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OT - Biondi monthly message - Office of the President

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Is it attractive compared to Georgetown, ND, Marquette, Boston College, etc.? Because the stated goal is to be the best Catholic University in the country. The goal shouldn't be to attract and retain average faculty. It should be to attract and retain some of the best faculty in the country.

Those schools, along with SLU, are all ranked in the top 100, putting them in roughly the top 3% of all institutions of higher education in the country(somewhere between 3000-3500). So those schools do not represent the mainstream of jobs in higher ed. They represent the elite, including SLU. In basketball terms, it would be like breaking into the top 10, since there are roughly 330 or so Div. I teams (I think). Yes, the faculty is excellent, if by that you mean research-wise. But in basketball terms, that's like saying those guys are really great because they are all superior rebounders. I think the guy meant, in general the job at SLU is attractive. If given a choice between SLU and UND, however: sorry SLU you lose. Plus salary at UND may be as much as 40-50% higher in senior level cases.

The President's "stated goal" is basically a canard. Goals that reach are fine, except everyone knows they are a complete reach. We are not presently competitive with at least several of those schools, in a number of ways: GU. BC, and UND, to be specific. I will not list those ways. But we have many, many faculty at least as good as those places, if not even better; and as a place to send your kid, SLU may be even superior to those places.

Again, in basketball terms: why don't we announce that SLU's goal is to become the best basketball program? It sounds nice in fundraising brochures but anyone knows it's a prevarication: we are running a marathon but the Dukes, MSU's Indianas and Kansases programs started running an hour before we did, and we are already 10 miles behind with no chance to catch up.

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Endowment at 970 million. and 14% increase in the past year. Looks like Chaifetz is making a ton of money or donations are skyrocketing.

Or it is just a pretty good reflection in what has been going on in the market. The S&P 500 had a similar gain over the same time period.

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yeah, what a swell list of accomplishments!! why all the fuss??

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/flare-up-at-slu-over-faculty-members-removed-from-student/article_29f23f12-b113-5459-9f8f-d7242a648eab.html

Yes, it is "still a very attractive academic gig." No doubt; even all those "malcontents" know that. But do not doubt this either, my friends: ""SLU has been mired in weirdness of all manner of late...."

Honestly, it has all been very, very tiring; almost surreal at times how odd some of the things have become.... but the sheer fatigue of it all.... real hard to sommunicate it to outsiders but I'm sure you all have your own complaints about work and/or management....

If there was a deal that Biondi was going to meet with the SGA student reps, and then meet with the faculty senate at a later date, what exactly were the faculty members trying to prove?

Additionally, I'm glad it seems to be commonplace to call the Post-Dispatch, KMOX, KSDK, or any other news organization the second there is a disagreement. Whether it is the action of the students, professors, or the University President, this entire situation is incredibly embarrassing for an Alum.

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Endowment at 970 million. and 14% increase in the past year. Looks like Chaifetz is making a ton of money or donations are skyrocketing.

It has nothing to do with the arena. It also has less to do with donations and more to do with the financial return on the endowment's investments.

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Is it attractive compared to Georgetown, ND, Marquette, Boston College, etc.?

BC, ND & Georgetown? Not even close.

Marquette? Yeah, pretty comparable I think.

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If there was a deal that Biondi was going to meet with the SGA student reps, and then meet with the faculty senate at a later date, what exactly were the faculty members trying to prove?

?!?!?

these meetings are free and open to the public. You can go if you want. what were THEY trying to prove?? boy you got that a$$ backwards!

someone was trying to prove something, all right; but it was not the faculty members...

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-what made the faculty stand out at the meeting? their age? did FrB know them? was this a small gathering where everyone introduced themself?

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?!?!?

these meetings are free and open to the public. You can go if you want. what were THEY trying to prove?? boy you got that a$$ backwards!

someone was trying to prove something, all right; but it was not the faculty members...

The quote in the article states this meeting was for biondi to discuss things with the students. If that was the stated goal of the meeting (even if under our school rules it says these types of meetings are open to the public regardless) I think faculty should have stayed away.

And I do believe they were there to cause a distraction because if they weren't they would have just let it go and not voted to censure. Ive reached the point where I'm blaming the faculty as much as Biondi. Yes you don't agree with the man, yes he has done some shady things. There comes a point though where you need to step back and ask yourself why you teach at SLU. This school is for the students and the faculty are continually raising issues with school in a public forum where it may not be appropriate and hurting the reputation of the school and hence its graduates. Its time to take these matters private for awhile. The survey fiasco was where I really began to question the faculty's goal in all of this.

just my opinion but the faculty has not taken enough heat on this from my (outsider) view.

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The quote in the article states this meeting was for biondi to discuss things with the students. If that was the stated goal of the meeting (even if under our school rules it says these types of meetings are open to the public regardless) I think faculty should have stayed away.

And I do believe they were there to cause a distraction because if they weren't they would have just let it go and not voted to censure. Ive reached the point where I'm blaming the faculty as much as Biondi. Yes you don't agree with the man, yes he has done some shady things. There comes a point though where you need to step back and ask yourself why you teach at SLU. This school is for the students and the faculty are continually raising issues with school in a public forum where it may not be appropriate and hurting the reputation of the school and hence its graduates. Its time to take these matters private for awhile. The survey fiasco was where I really began to question the faculty's goal in all of this.

just my opinion but the faculty has not taken enough heat on this from my (outsider) view.

Depends how you define "public meeting." SGA bylaws:

The Senate shall meet every Wednesday at 5:00 PM during the academic year when classes are in session, unless otherwise ordered by the Association. These meetings shall be open to the public.

Still think the faculty was in the wrong?

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The quote in the article states this meeting was for biondi to discuss things with the students. If that was the stated goal of the meeting (even if under our school rules it says these types of meetings are open to the public regardless) I think faculty should have stayed away.

Actually, no. The article does not state that as fact, precisely; it quotes the administration: "Thursday afternoon, the school defended Biondi’s actions in a statement: “The meeting Wednesday night with Father Biondi was planned as a dialogue between the president and student government representatives only.'" Of course "the school" (impersonal abstraction) defended FrB! what a shocker!

Again, it was a regularly schedule SGA meeting. The "only" part is a fabrication, in support of defending the pettiness. One further correction; those 2 faculty members are important people, but they aren't important enough to determine what the faculty council does or does not do, including censures.

I also agree blame needs to be shared. But if you read enough on this website, you will notice that faculty tend to get as much blame as the administration, if not more.

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Actually, no. The article does not state that as fact, precisely; it quotes the administration: "Thursday afternoon, the school defended Biondi’s actions in a statement: “The meeting Wednesday night with Father Biondi was planned as a dialogue between the president and student government representatives only.'" Of course "the school" (impersonal abstraction) defended FrB! what a shocker!

Again, it was a regularly schedule SGA meeting. The "only" part is a fabrication, in support of defending the pettiness. One further correction; those 2 faculty members are important people, but they aren't important enough to determine what the faculty council does or does not do, including censures.

I also agree blame needs to be shared. But if you read enough on this website, you will notice that faculty tend to get as much blame as the administration, if not more.

Okay, thanks for clarifying the type meeting this was. Since this was the one weekly SGA meeting then faculty certainly should have been allowed to stay. I stand corrected on that point. (I thought it was just a meeting for Biondi/student reps to talk and even though they wished it to be private bylaws stated it had to be public - now we know this not to be the case)

I still stand that the faculty has not received enough blame in this fiasco. that point is certainly debatable and basically up to the viewer to decide where they stand.

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IMO, this is typical Fr. Biondi. After the fact, he sends out a list of all his accomplishments. What is missing, of course, are all the lost opportunities and strain on relationships (with Jim Crews), with fans, alums and supporters of the basketball program.

As you know, I would not have hired Jim Crews. Instead, I would immediately gone in a different direction with an immediate "big splash" hire. I also would have had Dr. C be highly visible and supportive of this new splash hire as he would largely be the chairman to select this person along with Chris May. Unlike Fr. Biondi, I would defer to Chris May and the committee to select the new coach. This, of course, did not happen. I accept that and have not continued (will not continue) with anti-Jim Crews posts each time he makes a questionable decision, screws up or misses out on a recruit. My point, though, is that if Jim Crews is the man, then there is no need to leave him dangle in the wind. Crews has been on the SLU payroll for over a year. It's not like the delay was the result of JC turning waiting to turn in his W-4 and of SLU awaiting the criminal background check!! The interim tag should have been removed within 5 days of the end of the season, JC should have been announced, no need for JC to fall on the Ignatius sword and tell the public how slow he is to make decisions, the media would have only written positive articles and fans would have been informed and respected. Public relations, good will, confidence in the program -- all important items to people like me (season ticket holders) but also to students, alums, friends of the school - and don't forget - to and among the new Big East schools.

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?!?!?

these meetings are free and open to the public. You can go if you want. what were THEY trying to prove?? boy you got that a$$ backwards!

someone was trying to prove something, all right; but it was not the faculty members...

I'm shocked that you're defending the faculty. ;)

I simply asked why the faculty felt the need to go to the meeting. Are you telling me the faculty didn't think their presence at the meeting would be a disruption? Why not let Fr. Biondi have some time with the SGA reps? And why did they feel the need to run to the media as soon as there was a conflict? Why didn't they address it at the Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday? Do they truly think that running a negative story in the Post-Dispatch (again) is going to be the final straw to remove Fr. Biondi?

Echoing the sentiments of Milwaukeebill above, I want this situation resolved and with limited negative press. Neither parties' actions at the SGA meeting were conducive to rehabilitating the image of Saint Louis University.

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I'm shocked that you're defending the faculty. ;)

I simply asked why the faculty felt the need to go to the meeting. Are you telling me the faculty didn't think their presence at the meeting would be a disruption? Why not let Fr. Biondi have some time with the SGA reps? And why did they feel the need to run to the media as soon as there was a conflict?

Presence. At a public meeting. A disruption.

The irony of someone posting this from behind a screen pseudonym is pretty thick. ;)

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Presence. At a public meeting. A disruption.

The irony of someone posting this from behind a screen pseudonym is pretty thick. ;)

I'm shocked we disagree.

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Presence. At a public meeting. A disruption.

The irony of someone posting this from behind a screen pseudonym is pretty thick. ;)

So the faculty deserve no blame? I certainly agree they shouldn't have been kicked out, but clearly the fact that this story came out right away makes me really question the faculty's motive.

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Since 2007 jobs have been hard to get and raises harder to get. Management has had the upper hand in all industries as this is a very unforgiving time to be out of work. The pendulum will swing in the other direction. Very soon the baby boomers will be retiring.

The number one goal of all undergraduate teaching positions should be teaching skill in the English language yet as far as I know PHD programs are all about research and publishing: there is no requirement for competent teaching skills like there is for elementary and high schools. What do you do about tenured professors who only want to publish and are not excited about teaching undergrads?

Most of us have suffered the impossibility of learning from instructors who are deemed brilliant but lack many fundamentals for teaching.

You would think college level teachers would be required to take a teaching course or two. I personally had poor teachers at U of Illinois in undergrad and Slu graduate school. U of I was one of the early experimenters of the arena filled (750) students in some core classes

With instructions from a television instead of a teacher and grad assistants grading tests. I hope those cattle call days are over.

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So the faculty deserve no blame? I certainly agree they shouldn't have been kicked out, but clearly the fact that this story came out right away makes me really question the faculty's motive.

Ahh, so it was all a conspiracy by two faculty members. "Oooh, ooh, we'll show up at a PUBLIC meeting. That'll rattle the PRESIDENT of the University, who agreed to speak at this PUBLIC meeting. Maybe he'll even THROW US OUT! Then we can call the MEDIA."

Yeah. That must have been it.

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Having led a large educational institution as well as spending many years as the second, I can tell you that these types of organizations do not function relationship wise and decision making wise as do companies both private and public. There are many reasons why this is but suffice it to say that many of the benefits that companies pay out when times are good are not available to people who work in these educational institutions such as a SLU - for example bonuses are not paid out, 401Bs are not often matched at all ever, and opportunities for substantial raises are usually tempered to just name a few. I understand that there are times at companies where 401K matches are reduced, no or reduced raises or salary cuts take place during hard times, and other perks are stopped but by in large when my counterparts in companies were getting 3-5 times my salary and bonuses valued in the hundreds of thousands, they are suppose to save for the rainy day times. Don't get me wrong I am not complaining only pointing out the differences. Now all that being said, transparency in the operations and decision making is a critical factor for those who work in these educational institutions. It is what they find attractive to the job so when the leader pulls the rug out from under them then of course they get angry. The worse thing a leader in this type of organization can do is to appear not willing to work with the staff in an open manner. Biondi has a long record of running roughshod over people so what is happening right now is simply a cumulative effect of years of him grinding his boot heel on those below him. I am still surprised that he has lasted this long through this entire mess - the trustees who basically were picked by Biondi are at least outwardly supporting him - I can assure you that some are tiring of it and are probably privately saying some different things. After all when they signed up for this gig it was suppose to be basically a fun thing with very few if any headaches. The worse thing Biondi could have done was kick the faculty out - he should have welcomed them being there and hearing the discussion - it would only have elevated him but his choice to exclude has only lowered his stature. What could he have possibly said during the meeting that would have been so secret that the faculty need to be removed? - if he thought what he talked about was going to stay in the room then he is very naive and I doubt that he is.

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Ahh, so it was all a conspiracy by two faculty members. "Oooh, ooh, we'll show up at a PUBLIC meeting. That'll rattle the PRESIDENT of the University, who agreed to speak at this PUBLIC meeting. Maybe he'll even THROW US OUT! Then we can call the MEDIA."

Yeah. That must have been it.

Well you didn't answer my question or present a valid alternate rationale. So I am left assuming that's that was it

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It is the undergraduate institutions pushing faculty to do research. Even little institutions want the grant money and prestige that comes with a publishing faculty. I agree with your overall point but it isn't the graduate programs at fault. Having gotten tenure at both a large state university and a small catholic undergraduate school, I have seen in both instances that any talk about caring about the quality of instruction i just lip service.

Since 2007 jobs have been hard to get and raises harder to get. Management has had the upper hand in all industries as this is a very unforgiving time to be out of work. The pendulum will swing in the other direction. Very soon the baby boomers will be retiring.

The number one goal of all undergraduate teaching positions should be teaching skill in the English language yet as far as I know PHD programs are all about research and publishing: there is no requirement for competent teaching skills like there is for elementary and high schools. What do you do about tenured professors who only want to publish and are not excited about teaching undergrads?

Most of us have suffered the impossibility of learning from instructors who are deemed brilliant but lack many fundamentals for teaching.

You would think college level teachers would be required to take a teaching course or two. I personally had poor teachers at U of Illinois in undergrad and Slu graduate school. U of I was one of the early experimenters of the arena filled (750) students in some core classes

With instructions from a television instead of a teacher and grad assistants grading tests. I hope those cattle call days are over.

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