Monday, June 19, 2006

Slippery bastard... (warning: rant)

About the time I matriculated at my alma mater, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, they got a new president. This wasn't really news since they had gone through a few in the last several years, for various reasons... The one that I ended up with during my tenure was Dr. Edward Hundert.

Hundert attempted to make the school something it was not - by having equal sex ratios, injecting more liberal arts into the average student's curriculum, and trying to make dramatic changes to the campus. The only problem was that he tried to accomplish this by admitting basically any girl who applied, reworking the general education requirements such that students actually took LESS liberal arts stuff, and building an incredibly expensive dorm project while neglecting to build more classroom space. None of the students liked him, and most of the faculty didn't, and they gave him a no-confidence vote. He left a couple months ago.

Now, let me make it perfectly clear that I dislike this man because he destroyed many of the liberal arts departments. Before he came, students fulfilled their general education requirements by taking a number of courses among the various departments, some of which had to be above the 100 level, or had to be in a sequence. Thus, many of the 200 and 300 level classes were often more than half full of people who weren't even in the major. But it was good, as it fostered a lot of contact between the Hearts and Flowers people and the engineers. (Many of these engineers managed to fully amaze the profs with their projects, which tended to apply complex equations to things that most of the liberal arts people never thought of in numerical terms. Very interesting.) But Hundert's program was that instead of taking whatever they wanted to fulfill the lib arts requirement, they would take one class a semester for two years which was a quick and dirty run through on some liberal arts topics. This might have been a good idea except that he never hired any more professors - he had promised to nearly double the number. So the liberal arts departments got it on both ends: lowered enrollment in higher level classes, since the students didn't have to take them for general ed requirements, and also the liberal arts profs were the ones who had to teach these new classes, so they didn't have time to teach the higher-level classes even if there had been enough people to fill them.

All of this meant that I basically wasted the thousands and thousands of dollars my parents and I spent on my senior year because there was literally nothing left for me to take. Nothing was offered that I hadn't already taken, in my majors. And I had two. That is sad. I took some random crap to fulfill credit hour requirements.

In a way I'm actually kind of glad that Hundert had a fall from grace. There was always a feeling among the students that he was trying to be a big mover and shaker at CWRU only so he could show off his short-term accomplishments, move up to presidency of a bigger and more important university, and leave us to deal with the long-term ramifications of his slapping a coat of paint on the university's issues.

And now... look where this slippery bastard has ended up. Trying to manage MY retirement money?! I don't think so! I voted against him. Damn right he's on sabbatical, cause his own faculty fired him! Take that, Hundert!

3 comments:

Flexo said...

That's very interesting to know. I'll take your word and vote my TIAA shares against him...

Kira said...
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Kira said...

That would make me very happy... =)

It was a little depressing to see that there are TRILLIONS of votes to be cast (I guess one per share or something?) and I have about 130 shares, most of which are of the lower priced funds.