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Everything posted by zip-O-matic

  1. Wow. Given UA's finances, this is just a shocking level of irresponsibility and betrayal of the taxpayers' trust. It would also seem that the editorial board and newsroom of the PD have quite a hard on for SS, and the more I'm discovering about what's going on, the more I think that's justified. I thought the "rebranding" could have been a good thing if executed as part of a proper long-term strategy up to and including a merger with Can't State. I thought the "napkin" analysis was apt, though never should have been made public much less bragged about in a speech. I understand that he inherited a fiscal shit sandwich from "Dr P." But still, this lavish 1% CEO "let them eat cake" personal excess. The spitting in the face of the Kasich and the legislature with the b.s. fee scheme. The callously lying about where the axe would fall. The shady privatization schemes. He is taking a bad situation that he inherited and throwing gasoline onto it. $500 olive jars? Are you f@##$ing kidding me? And the trustees are knee deep in this. They signed off on all of P's grandiose plans and visions, and they hired SS. I don't know what the laws are, but it would seem as though Kasich and Regents' Chair need to clean house.
  2. No problem with a sports columnist fulfilling that role. What the original post was calling for was the ABJ actually sitting on and refusing to run negative stories about what's going on at the university.
  3. Their job is to report what's going on at UA, and only a fool would say that isn't largely negative right now. Their job is not to be a cheerleader for the school. That's the job of the school's public relations department.
  4. University needs to come up with another $20M in cuts since that was stated. Remember that the original plan was $40M in cuts and $20M in fees. The state forced UA to roll back the fees.
  5. The AD got off light. It's 6.6% of the budget but only bore 1.7% of the cuts.
  6. A lot of academic advising personnel at the same time UA just brought in a private "student success" firm for 840K/year. Hmmmm.
  7. Putting on a uniform (for which one is well paid) and strapping a gun to one's belt does not make one a hero. Actually doing heroic shit does, and I am gladly willing to acknowledge that when it happens, and far more often it's firefighters doing the real heroic shit than cops. What I refuse to buy into is this cult of authority and cult of the uniform that has taken hold in America where we are all supposed to NEVER question these brave men in uniform, these special Captain Americaesque heroes even if all they ever do is ride around giving speeding tickets in some out of the way burgh. And I'll say it again. Any cop that helps maintain the blue wall of silence is a bad cop, a bad public servant and a bad employee of the taxpayers. In fact, he's a criminal. It's called perjury and obstruction of justice. Let me ask you a question. Do you think the cops that lied to back up Tensing's statement should be indicted and prosecuted?
  8. My final two thoughts on the subject. First, the African-American community should have used the slogan "black lives matter too." I think that would have made the sentiment crystal clear for all but those who are so blinded by racism as to be incapable of accepting anything. Second, bad cops are more than just a few bad apples. Last year, Chicago taxpayers had to pay out $84.4 million dollars as a result of police brutality. The list of disgusting crap that CPD has pulled goes on and on, and that is just the stuff that got filmed or came out through other means. Is it every cop? No, but it's more than just a "few bad apples." And as bad as the actual rotten ones are, there is the overwhelming problem of the "blue wall of silence." You may not be corrupt, or a thug or trigger happy as a cop, but if you value and serve the needs of your "brothers" over that of the law and the taxpayers who have hired you to do a job, you are a bad cop and a huge part of the problem. It was very telling that the cops who showed up on the scene all lied to corroborate Tensing's story. They should be charged, charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact. They should be prosecuted on felony charges and never be allowed to be cops again.
  9. You're right. He had a criminal past. However, nothing in his past nor the actions of the moment were death penalty worthy, particularly with the cop making the spur of the moment decision to be his judge, jury and executioner. Just the incidents that I can remember off the top of my head in Chicago. We've had cops working as hit men for The Outfit. We've had cops confiscating guns and drugs from one gang and selling them to another. We had a drunk cop jump the bar and beat the shit out of a female bartender. We had a group of off-duty cops decide to beat the shit out of some commodity traders and when the on-duty cops showed up, they didn't break the fight up but shooed the civilians away so the beating could continue. We had a cop drink all night including multiple shots and then go kill a family on the highway. The cops who showed up on the scene whisked him back to the precinct and let him sleep in a cell for several hours before giving him a BAC. We had a multi-year, organized torture ring of cops that has cost the city tens of millions of dollars in settlements. In 2013 alone, taxpayers had to pay $84M because of police brutality. People are sick of it. These guys are NOT heroes. They're guys who do a job for a salary that few of them would ever be able to get near in the private sector. Nothing more.
  10. I live in Chicago in an affluent neighborhood (Lincoln Park) and am a 40 something white guy, yet I know that a Chicago cop would very easily break the law to mess me up if he even thought that I disrespected him. I can't imagine what it must be like to be poor and black and without the legal resources to go after the cop. There are good cops, but there are a whole lot of rotten ones with grotesque senses of entitlement, power trips and intellects that barely register above literate. Did you know that the majority of metropolitan, county and state law enforcement agencies will disqualify a candidate for scoring too high on the intelligence test? This came out through subpoenaing the Wonderlic company during a Connecticut trial. And BTW, police officer doesn't even make the top ten list of most dangerous or most deadly jobs in America.
  11. It certainly didn't need another thread, but should be added here. I know some would rather obsess over which college some 17 year old kid they've never met is going to pick or what the second string secondary looks like, but I feel the big picture of what is going on at UA, college athletics and the Ohio university system deserves some debate for those interested. Hell, I didn't even attend UA, but I have ties to both Akron and UA through my wife's family and a strong interest in the reforms and restructuring of Ohio higher ed. I'd love to see Akron grow and thrive as a university during this time of change, and I apologize if some find my commentary on this board unwelcome or unnecessary. I've tried to be constructive. In any event, this is exactly what I was talking about yesterday and how the downgrading (reigning in?) of athletics is likely to take shape. Under the Virginia model, UA would need to cut over $5M from its annual athletic budget, and I think you could reasonably see something along the lines of a 33% cap down the road. http://www.cleveland.com/datacentral/index.ssf/2015/07/uncovering_the_cost_of_college.html#incart_river
  12. I don't know about that. YSU averaged over 50% more than UA in attendance last year and isn't too far off the MAC average. They do this while running an athletic department that loses half the money that most Ohio MAC schools do ($10M subsidy). I bet if you ask the average UA undergraduate what they would prefer, the current situation or a competitive FCS team and $500 a year lower tuition, the majority would vote to downgrade.
  13. The state won't meddle so directly in individual athletic departments as to tell them to drop down to FCS. What will happen is that one day (probably sooner than later) the legislature will pass a law and the Governor will sign it that mandates that any Ohio public university not have an athletic subsidy bigger than x% of the athletic budget and give the schools three or four years to meet this target. This will all be done under the umbrella of affordability and lowering tuition. If that target were say 33%, UA would need to close the deficit--either through revenue or cuts--by $10M. The day of reckoning, if not already at hand, is coming. To recognize that is not to be anti-UA or want to tear down the football program. It, however, might be wanting what's best for UA (the university) and the taxpayers of Ohio. Agree though that this shouldn't be in the football forum. Possibly one thread on athletic department issues (budget and so on) and one thread on overall university positioning and rebranding and the overall USO. I think that's fair for people who care about larger university issues.
  14. No surprise here. It was such a transparent attempt to make an end run around Kasich's call for tuition freezes as to be comical. I'm sure that SS has a huge chunk missing from his ass.
  15. Again, I think higher education and college sports are reaching a critical mass point where the old way of doing things is simply unsustainable, so you're going to start seeing universities (either of their own volition or when mandated to by the state) cutting their athletic program subsidies.. Up until now, the money has been there to stave off the crisis to pump it into the ad in the hopes that it will spur revenue growth. Nobody wants to be first, but eventually somebody is going to have to do it. An athletic subsidy equal to 5% of the overall university budget is just madness. Only then will there be any base of practical experience to judge And if OU is any indication, success in the big two sports won't start to balance the books. Despite probably the best combined football/basketball success in their history, their AD is as bad off as ever (18.5M subsidy). For every dollar in revenue growth these programs gain, they gain almost a dollar in additional subsidy. Where does it stop?
  16. Well, there's the historical example of the Ivies and Chicago de-emphasizing big time athletics, which is probably an apples and oranges comparison for the MAC schools. The most recent example that I know of is NYU in the 1980s. NYU has certainly seen their academic profile increase greatly since the 80s, but I don't know to what degree, if any, there is a cause and effect of dropping sports down to DIII. It's also an issue being discussed at Georgetown. I agree with you that it is largely theoretical, but that's because it's an issue that is just now reaching a boiling point. 25 years ago, athletic subsidies were not an issue, but it's their exponential growth (Akron's has doubled in just the last decade) to the point where they are eating up 5% of some universities overall budget that is going to force them to be addressed. UA spends twice on the athletic subsidy what the entire university's endowment disburses annually. When 10% of a student's tuition is going to subsidize a money losing athletic department at the same time that the Governor, the Regents and both parties in the legislature are screaming about affordability, one has to imagine that a reckoning is at hand. I'm not in favor of disbanding athletics, but something has to change. As I've said elsewhere, if UA (and the rest of the MAC schools) won't or can't deal with the problem, there's a serious chance that the state will step in and do it for them. I don't think it's too far-fetched to imagine waking up one day and seeing that the Governor has just signed a bill mandating that all Ohio public universities lower their athletic subsidies to no more than 25% or 33% of the AD budget within four years. And FWIW, I agree with you on how troubling SS's privatization schemes are.
  17. Actually, if the athletic department were shut down, there would be $22M to be redistributed elsewhere; either refunded back to students through lower student fees or the subsidy could be spent on academics instead. I don't think faculty are jealous of athletic spending. I think they're outraged at the level of money it loses and the extent it needs to be subsidized by students and the general fund. As for OSU's SPENDING, it is fully self-sufficient and actually kicks several million back to the university's general fund every year. If anything, that's what the faculty is jealous of. I don't expect that at UA, but the current level of subsidies (at all the MAC schools) is a disgrace and something that is both unsustainable and bound to become a political issue before too long. And for those who think the ad suffered unfairly in the budget cuts, they got off easy. The 700K saved in axing baseball was 1.75% of the total cuts. The AD subsidy alone is 5% of the university budget and the overall AD budget is 6.5% of the overall university budget.
  18. You act like all our troubles are behind us, and it's full steam ahead with Dr. P's rosy, pumped sunshine visions for UA. UA has staunched the bleeding for the moment, but that doesn't mean the patient is healthy and in no further need of care. We have no idea what form the polytechnic rebranding will take nor how successful it will be. Hell, the ink isn't even dry on the proposal. The budget has not been dealt with. All we did was close a single year's deficit with some pretty Draconian cuts and doing an end around the Regents and Governor and raising $20M in student "fees." The long-term structural budget problems still exist. There's no way that the Regents allow UA to pull the fee card again and in fact will be looking to see those fees rolled back. We still have a huge debt burden. We still have an unsustainable athletic department subsidy. We still have declining enrollment and no improvements in our freshmen class profiles. We're still failing to meet the state's new funding guidelines on retention and graduation rates. We still exist in a region where there is an unhealthy amount of inter-university competition--where the liberal arts university, the engineering and sciences university and the med school are each independent campuses. We still exist in a state system with too many universities for its population and level of state funding while attempting to maintain too many expensive, lowly ranked graduate programs. UA is no closer to the right side of the napkin than it was on the day SS took office.
  19. I agree. Pitt is a stretch: AAU member, Comprehensive Cancer Center, harder to get into than Penn State. Pitt--along with Minnesota--might be the most underrated public university in the country. Definitely think an AU-Can't-NEOMED merger would be a peer of UC and Louisville within a decade.
  20. It doesn't surprise me that the Presidents feel that way, empire building and turf protection and all that. When it comes--and I believe that it's a matter of when not if--it'll come from the Governor's office and the legislature. The fact that the Can't president is so adamantly against it suggests that--despite UA's current troubles--she might view UA as a possible dominant partner in the match. I also believe that the first of the two Presidents/Boards who get out in front of the issue will have the political support to influence it to a greater degree than the other. I've talked about how over-saturated Ohio is with both four and two year public campuses and redundant doctoral programs. I'll do some digging and compare it to California, which has always been viewed nationally as the gold standard of a well organized and structured state university system. Not sure about this weekend, but I have some airport lounge time this coming week that I'll need to kill. Have a good weekend, man. Cheers.
  21. Now, I'm not in favor of dropping down in football, but I think the faculty has every right to ask that the option be explored. And below are some of the reasons why. 1) UA currently has to subsidize their ad to the tune of $22M a year. That's 70% of its budget and nearly 5% of the university's total budget. It equals more than 10% of the cost of tuition for a full time in-state student. 2) Over the last decade, the subsidy has increased every year and is now more than double what it was in 2005 3) YSU also subsidizes their ad by 70%, yet the subsidy is less than half that of UA due to an ad whose budget is less than half. The athletic subsidies are a huge issue and given the state's and Governor's emphasis on cutting costs and affordability, it's only a matter of time before it becomes a political issue. It's best that UA get out in front on this issue before somebody steps in and starts dictating a solution. Personally, I think it's just one more factor favoring a merger with Can't. We could grow the combined ad while lowering the subsidy both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the ad and university budgets.
  22. I read through the BGSU thread, and it was mostly childish gibberish as if the whole thing were being driven by athletics and particularly cries of "OSU wants to take away our football teams." Nothing remotely insightful or intelligent.
  23. In both cases, the truth--like much of life--probably resides in some shade of grey.
  24. This is what I found most interesting. Ohio, by state law, was like this until the 1960s, and then all hell broke loose. Since the late 80s, the attempt has been to put the toothpaste back into the tube. If a UA-Can't merger could somehow be presented as being part of the solution rather than an another example of the problem, it could really position the merged universities well for the future. Will it make them OSU? No, but it would ensure that they don't end up as Wright State either.
  25. I don't think they are the be all and end all. A lot of the inputs are meaningful (student selectivity, retention and grad rates, endowment resources), but some are very questionable (alumni giving). I also think that they grossly overrate privates over publics. Does anyone really believe that Notre Dame is a better university than Cal Berkeley?
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