CUA Faculty Assembly
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This is nice for the students, but the university doesn’t seem to get that doing the right thing only after your competitors have done it means you’ve abandoned any pretense to leadership. http://cuatower.com/2020/08/university-announces-10-tuition-refund-after-students-petition-for-cost-reduction-for-online-classes/
“American universities are not having their finest hour, partly because of Covid-19. But even after the pandemic, they will be weaker and less consequential than they were a decade or even a generation or two ago. Why? Who is to blame?” For the writer’s opinion, see https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardvedder/2020/08/03/who-is-ruining-our-universities–administrators/?ss=education#5abb6c3f14df As a long-time donor to CUA, this article gave me pause if it applies to CUA. If it does, I am not interested in continuing to support CUA’s very expensive administrative bloat. And I blame the CUA BOT for allowing this to continue I hope that one of you will pass the article… Read more »
Can you describe this “bloat” more precisely? Are there particular positions you believe are unnecessary? If so, what are they? Are there particular salaries that you think are too high? If so, whose, and what do you think the reasonable salary should be? A vague accusation of “administrative bloat” isn’t particularly informative or persuasive.
Hello Anonymous – I made my comments/observations as a long-time CUA contributor who is looking in from the outside and hoping for the best. If you are a current member of CUA’s faculty and have a dog in this fight, I respectfully suggest that you expend some personal effort to gather some data and try to answer your own questions. If you do so, please let us all know what you learned. Otherwise, I will assume that you are happy with the bloated size of CUA’s current administration, their bloated compensation and their unbloated contributions against any reasonable success metrics.… Read more »
So you can’t defend your position with actual facts, got it. It’s hard to gather data when the subject is as vaguely defined as “bloat.” That said, I have seen some comments in this forum suggesting that Garvey’s investment in advancement staff is unwarranted. Take a look at the bottom of the following CUA web page, reporting a capital campaign that has gathered $310mm of its $400mm goal. If that is what bloat produces, let’s have more bloat. If anyone has evidence that the reported numbers are incorrect, let’s hear it. Of course, if Concerned Log [sic] Time CUA Donor’s… Read more »
CUA’s Faculty Assembly should relate to a group of concerned Faculty members at North Carolina University at Chapel Hill
Some food for thought from the Harvard Business Review article, “6 Reasons Why Higher Education Needs to Be Disrupted”; 19 Nov 2020 Many elite universities prioritize research, often at the expense of teaching: Anyone who spends time in academia will know that the quality of universities, at least as judged by research excellence tables, is predominantly based on research rather than teaching. In many top institutions, teaching can be seen as a distraction from publishing and getting research grants. Top faculty are attracted not just with higher salaries, but also with more freedom and a lower teaching load. In return,… Read more »
It’s those same elite universities whose graduates succeed so spectacularly in their careers, forming a wealthy cohort of grateful alumni whose donations enrich all aspects of the institution (including faculty compensation) and perpetuating demand for admission each and every Fall. Few graduates of such institutions complain they were poorly taught.
Here’s a Catholic university of America enjoying national recognition and success: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/sports/ncaabasketball/college-basketball-recruiting.html?action=click&module=Features&pgtype=Homepage
“Catholic University has lost its way – and continues to do so”
As the true friends of CUA ponder what will become of CUA as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic challenge, I suggest reading the prescient article,
“Saving The Catholic University of America: The cardinals need to talk”, which appeared in the June 2018 issue of the National Catholic Reporter.
Reminder – the article is over two years old; written long before COVID-19 came on the scene.
How Colleges Spend Money
Two out of three college students now graduate with an average of over $28,000 in student debt, and the price of tuition continues to rise at an unsustainable rate, faster even than health care. So how do colleges spend that money?
Built specifically for college trustees, policymakers, and other higher education decision-makers, this site is designed to equip the people who oversee colleges and universities with the tools to perform their own analysis of higher education spending trends, and create benchmarks in comparison with other institutions
I want to respond to the hopefully sincere but clearly misguided anonymous posting regarding “financial prudence” and that the CUA President is the right president for the times. My bona fides include the fact that I am a CUA graduate from the days when CUA was nationally known as a research university and before CUA sadly quit the AAU. I also have been a long time contributor to CUA – both financially and through hours of volunteer work . Plus, I did not just fall off the turnip wagon. OK – so now I must report that I am appalled… Read more »
“Starving CUA’s School of Engineering”? Haven’t heard that. Elaborate, please?
The FA EB applauds the university for making the right decision to prioritize health and safety over short-term financial considerations. We understand the difficulty of the decision and stand ready with our colleagues to support the university through these trying times, as faculty did in Spring under emergency conditions. We are in war-time conditions… fighting a global pandemic. In 4 months, COVID-19 has killed more Americans (150,000 YTD) than every war in our nation’s existence other than WWII and the Civil War. With 1200 deaths/day, unfortunately the casualties will continue with no immediate relief in sight. Faculty are asking “what… Read more »
The argument that “revenues are driven by the the academic sector” ignores the fact that those revenues have been insufficient to advance the university by such measures as faculty compensation and financial aid adequate to attract better-credentialed students. It also ignores that stagnant or declining freshman enrollment means “academic sector” revenues are imperiled. These are the facts that make development critical to the university’s future. And it’s Garvey’s recognition of that reality that makes him the right leader for the times. The mere suggestion that the university should sell off an irreplaceable asset — a portion of the 49 acres… Read more »
And why do you think enrollment has declined from 1000 per year to current levels? Leadership has taken us down a path where we are marketing to a shrinking pool. Regarding use of resources, Matthew 25:14-30.
I think the reason is that the university has steadily declined in prestige. Sliding down the US News rankings each year (and never having been respectably high to begin with); losing its place in the AAU; forced to be so indiscriminate in admissions that, as another commentator in this forum noted, it must”accept almost anyone who applies and then giv[e] them a deep discount on their tuition.” The cumulative effect is a public image of Last Chance U which magnifies itself over time.
CUA does not have the prestige that it used to have.
Build prestige first! Then, students will automatically come!
Look at, for instance, MIT and Yale. Their faculties do not need to come to the campus on weekends multiple times a year to attract new students and their parents.
Yes, the decision is worthy of gratitude, but let’s not pretend it’s some kind of profile in courage. It came only after Georgetown, GW and AU went all online; if any one of them hadn’t, do you seriously believe Catholic would have flipped? And CUA is still choosing to risk the health of several hundred freshmen (if any show up) plus however many more they may infect.
CUA’s Entire Family Is Hurting
In the spirit of the Catholic Social Teachings which CUA claims to stand for, the university must not forget its employees who can’t work remotely. These include CUA’s maintenance, cleaning and dining workers, athletic trainers, computer technicians and campus security to name a few.
I hope that the FA can raise its collective voice in support of these important members of the CUA Family.
No one is blaming CUA President Garvey and his senior administrators for the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the university.
But the comments decrying any criticism of CUA’s President Garvey indicate that the commentators are either uninformed or have very short memories.
Maybe this October 2016, article from the “Chronicle of Higher Education” will help them take a larger view.
Loyal Alum – You’re responding with a straw man argument while ignoring my actual claims. The straw man is the idea that the faculty blame Garvey for COVID problems. I never accused the faculty of that. My claims, which you ignore, are: (1) longterm fixes for the issues that the faculty seem to care most about depend on greatly improved fundraising; (2) Garvey has implemented unprecedented (for this university) enhancements in the school’s fundraising capability; and (3) those in this forum who criticize Garvey over the cost of advancement staff fail to take account of the hundreds of millions of… Read more »
Dear Anonymous Poster – Are you seriously claiming “Hundreds of millions of dollars of donations due to enhanced advancement infrastructure”?????
I suggest that you review CUA’s Annual Report for 2018-19
I’m relying on the report on CUA’s web site that the current capital campaign has yielded $310 million of its $400 million goal. See the “Lighting The Way” section of the web site. If you claim that representation is false, I’d very much like to hear/see your evidence.
Here’s the web site page the other poster refers to. I, too, would like to know if anyone is claiming that the $310,000,000 figure reported here is false. https://engage.catholic.edu/about/light-way-campaign-catholic-university
The comments about CUA being a victim of “the market’s verdict after more than a century of lackluster performance by the university, as measured by the metrics that determine winners and losers in the academic marketplace” and ready for a “long and painful death, and I think a number of people will be joining me on the job market very soon” should make all of us very sad. I haven’t commented on this discussion board before. I admit that I have been sitting and watching from the sidelines, but these two thoughts have been extremely worried, and now I want… Read more »
When has the FA championed anything other than the narrow interests of the faculty — salary, teaching load, tenure, things of that nature? This is not to say that there are not legitimate grievances about these issues. But generally the faculty fails to appreciate that improvement in these areas can only come if the university is vastly more successful in fundraising than it has been throughout most of its existence. In fact, the FA (or at least most of the contributors to this discussion forum) endlessly deride the one guy — Pres. Garvey — who has analyzed the problem correctly… Read more »
BREAKING NEWS — https://communications.catholic.edu/fall-2020-plan/index.html
So they’ve elected the worst of both worlds – a big financial shortfall plus the risk of massive reputation harm and legal exposure when a bunch of 18-year-olds, away from home for the first time, blow off “social distancing”, etc. and get sick.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the FA’s Return-to-Work survey. The summary report is now available at: https://cuafacultyassembly.com/fa-return-to-work-r2w-survey-results/
Thanks to CUA’s Faculty Assembly leaders for conducting such a professional survey.
The results make a convincing and rational argument to help CUA’s executive administrators understand that they need to follow the lead of the DC government and Georgetown, GWU and AU.
I am very disappointed that CUA’s senior administration did not conduct their own survey of its faculty and staff already. Their hubris is astounding.
I hope that someone will send the FA faculty survey to Garvey and the provost.
Maybe they will wake up.
I thank the executive of the Faculty Assembly for instituting the survey and for disseminating the results. I also hope that the FA executive board will have resources on resume polishing available, because I don’t know about you, but I will be looking for a new position. Tenure or not, this university is now on the road to a few long and painful death, and I think a number of people will be joining me on the job market very soon.
Here’s some positive news re CUA and COVID-19
Catholic University of America researcher uses in silico analysis to fast-track passive immunity
Sober commentary regarding CUA’s plan for regular COVID-19 testing as a panacea……. _____________________________________________________ The U.S. has such a coronavirus testing shortage that experts say we may need to revive tighter standards about who can get tested, Axios’ Caitlin Owens writes. Why it matters: Although testing has gotten a lot better over the course of the pandemic, the pandemic has gotten worse. That might mean that frequent testing solely to help open businesses or schools just isn’t feasible. The U.S. is conducting more than 800,000 tests per day, on average — an enormous leap from the severe testing shortages the country… Read more »
“Colleges reverse decisions to open in person”; 31 July 2020 In Washington, D.C., three private selective colleges — Georgetown, George Washington and American Universities — went fully online this week, with announcements coming days apart. For GU and GW, that is a reversal from previous plans to bring some students to campus. For AU, initial plans called for a full student return. “The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the nation and the DC metro area indicates that transmission of the virus remains a constant threat and community spread continues throughout the country,” top AU officials wrote in a campus… Read more »
There is a spooky echo of Trump in CUA’s handling of the Fall. Trump ignored the advice of experts and pushed for reopening of the country largely out of fear of economic consequences. In its singular insistence on opening for in-person instruction, CUA ignores the collective judgment of at least three other DC universities – all of them more highly ranked, two of them with medical and scientific faculties that CUA lacks — for monetary reasons. Why in the world does CUA believe it can accomplish a safe residential semester when an institution with the resources of Georgetown acknowledges it… Read more »
There goes American University too. https://www.american.edu/president/announcements/july-30-2020.cfm
Do the president and provost of CUA simply stay silent in the wake of every other DC school’s decision? How is that possible? If they are going to stand alone in reopening, don’t they at least have to try to defend the decision now?
Trump, Pence and DeVos want all schools to open.
As with gay marriage, CUA opts to be on the wrong side of history.
Watching CUA go it alone on a reckless path to re-opening is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
Yup, headed for disaster, both medical and reputational. No way are undergrads in dorms going to socially distance from each other. Without the ability to effectively quarantine, test, trace, and without the resources to ensure safe ventilation systems in many buildings and sufficient PPE, we are going to have COVID outbreaks on campus. If the Administration does not change course, members of our community will get sick, some likely very sick, and we are likely to suffer the deaths of some students, staff and/or faculty.
Arguably, an institution that is too financially weak to protect its students, staff and faculty by closing for a semester is an institution that wouldn’t be missed if it closed for good. Isn’t that just an application of the kind of market principles that Pres. Garvey and most of the lay Board members embrace? CUA lacks sufficient resources because of insufficient demand in the student and donor markets that sustain private colleges. This condition is not the sudden result of the COVID pandemic; it’s the market’s verdict after more than a century of lackluster performance by the university, as measured… Read more »
DC schools will be all on-line learning to start academic year – but not CUA
CUA could wind up with the worst of both worlds: Too few returning students to avoid a big financial hit, AND an infection breakout among those who do return, producing devastatingly bad PR without any countervailing benefit. As for any who do get sick, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the theory behind the lawsuit: Repeatedly on your website, CUA, you touted the extraordinary actions you said you were taking to keep the campus safe and sanitized; you failed to implement them and/or you failed to warn my client that they wouldn’t be adequate to protect her.
Any you’re the only university in the District that didn’t act responsibly.
“US Higher Education: Value vs. Vulnerability” If you have not already seen it, and you are interested in how CUA is doing relative to the other universities in the Washington, DC area, you might be interested in reviewing these data. According to the post, “This dataset was compiled by the team at Prof G (it has no affiliation with NYU Stern School of Business). It includes data on 440 US universities and colleges ranked by US News & World Report’s top National University and National College rankings. This dataset compiles data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) maintained… Read more »
The last domino?
CUA has become increasingly conservative and this is especially been true during the Garvey administration.
One only has to look at the makeup of CUA’s Board of Trustees and people like Leonard Leo and the EWTN executive and the Koch and Bush contributions.
And as you know, the Trump administration has been pushing for all schools to completely re-open.
Would Garvey want to go against what the other DC-area universities are doing and open CUA to show fealty to Trump?
I certainly hope not but the thought has crossed my mind.
Prediction: CUA will shortly fold its hand on Fall in-person instruction. But when the financial consequences of that decision hit home, it will take a lot of chutzpah for the faculty members who’ve clamored for it to complain that they haven’t received raises.
But we’ve already been informed that there will be no faculty raises, even with the current in-person teaching plans for Fall 2020
That doesn’t stop the clamoring.
There’s no question that the buck stops with the BOT on this one.
It’s easy to imagine a split within the BOT, with hardline Trumpists like Leo saying full speed ahead with in-person instruction and a guy like Conway saying he doesn’t want blood on his hands.
Unlike the GW announcement, this Georgetown statement says nothing about a tuition discount. More proof of the power of brand excellence.
Not sure where you got your information.
According to the Washington Post, “In light of the pandemic and its effects, Georgetown last week said it would offer a 10 percent tuition discount to undergraduates who are not invited to live on campus, a savings of about $2,800 per student. The full tuition for the semester is $28,692.
The campus announced Wednesday that graduate students will get a 5 percent tuition break, bringing the cost-per-credit hour in graduate programs down from $2,214 to $2,103.30.”
Thanks for correcting me today n the G’town tuition discount.
How long before it’s too late for CUA to change course? If there are any students planning to show up on August 24, presumably they’re arranging their lives accordingly and would experience at least some inconvenience if the university decided at the last minute to go all-online.
Good comment – especially, in light of Garvey’s stated concerns for our students
Actually there’s even less time than that because residence hall move-in is scheduled to start Aug. 8.
All – for those of you who were not around in 2002, here is some history regarding CUA and its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU). Please forward the article to Provost Aaron Dominguez given his stated desire to improve CUA’s status as a research university. “Catholic U. Quits AAU, Rethinks Mission” By Amy Argetsinger Washington Post December 1, 2002 The Catholic University of America has dropped out of an elite association of research universities it helped found more than a century ago, prompted by concerns it can no longer keep up with the pace of major scientific… Read more »
It was a gold-plated credential, lost forever.
The article, like so many others, highlights CUA’s meager financial resources. It was Garvey, finally, who recognized the need to build a real advancement department and acted on it.
I will grant you that Garvey has assembled a large and expensive “advancement department” and he has greatly expanded the number of highly paid senior administrators that have greatly bloated CUA’s overhead expense pool. But one needs to ask if Garvey’s “advancement department” has enabled CUA to: (1) Pay its faculty and staff competitive salaries; (2) Provide non-trivial and regular merit raises to its faculty and staff? (3) Increase the total number of its faculty? (4) Modernize its research labs and related instructional infrastructure? (5) Recruit nationally recognized research faculty? (6) Recruit highly talented US undergraduate and graduate students? If… Read more »
Loyal Alum — Garvey is playing catch-up after more than a century of administrative misfeasance with respect to fundraising infrastructure, both as it relates to board structure and advancement staff. It’s only been, what, two or three years since he’s been able to restructure the board and install a truly professional advancement operation. In that short a period, you can’t expect him to have accomplished all of (1)-(6). At the same time, you can’t deny the millions in donations that renovated Maloney Hall, will build the new Conway school, and will fund other improvements. Unless the administration is lying about… Read more »
All – I hope that CUA’s “decision makers” will read this disturbing article in today’s NYT.
More Than 6,300 Coronavirus Cases Have Been Linked to U.S. Colleges
If CUA hadn’t lost its place in the AAU, it would have been counted in this survey.
Will CUA faculty and students who opt for in-person classes have to sign a waiver?
Not sure what you mean by faculty who “opted” for in-person?
GW just threw in the towel today and will go online. That makes American, Georgetown and now GW. How much longer will CUA hold out?
Maybe CUA is hoping to pick up some transfers who can’t give up the dream of all-night dorm room study sessions?
GW is also throwing in a 10% tuition discount. If CUA followed GW by going all online, how could it not match the tuition discount?
I doubt that CUA will be offering any more discounts. CUA’s business model includes accepting almost anyone who applies and then giving them a deep discount on their tuition. CUA hopes that it can make up the difference by reducing the salaries of its teaching staff and by convincing unsuspecting outsiders to donate more.
From that description, it sounds like the profiles of the student body and the teaching staff are pretty evenly matched — equally desperate cohorts. So maybe a little gratitude is in order.
University Continues to Prepare Facilities for Students’ Return to Campus
July 27, 2020
AU doesn’t seem to be going all online, based on their latest web site info. “Deliver classes through a blended combination of face-to-face or online instruction and purely online instruction that integrate live class sessions and opportunities with asynchronous content.” https://www.american.edu/coronavirus/
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) If you can’t trust professional sports players to make smart decisions to keep their league running during a pandemic, how do you expect students freed from months of home quarantine to fare? In less than four days, the 2020 MLB season is seriously at risk after at least 14 members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus, canceling games in Miami and Philadelphia and kicking off an emergency league meeting. Marlins players, aware of the team outbreak, decided via group text to play yesterday against the Phillies, circumventing a 113-page safety manual issued… Read more »
One thing that annoys me is the constant focus on students, when members of the faculty, staff, and administration can be just as lacking in common sense and common decorum. Let’s not imagine that the faculty is some angelic choir who always follow the rules and guidelines. How many faculty members are going to disappear to Ocean City, MD or Rehoboth Beach, DE and “conveniently” forget to self-quarantine?
I thought they’re so underpaid they can’t afford that sort of frolic.
First of all, I’m very pleased that the DC Government has published a recent directive regarding self-quarantining people who are moving into DC from high-risk areas. See https://wamu.org/story/20/07/27/d-c-mandates-two-weeks-of-self-quarantine-for-travelers-from-27-high-risk-states/ And I understand that this directive will be updated regularly. OK – but this information begs several key questions as far as CUA is concerned regarding how the university will support and enforce such DC directives. (1) Has CUA reserved a sufficient number of dorm rooms and food service and medical support for the as yet unknown number of quarantined students? (2) How will CUA enforce the students’ self-quarantine other than relying… Read more »
And what will the determination be for faculty members? Can we trust the faculty to do the same?
Good question – and let me add
What about the support staff – will they comply?
And the contract workers who we rely on to clean our buildings – will they comply?
And what about CUA’s paid fund raisers who have to be out and about to convince donors to send us more money so that we can maintain our senior administrators without reducing faculty or cutting their compensation?
Opinion piece worth reading – “The ethical issues colleges and universities must confront when considering reopening their campuses”; 21 July 2020
Some postings on this discussion board indicate a curious level of satisfaction with the way CUA has been managed during the Garvey Administration. If the posters’ concept of successful university management is adding multiple layers of expensive administrators, then I can understand why they are so pleased with President Garvey’s management performance. To get an idea of the administrative bloat that CUA has experienced, you might want to visit the web page of CUA’s “Division of Advancement” at https://engage.catholic.edu/about/directory. While CUA’s schools have been struggling to add additional faculty and infrastructure so that they can add more and new courses… Read more »
When you say “administration”, what do you mean? I haven’t been here for decades, but during the time I have been here, my academic area has lost staff members every year, and overall there are fewer academic support staff members than previous years. Even staff in the central administration are fewer in number: the amount of vice-, associate-, and assistant provosts has been reduced from eight to five (with, from what I understand, one of the heads of the Faculty Assembly leaving the provost office). But development at 53 people is absurd! Also, look at how many assistant and associate… Read more »
Based on fundraising results for the past few years, those advancement people more than pay for themselves. Look at fundraising numbers before Garvey’s changes. The numbers don’t lie: the Maloney Hall renovation; the Conway $60 million; and more. Look at where the university stood in terms of resources and rankings before Garvey — for decades it merely limped along, lost its place in the AAU, fell further and further behind other Catholic colleges. Does anyone seriously dispute that description? Look at how Georgetown is a world-class institution where parents will pay hundreds of thousands to get their kids in (not… Read more »
Everything will be OK once CUA wins an NCAA Division-1 national basketball championship and obtains even more money from the Koch Foundation.
The D-1 ship sailed long ago, one of countless bad judgment calls by CUA. Thanks to basketball, more people would answer “Villanova” or “St. Johns” than “CUA” if asked to name “the Catholic university of America.” As for Koch, the cool kids of the academy had already laid claim to all the clean money; Koch was what remained for the rest of us.
Has here been any discussion regarding how CUA will deal with DC’s announced quarantine?
“Nonessential travelers to DC from ‘high-risk areas’ will need to self-quarantine.”
According to the policy announcement, students returning from high risk areas must self-quarantine for 14 days – see p. 14 of this pdf
DC college and universities were informed of this in a letter of the same date, per that presentation.
DC has released a list of 27 high risk states from which travelers (inc. returning CUA students) would have to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
That list does not currently include the mid-Atlantic and NE states from which most of our undergraduates come – tho of course that could change in the next month.
And it would still fall heavily on the substantial # of students who do come from those 27 states, including most of the southeast and much of the west.
I think the Faculty Assembly is being unrealistic. If we go fully online this university is going to go bankrupt and then all of us are going to be out of jobs:tenure or not. We need to work with the administration and the Academic Senate and not be so intransigent. Tenure won’t matter when all that remains of CUA is theology, philosophy and canon law. I hope you work in those fields because biomedical engineers, English professors and social workers are a dime a dozen.
Finally, some realism.
Agreed. Hope we survive this crisis.
Also agreed that Tenure won’t really matter under this pandemic unless you are in theology, philosophy, and canon law. Even though you win a grant from NSF or NIH or publish a paper in Nature or Science, you are still severely under evaluated compared to those in the three departments. Why? The university care more about tuition revenue and protecting those in the three departments than real hardcore research.
[Our administration’s] unrealistic ambition to rebounce back to R1 cannot be achieved under this weird-fashioned institution.
– Edit made to this comment. Please avoid mentioning specific names of administrators.
And ironically, philosophy — the only one of the three that’s really comparable within the broader American academy — isn’t all that highly regarded. See the Leiter philosophy dep’t rankings.
The “unrealistic ambition to rebounce back to R1” was born of marketing advice that told the university that prospective students want “research opportunities.” So now the web site overflows with references to “research” as if the word itself were a magic incantation. And this is the same university that allowed itself to lose a gold-standard measure of research status — its membership in the AAU. The lack of a consistent strategy has been a hallmark of Catholic’s zig-zagging across the decades.
Is it realistic to trade some student or faculty or staff lives to help the university’s financial situation? I think not.
Moreover, the university will not go bankrupt because of a semester or two of online education. […]
Did you have any positive suggestions on how the faculty can better work with the administration and Academic Senate?
– Edit made to this comment. Please avoid ad hominem comments.
I suggest it’s irresponsible hyperbole to speak of re-opening as a decision to “trade some student or faculty or staff lives” for financial considerations. Let’s pretend we’re devoted to truth-seeking based on data and other reliable evidence and ask: What’s the actual risk of death posed by re-opening? If your answer is that it’s unknowable but any degree of risk is unacceptable, then the university should have been closed long ago, given the crime rate in Brookland.
Your comment equating the crime rate in Brookland with the actual death rates due to the COVID-19 virus boggles my mind.
I am an engineer and a strong believer in using carefully measured data so your description of my sincere concerns about the likelihood of the ocurrence of very serious COVID-19 infections associated with the early opening of universities while the pandemic is raging as being “irresponsible hyperbole” is at least very disappointing.
May I suggest that you read, “The Misguided Rush to Reopen Universities”
I welcome your quantitative expertise. Please use it to express the risk of death you posit with respect to, specifically, the reopening of CUA.
“The only certainty is the uncertainty,” says Andrew McMichael, a dean at Auburn University at Montgomery tells Axios. “Anybody, including me, that tells you they know what’s going to happen in the fall is wrong.”
Maybe it is time to dip into the $400M pooled investments to get us through a crisis. Maybe the Board of Trustees should actually evaluate leadership’s performance over the past 5 years (or more). Poor enrollment year after year in good times does not bode well for the challenges this crisis brings. Perhaps it is time to invest in the core mission of the university… academics. Growing ancillary units while starving the revenue generating academic sector was short-sighted, poorly planned. The problem is the university is drum by the CFO and not the president and provost.
The way you increase enrollment is by increasing institutional prestige. One way you do that is spending money on financial aid to “buy” better credentialed students, both undergraduate and undergraduate. You also do it by spending money for marquee faculty, especially grant-winners. You don’t do it by doubling down on tuition-dependence. Garvey is the first president of the university to understand and act on this, by reconfiguring the Board of Trustees and investing in real advancement capability. His changes may have come too late in the game to save the place, but it’s undeniable that they’ve achieved unprecedented philanthropic results… Read more »
I completely disagree with this argument. Our startup funding is extremely small. Our faculty meetings centered around only enrollment (instead of how to promote research). The only way to promote the research and winning Grants that I have seen at this university was to set a very high tenure bar on papers and Grant without giving enough startup funding (not to mention extremely low salary). The president and provosts have not done anything to support and promote research. I have never seen a university that is as abusive and exploitative as CUA. Never.. I am a tenured faculty and seriously… Read more »
The only externally sponsored research of any size that I have seen since Garvey became president has been associated with the physics, biology and engineering departments. Given Dr Dominguez’ background and excellent standing in the international physics community, we can only hope that he will be key to rebuilding CUA’s reputation as a research institution once we get past the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, even before COVID-19 hit, the university was making it very difficult for faculty members to pursue research grants while simultaneously carrying very heavy teaching loads.
Such a move would be the kind of market solution that, presumably, Garvey and the lay board members would understand. But what do you perceive my “argument,” with which you say you disagree, to be? To restate it, I propose that the path to prosperity lies in enhancing the perceived standing of the university by such measures as student and faculty credentials, a goal that depends on raising sums of money well beyond what static or moderately increased enrollment can generate. Endowment growth and major gifts do not come from discounted tuition revenue, which is the equivalent of subsistence farming.… Read more »
The CUA FA-Exec Board along with AAUP chapters at George Mason, Howard, GWU-FA, and faculty at Georgetown and Maryland issued an op-ed that was just posted in the AAUP Academe blog today:
Where is the announcement for the upcoming FA meeting?
The FA met on July 16. The main topic centered around preliminary results of the FA Return-to-Work survey conducted as well as updates on Fall Instruction Planning and other CUA related updates. The next FA meeting will be Aug 20th. We hope you will be able to join us.
“Corporate Culture Is Incompatible With Shared Governance”
Read more at
The re-opening plan posted on the university web site appears to reflect thoughtfulness and hard work.
Yes, but the major hole in the proposal is to not test students when they come back and no routine surveillance testing. Therefore, one does not know how many cases are 1) initially brought to campus upon reopening and 2) when the COVID is introduced to the CUA community (metro riders, social outings, etc). Thus, the only way we know the virus is on campus is after someone gets sick. Since some may be asymptomatic or non-compliant with self-reports, we will be constantly REACTING to outbreaks vs. actively controlling the situation. Irresponsible really to not have a testing plan. Basically,… Read more »
News About Canisius College – 21 July 2020 Canisius College, a Jesuit college in New York State, is eliminating 96 positions, including 25 faculty positions, most of them tenured. The 71 staff members losing their jobs include full- and part-time administrative staff members and facilities and maintenance staff. John J. Hurley, Canisius’s president, in an interview said the college is eliminating major programs in classics, entrepreneurship, European studies, fine arts, human services, international business, physics, religious studies and urban studies. In addition to the programs slated for elimination, the college is cutting faculty positions in chemistry, English, history, management and… Read more »
The increasingly inescapable question is whether the loss of mediocre private colleges matters all that much.
Dear Colleagues: I am worried about a couple of things above and beyond the usual and everyday with this pandemic. Has anyone heard about contracts for the fall? My department chair promised me that I would be teaching, but I haven’t gotten any contracts from the university, and someone shared a rumor that no one is being hired, even though we have been promised positions. Is that true? Also, will adjuncts be invited to any of the town halls that the university hosts? I think we should have some idea as to what is happening this fall, or is this… Read more »
We will ask around and see what we can find out. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
I hope that CUA’s senior administrators will read this article. Facts usually “trump” empty promises.
See….”No Bleach and Dirty Rags: How Some Janitors Are Asked to Keep You Virus-Free – The New York Times”
I was unable to make the FA meeting today…could we get a sense of what happened before the minutes come out in August?
I wasn’t there either, but I’ll bet you dinner the minutes will look pretty much like this: 1) many in attendance complained that the administration is not consulting sufficiently with the faculty; 2) many also complained that administration salaries are too high; 3) many claimed to be utterly confused about the plans for Fall instruction, no matter how much information they have received.
Why don’t you join us next time? Regarding your bet, we think we’d win dinner, but you can be the judge 🙂
We plan to post the minutes very soon – and some other updates, as well.
At last week’s FA meeting, the main topic of discussion related to the FA’s Faculty Return-to-Work Survey data. A summary report will be posted to the FA website when complete (currently ~120 responses). There were also discussions about: 1) new frosh enrollment, 2) announced austerity measures, 3) Academic Senate items including passed Senate resolution and proposal for graduate salary cut scale, and 4) updates from various Fall Instruction Planning workgroups. The minutes to be posted will provide more details.
After Cruise Ships and Nursing Homes, Will Universities Be the Next COVID-19 Tinderboxes?
Read in TIME: https://apple.news/AZF-BFDSXT8yNotLsPTW1zw
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, July 10, 2020
I understand the university has developed 4 instructional categories for fall classes, from in person to on line, with a 1-2 sentence explanation of each.
But I didn’t see where they were formally announced to faculty or where we were given guidance about how to choose among them.
Can anyone point me to more information about these categories and/or about the process faculty should use in making their choices among them? (Obviously, those with health concerns themselves or in their family have reason to choose on line only. But I really don’t understand the rest.)
FYI – “DC Universities Plan to Reopen in the Fall. How Their Reopening Strategies Compare”; 13 July 2020 – Georgetown Student Newspaper
FYI – “Tracking reopening plans at D.C. universities, peer institutions”; 9 July 2020
On a site that hosts so much bashing of John Garvey and the Board of Trustees, it seems only fair to note the following conclusion by independent observers from the Middle States Commission On Higher Education reaccreditation team, in its recent report:
Recognition of Accomplishments, Progress, or Exemplary/Innovative
• The creation of a board structure that protects the authority of members of the
Catholic hierarchy for the continuation of the University with the need for
increased lay expertise and philanthropic support is a major achievement. It is
sure to have long-lasting importance. We commend President Garvey for his
leadership of this historic change.
That’s nice that you are so happy with all that is going on at CUA these days under President’s Garvey. But reading your “cherry-picked” comment from the MSCHE accreditation report reminded me of Bill Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report. For the faculty who are interested in the MSCHE visiting team’s full report, it is available online. See https://communications.catholic.edu/news/2020/07/reaccreditation.html Here are a couple of excepts that should be of interest to CUA’s faculty (1) The University is to be commended for continuing to offer high-quality undergraduate and graduate educational programs consistent with its mission and commitment to maintaining its status… Read more »
You don’t have to wonder – just check out “AU Forward: The Plan For Fall 2020 | American University, Washington, DC”
How does CUA’s proposed handling of next Fall compare with American University’s? I would expect AU is similarly tuition-dependent.
I don’t know if anyone saw this article: https://www.chronicle.com/article/This-Will-Be-One-of-the-Worst/249128. Thankfully, Catholic is not on that list, but here is a sad quote: “By the end of July, most colleges will have announced plans for a primarily online fall term, with only critical classes being held in person and limited residence-hall capacity for students who do not have other safe options. The need to prepare for the fall is beginning to outweigh any potential benefits of outwaiting competitors, especially as students expect a better online experience this fall than what they received under emergency conditions in the spring. Wealthy liberal-arts colleges… Read more »
I assume that you are unaware that one has to be a paid subscriber to the “Chronicle of Higher Education” to read the full article.
If you sign in with the CUA VPN, you will be able to access it for free using the University’s premium subscription. That’s how I read it, so yes I knew that, and no, I don’t pay for it.
Current faculty, staff and students can also set up their own personal account either through the university VPN or the Libraries’ proxy server. From https://guides.lib.cua.edu/az.php?a=c Chronicle.com On campus and remote access to the venerable publication, The Chronicle of Education, several e-newsletters, job listings, a blog, and forums for discussions. This is the essential resource for those who want to keep up with the latest news, trends, facts and figures in higher education. To set up a personal account that allows you to select newsletters and features that will automatically be received on your desktop, ipad, smartphone, or tablet, go to… Read more »
Thanks for the clarification. CUA alumni don’t qualify
“…desperate for survival…” How many lives are worth the mere “survival” of an institution that, 125 years into the effort, has achieved, overall, no better than mediocre standing? Consistent with Catholic’s position that every single human life matters, shouldn’t the school close down before it imperils even one person?
FYI – “If you’re over 75, catching covid-19 can be like playing Russian roulette”
Also, check out the COVID-19 Risk Calculator at