PaceAcademe

This space is reserved for remarks, comments or analysis of any issue of concern to the Pace community. The Blog is NOT moderated and thus the adminstrator reserves the right to delete any posts that are deemed to be inappropriate either in tone or in contents. Discourse is encouraged as long as it remains civil and constructive. Let the games begin.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays

The 3:36 video on YouTube is powerful and devastating. Please take a look at the previous post.

Peace, Justice and No Nukes.

**************************************************

All things , good and bad, must come to an end. Publishing this blog for the past 9-10 weeks has been rewarding. The experience has been educational. beneficial, humbling and frustrating at the same time. I am of the opinion that PaceAcademe must be on a hiatus for a while. The blog can be activated on a very short notice if new developments warrant that and if enough members of the Pace community desire a venue for communication and speaking their mind.
Before I bid you farewell let me share with you a Gilbert and Sullivan quote:
Things are seldom what they seem
Skim milk masquerades as cream
from HMS Pinafore

It is true that reality is often delicate but I hope that we will always have the fortitude to handle the truth and to avoid self deception. Skim milk will never be cream, no matter how hard we try. May we always have the courage to speak truth to power. Good night and thank you for reading.

Thomas Paine1906

21 Comments:

At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Tom P.

Merry Christmas to you and yours as well and thanks for sharing the Youtube video that should hopefully wake up our conscience including those from the king and chair et al in the dire hope to save this pace.

In lieu of the 1310 visitors to this BLOG, I plea with you not to temporarily shut it down, as it could continue to provide a secure and anonymous channel for exchange of ideas and the latest news and breakthroughs regarding this institution. You may have set it up first but now it belongs to us all and the broader community which Pace has, and would hopefully serve. So, in Light of any other alternatives, PLEASE DO NOT SHUT IT DOWN, BUT TO PUT IT ON AUTO-PIOLOT.

As one scans through Academe, the Chronicle and the popular daily papers and national weekly magazines, one can not help it but to be so very happy for every other college and university on the land, that are thriving with absorbing large number of students, the children of baby-boomers, and continue to be financially blossoming as well. Then, by the same token, one can not help it but to reluctantly conclude that those put in charge of Pace, despite the minimal level of competence, even if they were the dumbest of them all, could have not turn this Pace into oblivion, unless they had planned it deliberately....

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Thomas Paine said...

Anon 6:31,
Thank you for your kind words and for your holiday wishes.
I have never thought of the blog PaceAcademe as being my property. It was meant to be a vehicle for the whole community to keep informed and express its points of view. But , I am sure you have noticed that very few have made use of this venue. That is the primary reason behind the decision to suspend the blog. But as I said if enough people show an interest in reviving it then we can do that instantly. Thanks for your support and enjoy the break.

BTW, that YouTube video is a sad commentary on the human condition isn't it. We have the uncanny capacity to compartmentalize things and thus pretend that everything is OK when we should know better. We sure have made a mess of the world!!!

 
At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time poster.... I would advise against suspending operation, although maybe a short hiatus is warranted. Your blog was less a unified voice than a thousand voices screaming, and in that it resembled the university. Things are quiet now - it's a holiday season, and the end of the year necessarily focused on the running of the university. Few decisions are properly made in the short days of the solstice.

The blog serves a necessary function - email listservs/reflectors would quickly bog down in the unintentional dissonance of opinions.

 
At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thomas, I agree with everyone else. I would very much like to see the blog continued. The executive board of Faculty Council is meeting between Xmas and New Years. These dedicated faculty are not taking a complete respite. I am still buoyed by which I know is happening behind the scenes. Merry Xmas everyone.

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A New Element on Periodic Table, has just been innovatively discovered..

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest synthetic element yet known at the frontiers of science.

The new element with the symbol CB has just been named "CaptBiancronium."
CaptBiancronium has one huge neutron, 12 senior vice neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311. These particles are held together by dark mysterious forces called morons, which are in turn, surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles Called peons.

CaptBiancronium's mass actually increases over time, as Morons randomly interact with other various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons in a CaptBiancronium molecular entity, forming isodopes. This Characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that CaptBiancronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in aggregation. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass". When catalyzed with money and power gird CaptBiancronium activates Bianconewsium, another peculiar element that radiates orders of magnitude more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons.

Unless its behavior understood and controlled immediately, it is feared that this newly fabricated pseudo-element and its complimentary companion would soon annihilate all other naturally occurring elements.

 
At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Truth Seeker said...

Anon 12:32
Do you think that the research that has uncovered the CB is worthy of a Noble for 2007? This is breathtaking stuff.

 
At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps those with redundant, non-constructive posts will now be forced to take productive action outside the blogosphere or disappear back into obscurity.

Cheers for the effort on your well conceived, though ill used blog.

 
At 6:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of us as silent readers consider this BLOG to be noteworthy....so keep it going Tommy...

And, as to CB and his cronies, have they realized that if not for any other serious impending issues, the junior and/or productive faculty members are taking off from Pace like migratory Canadian Geese, to warmer, more hospitable places?

God damn it, boy, why not stick your head out of the self-defecated sand and smell the pungent odor you have created.

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joseph M. Pastore, Jr., Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus in Residence
Lubin School of Business
861 Bedford Road
Pleasantville, NY 10570

Email: jpastore@pace.edu

January 2, 2007

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

This began as a sense of obligation to offer comments, given my nomination, on the appointment of an Interim Provost for the University. I intended to be brief. I have failed. You can selectively wend your way through this
message by noting that it speaks to two matters: the process of appointing an Interim Provost and my response to your gracious nomination; and, second,
some general, and hopefully not too platitudinous, comments about current issues facing the University.

On December 12, 2006 I received a phone call from a representative of the Westchester Faculty Council calling amidst a meeting where I had just been nominated unanimously as a candidate for Interim Provost. The call came while I was returning to campus by car accompanied by a relatively new Pace colleague who I had just met and was attempting to assist. It was a difficult moment, logistically, to respond to the call and I suppose my fondness for Malcolm Gladwell's, Blink, along with the almost visceral effects of the call, prompted me to respond that the faculty should move on
its action and I would accept their decision. I did this somewhat troubled by knowing I had indicated in previous days (three conversations and one
written exchange) that I did not believe this position offered the best way I might help.

On December 15, I met with President Caputo, at his request, to discuss the
candidacy. I took the initiative to explain that my fundamental posture is
to be of service, but that, after giving the nomination more thought, I did
not feel the Interim Provost position was the right vehicle for me to be
helpful. I cited, for example, my expectation that service as Interim
Provost would impose a variety of ministerial, custodial, and ceremonial
responsibilities, each of which is important, but not directly related to
what I see as the most fundamental issue facing the University: the need to
construct an effective turnaround strategy. I may be wrong. But, I observed
that I know myself well enough to know that when I engage difficult issues,
I do so with the belief that solutions flow from open debate and often
contrarian thinking, both of which may serve to undermine customary
administrative demands for ordered levels of authority and ideological
agreement.



I believe it fair to say President Caputo was and remains understanding of,
and comfortable with, my position and I left the meeting reiterating my
willingness to engage substantive participation with an ad hoc effort to
address important issues facing the University should such effort be
undertaken and should it be determined that I might be helpful.



I communicated the results of my meeting with President Caputo to the
Faculty Council representative who had informed me of my nomination earlier
in the week.



On December 19, 2006, I received word via email from a member of the New
York Faculty Council (I am not a member of that Council and, thus, not on
that list serve) indicating the Council had nominated me for the Interim
Provost position. The announcement was a surprise to me. I did not know
such vote was scheduled and, given my December 15 meeting with the President
and my report on the substance of such meeting to the Westchester Faculty
Council representative, I was a bit disquieted both by the strength of the
vote and the fact that the NYFC was not informed that my candidacy was moot.
President Caputo and I spoke by phone shortly after I was informed of the
NYFC action and we agreed that the understanding we developed on December 15
remained.



I am fully aware of the discomfort such events may have caused the NYFC and
I have reached out to Professor Vince Barella as Chair of that Council to
discuss the matter. I believe he understands and accepts this unfortunate
chain of events, but I leave final judgment on that matter to him. I am also
aware that I may have interpreted the two nominations in terms broader than
the faculty intended. My sense is that the faculty is seeking to place an
individual they know and trust in a position to assist in shaping whatever
strategies may be required to remedy the University's current situation. I
am humbled by the thought that I may be that person; again, I am also
convinced that, to the extent some think I may be of help, the position of
Interim Provost is not the role for me.



I would like to offer a few more comments for those who wish to continue.



First, I am overwhelmed by and grateful for the support directed to me by
those who participated in the nomination process. I am tempted to say more,
but I struggle for words that transcend platitudes only because I find it
difficult to translate feeling into prose without risking feeble attempts at
poetry.



Second, I urge all of us to support whomever the President appoints to fill
the Interim Provost position. The need for unity in the midst of
uncertainty will be fundamental to our ability to address the issues we
face. And, above all, the responsibility the President bears for the
direction of the University must be clearly equated with the authority he
warrants to build his administrative team.



Third, while service as Interim Provost may not be the most appropriate role
for me, or perhaps the administration, I remain willing to serve the
University in other, more appropriate ways. As a follow-up to my meeting
with the President, I sent him a note thanking him for his time and
understanding and noting my willingness "...to serve in a more ad hoc role
working with key officers and trustees in the development of a turnaround
strategy for the University." I do not know whether such initiative is
planned, nor do I assume others will see a place for faculty such as me in
such effort. But, my posture, ever since concluding service as chief
academic officer and Provost (1980-1991), has been to remain available to
serve the University if called upon to do so, assuming I believe I can be of
help. I suspect 40 years in higher education, to include 23 years of
administrative positions as a Dean, Provost or Executive Vice President at
three institutions, each with tenure, as well as 16 years as a Trustee
elsewhere to include my current responsibility as Chair of that Board, may
offer a helpful platform. But the threshold condition to such experience is
that, like you, I share a passion for this place.



Finally, I impose a bit more upon your time to offer some observations about
the University. As one who has served, and been served by, the University
for 30 years, I often reflect on our history noting how key inflection
points have shaped who we are and who we are likely to be. I have commented
to some recently that the next few months may represent a key moment in our
history matched only, I believe, by two other eras that had a profound
effect on our development. The first is the period from circa 1938-1942 when
the, then, Pace Institute was confronted by three transforming events:
first, a change in State law mandating a baccalaureate degree as a threshold
to obtaining public accounting certification (CPA) while Pace, at the time,
offered only certificates, not degrees; second, the start of WWII in 1941
which threatened to decimate the male dominated enrollment; and, third, the
sudden death of Homer Pace on May 24, 1942.



The second major threat to Pace's viability, I believe, occurred circa 1970
when City College adopted an "open admissions" policy that seriously
impacted private sector enrollments.



What is fascinating about these events is that Pace mustered the strength to
survive each, not so much by pulling back, but by pushing forward in new and
confident strategic directions. The response to the threat of changed State
mandates and WWII was the creation of Pace College. The response to the
threat of public sector competition was the creation of Pace University and
the consequent change in program portfolio that positioned the institution
to "compete" on simultaneous fronts evidenced today by our six academic
colleges and schools (recall: the Law School began in 1976, a few years
after the public sector threat).



What is even more fascinating than the events themselves is that we engaged
responses to each founded on a competitive position publicly perceived then
as much less established than today. When I arrived at Pace in 1976, some
were still referring to us as Pace Institute.



I am confident our University can develop a strategy which, in the long
term, does not pull us away from the challenge, but which can push us to our
next level of development and maturity. It will not be easy. The
competitive climate is difficult and is characterized not merely by the
poetry of a "flat world", but by the prose that higher education in the
United States is becoming more and more bifurcated by a set of powerful,
publicly funded institutions on the one hand and a set of powerful, well
endowed institutions on the other. In the middle of such bifurcation is a
set of private institutions, many in the northeast, which are modestly
endowed and highly priced, that will face challenging competitive forces in
the coming years.



Pace University, of course, is neither publicly funded nor heavily endowed.
Such circumstance has characterized our existence for a century. Our
endowment, for now, is found in our credo. Our sustainability will be found
in our commitment to credo matched by a thoughtful, disciplined
understanding that we survive because we are clear about whom and how we
serve best. Such standard must reach to all we do, whether it is teaching,
scholarship, service, enrollment, student services, and facilities
management. We have gone to "one knee" on this standard in recent times,
but the Trustees' decision to revisit the University's pricing strategy and
governance system is a positive and commendable sign.



Some may note that the University, for whatever reason, has lost its
bearings for some time. I admit to having felt that way for a long time;
there are a number of decisions reaching back decades that I believe have
not been helpful. I hope, if we are to shape an effective course for the
University, that we will be courageous and candid enough to analytically
scan our more adverse inflection points from the past so as to not repeat
our regrets. But we should also remember: regret is not a platform for
reform. Reform is synonymous with innovation and innovation begins with
abandoning yesterday's arguments, assumptions, and ideas--risky and
disruptive as that may be.



Forgive me if I take a moment more (thanks to the "cyber gods" for delete
buttons) to say that the process of innovation must be communal and
systemic. I respectfully urge our Trustees and leadership to be chary about
thinking whatever transformations need to occur can be spawned mostly by
their own efforts; such assumption is likely to fail, if for no other reason
than that even the most creative strategy ultimately must be
institutionalized and garner confidence to assure effective implementation.



Some may see such communal urgings as merely masked in the politically
motivated and classic faculty call for "shared governance". Such dismissal
would be unfortunate. Choose whatever label you wish--communal, systemic,
or other-but know that the moment has come for the University to summon the
best and most committed to the table, independent of title and hierarchy, to
engage an expeditious and thoughtful turnaround process. Failure to engage
an immediate, candid, and communal response to our current situation is
likely to leave us with the same patterns of divisiveness and expressions of
lost confidence in leadership that have emerged from time to time for at
least a decade and a half. Such condition results only in distraction and
in a reluctance to engage what has made this institution so appealing and
successful for much of its existence: a talent to see a better future and a
willingness to invest in that future.



Such effort must both include and transcend permanent organizational
structures and committees. It must begin with the Trustees if for no other
reason than the primary function of trusteeship is to protect, sustain, and
grow the University's assets and ensure an effective future for the
University. I would hope such effort would spawn a successful
transformation; I am absolutely confident that such approach will build
trust and rekindle commitment to a more competitive positioning of the
University.


Joe

 
At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As everyone now knows, a Geoff Brackett, an associate professor has now unilaterally been appointed as interim provost. Granted that the faculty when deliberating this position and his possible appointment voted against it in several forums as they deemed him too weak and thus a puppet to the BOSS. Nevertheless, Pace is already dropped so low in the trenches of the higher education that if not for anything, simply because he astutely rose from among us, and thus deserves support for a while to assess if he could stand up on his own feet o not. So, let us put him to task and challenge him to do something, while giving him our blessed guarded support. Your thoughts….??

 
At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone read the Tuesday Jan 9th NY Times article on Pace, and if so, has anyone cared to follow up with a letter to the editor to correct certain mis-statments made therein?

 
At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads UP, a few of us from PNY did submit letters to the Editor of the NYTimes so as to complement the as usual (mis-)information in the article primarily provivded by him...

 
At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More resignations of the “executives” would seriously put Caputo’s grand plan of rescue under question!

No one has written herein since over a month ago, perhaps the indication that most wanted deep in their heart to give this caputo grand plan of rescue a serious chance.

However, after a series of resignations by his executive cabinet including the latest drop outs, Dean of Ed J Mc, the provost JMor and the enrollment marketing WilBlack today, one is stupid to continue believing in a “paradise” on the earth as promised by this con! There are rumors that half a dozen other executives have begged for buy out packages or are that the packs are in the works,, so, if you still don’t believe in the coming of the second phase of this tsunami, then, hang out there unprotected!

 
At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not exactly current in that

As expected and due to yet another huge “buy out” package for keeping it silent and undisclosed, the Enrollment marketing Senior VP, BB, was bought out…. In reality, it is said, he was fired, since despite how much positive spin they all struggled to put on the dismal application and projected enrollment projections this forthcoming fall, the numbers simply do not add up..

As confessed by Cap this past week, the numbers for spring are dismal as well, as a large cohort of students have simply jumped the damaged ship..

 
At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings:

It is too bad that more of us are not contributing to this blog because if there ever was a time for rational discourse it is now. Question: is this the darkest moment before the proverbial dawn, or are we about to embark on a rapidly-descending spiral to an outcome that is too frightening to fathom? The President has made much of the significant increase in inquiries, conversion activities, financial aid enhancements, etc. but the fact that Black was fired (b.t.w. I didn't think that p.r. people used "resigned for personal reasons" anymore as this description is well-known by anyone in a business organization as meaning "terminated")belies any credence that we can attach to the President's words of improvement. The speculation that others are awaiting buy-outs may be viewed both positively and negatively: this is good if we are losing overpaid, uninspiring and unproductive administrators but bad if these are individuals who have made serious efforts to improve Pace. If, as it has been suggested, our spring enrollment has fallen below last year's level is true, then whatever credibility that the President's very public pronouncements to the contrary elicited from those of us who are hopeful of a quick turnaround is lost. I admire Caputo for not becoming a permanent resident in the bunker of lost hope, what with his on-line chats and cheery emails,* but there has to come a time when results are required. Be that as it may, here are a few predictions:
The NYC campus is dieing. Class sizes are way up, particularly for the evening sections, and the cutbacks in maintenance have led to the inevitable messy, garbage-strewned outcomes. In order to draw more f.t. students, housing is required but that opportunity, as we are all painfully aware, was lost years ago. I was cheered to learn of the Dyson gift but disheartened to acknowledge that only the science labs at P/B are part of the equation. Does this mean that lab sciences are on their way out? Could be, as the Middle States will doubtless have some very unkind words to say about the condition of the NYC labs when they next visit. So...... why not convert the downtown NYC location to exclusively GSB, sell off one of the buildings (I would recommend the Pace Plaza site, as it is being ruined by the monstrosity that is being built next door) jettison the Midtown center and focus on expanding/improving the Pleasantville campus? Donald Trump, I'm sure, would love to have the Briarcliff land for a parking lot, which would bring Pace additional resources to build dormitories.
Far fetched? I don't think so. Current trends suggest that this will happen and all those of us working at the NYC campus will either be extending our commutes, seeking our own personal reasons to escape, or retired.

Good luck.

*Unless, of course, the email concerns news of yet another "hate crime." While we all find this type of behavior distasteful and rather stupid, the President should recognize that there is a difference between bias-driven hate crimes and vandalism. Go to one of the men's room stalls at the Harvard Club or the locker room at the NYAC and you'll learn that some of our students (or staff, or visitors to campus etc) are no different than those in the rest of the world: most are serious and fair-minded but in any group there exists a coterie of trouble-seeking knuckleheads whose sole purpose is the be the subject of yet another Presidential email.

 
At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is February 22, and Not December 22, so, Tommy Paine, PLEASE UPDATE THIS, WILL YOU?

This Blog counter, on the lower left corner of this FrontPage, shows 1731 colleagues, presumably almost all Pace faculty, have discretely visited this page. In fact several hundred of them have been here since January 1, 2007! This is another indication that the merit to maintain this BLOG is self-evident. Are you listening, or better yet, Hearing the community out, Tommy P?!

Pace community has once again gone to a state of malaise and complacency, in essence acquiescing to the mediocrity, which has in turn led to ineptitude and incompetence. While we have every good reason to focus on the person at the HELM and his excessive entourage, each making from almost one million dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars for screwing the institution, and us and the student along with it, it is also painful to admit that our so called faculty leadership from the faculty council level to departmental chairs, etc. are not that hot cookies either. They by and large have no scholarly activities in their long academic life, have remained meager teachers, and their service has all of a sudden surfaced toward the end of their careers to entail campus based opportunistic endeavors. And how about the interim provost, an associate professor of English with a two-year closed ended DPhil from Oxford, who since his joining Pace has barely published anything, but, instead, has made every effort to provide the superiors with a patronizing peaceful zone of comfort.?

The spring minimal enrollment benchmarks were not met. They again tell us that the number of applications for the fall 2007 is HIGH, but what if like last year and the year before, when the numbers of applicants were high, nonetheless, it did not yield actual conversion to come to Pace?

Every indication are if Pace survives say in three years, that it would be a contracted one in that the NYC Mid-Town, the White Plains Graduate Center, and the Briarcliff Campus are all gone. Then, most non-business core majors will have disappeared as well, going back in essence to Pace original mission of accounting/business institute. That means a local tier five school ranking below Mercy and Monroe e College. Wait and see and prove me wrong, I long..

 
At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why not bring this blog back?

 
At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Kaput Caputo.
Does this mean that the on-line chat for today is cancelled?

For those who need to know: Friedman is a solid guy and is a good first step as PU tries to dig out of the caputo incompetency.

I imagine that Bianco will follow him out the door.

Question: timing is weird with commencement upcoming. We know he was pushed and did not jump. Wonder what was the tipping point?

 
At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After having caused so much pain to Pace, and while immense number of faculty have already left or are about to disembark Pace, and when we really have a hell of a time recruiting any half descent faculty to Pace if a line is to be re-authorized, Caputo has now, under some pressure, been forced out.

Be assured though that his full salary plus a severance pay amounting to millions of dollars during his “sabbatical” to be followed with his return as a meager faculty, now that he is found incompetent, continues to make Pace suffer.

 
At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks,

I have heard that as many as 18 former VPs and close executives of Caputo along with him have been froced to step down. I have also heard that many are being threatened on notice to give back millions of dollars they embazzled while at Pace, or face legal actions. In fact, many have been told not to show up at pace including the so called acting provost. In the meantime, this acting president fellow is to be "nowhere" found, as he remains in hididing....

Has anyone heard anything to coroborate these or more?

 
At 4:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This new interim, hopefully permanent president Steve friedman is such fresh breadth of air. a true human, with humility too....
let us help him to succeed in turning the mess around...

good luck steve

 

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