Target:
Students, faculty, alumni, and supporters of the University of Toledo
Region:
United States of America

*For presentation to June 17 Forum at the University of Toledo. Petition will close on June 10*

This petition urges the leadership of the State of Ohio to intervene in the
direction and planning of the University of Toledo. Signing this petition is a
strong, clear message that you believe that UT's undergraduates are entitled to
a full, broad, and high-quality education comparable to institutions across the
country.

We believe:

• The 10-Year Plan for the university system is a positive development for
the State and for our University. It clearly describes the centrality and value of
a liberal arts education for all students in the Ohio system.

• However, we believe that the president of the University of Toledo has
misinterpreted the 10-Year Plan, and on the basis of this misinterpretation will
seriously weaken both the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of
Toledo.

In particular:

o The call for “differentiation” among universities based on areas of
excellence is being applied in inappropriate and potentially destructive ways.
Scholars in diverse disciplines are being pressured to show how their teaching
and research aligns with the strategic plan. Shakespeare scholars are being
asked to demonstrate alignment with STEMM.

o The goal of differentiation and focus on “areas of excellence” at the
expense of traditional areas of scholarly endeavor compromises the core mission
of any university as recognized by the 10-Year Plan, which says: “Success in
the global economy…requires more than technical skills. It will take
communication skills, creativity, innovation, an understanding of global cultures
and history, and much more. These skills are acquired through study in a wide
range of disciplines, including the liberal arts and humanities…” (Strategic Plan,
21).

o Contrary to our president’s reading of the 10-Year Plan, nothing in that
document requires that differentiation have destructive consequences for areas
not designated as “areas of excellence” in each university. Indeed, it quite
clearly calls for a stable and strong core education in the liberal arts and
humanities, with “areas of excellence” understood as complementary.


We believe that a clarification of the 10-Year Plan is needed to prevent a course of
action at the University of Toledo that may jeopardize our ability to meet the
strategic objectives of the State of Ohio to improve higher education.

We, the undersigned, petition the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents and
the Governor of the State of Ohio to review and amend the direction and
governance of the University of Toledo.
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