are out of their depths when dealing with protocols and bylaws.

    The Curator vote on the firing of the professor outside the judicial processes was 4-2. This is a quote from one of the Curators who disagreed with the ultimate decision. A Curator said the board was motivated less by concern with the Professor's misconduct and more by an effort to appease legislators threatening to punish the institution financially if she were not dismissed.

    Because of this, U. Missouri earned a censure from a national accreditation board that has repercussions for its programs. Just because the judicial wheels of academia move slowly is not a good reason to eliminate the process. The professor hasn't sued yet, but she certainly could have. It would have been a slam-dunk win for her.
     
  13. pj

    pj

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    I'm not very familiar with the situation, but I know Melissa Click's firing occurred in late February 2016 (University of Missouri curators vote to fire Melissa Click) whereas the President and Chancellor resigned in November 2015 (University of Missouri president and chancellor resign - CNN.com). The problems at the university were already well underway long before the politicians got involved.

    If you have a leadership void at a major state institution, politicians are going to get involved. If academics want autonomy to run their university, they can't run away from problems.
     
  14. upstater

    upstater

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    Did you know that the President was not an academic but a political appointee? A businessman. The whole Click incident actually occurred after the President resigned.
     
  15. Western PA

    Western PA Used Member

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    The whole deal was a cluster of the highest order.
    The ex-president, Wolfe, was an alum and a failed corporate exec. His hiring was puzzling. He started slow and never gave any indication he was going to catch on. Then he hired a campus chancellor, Loftin, the ex-president at Texas A&M. He was horrible dictator-type against whom deans and faculty rebelled. Wolfe played pocket pool.
    At first, Loftin took a warm and fuzzy approach to the protest "camp out" on a main university lawn. The group called themselves Concerned Students 1950. (Eleven students in number, by the way.)
    When the group confronted Wolfe with "their demands" at the homecoming parade, Wolfe sat in his car frozen. The crap hit the fan.
    One grad student goes on a hunger strike, the football team (egged on, many believe, by a now exS&C coach) takes a powder in support, the prez and the chancellor both hit the exit as a protest support group from Ferguson, Mo. shifts its attention to Mizzou.
    Click was a communication instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her area of academic research includes the effect of Martha Stewart on feminism (I kid you not). She seems to forget she is not tenured and works on a campus whose main claim to fame is the world's first journalism school. She attempts to enforce a "safe area" for the protesters to celebrate the resignations of the prez and chancellor and in doing so interferes with a couple of student journalists.
    Most of the J-School faculty, to which Click holds only a courtesy appointment, explodes. State politicians wanting to appease the electorate still upset by what they see as "lawlessness" in Ferguson pick Mizzou as an easy political target.
    Beyond the J-School, the faculty is cautious. It should have fallen to the faculty senate to whack Ms. Click. The faculty senate dawdled. There was little administrative leadership from the "interim" president and chancellor who were focused on calming the campus. So, as PJ noted, the politicians filled the vacuum. The curators reacted when state appropriations were threatened.
    The interim president Choi is replacing, by the way, was one of the leaders of black student protests on campus in the early 1970s. Many of the "demands" presented by the 2016 protested mirrored the "demands" made by his group decades before. That did not play well in the state capital either.
    So many misplays, it is hard to count.
    The election will be over and I think many have come to grips that the university is a key state asset that needs support and time to heal from largely self-inflicted wounds.
    The announcement of Choi as president was made in the state capital, Jefferson City, not on the university's main campus in Columbia. That is seen as a move to start rebuilding bridges to the legislature.
    I think Choi has a good chance of making something of it. He is the first "academic" president since 2007, so the faculty should welcome him. The students have been very quiet this academic year as many of the key actors are no longer in town. If Choi is wise in his choice of Columbia campus chancellor, it will help still more. (Like UConn, MU has multiple campuses, the main campus in Columbia, one in STL, one in KC and a science and tech university in Rolla. Each has a chancellor.)
    Sorry for the length. Simply saying it was a cluster does not adequately explain the situation Choi is inheriting.
     
  16. upstater

    upstater

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    The only thing I will say about Click is that she specializes in TV/popular culture. I mean, she's not a Martha Stewart scholar, though she may have written about her in the past. I know people who have written on Jeffrey Dahmer--so... Anyhow, the point is, you shouldn't use extrajudicial means to punish someone, and this point really has little to do with Click. It has to do with basic workplace matters. In this case, her tenure wouldn't have mattered at all since her case had nothing to do with academic freedom. Tenure or no tenure, it would have been the same. What is called dawdling outside of academia is known as a normal pace inside it. Regardless, those are not real curators if they allow political pressure to dictate faculty matters, and I am convinced that the censure received from AAUP will become a full-blown problem if/when the legislature interferes again, as I'm sure they will. Legislatures always find distasteful things going on at universities, but they are usually beat back by saner heads. That should be Choi's biggest concern.
     
  17. Western PA

    Western PA Used Member

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    I will accept your critique, but note that the Missouri legislature is often in short supply of "saner heads." That there were only six curators at the time is telling as the legislature refused to even consider three of the governor's appointments to what should be a nine member board.

    And I will note an exception. I said her research "included" not that she was a "Martha Stewart scholar."
     
  18. upstater

    upstater

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    I've heard a lot stranger than the Stewart stuff, believe me. But, that's media studies. Personally, I wish someone had been studying the Apprentice.

    Anyhow, the vote on Click was 4-2, which is pretty telling. It is hard to believe a Curator criticized the others the way she did. Choi has his work cut out for him. This is still a huge promotion.
     
  19. Western PA

    Western PA Used Member

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    With even a modicum of good sense, Choi will be such a vast improvement over recent years, that he will be given quite a bit of slack. The Mizzou campus chancellor will be a key hire. But I am optimistic.

    Peace.
     
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  20. Nostical

    Nostical

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    This announcement means a lot more than who got the head job at Mizzou. It ratifies a reality I've been espousing ever since my first encounter with SH. She has an expansive vision for our future and a knack for evaluating personnel that our prior presidents sadly lacked.
    Herbst took office on June 1, 2011. Her first two decisive personnel moves were the firing of our AD Jeff Hathaway in August and our Provost Peter Nichols in January. She replaced them with Warde Manuel and Mun Choi. They were hired not just for their qualifications but to accomplish specific purposes, Choi to enhance the excellence of our curriculum and faculty and Manuel to fix an APR issue that was vexing the school and its athletic reputation.
    Manuel was later hired as AD at Michigan and now Choi is President at Missouri. Those moves to highly respected venues speak loudly about her ability to find people who aren't merely comfortable bureaucrats but coveted professionals. That's a gift.
    She then hired David Benedict from Auburn as our new AD. Why? To fix what she knows is an existential crisis if we can't capture the big money of P-5 status schools. Her replacement for Choi will no doubt further her relentless march toward making us academically acceptable for an AAU invite.
    As bad as the hand is that we've been dealt I'm comforted in knowing we've got a real pro playing it.
    Watch this space.