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.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Proposal v1.0

OK, OK you are right, enough talk, what is needed at the moment is a plan of action to start taking shape. The time is ripe and there is no time to lose. We have a university to save.

As we have stated many times before and as it was also eloquently addressed by a faculty member last Friday at the WFC meeting the faculty as a group have more at stake in the survival of the university as an institution than any other group. But if we are to subscribe to the above and I hope that all of us do, then we have a moral obligation to maintain the highest ethical standards in the way we conduct ourselves especially during a crisis.

May I, in the spirit of responsible behavior and moral obligation, suggest the following rough outline for a rescue plan. Up until know the administration has not told us about the extent of the financial crisis neither have they suggested even a plan of action. One explanation, and this is highly unlikely, is that the problems are under control and the perception of a major crisis is just plainly wrong. The other explanation, which is the one supported by this blog, is that the problems are actually greater than what we have been led to believe and senior management is finding it difficult to come up with a credible plan. Rumors have it (I stress that it is only rumors) that Pace University has just completed an arrangement under which the university has borrowed another $65 million. Just the interest on this line of credit, if it is used, is probably close to $3 million per annum in addition to the $7 million that is paid every year to service the current debt. The above line of action, if indeed the rumors prove to be true, can only imply that Pace has decided against retrenchment. Pace appears to have decided that the plan is to just hope that student enrollment will pick up and that simple adjustments to the projected deficits will reduce the annual deficits to manageable levels.

Up until know we, the faculty, have been passive observers of this process. It is time for this to change. We must approach senior management with an offer that will make our commitment to the institution very clear. If we are sincere about doing whatever we can to save Pace then this is NOT the time to talk about merit pay increases in addition to the cost of living adjustments. We have a duty to suggest that we are ready to forego our annual salary adjustments for two years subject to a list of conditions, primary amongst which is the demand for deep, meaningful and radical changes. This blog believes that the list of such demands should reflect the communal point of view and thus can be arrived at only after serious but relatively brief deliberations. We have to show that we are serious about saving Pace and that we are willing to make the requisite sacrifices in that regards. Let me stress that our sacrifices are to be contingent upon the adoption of some specific measures and the attainment of specific goals. The value of such a sacrifice, if it comes to pass, is rather substantial. A quick back of the envelope calculation reveals that a freeze of salaries at the current levels for two years would probably amount to over $10-12 million


At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no go,unless the chairman and the king are gone. those are no rumors ;the cpa has been chosen.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The role of Certified Public Accountants is shifting, and it’s growing stronger by the day. Accounting and finance professionals today essentially translate the language of business. They play a key role when it comes to bottom-line profits, strategy and vision, and day-to-day operations.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

remember the chairman is a CPA.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A hollow, failed presidency

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
Like a modern day Ozymandias, our king doesn't know that his legacy has already crumbled, leaving nothing but ruin behind.

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No pay raise is probably going to happen. We need strategies to get students -- hence we need to yield money from the reduction of administration to fund initiatives that generate students. Write in, folks, with ideas to be funded by relatively small amounts of money, but rich in their ability to bring in students.

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
Issue: Volume 3, Number 1 / 2001-2002
Pages: 3 - 21
URL: Linking Options

Understanding the Organizational Nature of Student Persistence: Empirically-Based Recommendations for Practice

Joseph B. Berger


This article builds on the assumption that colleges and universities are organizations and subsequently that the organizational perspective provides important insights for improving retention on college and university campuses. A review of existing organizational studies of undergraduate persistence serves as the basis for ten empirically-based recommendations for practice that are designed to help campus leaders improve the effectiveness of retention efforts on campus.

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strategic Moves for Retention Success
Randi S. Levitz, Lee Noel, Beth J. Richter

Three enrollment management experts share highlights from two decades of successful efforts that they found to work with all institutions

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...let's create a list for Pace; it is not time to quote journals, let's apply the stuff. What kind of money do you need to help create the benefits? Gotta start small, cause there is no money -- but we can do it.

At 5:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

begin by asking students "if this were my university what would I do.?

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

Taking the Initiative:Strategic Moves for Retentionby Randi Levitz and Lee Noel
Page 2
(intellectually, emotionally, socially) to high levels ofcommitment where they become independent learners.When students put themselves at risk in thecontext of beginning a college education, the risksthey take are proportionately large. They often feelalone—a single individual entering into a totally newsystem in which everyone else appears to be at easeand successful. New students risk such things asfailure, loss of face, reduced self-esteem, reorientationtowards goals/plans/sense of responsibility towardsfamily, etc. The results of their risk-taking can beexhilarating. But they can be devastating as well.We hear stories about the unhappy resultsstudents experience from taking even the smallest ofrisks on a college campus. For example, in responseto a genuine question posed by a student in a class-room, a teacher responded, “That is an incrediblyelementary question—if you don’t know the answerto that, you do not belong in college.” Studentslearn from such an experience not to take risks inclass again.Simple Ways Institutions Can Makea DifferenceHow can situations like this be altered, or counter-acted? We have found that the most effective institu-tions are ones which make it possible for students totake risks without risking more than they can handle.To create such an environment we believe thatinstitutions need to make it possible for faculty andstaff to take certain risks that they never had to take inthe past to ensure success among today’s studentpopulation.What would it mean for an institution to makerisk-taking possible—to put into place a posture ofintrusiveness? On such a campus the followingsituations would be commonplace:•Teachers would not let multiple absences gounnoticed. They would be on the telephone ormeeting with the student in person—not taking adefensive stance (“Why weren’t you in class lastThursday night?”) but taking instead a positiveapproach (“What can we do to ensure that you’llbe with us on Tuesday? We need you in class!).•An advisor seeing a student who looked lost and“clueless” wouldn’t say “Come see me. I’ll be inmy office Wednesday at three,” but would rathersit down with the student in the cafeteria at thatmoment to begin to help the student move towardsome decision.•An advisor wouldn’t say “Good luck!” to thestudent who came in saying “I’m thinking oftransferring.” Instead, the advisor would explorethe feelings that were behind that kind ofstatement.•A physics teacher who saw interest flagging andrecognized that a more concrete example wasrequired would say to the class, “Get your coats!We’re going outside to see firsthand the way lightis absorbed by different substances. And becauseit’s so cold sun dogs are out. Let’s consider whatcauses them.”•A student who ate dinner in her dorm room nightafter night would be noticed by someone, whowould reach out to her to pull her into the collegecommunity.•An advisor, hearing the question, “Is 10:00 agood time to take French?” would address thehidden texts of that question in ways such as,“Are you worrying about whether your level ofpreparation is adequate for that particular classand that teacher?”•An engineering teacher, feeling that the group’scollective energy was low, would take the class tothe museum or for a walk around campus to helpstudents generate ideas for designs.•A student who had felt put down in a class, or feltotherwise out of place, would know whom to seeand would feel comfortable talking about thesituation rather than dropping out.•When students complained, “There’s nothing todo on campus,” a staff member would issue avery direct and very personal invitation to anupcoming event—and even, perhaps, put thatin the form of a contract such as “Do youknow three other people who would be inter-ested in this? Can I count on you to bringthem with you?”All these examples show individual facultymembers, advisors, or staff members respondingimmediately, and feeling empowered to intervenein a fairly intrusive way. Institutional support for
Page 3
such initiatives encourages this to happen in thefirst place—and then ensures that such an environ-ment is sustained.Institutions need to take these initiatives, ratherthan expecting the student to take them, becausemany students are not in a position to committhemselves fully to or even understand the manyand rich resources of the institution and theiraccompanying benefits. Such students remain onlymarginally involved in the fabric of the institutionunless actively drawn in as a result of the institu-tion taking the initiative. Still other students needsubstantial amounts of support to thrive or survive.In either case, the institution—in the person ofindividual faculty and staff—must be responsiblefor taking the initiative.The Three Levels of InstitutionalCommitment Among StudentsOn any given campus, we find that students fall intothree general categories when it comes to their levelof investment in that particular institution. The firstgroup are the observably committed students. Theseare the students who take active steps to identify forthe institution what they need. They are resourceful.They quickly learn how to work systems and how tofind the person or persons who will be their advo-cates/mentors/guides. These students are generallyvisible, energetic, assertive and achievement driven.Because they are so vocal and up-front about whatthey need and when they need it, they receive theattention they want—and more.A common description of an observably commit-ted student is one bound for medical school whorecognizes the importance of upgrading B+’s to A’s,so they are frequent visitors at various labs, and theyfrequently check in with their teachers, ask for extraassignments, find tutoring, etc. Another characteristicof observably committed students is that they have thecourage to activate institutional resources to addresstheir needs.The second group is equally visible—studentswho are academically or socially incompatible withthe dominant culture of the institution. For thesestudents there is such a gap between what they need/want and what the institution can or will offer that thedissonance for them is very great. These studentseither drop out on their own, or find the institutiontaking a very active role in leading them in thatdirection, or, as participants in a variety of programsfor exceptionally “high dropout-prone students” findthemselves in such a highly supported environmentthat they do succeed despite very negative odds.The third group consists of students who aremarginally involved. Marginally involved students aregenerally invisible to the institution, unless specialmeasures are taken to identify them. These are thestudents who are polite and unobtrusive, and who—for whatever reason—shy away from any situationthat would make them stand out or be noticed. Thesestudents will almost never follow up on vague orimpersonal invitations, such as a faculty member’sinvitation to “drop by my office to chat,” or anactivity announcement placed on a bulletin boardinviting students to come to a meeting or join anorganization.This third group is the largest of the three. It isalso the group from which most dropouts come.(Nationwide, just one year after enrollment nearly onein three college students is not still enrolled in thecollege which they first entered. Yet only about 5% ofstudents are dismissed by their institution. Theremaining students have chosen to leave on theirown.) That is why institutions that achieve greatimprovement in their retention rates target the mar-ginally involved students. (Incidentally, marginallyinvolved students are not necessarily marginalacademically by any means. In our experience, in fact,many campuses lose as many or more high-ability aslow-ability students.)There are several classes of marginally involvedstudents.1. Marginally involved with heavy outside commit-ments (i.e., families, full-time or part-time jobs,etc.), but with the strong commitment to finishingcollege.2. Marginally involved with few outside commit-ments, and a commitment to finishing college butnot necessarily at a specific institution.3. Marginally involved with few outside commit-ments, few college commitments, and lowcommitment to that particular institution. This
Page 4
Page © 2000 USA Group Noel-Levitz, Inc. All rights is on the periphery of the institution, inevery sense of the word.With all these marginally involved students, thekey to retention is early identification, early interven-tion, and good advising.Key Steps for Retaining MarginallyInvolved StudentsThe first step is identifying which of your studentsfall into the marginally involved group. Because thisgroup is likely to encompass large numbers ofstudents, it is essential that some sorting mechanismbe used to identify which students are at highest riskof dropping out. Included in any system for retentionmanagement should be a means of detecting astudent’s academic motivation, ease with which theyare likely to make the transition to the college envi-ronment, level and type of help that is likely to beneeded to be successful in college, and the likelihoodthat the student will be receptive to interventions onthe part of college or university personnel.The second step is to establish a method for usinginformation on individual students in a systematicway to increase the likelihood that they will succeedand stay. This is done by tracking and monitoring astudent’s progress in and interaction with the institu-tion. This step will enable the institution to customizeprograms and services to meet the needs of individualstudents—and to reach students early, before they arein trouble or before they decide to drop out.Once this is accomplished, the third step is todesign and deliver programs that will foster studentsuccess, based on individual student needs. Whilethese programs may vary from campus to campus andperson to person, all successful retention efforts havein common strong orientation and academic advising.And the quality of advising delivered on your campusis directly related to the talent and attitude of youradvisors, the kind and quality of information availableto advisors on individual students, and the kind andquality of information available to advisors oninstitutional programs and resources.Institutional Imperatives forImproving RetentionOne set of challenges facing colleges and universitiesintent upon improving retention is to help studentsdevelop appropriate expectations initially and then tomake certain that the quality of the students’ experi-ence, once they are on campus, is as positive as it canpossibly be.Meeting each of these challenges—helpingstudents build appropriate expectations and shapingthe environment of the college for learners—requiresa commitment at the institutional policy level.Peter Drucker has often emphasized the impor-tance of the sense of “mission” to an organization. Inhis words, “No organization can grow to greatnesswithout conceptualizing its purpose and sense ofservice to society.” In our work we have seen largedifferences between those mission statements that areput on a shelf, and those that are put into action. Thedifference is between something static that is passivein nature, and something dynamic that directs dailyactivities and energizes the whole campus community.The main purpose of education and, therefore, themain business of a college or university, is to changepeople’s lives. If that is the case, then the necessaryorganizational focus needs to be on individualstudents, complete with their current and future needs.For far too many institutions, students are incidentalto the furthering of the organization itself. Organiza-tions have a life of their own. A characteristic oftennoted in complex organizations is that they are self-protective of their systems and change-resistant.Ernest Boyer once said that asking a college toquickly change its approach was akin to asking anocean liner to make a quick right in the middle of theAtlantic Ocean.The necessary corollary of this is that for admin-istrators, faculty, and staff students are not imposi-tions on their work but rather the purpose of theirwork. But the organizations that will, in our judge-ment, grow to greatness in this and coming decadesare those that put students squarely at the center oftheir operations. They will do this by:1. Adopting the posture that
Page 5
Page © 2000 USA Group Noel-Levitz, Inc. All rights reserved.a. the institution and its faculty/staff are there tohelp students learn (which might mean helpingstudents survive, cope, or thrive);b. they are there to help students become moreindependent learners;c. students are not already at that point.2. Developing the approach that the institution will,for the most part, take the initiative in interactionswith students and, as part of this process, teachstudents how to learn to take the initiativethemselves. The goal over time would be for theinstitution to decrease its intrusive posture asindividual students assume that responsibilitythemselves.3. Committing sufficient resources (both financialand human) to ensure that the institution can helpstudents make the critical connections during thefreshman year to start them on the path towardsacademic development, personal growth, andsuccessful transition to the particular collegeenvironment. You might think of this as “front-loading,” or as putting your best up-front. Mostcolleges and universities, as it turns out, “back-load” resources, that is, save for the upper-division students the best teachers, the mostinvolving experiences, and any close workingrelationships with faculty.4. Focusing on the affective as well as the cognitivedimension of the collegiate experience.5. Learning more about the academic and socialmotivation of individual students.6. Implementing early alert and early interventionpractices and systems.7. Creating programs and delivery strategies thattake into account individual student needs anddifferences.8. Developing and furthering the institution’s imageas a student-centered environment.Retention Strategies: Investments in Boththe Present and the FutureThe institution that commits itself to these steps is theinstitution that will both retain and recruit morestudents. Students who find themselves in the sup-portive and enriching environment created by suchinstitutional commitment will be much more likely tobe satisfied with their educational experience than ifsuch an environment were lacking. Such institutionswill provide students with the right proportion ofindependence and support. And these institutions willallow students to take the risks they are able to handleat any given time—while simultaneously helpingthem build their capacity for taking ever-greater risksand responsibilities for their own learning.

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lastest c gram.............HAPPY HOLIDAYS.......FOR 06,07 AND 08.

At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing in your blog to-date has convinced anyone (maybe other than yourselves) that the faculty can do anything better than the current administration.

How can we trust a group of individuals who have not been able to agree, FOR YEARS, on revising their own handbook?

You claim that 'faculty were not involved in any decisions', but then when other posters speak the truth, that faculty ARE, in fact, on many committees, you claim that these members are not active, or part of your 'movement'. Why aren't you pressing for their removal??

What makes you think that anyone around here would trust a bunch of tenured faculty who don't have to worry about their jobs. It's real easy to criticize things after the fact.

I've been in too many situations at this university where faculty HAVE been asked for their input, or participation, only to get little or no response or assistance.

In your list of 'resolutions' you suggest that 'non-academic programs not directed by faulty' be eliminated. Are you suggesting that no one, but faculty, is capable of running a program? Surely you jest!.. I guess this implies that ALL programs run by faculty are perfect and don't need oversight. I propose that all non-academic programs be reviewed, including those supported by faulty.

All this blog does is serve to 'stir the pot' and spread a lot of misinformation. It is sad, that you are placing so much effort into criticizing the present efforts of many instead of directing your efforts into helping them solve the problem.

It IS true that we all have something to lose is Pace fails, but we all have a lot to gain if it succeeds.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger avgjoey said...

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
Like a modern day Ozymandias, our king doesn't know that his legacy has already crumbled, leaving nothing but ruin behind.

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Truth seeker said...

Annonymous 10:50,
Let me see if I can set the record straight.
No faculty member, definitely not this blog, has ever claimed that faculty should run things or that they can do a better job. You seem to have either misunderstood what the faculty council resolutions were about or that you have mischarachterised what this blog has floated. The bottom line is that the university is at risk because of bad managerial decisions and if it is to survive then a change in policies and management is called for. The faculty councils must be seen as agents for reform and movements driven by nothing else but their love and devotion to this institution whose existense is very much at risk.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous BlackAdder said...

Although I am not an accountant I can understand mismanagement. Although I am not a military commander, I can see the ineptitude and the failures in Iraq. So, why shouldn't I ask for the king's head on a platter when under his tutelage such pestilence has befallen on our institution?

Even if I don't (though I do) have any ideas on how to fix things, it doesn't mean I have no right to complain! Puleez...

By the way, this forum has been very helpful to many of us to learn more about the issues at hand, and it has been a place to gather, discuss, and plan for action. It's messy at times, but it's OK. Democracies are messy too.

Thanks to those people who put this together even if it has irritated several people--either the administration that doesn't like to be questioned/criticized, or those friends who are sympathetic to our cries for change but disagree about the tactics.

Let's use the next two weeks to achieve something concrete and set the pace for more changes to come.

At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

direct from the 18th floor....I'm NOT GOING..........................

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't Embarrass the Bureau

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

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

Truth Seeker, 12:01:

From "Whats Next? 11/20":

"Ultimately, however, it is what the faculty thinks that is important. We, at this blog, believe that it is the duty of all faculty members to make their views known."

The above comment alone shows who hopes to benefit from all of this. This isn't about "Pace" as a community it's about "Pace Faculty" protecting their highly compensated and guaranteed/tenured positions.

You say that this blog has never said that"faculty should run things, or can do a better job", but in other postings you state that it is "what the faculty thinks that is important"... If you were true to your word, you should have written "It is what the PACE COMMUNITY (faculty, staff and students) want, AND NEED, is what is important"?

Have you even considered the effects of what you are trying to do with a 'vote of no confidence'? How many parents do you think will send their teenagers to a school where the organization is in a state of such friction.

It's clear that you will stop at nothing less than complete removal of the President and certain board members. And if that does not happen, I'm afraid we'll be stuck with your unhappiness for years to come - regardless of how well we're doing.

At 6:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Judas goat is a trained goat used at a slaughterhouse and in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared.

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Political or civic courage (e.g., that of citizen-soldiers), which inspires men to face danger for the sake of honor and renown or to escape the disgrace assigned by law to cowardice. Because it has a noble motive-honor—it is closest to true courage. A lower form of political courage is that in which fear of punishment is the only motive.........Aristotle

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NOBEL WAY..................A resignation is the formal act of giving up one's office or position.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Thomas Paine said...

Annonymous 5:48
The brief post "Whats Next" that you refer to was written specifically to pespond to a letter that was addressed to the faculty and thus the words in the response suggested that the university is ultimately its faculty and thus the opinion of the faculty is more important than that of the Board especialy when the Board seems to be totally divorced from reality.

Anyway, your logic that one should not be critical of wrong decisions makers since that might reflect badly on the institution in question is tantamount to giving wrong doers a monopoly on veto powers and a protection from being held responsible for their actions. Your logic implies that no one should have dared voice disagreement about the conduct of war on Iraq!!!!

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your proposal has some merit, and I just wanted to add a few points. Pace's #1 problem is a lack of community spirit - students feel this is a commuter school. Also, I think Pace has to think seriously about selling White Plains & Pleasantville & investing the proceeds into a redesigned NYC campus. In addition, Pace should create an internal accounting system to measure each program's revenues & expenses to ascertain which programs make $ and which programs don't. I'd like to stress that this isn't a simple or easy system to create because some programs generate intangible benefits. For instance, athletic departments rarely make $ on a cash accounting basis, but they usually pay for themselves as marketing/recruiting tools. Also, Pace should expand through Internet-learning, which is really in its infancy.


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