The Illuminator can be called many things. We’ve been called malicious, manipulating, and been accused of taking “cheap shots” at members of the Edison administration. Let’s be clear folks, malicious is appropriate if you put it in the phrase of “Those Illuminator editors are downright malicious in their pursuit of facts and accurate financial figures.”
Additionally, the editors only wish were we manipulative. If we were manipulative, there would have been a coup by now, or, at least, we would have taken over a cargo ship. Finally, in the category of cheap shots. They seem only fitting when the administration feeds us such mistruths and half-statements.
What would the Voice of Sanity be if not monitoring duties of being a good editor? In this light, let’s do some editorial revisions of recent statements released by the administration at Edison. The statements have not be changed, reworded, or rephrased from their original appearance in the email attachments.
The VoS will be making editorial revisions if the form of red text.
April 16, 2009The Voice of Sanity is on a roll kids. That was just one installment of the President’s Cabinet Recap Revisions. The latest statement, from April 30th, holds such editorial gems in it that it simply begs to be revised using sanity as a measure, rather than delusional, power-grasping figureheads as “true North.”
President’s Cabinet Recap
Present: Debbie Hirtzinger, Dr. Yowell, David Gansz, Terri Jacomet, Sandy Brubaker, Randi Wheaton, Dr. McNutt, Janice Michael, Dr. Salisbury, Lisa Allred. Absent: Linda Peltier, Dan Reke (Not present because the President kicked them off of Cabinet for a short while: Larry Dragosavac, Brad Reed.)
Dr. Yowell -- Excellence/Competence/Accountability. We are accountable to ourselves and to each other to strive for excellence in our job performance.
Dr. Salisbury – Excellence is something we strive for. Over the years she has noticed this in both the development of her department and the classroom. We need to strive harder to build the confidence in our new employees. (by swiftly and decisively firing approximately half of the school’s employees? Nothing inspires confidence in a department like telling people they do not have jobs or should be afraid that they won’t get rehired. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to spend the extra late hours working on new class material or finding new, innovative ideas to bring to a committee.)
Dr. McNutt – She has seen excellence in several faculty members that are doing an outstanding job of promoting and teaching their programs. One example of this is Leslie Spivey’s work with Randy Pausch and this team at Carnegie Mellon University in becoming a beta site for the Alice Project. (Good job Leslie, honestly, kudos to you! It would be ironic if Leslie got a non-renewal letter or if any of this work was part of the “viability bubble” discussions. The Illuminator would like to know if this was the case.)
Debbie Hirtzinger -- Travel Reimbursement Form. Her office is continuing to have issues with the submitted forms. Detailed receipts are still not being submitted. No alcohol is permitted; tips can be no more than 15% of the bill; and snacks are not to be included. (The Illuminator would like to know if the Board of Trustees adheres to these policies. In case you were not aware, the Board takes trips to conferences for professional development, “work-session” retreats, and to lobby for the school in different political arenas. They don’t stay at your cousin Fred’s or drive through the night to make a speaker early the next morning, but do have fancy HR assistant to … to … we have no clue what fancy HR assistants do at these events. However, let’s have some transparency from the BoT. Let us know those conferences and lobby trips you make are worth the dollars spent. Show us how much they cost. Prove it.)
The Illuminator is also going to take a moment to rant about professional development: Up until a few years ago, each faculty member at the college had $1,000 to help offset the costs of attending professional development seminars, conferences, etc. This was reduced to $500. The Editorial Junta respectfully requests to know the professional development budget for the President and for the BoT. Let’s see who is more important, shall we?
Dr. Yowell -- State Budget. This means we receive significantly less SSI than some of the more historically-based and technical-based colleges, such as Clark State. Remember, the majority of two-year colleges in Ohio, whatever they are named today, operated for a long time strictly as technical colleges. (I am telling you this so, later, I can complain about it in another poorly worded email to the employees of Edison. Bickering that 'Edison doesn’t get as much as other schools' doesn’t help . Academic Senate has already demonstrated they understand levels and types of funding from the state of Ohio in regards to school course mix. Apparently, you forgot the meeting where Brad Reed disassembled you piece by piece. How about you spend less time comparing us to other schools and more time trying to create a budget for Edison? Additionally, as a word to the wise, please stop comparing Edison to other two-year schools in Ohio. We have a drastically inflated administration which is top-heavy and would have been downsized years ago at any other institution.) Grants will be our margin of difference because we won’t have any extra money next year. (I am starting this parade of statements now so I can try to weasel out of paying faculty the 3.25% pay raise that was agreed to. Also, Edison isn't receiving less money, it will at worst receive a reduction in the rate of growth of state subsidy. Saying otherwise is tantamount to a claim that letting off the gas pedal of a car is the same as putting it in reverse.) Dr. Yowell has requested the faculty re-open the union contract. They are scheduled to receive a 3.25% increase next year. The increase, plus enrollment bonus, will consume more than one-half of next year’s anticipated funding increase. He is anticipating no salary increases for other staff. (Probably because all the money was sucked up by idiotic made-up positions that do nothing but push paper, cause trouble, and worry about what pants people are wearing. At least it will be a relief not to have to hide our ooks of disbelief, as in years past, when LP’s salary was doubled. Previously, the junta pointed out KY was going to try to open up the contract for a 'faculty give-back.'? Edison faculty, in a previous year, took a pay raise of ~1% in good faith to not only help the college, but also in the understanding the following two years would carry a 4% increase. Faculty have already “given back.” Dan recently sent a memo indicating a freeze of discretionary spending for the remainder of this fiscal year. It is very important we maintain a positive ratio number. This positive ratio number, the editor believes, is ambiguous to everyone involved. Dan indicated a 1.75. The board indicated a 1.9. A guy in the middle of China said the school was currently at a 1.4. The Illuminator is full of suggestions on how to help the ratio. How about the person we fly from Texas to Piqua, who then drives to Michigan, or the Strategeric Director of Human Resources who, has not, to date, joined the ranks of PHR's, or, gasp, a President whose potemkin board provides him a complimentary car worth twice a newly-hired faculty member's salary?
Sandy Brubaker – The most recent enrollment report for summer looks great. For summer we are currently at a 40% increase. (Better start budgeting for those crippling faculty enrollment bonuses now!)
Dr. McNutt -- We need to look at not adding classes but instead putting students in the open classes until they are full. We can’t run a class with five students. When a student can fit a course into their schedule isn’t important, or is less important, than filling the room to capacity apparently. Oh, and you can run a class with five students. Look around, many of those courses are taught by adjuncts in which approximately three students creates a break-even scenario. Is the concern instead that we can’t run a class with five students taught by full time faculty?