• October 31, 2014
October 31, 2014, 11:27:29 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with your Chronicle username and password
News: Talk about how to cope with chronic illness, disability, and other health issues in the academic workplace.
 
Pages: 1 ... 22 23 [24] 25 26 ... 147
  Print  
Author Topic: Oxford Round Table  (Read 507842 times)
magistra
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 6,488

discolor unde auri per ramos aura refulsit.


« Reply #345 on: October 18, 2007, 5:02:35 PM »

We're only fourth on google.  So let's write out "Oxford Round Table" a bunch more, 'kay?

As to the libraries... They were good libraries, but they're not going to claim that every book or journal they keep is good.  The LOC tries to collect as much as possible.  I wonder if theses libraries were given copies; I know libraries will often sell off what they don't want, but still, if you've been given a copy of a journal or pub that looks good, but it's not your field so you're not sure of the actual quality, I wouldn't be surprised if it made it onto the shelves in a few places.  It's also not beyond the bounds of reason that interesting articles are in there.  Maybe not truly first rate stuff, but enough people go with enough credentials that I'm sure some have good thoughts.

The $8000 figure originally came from the man under the bridge.  (Stewie?  Stewie, was that you?  Where'd you go?)  He'd said that we academics in the US are happy to pay for conferences up to that cost.  I'd like to know who.


Oxford Round Table Oxford Round Table Oxford Round Table Oxford Round Table
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 5:03:04 PM by magistra » Logged

First it was Wolfram and Hart, now it's Blackboard.  There's not much moral difference, if you ask me. -- Malcha

Grammar is the chocolate in the buttery croissant of life.  -- Yellowtractor

Okay, so that was petty.  Today, I feel like embracing pettiness.  -- Mended Drum
qrypt
Qryptacular & not really a Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 6,322

I just LOVE that VOICE. It's so NICE


« Reply #346 on: October 18, 2007, 5:05:02 PM »

I'm glad to know that was the reason.  I deleted a quote of larryc's post in my own, and I'm pleased to see that mine hasn't been deleted. 

I wouldn't be surprised if I learned that this thread has been a headache for the Chronicle, and I am very pleased to see that it continues to live.  Assuming the Chronicle has had occasion to take a robust stand in relation to the discussion here (i.e., by resisting possible pressures to take it down), I'd like to say thank you. 
Logged

"Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"
case_insensitive
Indefatigable Maverick Giver of Gold Stars and Ever-So Slightly
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 12,342

Life is an endurance race. Pace yourself.


« Reply #347 on: October 18, 2007, 5:06:25 PM »

Oxford Round Table, Inc. mentioned:

"Oxford Round Table, Inc., officials are plain that they 'are in no way affiliated with Oxford University,' even though they conduct their event there." In fact, they're a for-profit outfit out of LeGrange, Ky., that calls itself a think tank and rents facilities at Oxford.

http://www.newsreview.com/chico/Content?oid=152678

Logged

Director of the CHE MYOB Professional Development Program,
An initiative of the CHE STFU Center for Professional Development.
Chairperson of the GAB CPE Series.
red_queen
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 1,151


« Reply #348 on: October 18, 2007, 5:22:57 PM »


The LOC tries to collect as much as possible. 

Yes -- it's a copyright library, so it'll have everything published in the US.
Logged
qrypt
Qryptacular & not really a Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 6,322

I just LOVE that VOICE. It's so NICE


« Reply #349 on: October 18, 2007, 6:04:44 PM »

Here's a link to a story that informs us that F. King Alexander's wife is named Shenette:

http://www.longbeachstate.com/local/sid/FEATURES0607/alexander051307.html

(Thanks to another forumite for pointing this out.)

The "not-for-profit" thing is still a mystery to me.  I've seen several references to a "maximum size" of 35 participants for each one - so receipts might be well in excess of $2 million a year. 

One way to have all this cleared up would be for the Oxford Roundtable to make its financial/tax information available to the public, even if it isn't required by law to do so. 

Holding breath as of ... now.
Logged

"Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"
cms99
Senior member
****
Posts: 872


« Reply #350 on: October 18, 2007, 9:24:37 PM »

When I attended the prestigious ORT last summer, it was about $2800, not including airfare.  I had to speak with them a few times regarding payments, and I called LaGrange, KY.  I assume they've moved.  One of the major sponsors of it was a guy named Klint Alexander, who's a lawyer and adjunct professor at Vandy. 
As I said before, it was a fun time, it's a line on my CV, but I don't make a big deal of it.  I guess I could frame the nice certificate they gave me though...
Logged

Quote from: tenured_feminist

May all of your domestic animals poop in your shoes.
namazu
Un-
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 7,241


« Reply #351 on: October 19, 2007, 12:18:01 AM »

Oxford Round Table, Inc., was incorporated in Kentucky in 1995 as a for-profit corporation, and reinstated in 1998 as a for-profit corporation.  Samuel Kern Alexander was the incorporator.

As of the 5/2007 annual report,
Samuel Kern Alexander III is listed as the President
Elizabeth Alexander is listed as the Vice President
Shenette Campbell is listed as the secretary.

There is also the Oxford Round Table of Godstow Hall, Inc., which was incorporated in Kentucky in 2001 as a non-profit corporation.  Same players.  Previously called "Oxford Education Round Table of Godstow Hall and St. Anthony's, Inc."

S. Kern Alexander, F. King Alexander, Klinton W. Alexander, Elizabeth Alexander, and Wesley Kane Alexander were all associated with the for-profit Education Policy Research, Inc., incorporated in 1995 and lapsed in 2003.
 
And then there is Godstow Hall, LLC, which is Samuel and Elizabeth Alexander's.

There was a Shenette Consulting & Associates, Inc., organized in 2001 and dissolved in 2003, which lists Shenette Campbell, her daughter, and a Roger McCandless as officers.

In 2004, Samuel Kern Alexander also incorporated the Journal of Education Finance, but this lapsed.
There's also an Oxbridge LLC associated with Samuel Kern Alexander.
And he has a couple of other associations on the side, probably unrelated to his educational endeavors.

This information is available via the Kentucky Sec'y. of State's Business Service Search Page.  Search on Oxford, Godstow, Shenette, etc., to bring up the information about these corporations.

The Oxford Round Table appears to be largely an Alexander family affair, with the ongoing involvement of Ms. Shenett(e) Campbell/McCandless/???.  Indeed, S. Kern (Jr. and III), F. King, and Klint W. all appear to be involved with the organization.  I don't know if SK Alexander III (listed on the Forum on Public Policy page) is different from the Kern Alexander listed on the same page, or if they are related.  Likewise, I don't know if Dawn Alexander-Payne is related.

The existence of a for-profit and a not-for-profit, both active, with similar names, seems a little unusual if they are only conducting not-for-profit workshops.  Since I don't know the first thing about incorporation, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that when they advertise as a not-for-profit organization, all of the money from participants goes into the non-profit's funds, rather than being shifted around.  And that maybe they intended to do some consulting on the side...  Of course, it is the for-profit corporation that is listed as a plantiff in the lawsuit mentioned above.  I don't know if, as managers, the Alexanders pay themselves or their associates management fees.  It may be possible to obtain more detailed public financial records; I don't know.

As long as no tax rules are being broken, and no false representation is occurring, I don't see a real problem with this type of forum.  If people are honored to go, institutions are willing to pay high fees to send people, and attendees are satisfied with the experience, and learn something and/or make some connections, it's not so different from many other small regional conferences.  Not every conference has to feature stars to be worthwhile, though a little quality control (e.g. screening out felons) can certainly be valuable.  That said, a greater degree of transparency, and in particular, clarification of the stake S. Kern Alexander and others hold in the organizations' operations and finances, would be a good thing. 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 12:21:07 AM by namazu » Logged
namazu
Un-
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 7,241


« Reply #352 on: October 19, 2007, 1:10:14 AM »

Corrections/caveats to the above, not so important, but for the sake of accuracy:
ORT, Inc. was reinstated in 2006, not 1998; 1998 is when it lapsed the first time.
And I may have some of the initials/Jr./III/etc. wrong - there are many variations, and I couldn't easily keep them straight.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 1:11:46 AM by namazu » Logged
larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 23,000

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #353 on: October 19, 2007, 1:34:11 AM »

Impressive work, Namazu!
Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
yellowtractor
Vice-Provost of the University of the South-East Corner of Donkeyshire (formerly Donkeyshire Polytechnic) (a Post-1992 University) and also a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 19,592


« Reply #354 on: October 19, 2007, 10:43:42 AM »

Namazu, this is tremendous work.  Thank you very much.

The rub, of course, is that quite a bit of the evidence at hand supports a conclusion that the ORT is misrepresenting itself--or rather, that the vast majority of participants are taking it for something that it is patently not (i.e. a refereed academic conference affiliated with Oxford University).  I have no problem whatsoever with ORT as a for-profit entity promoting academic junkets--if, as you say, that is both truthfully and transparently what it is.  (There is a market for this sort of thing, as all those "Take a Caribbean Cruise and Discuss Dante with Senior Scholars!" ads in The New Yorker indicate.)

Of course, if the ORT wanted this particular truth about itself broadcast in a more transparent way, I do not think we would have seen the periodic waves of ORTbot posts on this thread that we in fact have.  This is an organization that has worked very carefully to position itself as a legitimate academic conference.  As far as we can tell, it is not--though I would have to know more about what, if any, refereeing of invitations or presentations is occurring before I would say that with absolute conviction.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 10:45:06 AM by yellowtractor » Logged

It is, of course, possible that what I remember as terror was only a love too great to bear.
larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 23,000

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #355 on: October 19, 2007, 11:20:29 AM »

Friends, here is what we should do: We all apply to actually and actually go to the Oxford Round Table this summer. It will be the CHE Oxford meetup! But instead of presenting on the putative topic, we all give papers on the theme of "Oxford Round Table, Prestigious Academic Conference?."
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 12:57:29 PM by moderator » Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
qrypt
Qryptacular & not really a Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 6,322

I just LOVE that VOICE. It's so NICE


« Reply #356 on: October 19, 2007, 11:23:11 AM »

It doesn't seem possible to me to come to some sort of objective judgment concerning the prestige issue.  Some people think it is a prestigious event.  Others don't, but that fact per se doesn't make the former people wrong. 

Having read documents in that lawsuit, I would caution as follows: it's probably okay to offer an opinion about prestige or lack thereof, but be careful not to say that you are doing so with the intent to damage their business.  The claim being made in that lawsuit is that certain emails and forum posts caused a 40% decline in participation & revenues - a result said to be asserted in advance by the author.  Even if that sounds absurd, I have the sense that a lot of money is being spent on lawyers to help the defendant make the case that it is absurd. 

I agree that the central issue here is essentially "truth-in-advertising" about the non-for-profit claim.  Oxford Round Table, Inc. is indeed registered with the state of Kentucky as a for-profit corporation.  The fact that there is another organization, owned/directed by the same people, with a very similar name yet registered as not-for-profit, seems rather confusing to say the least.  Is there any sense in the notion that that confusion has been deliberately produced?  Do funds from the non-profit end up somehow being transmuted into profits for the profit-making corporation? 

Smart lawyers can probably protect people from difficult answers to questions like that.  (And I would suggest that you not give, in public, potentially defamatory answers to them.)  Just raising questions like this seems useful enough. 
Logged

"Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"
namazu
Un-
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 7,241


« Reply #357 on: October 19, 2007, 11:28:16 AM »

Glad to be of service.

Yellowtractor, I share various of your suspicions.  At the very least, the way ORT has positioned itself - as an Oxford University-sponsored program with a long history (thought they mention starting in 1989, they list conferences going back to 1952 - ?!; I also note that the UN has held at least one "Oxford Roundtable" that appears to be completely unrelated to the ORT in question), and rigorous scholarly standards - raises some hackles.  I am also less enthusiastic about even transparently expensive private conferences (even of good academic value, let alone of dubious value) than I probably came across last night, since it is ultimately taxpayers and in some cases revenue-strapped CCs and state colleges or local government agencies footing the bill. 

But I was feeling charitable/cautious, and also believe I should hold to the innocent-until-proven-guilty standard (even if I personally won't be getting on a plane to Oxford anytime soon).  I wonder at what point they'd be forced to incorporate in California, since it doesn't appear they've done so yet.  It's possible that there's some legitimate reason for operating both a non-profit and a for-profit at the same time, though I'll leave it to someone in business to tell me what that could be.  It's possible that they do have some review/screening process.  It's possible that at least some of the conferences they hold are of strong quality and yield good discussions/collaborations.  But I have yet to see strong evidence for most of this.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 11:30:25 AM by namazu » Logged
case_insensitive
Indefatigable Maverick Giver of Gold Stars and Ever-So Slightly
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 12,342

Life is an endurance race. Pace yourself.


« Reply #358 on: October 19, 2007, 11:34:07 AM »

As long as no tax rules are being broken, and no false representation is occurring, I don't see a real problem with this type of forum.  If people are honored to go, institutions are willing to pay high fees to send people, and attendees are satisfied with the experience, and learn something and/or make some connections, it's not so different from many other small regional conferences.  Not every conference has to feature stars to be worthwhile, though a little quality control (e.g. screening out felons) can certainly be valuable.  That said, a greater degree of transparency, and in particular, clarification of the stake S. Kern Alexander and others hold in the organizations' operations and finances, would be a good thing. 
I agree. However, since folks who've been there and their institutions refer in public and in print to it as the "prestigious Oxford Round Table," it would be nice if someone could explain why/how it is prestigious.  Like... if this is an invitation only, who choose who gets invited?

I don't think anyone in my field has ever been invited. I think they know folks in my field would see right through the financial circumstances and the appearance of prestige.  We tend to ask those sort of questions...

If they really are prestigious, then online discussion of their lack of it should  not have a 40% impact on participation (a la qrypt's post just posted).  I mean really, if i say Harvard University isn't prestigious, I don't get sued, I just get laughed at.
Logged

Director of the CHE MYOB Professional Development Program,
An initiative of the CHE STFU Center for Professional Development.
Chairperson of the GAB CPE Series.
larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 23,000

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #359 on: October 19, 2007, 11:41:44 AM »

Forty percent decline in revenues?! Actually that makes sense. People are paying a lot of someone's money to gain the perceived prestige of being associated with and recognized by Oxford University. If it were widely understood that the Oxford Round Table is not a part of Oxford University, that prestige would vanish, and so would business. The Oxford Round Table has provided a good income for some people in Kentucky, but all it would take is one article in the Chronicle or the New York Times for the house of cards to come tumbling down.

This is going to get heavy. Someone is going to write an article on this and make a big splash and win journalism awards. The Oxford Round Table is going to fight back through the courts. This thread is going to disappear. People who own the Oxford Round Table while presiding as college presidents are going to face hard questions from their boards. Student newspapers will mock professors who attended the Oxford Round Table. Many a vita will be amended to erase the Oxford Round Table presentation.

The whole episode will become legendary in academia, and will all come from this doomed thread.
Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
Pages: 1 ... 22 23 [24] 25 26 ... 147
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.