e.m.u. officials get a stay of execution

Well, it looks like Jim Vick’s threat of a lawsuit, and all that nonsense about him having passed a lie detector test might have thrown the EMU Regents off a bit. According to today’s “Detroit Free Press,” they say that now they’ve changed their minds, and that no decisions on the dismissal of personnel will be announced at Tuesday’s board meeting. It’s probably a good move on their part to make sure that they’ve got all the bases covered before letting anyone go, but one hopes, for the good of EMU, that this won’t drag on for long. I think it’s becoming clear to almost everyone that the University needs a fresh start.

[And I know I ended my last post by saying that Linette and I were going to watch a few episodes of “Battlestar Gallactica,” but things often don’t work out the way you plan… OK, now I really am done blogging for the night.]

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  1. dr. teddy glass
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    If no one loses their job over this, the University is sunk.

  2. egpenet
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    OK … a breather. However, the Regents need to use this time wisely …

    1 – Regents should contact EMU Alumni and get them to see what is really going on/NOT going on … actually for the past several years … to keep EMU in top form. Alumni President’s recent statement in the campus paper was WAY out of touch with reality.

    2 – Regents should visit with Mr. Hensdricks to get his slant on what he has seen, heard, personally questioned and/or found to appear out of order in his contacts with the administration … then share these findings with the Alumni.

    3 – I also propose that the Regents review all administratuive personnel hirings, changes or appointments made djuring the last four years … as the VP for Students Affairs built his top circle for staff and administrative department heads.

    4 – The fallout of tyhose hirings, changes and appointments will most likely lead back to the: a) past individual Regents resignations, b) alienation of teaching staff leading up to the last contract anxd through the negotiatiions, c) the stonewalling with the city and the surrounding neighborhood associations concerning the traffic changes on Forest, College Place and the redevelopment of what I would call the Pease block … impacting traffic AND area parking, especially for residents, d) and the general malaise in several academic departments … which one English m,ajor told me: “This has become a mediocre school since I’ve been enrolled.”

    My firsthand knowledge of EMU is quite limited. It’s all opinion, except for the remarkable histories written since its founding about its administration, staff and gfraduates, who had/have world-class renown. All of that is now at stake.

    5 – I further recommend that the Regents seek a new Provost pro-tem to immediately take full charge of the day-to-day activities of EMU … and to be empowered to make any and all changes at the top as warrented by the above mentioned Regent review of the last four to five years of hirings, changes and appointments.

    6 – I reiterate my challenges of past postings to seek the prompt/immediate resignatioon of … PLUS damages and restitution from … all administrative personnel whose actions/inactions are found to be in violation of the Cleary Act, PLUS monies charged to EMU by the B-L review.

    Ypsilanti NEEDS EMU to be a great, properous and thriving academic instuitution. The students deserve better. And heaven knows we need great teachers in our schools. THAT failure is the greatest scandal.

  3. egpenet
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 10:00 pm | Permalink


    I don’t want to know.

    More rumors …

    I will use the phrase “Peeping Tom” here to introduce a source that tells us to follow the hirings and appointments to find some hanky-panky and other nasties behind all the adminuistrative “team-building” over the last few years.

    My reaction is to stuff it. But its part of the story if it is true. If NOT, it’s slander.

    I can’;t deal with this. And yet it must be investigated, because if true, it further ciompliactes the entire caaswe.

    We need help from campus-wise people to keep this scandal from degenerating into a smut campaign and raise it back up to a straight legal basis.

    However, if there is more to the story than meets the eye … here’comes!

  4. Ol' E Cross
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s Monday night. I been drinking. For those who don’t know, I work at EMU.

    Sounds like EgP has heard rumors I want to hear. Thing that drives me nuts is a lot of folks have to know what went on but it’s not coming out. We know, to some extent, what went on. I want to know why, because all whys defy logic.

    To any students/parents reading, rest assured, you can receive a fine education at EMU. Campus is safe. Profs care and are qualified. EMU is sick, but not in a way that effects actual outcomes. I’m not recruiting, I’m being frank. My baby sis starts in fall and I have no reservations.

    But, my assessment is that a core of EMU is sick. Everywhere I’ve worked has had its share of fuck-ups and exceptional folk. Thing that’s different about EMU is I’ve never seen anything so driven by inbred political fear. The internal politics are so heated that the existence of entire programs can rest on debate over a punctuation point.

    EMU staff are, thus, fixated on implosion. There is far more energy spent on preventing internal strife than doing what’s best for the University.

    My first year employed at EMU, I was exceptional and exceptionally frustrated. I couldn’t believe the bad decisions folks were acquiescing to so as not to rock the boat. Now, I am a mediocre employee. I’m institutionalized. Every decision my department makes is the wrong one, in one sense, but is the right one in an environment where the institution is completely willing to eat itself. I have been taught to be a half-ass employee, because anything more is strife.

    Jim Vick? Fallon? I’ve got impressions, but can’t say. I’ve barely seen them. Cindy Hall, Pam Young, Ward Mullens, etc.? I think they are all capable and would have thrived in different environments. But, EMU is not an environment for thriving, professionally speaking, it demands submission and omission. It’s a hot-bed of reprisals. From the shallow chair where i sit everyday, those reprisals are as likely to come from one side of the picket line as the next.

    Were folks idiots? Hell yes. But I retain sympathy because EMU demands idiocy from the inside out. I routinely produce idiotic work because some faculty or adminstrator will punish us if I do elsewise.

    Honesty though, in the classroom and dorms, it’s still a fine place to send your kids to school. It’s exceptional for a number of programs. The internal polictics don’t oft sift down to the ABCs of classroom learning, other than giving the Eastern Echo a steady dose of hard news to cover.

    All I’m really trying to say is whoever the regents dismiss is a scapegoat. Because the problems are with the institution. We all hold blame for either creating the environment, or acquiescing to it.

  5. dr. teddy glass
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    From the Talk EMU site one also gets the impression that the buildings are collapsing around the students. It seems that every few days there’s a new post about 90 degree classrooms, crumbling plaster, and leaky roofs.

    Just thought I’d throw some more wood on the fire.

  6. abby c
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I am a prof. at Eastern, in the English dept, and I can assure you that the dysfunction at EMU rarely gets down to the departmental or the academic level. Faculty members in departments, esp. in English departments, are notorious for infighting and contention, and yet our department is almost uniformly collegial compared to those that I have known elsewhere or those where my friends are forced to teach around the country.

    The largest classroom buildings are indeed wretched, so wretched that if I described them, you would think that I was exaggerating. But we do our best to offer innovative, cutting edge courses to our mostly working-class, first-generation students despite the heat and the lack of technology.

    If we had a better administration, one more interested in the educational mission, that would be a whole lot easier to do. Hopefully, the EMU Regents will take steps to ensure that actually happens.

    I find the comments regarding the “sickness” of EMU very insightful, but I cannot agree that that entrenched cultural malaise excuses or even fully explains the behavior of the individuals in this particular case. It is one thing to deceive a community about the cost of a Presidential McMansion, and quite another to deceive a family about the rape and murder of a daughter. These EMU officials were given a test of character, and they failed that test miserably.

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