[Vision2020] From the Local Tattler - UI grad programsfacechallenges

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sat Dec 29 18:58:53 PST 2007

Realizing that by merely presenting the minutes of a Faculty Council meeting
may serve as foundation for denial by Courtney, I have attached, after
downloading them from a public UI website:


1)  Yardley_Draft_Summary_121007.pdf - The Yardley Draft Summary dated
December 10, 2007 (approx. 292 kilobytes)


2)  Yardley_Report_Draft_110907.pdf - A draft of the Yardley Report dated
November 9, 2007 (approx. 5 megabytes)


As I have requested earlier, could you have Courtney identify those specific
statements that are "rife with factual errors", "spin" and "untrue facts".


Seeya round town, Moscow.


Tom Hansen

Moscow, Idaho



From: vision2020-bounces at moscow.com [mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com]
On Behalf Of Tom Hansen
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2007 6:40 PM
To: 'g. crabtree'; 'Moscow Vision 2020'
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] From the Local Tattler - UI grad


Mr. Crabtree -


Assuming that Courtney actually accessed a source in developing his column,
and assuming that the source was the U of I commissioned report by the
Yardley Research Group, perhaps he could have (like I did in the past three
minutes) accessed the Faculty Council Minutes of December 4, 2007 and posted
that specific portion of the minutes that concerns itself with this report,
such as . . .


[NOTE:  These minutes are also attached to this email as





University of Idaho

Faculty Council Minutes


2007-2008 Meeting #13, Tuesday, December 4th, 2007


Present: Adams (w/o vote), Baker, Crowley (chair), Griff, Keim-Campbell,
McCaffrey, McCollough, McDaniel, Mihelich, Miller, Murphy, Ripplinger,
Rowland, Rush, Schmeckpeper, Schmiege, Sullivan, Ch. Williams, Wilson.
Liaisons: Stauffer (Boise), Crepeau (Idaho Falls), Newcombe (Coeur d'Alene).


Absent: Fritz, Guilfoyle, Hubbard, Ci. Williams


Observers: 12


Minutes: It was moved and seconded (Miller, Ch. Williams) to accept the
minutes of the November 27th meeting as distributed. The motion carried


Chair's Report: The chair noted with approval that the semester was coming
to a close. He reminded the council that fall graduation was this coming
Saturday and urged all faculty to attend. Professor Wilson announced that
the President's Athletic Advisory Council was looking to forming an
Athletics Academic Oversight Committee and asked that anyone interested in
being on it contact Professor Carl Hunt.


Approval of Graduation List: After a brief preamble on the part of the
faculty secretary on the symbolic importance of faculty approval of all who
would graduate from the university, an approval delegated to Faculty
Council, it was moved and seconded (Miller, Murphy) to approve the graduates
for summer 2007 and fall 2007. The motion carried unanimously.


FC-08-023: Provisional Admittance Policy: This proposal, a seconded motion
from both the Admissions Committee and UCC, would give authority to the
Admissions Committee to appoint a specific advisor to those whom it admitted
who were deemed at risk. The university had a small grant which would
support a specially trained advisor for such students. The motion carried


FC-08-024: NOI: College of Graduate Studies, M.S. in Bioregional Planning
and Community Design: The chair noted that council members had before them
revised pages 8 and 10 of the proposal that they had passed at the previous
meeting. These revisions incorporated "technical corrections," specifying
that $15,000 of the overall budget would be directed to the library for the
purchase of needed library materials. The overall budget was not changed.
Review at the Graduate Council level had prompted these changes but for
whatever reason they had not been incorporated in the version presented to
council. These changes were presented as an FYI and in his opinion no action
needed to be taken unless anyone had any concerns.


FC-08-025: Academic Certificate in Bioregional Planning & Community Design:
This item was withdrawn until such time as the budget page could be
appropriately revised.


FC-08-026: College of Education, add two options: B.S. Technology, business
technology and B.S. Technology, industrial technology: Professor Allen
Kitchel from the College of Education provided some background on this
seconded motion from UCC. He explained that the existing curriculum was
being divided into two options, one the option in industrial technology was
unchanged, the other, business technology, was designed for those in
industry or junior college instruction who did not need teacher
certification. There were no new courses required for the second option. The
only cost to the program was a small amount that would be dedicated to
advertising it. The motion carried unanimously.


FC-08-027: NOI: College of Engineering: Certificate in Semiconductor Theory
and Devices: There was no one present to speak specifically to this
proposal, another seconded motion from UCC, though those offering opinions
thought that this certificate would be largely delivered through web-based
courses to those practicing engineers who needed to fulfill continuing ed
requirements to maintain their licenses. More generally there seemed to be
some consensus that certificates were a low-cost way for programs to have
multiple "products" and that, in some cases at least, they provided entry
points into MA programs. The motion to approve carried unanimously. 


Yardley Report: The provost introduced the discussion by saying that a year
and a half or so ago the administration had begun a discussion as to how the
university could improve graduate education and research. As a result of
that preliminary discussion the Yardley Group had been hired to tell us how
we stack up nationally. They were asked to identify "metathemes" that are
true for the university as a whole. He noted that when he first came some
two and a half years ago, we probably could not have had such a
conversation, but now we have recovered sufficiently that we can.


Michael Ditchkofsky, President of Yardley Consulting Group, provided more
background on their mission and procedures and then introduced some of the
report's major findings.[1] Their task was to assess programs in a national
context and decide what needed to be done to make certain promising programs
nationally prominent. Members of the group had talked with deans, chairs,
and directors of programs, and with other groups. They had sought out
further data to inform their understanding. This data-seeking prompted one
of their conclusions and that was that the institution needed to beef up its
institutional research unit-the people in it were very good, but there
simply weren't enough of them to handle all the necessary tasks. They had
compared doctoral programs nationally and master's programs regionally. They
had applied no formula to the data, rather their response was an interplay
of what they had been told by the faculty, the narrative told by the data,
the direction and development nationally of individual disciplines, and the
institutional cultural and infrastructure context.


The critical fact underlying the Yardley report is the fiscal crisis of the
institution's recent past. He hoped that the report would provide the
beginnings of a way out. Major components of the report are:


*  There is no one set of right actions, but there must be discussion
leading to action

*  Programs need a critical mass and thus the viability of many small
programs is questionable

*  Comprehensiveness at the program level is not a virtue-the attempt to
achieve it drives up costs and is a recipe for mediocrity

*  There is a lot of individual research excellence but not many examples of
whole programs with that kind of excellence

*  The university needs to make strategic choices at all levels and create
budgets that reflect those choices

*  Traditional academic master's programs in the sciences (it was unclear
whether he intended to include only the sciences or all academic master's
programs) were unproductive, obsolete, and cost-intensive

*  On the other hand, professional master's programs, where students paid
tuition could generate revenue and partially support PhD programs

*  The university needs to build research structures that are
interdisciplinary and lateral rather than disciplinary and vertical (again,
it was not quite clear whether he was speaking only about the sciences, or
whether social sciences and humanities were also included)

*  Faculty at other UI campuses need to be better integrated into the
university's research structure

*  Tenure-track faculty should not be teaching undergraduate courses-they
should be devoting themselves to research and perhaps supervising PhD
students or contingent faculty who teach undergraduates

*  Contingent faculty now make up some 20% of the institution's faculty;
that number should rise to 30%, as is the case with our peers

*  The institution needs to create strong programs in the humanities and
social sciences

*  Low level discussions about increasing cooperation between UI and WSU
should cease forthwith-to be replaced by president-to-president discussions


In the ensuing discussion there were many questions and comments seeking
clarification (some of which have been silently included above). One
councilor who had, by virtue of his position as departmental chair, access
to a portion of the draft report raised the methodological issue of large
generalizations based on small slices of anecdotal data.


Adjournment: It was moved and seconded (Wilson, Keim) to adjourn. The motion
carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 5:12 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Douglas Q. Adams, 

Faculty Secretary and Secretary to Faculty Council




Now, having cleared that little mishap of Courtneys, could you have him
identify those specific statements that are "rife with factual errors",
"spin" and "untrue facts".  This is simply a matter of Courtney being held
"accountable", another word that should be added to the dictionaries of
Anselm House management, along with "tolerance" and "acceptance".


Seeya round town, Moscow.


Tom Hansen

Moscow, Idaho




From: g. crabtree [mailto:jampot at roadrunner.com] 
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2007 6:04 PM
To: Tom Hansen; Moscow Vision 2020
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] >From the Local Tattler - UI grad programs


In answer to your question, do you suppose he could be referring to "the U
of I commissioned report by the Yardley Research Group" as stated in today's
Lewiston Morning Tribune and mentioned prominently in Dale's post? You know
what they say, "Reading is fundamental."



----- Original Message ----- 

From: Tom Hansen <mailto:thansen at moscow.com>  

To: Moscow Vision <mailto:vision2020 at moscow.com>  2020 

Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2007 5:06 PM

Subject: [Vision2020] From the Local Tattler - UI grad programs


>From Right-Mind at:






Saturday, December 29, 2007 2:40 PM Right-Mind

UI grad programs face challenges 

 I understand that the report is rife with factual errors. And not just
spin, but untrue facts are presented, then critiqued. There will be much
more about this report in the near future. 

Standby for heavy seas, as we say. 



Question for "Comb-Over":  Huh?  What "report"?


Last year the UI Graduate Program denied admission to two New Saint Andrews
College graduates primarily because their transcripts did not reflect
completion of any courses administered by a properly accredited school, and
now (conceivably as a measure of retribution) we have this unsubstantiated
attack against the UI Graduate Program.


Note to "Comb-Over":  If I were you, I wouldn't be so concerned about the
"heavy seas" as I would be concerned about keeping my dinghy afloat.


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"If I wanted to overhear every tedious scrap of brain static rattling around
in your head, I'd read your blog."

- Bill Maher 



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[1] Members of Faculty Council were at something of a disadvantage in the
ensuing discussion, not having had an opportunity to see even an executive
summary of the report.

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