Homepage and meeting ground for the loyal opposition.

The UBdumb Award is issued monthly for the single dumbest act committed by the University at Buffalo (UB: AKA formerly the State University of New York at Buffalo) administration. Each month there is fierce competition among multiple new policies or actions that keep UB busy shooting itself in the foot (sometimes the head) while the administration should be directing their efforts toward supporting the University's many talented faculty striving to help UB emerge from the intellectually shallow depths of nothingness into the light of national prominence. The UBdumb Award Selection Committee consists of the Buffalo Blog Frog and his rainy-day companions.

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The Buffalo Blog Frog says: "Give smart people the facts and enough emotional tone to get involved and they’ll make the right choice." The Frog targets the emotional component with a smattering of facts and suggestions. (Get it yet? -- Fight apathy, get involved NOW!)

Recent social commentaries presented below in a somewhat less than happenstance order.

A little navigational assistance:

To read the through all of the posts, click on the "home" button on the upper left-hand side of the page.
To post your comments to any lead commentary, click on the commentary's tittle, scroll down to the bottom of the page and insert your comments in the text box.

Latest Commentaries

Who Will Be UB’s Interim President?

Mr. Nostaja is poised to become UB's interim president in about a month despite earlier faculty protests. He and the UB administration are counting on the usual faculty apathy to set-in allowing Capen Hall to dictate policy without faculty input. And so"the band plays on . . ."

World University Rankings: Where does UB stand, or not?

The University administration has moved UB so far off target from being a world ranked, or even a regionally ranked, institution that it's off the list. Our peer-institutions, on the other hand, fared quite well by these quantitative university quality rankings. What's the problem? UB bases their quality assessment primarily on funding level followed by number of publications, while other universities dig deeper to emphasize what makes a quality faculty in a world-class institution.

Older Commentaries

UB2020 Fatal Flaw #1: Brought Down by an Expensive Hooker and a Blind Man

It's hard to believe that in the final analysis UB2020 really was destroyed by an expensive hooker and a blind man. Governor Eliot Spitzer's personal life-style caught on tape with one of his expensive prostitutes abruptly ended what promised to be one of the best governors in the state's recent history . . . The "blind man," of course, is New York State's former Lieutenant Governor who assumed the role of Governor with Spitzer's abrupt departure. He is legally blind but the reference is not to his physical disability but to his mental blindness as to the potential greatness of the UB2020 plan. Now Governor Paterson simply couldn't see driving New York State into greater debt to bolster the economy in Western New York and obviously had no great love for UB. All deals were off; the commitments made by Governor Spitzer were not going to be honored by the new man in charge.

Take the money and run (out of state)!

There is a lot of New York State taxpayer money being spent in California these days.:( A rather amusing irony arises considering the fact that those who would save Buffalo’s failing economy take their money and spend it out of state. UB2020’s chief architects — President Simpson and his would-be interim president — both consider California not Buffalo their “homes.”

Does the UB Faculty Senate Executive Committee really represent its constituency?

The UB Faculty Senate Executive committee (FSEC) does indeed present an elite group of UB faculty members. Nearly two-thirds of them earn over $100,000 per year with the median salary being $123, 166. They have been rewarded well for their service by the University administration as undoubtedly they deserve. We faculty members at-large owe them a great deal of thanks for their service to us and to the University as well, and this commentary is not intended to impugn or criticize them individually in any manner. But do they collectively represent UB’s faculty?

The Role of the Undergraduate Population in a Research-Intensive University

In short, they pay the bills! The undergraduate student population provides a certain level of financial stability through payment of their tuition and fees and through state subsidies based on the head-count. University reputations are slow to build and slow to lose; thus, undergraduates will continue to be attracted to a school that has historically enjoyed a strong reputation even in times its undergraduate and other programs are suffering. This provides a type of economic inertia that helps stabilize university budgets and permits realistic projections of future expenditures. UB needs a larger undergraduate population to provide this type of stability in funding and 10,000 new students is not ultimately an unrealistic number.

Recall Simpson as UB's President

The Buffalo Blog Frog had been awakened from his slumber due to recent University events that demanded a forceful response.:> But in the ruckus that followed several important, positive-aspects of the University and its current administration have been neglected. First and foremost, let's recall John B. Simpson as our University President. He has accomplished a lot of positive things during his rather brief tenure, things that have been overshadowed by recent developments and his often too grandiose plans for the University. He may indeed be the right man for the job if he can discard the overpowering influence of his California consortium.

UB Faculty Senate Allocated Space: Who will fill the void?

Don't complain if you don't use the space provided. While some seem to be complaining (including me), I did something about it -- I provided free space for posting your comments. And don't cry when YOUR favorite cause is in trouble and in need of help from your colleagues (e.g., a gender equity or tenure case, a department or program that's being cut). If we can't all pull together and work for a cause that affects the entire faculty (i.e., Is our interim president to be a scholar or a businessman?), why expect anyone to help you with your individual problem (e.g., I'm busy too!)?

UB2020 Fatal Flaw #5: Student Enrollment Projections

The planning of UB2020 has a number of flaws, among them the notion that students from outside the region are going to flock to Buffalo for an education. The primary source of new students according the administration: California and China. Somebody needs to explain to the emperor that his new clothes aren't exactly what he thinks they are, but nobody has the nerve (another metaphor not to be taken as a derogatory comment regarding the person ;)). The grand delusion is promulgated from the administrative tower down through the ranks of the academy and on to the local community. Everybody is caught up in the hysteria and anyone not seeing the "new clothes" (i.e., the grand plan), well, they're chastised as blind, belligerent, or just plain naysayers.

University degrees to be signed by a bureaucrat?

This month's winner of the UBdumb AwardXX( already looks like it may be the grand champion for the year, and the academic year has just started. It's hard to imagine any imbecilic act the UB administration could do to exceed their latest shenanigans -- appointing someone who hasn't even attended graduate school as acting president.

UB2020 earns its place amongst the first recipients of the UBdumb Award

UB2020 was a grandiose plan to propel UB into national prominence while saving downtown Buffalo. Originally supported by Albany, the plan hit a major obstacle when the governor resigned over a prostitute scandal which installed a new governor unwilling to honor the financial commitment that would place New York State in further economic crisis. The UB administration continued unabated with the purchase of downtown property and the first rehabilitation of the facilities to be added to the new downtown campus of UB. Meanwhile, the band played on with the two existing campuses struggling with insufficient teaching faculty, inadequate instructional funds, and an increasingly dismal outlook for the future of the North and South Campuses in general.
Buffalo Blog Frog

Click here for the latest social commentaries by the Buffalo Blog Frog.

UBdumb Awards

Here they are, in black and white (well, a few shades of gray as well with some blue to indicate the hyperlinks), the UBdumb Awards issued thus far. There is fierce competition each month for which singular event or policy best exemplifies the administration's continued efforts to keep UB's faculty from performing their jobs to the best of their abilities, that keep UB from emerging into the national prominence promoted by its public relations department, and to make UB not the wonderful place to work that its spin machine keeps claiming it to be. The awards are decided by the Buffalo Blog Frog and his rainy-day companions, but suggestions are always welcomed. If you disagree with the choice of the awards, well, get your own awards and give them out "as you like it"!

For those that consider it disloyal to make such awards, realize that the Buffalo Blog Frog firmly believes that loyalty is earned. Further understand that the intended purpose of these awards is similar to that of the loyal opposition in the British parliamentary system -- loyal to the crown but providing needed balance to policies that violate human rights, sensibilities, or are just down-right wrong. In the end we're all on the same team (at least those that truly care about this institution); we're just performing different roles in trying to move UB on-course for a better and brighter future for faculty, staff, students, and yes, even for the administrators.

UBdumb Awards for 2009-2010 Academic Year

September, 2009 Non smoking policy (UB formally enters the Brave New World becoming the 123rd Nanny State)
October, 2009 Failure to issue warning about active armed robberies on North Campus
November, 2009

UB2020 earns its place amongst the first recipients of the UBdumb Award

December, 2009 UB flags left flying at full-mask for the first two weeks following former UB president's death
January, 2010 Resumed operations (came back to work/school once the chain was broken over break)
February 2010 $5 foot-long incident leading to UB tactical squad mobilization in the graduate library?
March 2010 Continued promotion of a dead UB2020
April 2010 TBA (still trying to decide -- so many from which to choose)
May 2010 TBA (still trying to decide -- so many from which to choose)
June-August 2010 Summer Hiatus (TGIS): UB administration gets a break -- no awards given
TBA: to-be-announced (the panel is still out with several events/policies in fierce competition for this month)


UBdumb Awards for 2010-2011 Academic Year

September 2010 Resignation of President Simpson and designation of a bureaucrat as interim president
October 2010 Asbestos removal during period of maximum building occupancy (e.g, Park Hall and others) on a campus obsessed with the alleged health effects of breathing outside air polluted by smokers
November 2010 The ineptness of the "concerned faculty" to muster even as many signatures on their dissenting letter to Chancellor Zimpher as faculty members on the offending Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Actual wording aside, the opportunity was missed to express collective dissatisfaction on how the Search Committee for UB's new President was constituted!
December 2010 Most likely the continued cancellation of the Christmas holiday because of political correctness -- "Merry Christmas"
January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

Publishing “Too fast, too furious” -- Where’s the Editor?

The Buffalo Blog Frog has been cranking out commentaries much faster than his fingers or even his brain can run (only his mouth has been known to run faster), so there are a lot of typographical and grammatical errors that slip through the compositions as they’re being hastily ‘published.’ Similar problems with organization reveal that most were not written from a clear outline but rather flowed out more akin to “stream of consciousness” writing sometimes used in poetic compositions. Although these many inadequacies are somewhat embarrassing, they are not nearly as embarrassing as the Buffalo Blog Frog’s targets should feel from their inadequacies despite having the best support facilities (cf. the Frog's “rainy-day friends” aren’t big on proofreading) and resources (c.f. the keyboard of the Frog's old IBM X30 sticks and some keys require bounding to respond) available at a “major research university in the Northeast” -- all of these administrative resources and staff are focused on developing too many inept plans and policies such as those targeted by the Buffalo Blog Frog. So who should feel embarrassed? Well, my money is on the Buffalo Blog Frog (i.e., should feel somewhat excused for his shortcomings), but of course, the Frog wrote this passage.

Capen Hall is notorious for sending out ‘memos’ and ‘letters’ to the faculty and to the public that contain numerous grammatical errors, so give the Frog and his rainy-day companions a break for cranking out voluminous material in a short time on pressing issues (of course while maintaining normal professorial duties [e.g., undergraduate teaching, trying to finish a book, writing papers, working on acquiring external funding, preparing a statement for the FDA, trying to make major independent contributions to a couple of different fields simultaneously – you know, doing professorial work]) and trying to achieve that ever elusive work/life balance to which UB has so thoughtfully devoted an entire department while cutting academic programs. One has to wonder if there is a deliberate effort to allow chief administrators to embarrass themselves or if this is another case of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” where nobody has the nerve to speak up. We’re all on the same team (when it comes to presenting a professional ‘face’ to the public); let’s work together at least on the easy stuff. Even the Buffalo Blog Frog considered sending a grammatically corrected copy of some recent memos back to Capen Hall, but then he too came to his senses about “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Many of the commentaries written by the Buffalo Blog Frog are “live” in the sense that they are subject to editing and revision after initial “publishing.” Don’t be surprised if a commentary ‘looks’ and ‘reads’ considerably different when you check back. Hopefully many of the ‘bumps’ will get smoothed out with a little time for proofreading and editing. In some cases introductory material or even entire sections has been added to make the point of the commentary clearer or to place some remarks in their proper context. However, the main push is to move forward addressing other pressing issues that seem to arise faster than the Frog can ‘let his fingers do the talking.’ And of course there was already a backlog of issues to which the Frog had been previously silent while resting quietly on his comfortable lily pad.

UBdumb Club

Buffalo Blog Frog
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Last revised: 11 September 2010 13:39 EDT
Contact: BBFrog@UBdumb.com