Thursday, October 21, 2010


First, a comment about the blog itself. Everyone seems to be posting comments in response to my very first posting. Those comments are here. The comments form a long, frustrated, angry thread. I'm hoping we can elevate the level of discussion if we move on. I think this blog has been valuable as a place to vent, if nothing else. However, not much more than venting is really going on.  Would it be possible to use this anonymous forum, where people can feel free to speak out without fearing for their jobs, to establish a plan of action, to organize faculty and students?
Today Jindal officially announced the cuts we have known were coming.  So very soon now we should start to see activity on the firing front. If we were in France, this action by Jindal's office would have prompted a general strike. Here, public sentiment and the national propaganda machine is so dead-set against higher education, we cannot hope for any sudden display of public support unless we turn this trend around.
So, let me ask the question... how do we organize? What can we do that might actually make a difference?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Latest

As of Friday morning, apparently, the Chancellor's inner circle have all been fired, effectively immediately, email accounts closed, etc. Including Elizabeth Lowry, Mike Rivault, Aundrea Kloor, and Michele Montegut.
So the "house-cleaning" has begun. And you would have a hard time finding ten people on campus who are sorry about this.
The original goal of this blog was to provide a forum for change to come from within, from faculty, staff, and students. While we wanted to see a vote of no-confidence, this takeover by the system is not something to be celebrated. And the summary firings, no matter how well deserved, will set a precedent no one wants to see. A dictatorship is fine-- so long as the dictator is on your side. And if Lombardy proves to be not on UNO's side, Ryan could start to look good to a lot of people who weren't that familiar with the workings of the administration.
The senate's resolution, copied below, is perhaps not that bad... Notice that it says nothing about a reinstatement; it only urges that the academic community be involved in selecting the next Chancellor, and that Joe King be the interim chancellor, as he would normally be in the Chancellor's absence.

Here is the resolution:

Resolution Regarding Unexplained Dismissal of Chancellor Timothy P. Ryan

Be it resolved that the University Senate, as the representative body of the faculty and staff of the University of New Orleans, urges that the LSU Board of Supervisors include our voice in our future. To that end, we assert our earned and deserved right to govern our campus.

We find the summary and unexplained dismissal of Timothy P. Ryan as our Chancellor and the concomitant appointment of an LSU System governing panel unacceptable and unwarranted.

We urge the LSU Board of Supervisors to appoint our Provost, Dr. Joe M. King, as Interim Chancellor of the University of New Orleans until a permanent chancellor is appointed.

We further resolve that the University of New Orleans faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders be integrally included in the search and selection process.

Resolution unanimously adopted by the UNO University Senate: September 16, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010


The call for a vote of no-confidence has now been sent to the senate anonymously. We shall see if it makes it to the agenda. Word about this blog is getting around. See the comments after the initial post below, and continue spreading the word.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


UNO and the entire LSU system is facing, now, budget cuts far beyond any necessity or fantasy of "fiscal responsibility." If the 2011-12 projected budget cuts take place, as they almost certainly will, it will no longer be a matter of decades until we recover. There will be no recovery. Public higher education in Louisiana will have been decimated to the point that it will have to rebuilt almost from scratch.

Through the five-year-long process, since Katrina, that has marked UNO's rapid decline, we have stood by Chancellor Ryan. We all know it's been a tough job. But it's time to face facts: he's part of the problem. He has, at every stage of the process, capitulated meekly to the insults we've received from the state legislature. When was the last time you saw a letter to the editor from him? When was the last time he was on TV? When was the last time he was in the news at all protesting the decimation of public higher education in Louisiana?

Far from fearlessly protesting these changes that are going to adversely affect the state for generations to come, he has treated the situation like a sinking ship, giving his personal staff raises while the rest of our salaries have been cut or at best remained static. He's surrounded himself with a staff of highly-paid yes-people, culled from among his personal (sometimes very personal…) friends, untrained and unqualified for their positions. But this doesn't really matter, because he makes all the decisions himself, based on whims and impulses, without research and without asking the opinions of people who know.

And on August 31, when students tried, belatedly, to organize and protest the ruination of the university by the governor and the state legislature, a cause that the Chancellor should have been supporting, on a time when he should have been on the quad leading the protest, instead he barricaded himself in his office and HAD THEM MACED.

He's been chancellor eight years and has never been reviewed. Remember when he took the office? Didn't he promise to have himself reviewed every two years?

If UNO is to survive, WE MUST GET RID OF TIM RYAN. We need a new leader, someone who will stand up to the legislature and the board and PUT THE JOB ON THE LINE. Someone who will MAKE SOME NOISE and let the people of the state know what is happening to public education and to our futures.


Leave your anonymous comments below to begin the discussion.