Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Look Up in the Sky! It's a Bird? It's a Plane? No! It's Wayne Watson, Junior G-Man!

As a person who for more than two decades worked as a real-life sworn peace officer, I know the importance of law enforcement. In particular, if laws are on the books, they have no effect unless they are enforced. In order to discharge their responsibilities, law enforcement organizations often operate on two levels: the visible plane, with marked cars and personnel in uniform and the surreptitious stratum, with unmarked cars and persons dressed in “plain clothes.” On both levels, the police vehicle, marked or unmarked, plays a critical role in enabling law enforcement agencies to fulfill their legal responsibilities. I will return to this shortly.

As most of you know, Wayne Watson and his administration continue to make valiant efforts to destroy any dissent on this campus and to selectively punish those persons who openly disagree with them. They have been unsuccessful in stifling open discourse to this point. Although Watson has made a herculean attempt to dictate standards of "civility" on the Chicago State campus, his project has been thwarted by poorly conceived policies and a lack of robust enforcement for those “laws” that are already on the books (see the Chicago State University “Code of Excellence”). It seems that a number of persons at Chicago State possess no will to enforce Watson’s various imperial fiats. This is a problem for our Napoleonic president.

However, Watson and his administrators have had some success in their selective enforcement efforts, especially against the most vulnerable elements of the university community. Watson has frequently demonstrated an arbitrary and capricious application of the “law” that only applies to his “enemies.” Undergirding this practice is Watson’s vision of “integrity” which to him apparently means total agreement with anything and everything he (Watson) says. Simply put, if you are in with Wayne, you can engage in any kind of behavior without consequences: lying--no problem; cheating--no problem; obtaining a degree under false pretenses--no problem; abusing staff--no problem; accusing opponents of all manner of degenerate behavior--no problem. So, the “laws” Watson wants enforced apply only to his foes. A number of persons obviously find that kind of selective enforcement problematic.

For an administrator with a manic desire to micro-manage--someone imbued with an almost religious belief in vindictiveness and retaliation--this condition must be intolerable. The only solution might be to do it yourself. The question is, how? Well, our resourceful leader may have found a way. At least he has the requisite vehicle to begin his law enforcement efforts.

There are a number of statutes that delineate what constitutes an emergency vehicle in the state of Illinois and how certain colors of lights are restricted to those vehicles. These laws are from the Illinois Compiled Statutes:

These statutes detail the prohibition against the operation of red and blue lights except for designated vehicles:

Now let's take a look at the vehicle Watson often drives. The U prefix on the license plate marks the vehicle as a state-owned vehicle, although not as a designated police vehicle (although it is entirely possible that through some loophole, the SUV receives that designation--remember where we are after all). Anyway, take note of the car's grill:

As you can plainly see, the SUV Watson frequently drives is equipped with both blue and red lights behind the grill. At least for me, this raises a number of questions Why does the president of a university require emergency lights on his vehicle? Does he plan to make traffic stops on or off campus? Is the vehicle also equipped with a siren? Perhaps he can use the lights to blow through those pesky red lights and stop signs that litter the city. Or maybe he plans to begin enforcing the various codes that his underlings are unable or unwilling to enforce. Imagine being pulled over by Wayne Watson after you engaged in "uncivil" discourse at a meeting or in some other venue. Imagine the consequences of your "incivility," the punishment for the trauma you inflicted on innocent liars and cheaters for example. These musings give rise to other questions: what authority does Watson possess that allows him to operate that kind of vehicle? Is he a junior G-man? is he a junior Deputy Sheriff? a junior policeman? Although I am endeavoring to obtain answers to some of those questions through the Freedom of Information Act, they remain unanswered.

Perhaps it is time to look at Wayne Watson in a new light. Pay close attention the next time you see him, notice if he flashes any identification. For normal operations you might see something like this:

However, if he's "deep undercover" he might display a different badge (only if forced to, undercover cops are always reticent to identify themselves). Perhaps something like this (note especially the "special investigator" designation):

So, be on the lookout for Wayne in his new role as the Sheriff of Chicago State. That this "university president" is becoming more of a caricature everyday and has no compunction about exposing himself to additional ridicule for being a wanna-be policeman by driving a vehicle equipped with emergency lights seems inexplicable to me. I can tell you that virtually all law enforcement professionals would find this situation both laughable and pathetic. Someone please save us from this never-ending farce.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Suppressing Dissent Chapter 2: Our Tinpot Dictator Tries and Fails

“And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”
― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Some important additional information about the administration's most recent attempt to stifle free expression on this campus. On April 8, Safiyah Edwards of the Office of Meetings and Events sent the following memorandum to Paul Gomberg:

You might notice two things: first, the administration believes it should be able to approve the content of presentations on this campus. Their argument is apparently that Paul booked the room under "false pretenses," even though his request gave notice that the topic was subject to revision. I am sure if the topic had changed to a forum on the greatness of Wayne Watson the room would not have been cancelled. Second, the final sentence of Edwards' memorandum prohibits Gomberg (or anyone else) from holding the forum "on the campus of Chicago State University . . ." I guess it is alright to have Louis Farrakhan or Bakri Osman Saeed appear at Chicago State, but it is not alright to have a forum on the excesses and misdeeds of the Watson administration. Really?

However, the event went off as scheduled, although in a new venue. For that we have Dr. Rita Kucera to thank. In the finest tradition of collegiality and respect for free expression and academic freedom, Dr. Kucera took steps to ensure the event's success. Thank you Rita.

Of course, not everyone is pleased that the event occurred. Our Lilliputian dictator in the Cook building is reportedly "hopping mad" that he was unable to suppress the forum. Nevertheless, he provided a textbook example (if somewhat ineffective and inept) of repression. Thanks for underscoring our point so well.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A letter to colleagues from Paul Gomberg

I sent the letter that follows to my colleagues in the Department of Criminal Justice, Philosophy, and Political Science. The letter concerns the unsuccessful attempt to prevent the forum "Repression at CSU" on Wednesday evening and plans for a party for me to say farewell to the many people at Chicago State for whom I have deep affection and respect.

Dear colleagues,

As many of you know I will be retiring at the end of this semester. I began teaching at Chicago State as an adjunct in 1985. So I have spent most of my adult life teaching here, and Chicago State has become part of who I am.

The Department of Criminal Justice, Philosophy, and Political Science had been planning a party for my retirement to give us all a chance to say farewell. However, given the role played by the department’s official chairperson Marian Perkins in the (unsuccessful) effort to  stop Wednesday evening’s forum “Repression at CSU,” I am asking that the department NOT be the sponsor of any retirement party that may be held for me. (Is it not ironic that the CSU administration and Perkins attempt to stop a forum on repression?)

Let me explain the events leading up to Perkins’ phone call and letter; I have pasted the letter at the end of this message. On February 10th I sent to the department a room reservation form requesting the library’s 4th floor auditorium for a March 19th forum on mass incarceration and sexism (with the topic subject to “revision, refinement, and clarification”). I did not hear back from the office of meetings and events until March 4th. On March 5th I received an approval, but I felt that this late approval gave us insufficient time to organize a proper forum.  On March 14th I requested an April 2nd date, but when by the 20th I had still not secured an approval, I requested another postponement until April 9th, and this date was approved.

By that time several things had happened. On March 7th Willie Preston was arrested when he attempted to speak in the public comments section of a Board of Trustees meeting; the charges were trespass and “violating an order of protection.” Then there was a court hearing for Preston where eight of us showed up in support of him. We had put out a leaflet pointing out how Angela Henderson’s court order of protection against Preston was based on the racist stereotype of the violent young black male, which plays an important role in mass incarceration. I had proposed that the topic of the forum be changed to “The New Jim Crow Comes to Chicago State,” but in a discussion held after the court hearing we decided that the forum should not focus solely on the racism of Willie’s case but be broadened to include other administration efforts to stifle dissenting voices  of students, faculty and staff. So we decided on the title “Repression at CSU.” This decision occurred  March 24th.

When, on April 7th, publicity began to appear for the forum with its new title and topic, I received a phone call from Perkins and the email below reviewing the call’s contents. Because of her role in the efforts to suppress the forum, I do not want her to honor me on my retirement.

I greatly look forward to these last weeks as a teacher at Chicago State. For 29 years I have tried to do a good job. I greatly respect so many of the students, other teachers, and campus workers I have known. So many students strive so hard despite so many difficulties—many of them due to the vicious racism of U.S. society. I respect so many of my fellow teachers who are trying their best to give to students what they have to offer. I respect so many campus workers who likewise do their best. I look forward to saying a very fond farewell to all of you.

With very fond regards to so many,



To: "Dr. Gomberg" <pgomberg@csu.edu>, Paul Gomberg <pgomberg@earthlink.net>

Cc: pcage@csu.edu

Subject: Message from CJPPS Department Chairperson Marian E. Perkins, J.D. - Re: Room Reservation Request for an event or activity to be held on April 9, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Date: Apr 7, 2014 8:11 PM

April 7, 2014

Dear Professor Paul Gomberg:

         Hello! This e-mail is a memorialization of  the telephone conversation that we had this evening, April 7, 2014 at approximately 7:50 p.m. I made the following statements:

          1. There is a duly executed and approved Chicago State University Room Reservation Request Form for a panel discussion on "Mass Incarceration and Its Impact on Families & Women" that was originally scheduled for March 19, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in The New Academic Library Auditorium (4th Floor);

         2. An extension of this Room Reservation Request for a panel discussion on "Mass Incarceration and Its Impact on Families & Women" was granted by The CSU Office of Meeting & Events for the date of on April 9, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in The New Academic Library - Auditorium (4th Floor) and

        3. A Flyer has been distributed around the CSU campus that states that the event or activity: "Repression at CSU and Panel to Address Student/ Faculty Concerns" shall be held on April 9, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in The New Academic Library where there is no Room  Reservation Form approved for that particular event or activity on April 9, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

     You stated to me during our telephone conversation on April 7, 2014 the following:

     1. The topic: " Mass Incarceration and Its Impact on Families & Children" will not be discussed at the CSU event or activity scheduled for April 9, 2014 in The New Academic Library - 4th Floor (Auditorium) and

    2. You further stated that you and the group planning this event instead chose to change the topic from "Mass Incarceration" to "Repression at CSU" and did not amend the Room Reservation to reflect that event/ activity change.

         I stated to you that the event or activity: "Repression at CSU and Panel to Address Student /Faculty Concerns at CSU" that you have organized for April 9, 2014 in The New Academic Library - Auditorium (4th Floor) without departmental approval or sanction may be cancelled.  I further stated that it should be cancelled because there is no departmental approval or a duly executed Room Reservation Form for the event/ activity" "Repression at CSU"  scheduled to be held on April 9, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. - 9: 00 p.m. in The New Academic Library.

         If you have any questions, or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.


Marian E. Perkins

Professor Marian E. Perkins, J.D.


The Department of Criminal Justice,

      Philosophy & Political Science

Friday, April 11, 2014

A View of the Wayne Watson Clown Show From A City Colleges Colleague

I received this from a faculty colleague at the City Colleges of Chicago. It speaks for itself.

Professor Bionaz,

I want to congratulate you on your efforts to reform Chicago State University by exposing the corrupt methods of Wayne Watson on the CSUFacultyVoice blog.

As a long time adjunct at the City Colleges of Chicago, I can relate to the difficulties that you are experiencing. Every unethical action occurring on your campus presently, has occurred at the City Colleges of Chicago during the sorry decade in which Watson served as the chancellor. Likewise, Watson proved to be an utter failure while serving as the president of both Kennedy-King and Malcolm X Colleges. Watson is both an incompetent and a bigot. He genuinely dislikes white people, especially white males, and he would oftentimes intervene in hiring decisions to prevent non-minorities from being hired for full-time, tenure track positions. Nepotism and favoritism were the ordinary rule of the day at the City Colleges. Sometimes, job interviews were really orchestrated charades. Watson frequently had a preferred candidate and the hiring outcomes were generally rigged.

Angela Henderson and her husband, Attorney Victor Henderson, were very much in evidence at the City Colleges. Victor actually hosted a legal affairs program on the PBS affiliate, WYCC Channel 20. Watson was later sued after he terminated the general manager of the television station when she accused him of using the station as a platform to publicize himself and his political cronies, including Emil Jones. After Watson left the City Colleges, the lawsuit was settled out of court for a reported seven figure amount. The E.E.O.C. found that under Watson the City Colleges also engaged in age discrimination.

The City Colleges are still struggling to recover from the Watson era. There have been a few marginal improvements, but there is much more damage to be repaired. Sixty plus percent of our classes are taught by adjunct faculty because it was more important to award no bid contracts and high salaries to Watson's friends and allies than it was to staff the colleges. Of course, allegations of sexual misconduct were not unusual for Watson when he was at the City Colleges either. Hermene Hartman was covering for him back then too.

As for Watson's allies, their support is usually predicated on financial considerations. Their paychecks are dependent upon his looting the institution. Watson is a petty and venal politician. He is not an educator.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wayne Watson's World: Chicago State Welcomes Someone Who Called Alleged Crimes Against Humanity Like Rape and Murder "Little Things."

From the Chicago State University web site:

Chicago State University continues to expand it's [sic] footprint both throughout Illinois as well as internationally. CSU officials recently welcomed Dr. Bakri Osman Saeed, President of Sudan International University to a reception at the President's residence this past weekend. Dr. Saeed is a renowned medical doctor, lecturer and educator who has worked throughout the world.

Dr. Saeed was greeted by CSU President Dr. Wayne D. Watson and members of the CSU administration, faculty and staff and well as various community leaders. The group discussed many items including the possibility of an emerging partnership between the two Universities which would involve study abroad opportunities for both U.S. and Sudanese students.

The reception was the latest in a series of efforts by CSU to expand our global presence through international partnerships. CSU has also began dialogue with universities in India and China and continues to look for new areas to expand. International partnerships will help prepare CSU students for a competitive global market place and create unique educational and cultural opportunities.

"Within the many diverging pathways of culture, language and tradition; education creates an intersection of ideas. When we build these partnerships between CSU and other international universities, we are creating a crossroads of education that will help our students have a more transformative experience," Dr. Watson said.

I wonder if I am the only person who is troubled by this? First, a number of sources describe Dr. Saeed as a “senior” member of the National Congress Party, Sudan’s ruling political party. Second, Dr. Saeed has been quoted as defending Sudan’s president and NCP leader, Omar al-Bashir against charges of crimes against humanity, including genocide in the Darfur region. On July 22, 2008, Saeed said: “the international spotlight on Mr. Al-Bashir and a ‘government gone mad’ in Darfur ‘suits the minds of some politicians, who obviously have an interest in bringing the government down.’ ”
According to the report by Darren Taylor: “The gist of Saeed's argument, which is shared by others in Khartoum, is that the ICC action and international condemnation of the Sudan government as a result of the Darfur situation is less about ending the violence there and gaining justice for the victims and more about a quest for ‘regime change’ in Sudan.” Saeed goes on to say: "When I talk to my colleagues and friends in the government (in Khartoum), it's what they tell me; that this is the objective of these people, they keep accusing the government (of various crimes that) it didn't do, because their final objective is to change the Islamist regime in Sudan."

Later that same year, at a conference in Washington, D.C., Saeed called the allegations of genocide against al-Bashir exaggerations; claiming: “There are little things happening here and there and they are always overblown because whatever is related to Darfur now has a tendency for being amplified.” These "little things" included alleged murders and rapes perpetrated by "[f]orces and agents controlled by al-Bashir."

In contrast, the International Criminal Court at the Hague took a slightly different view, issuing an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on July 12, 2012 for acting “with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.” Crimes which fall under the category of “Genocide by Killing”, “Genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm” and “Genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.”

The material referenced above is available here: http://www.enoughproject.org/news/sudan-government-supporters-defend-president-against-darfur-war-crimes-voa-news; here: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CEkQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.erassociates.co.za%2Fconferences%2Fdarfur_session4.pdf&ei=AYhGU-UFgabJAenqgcgO&usg=AFQjCNFdMXTTb2qR5PXN2tnBfdKJEWrKcQ&sig2=MYDeXgUcgGBhDNlwuu9RAg&bvm=bv.64507335,d.aWc

And here: http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/situations%20and%20cases/situations/situation%20icc%200205/related%20cases/icc02050109/court%20records/chambers/ptci/Pages/95.aspx

While I am in no way suggesting that Saeed took any part in the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by his government in Darfur, I wonder if anyone in the administration vetted this person before inviting him to visit this campus. Is Sudan a desirable place to extend Chicago State’s “international partnerships”?

Finally, I wonder why the persons responsible for this outreach effort are considering establishing some kind of study abroad program with a Sudanese university? Do we really need to send our students to that part of the world to facilitate their “transformative experience” at Wayne Watson’s “crossroads of education”? Given the continued turbulence in that country, for American students, the crosshairs of a rifle might be the ultimate “transformative experience” of a study abroad program in Sudan. I wonder how a potential relationship between CSU and a Sudanese educational institution serves the interests of our students?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost..."

I always caution students about "if" history. It may be interesting to speculate about what might have been "if only such and such had happened...", but ultimately it is not productive. And yet it is seductive.

Returning late tonight from a discussion on administrative efforts to repress and suppress dissent on campus I am thinking about a lot of things --like how freedom of speech is a precious commodity. Two students' statements were made via surrogates at the meeting because they were too afraid to show up and risk being targeted for speaking publicly. How precious is the right to speak out and how fragile it is at CSU. So is freedom of assembly.  Ironically, the administration attempted to repress the discussion on repression by outlawing the use of a room the organizers had scheduled. They claimed a title and "content" change of the event merited rescinding the library room and posted law men outside of it to ensure that. The location changed, but the discussion took place anyway.

And home at last to find this article in my mailbox. Our former interim president is retiring from Grambling. I wonder: would we have had to have a discussion on repression of dissent at CSU if Frank Pogue had been president? Could Chicago's newspaper of record ever write a story like this on our current incumbent?

Ah, but there I go, succumbing to the siren sound of "if" history.


Our View: Grambling is better because of Frank Pogue
If you get to know Grambling State University President Frank Pogue, you find a lot to like about him.
It hasn’t been easy in tough fiscal times. And it hasn’t been without controversy, particularly in athletics.
But we would not want Pogue’s tenure to be remembered for a football controversy. Rather, we’d like to talk about this straight-shooting man who isn’t afraid to speak his mind and who has elevated interaction with all of the stakeholders of this historically black university.
Pogue was appointed Grambling’s eighth president in June 2010, after serving for seven months as interim president. And as he retires, this will actually be his second retirement as a university president.
When he was selected as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1996, he became the first African-American to serve as president of a historically white university in Pennsylvania.
When he retired from Edinboro in 2007, the university paid tribute to his extraordinary leadership by naming its newly constructed student center in his honor. His accomplishments also earned him the title of President Emeritus of Edinboro University.
After his retirement from Edinboro, Pogue also served as interim president of Chicago State University, in addition to serving in numerous prominent academic positions at institutions across the country.
At Grambling, Pogue is proud the university was able to improve operations while enduring severe budget cuts and receive a clean audit for the past three years. For several years before Pogue took over, Grambling was hit with serious audits that detailed a number of deficiencies related to finances. These infractions were so serious that this newspaper called for criminal investigations and a state takeover to protect taxpayer dollars.
Pogue, in a stroke of genius, hired the state auditor who was part of the negative audits to manage his books.
Pogue also is proud of the 12 percent increase in alumni support after university officials called on former students to help them during years of budget cuts.
Pogue and his wife, Dorothy, will move to their home in Delaware to be closer to their daughter and two grandsons.
Grambling is surviving in good shape, thanks to Frank Pogue. We thank the Pogues and wish them many well-deserved good days with their family.
The editorials in this column represent the opinions of The News-Star’s editorial board, composed of President and Publisher David B. Petty, Executive Editor Kathy Spurlock and community representatives Lionel Crowell, Nancy Inabnett and Jay Marx
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
--attributed to Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Documentary Case For Wayne Watson's Firing: An Offer for Readers of This Blog

For the past four years, and especially over the past several months, the contributors to this blog have laid out the case for Wayne Watson’s mismanagement of Chicago State University. His tenure includes multiple performance failures coupled with a demonstrable and sustained fealty to crony hiring and promotions. The results for the school have been disastrous. Watson’s execrable performance as Chicago State’s president warrants his immediate dismissal along with a purge of his crony-riven upper administrative ranks.

Watson’s supporters have responded to the multiple revelations of his incompetence and the academic dishonesty and fraud perpetrated by both Watson and several top university administrators--at a minimum, the university’s current interim provost, an associate vice president and an associate director--by attacking the messengers exposing Watson’s ineptitude and unethical behavior. In particular, Watson and his mouthpieces have denounced his opposition as a small group of “disgruntled” faculty; by implication dishonest, whose stock-in-trade includes distorted facts and “mean-spirited” and “uncivil” personal attacks on persons inside the administration. However, to date, neither Watson nor his acolytes have refuted any of the documentary evidence Watson opponents have provided to undergird their assertions.

This past Sunday, in an attempt to make the case for Watson’s dismissal clearer, I e-mailed my faculty colleagues a compendium of information that included a number of the most damning pieces of evidence I have collected over the past few months. As a member of the community of scholars that constitute Chicago State, I feel that my faculty colleagues deserve to be able to examine the most essential evidentiary material supporting my contention that Watson is a failure who deserves to be terminated. I also feel that readers of this web site deserve the same opportunity. As a result, I am enclosing the e-mail I sent to my faculty colleagues on Sunday, April 6, 2014. If anyone who reads this blog wishes to see any or all of the documentary evidence I have collected, please e-mail me at rbionaz@att.net, and I will send you copies of the material.

Here is a copy of the pertinent portions of the e-mail I sent to my faculty colleagues on April 6:

Dear Colleagues:

As many of you have heard in meetings with Wayne Watson and in news media blurbs produced by the Watson administration, persons opposed to Watson are nothing more than “individuals who have shown they will go to great lengths to undermine any member of this administration in any way they can" (Chicago Tribune, January 14, 2014). Watson repeats this claim frequently and it is useful in airily dismissing even charges of academic dishonesty and fraud. Watson uses this argument as a cudgel with which to bash faculty who dare to take seriously the claims made by and the actions of dissenting faculty or the Faculty Senate. In Watson’s view, these misguided dupes simply do not have “all the facts.” The implication is that dissenters are, in reality, lying, misrepresenting reality, or distorting the truth in the service of some kind of vile agenda.

Frankly, I am tired of hearing this bullshit from an administration that has done little more than bring the university to the verge of extinction by virtue of its multiple failures. In that spirit, I present to you a compilation of the evidence that supports my belief that Watson and his administrators should be fired and sent packing. Much of this material will be familiar to readers of the Faculty Voice as it has been presented piecemeal on that site over the past several months. Some of the material is evidence I have not released before but I think the time has come for these documents to be presented in a complete and hopefully coherent format in order for anyone interested to form her/his own conclusions regarding the efficacy of the Watson administration. Here are the points I will cover:

1. Watson’s failure in enrollment management.
2. Watson’s failure in compliance and accounting procedures.
3. Watson’s failure as a fundraiser.
4. Watson’s failure in public relations.
5. Watson’s supervisory propensity toward vindictiveness and retaliation.
6. Watson’s failure to protect the academic integrity of Chicago State University.
7. Watson’s attacks on free expression and duly constituted university advisory bodies.

I am appending a number of attachments to this e-mail. You are free to read as many or as few as you wish. These attachments provide documentary evidence for the assertions I make in the narrative overview, which I endeavor to present with little editorial comment. The six attachments include the following:

Document 1 narrates Watson’s multiple failures and provides an overview of the case for his dismissal. For those who wish to consult the original materials, there are references in the text to my sources of information.

Document 2 discusses Angela Henderson’s plagiarized dissertation. It includes a copy of the dissertation with problematic passages, citations and bibliographical entries marked in yellow, a copy of the plagiarism report I submitted to the University of Illinois at Chicago, and separate pages that show the composition of her committee and the date of IRB approval for her research project.

Document 3 addresses crony hiring at Chicago State and the existence of falsified applications/resumes submitted by three CSU administrators, Cheri Sidney, Angela Henderson and Tyra Austin. Included are: a copy of the CSU Human Resources guidelines for effective supervision. Of particular interest are pages 6 and 7, which detail the consequences for falsifying official university records; copies of the applications and/or resumes of Sidney, Henderson and Austin; degree verification for Sidney; official notification that Austin has no degree.

Document 4 details the crony promotions and special positions created by Watson for Cheri Sidney and Tyra Austin. Documents include: Administrative Hiring Forms, Budget Change Forms, Request for Funding Form and Personnel Change Notices.

Document 5 recounts this school year’s attacks on the Faculty Senate. Included are the Henderson memorandum of October 31, 2013; Watson’s memoranda of January 28 and February 25, 2014; Patrick Cage’s Freedom of Information Act request of February 28, 2014, and the official results of the Senate balloting to amend its constitution as requested by Watson.

Document 6 explores the Watson administration’s attack on the Faculty Voice blog. Documents include the “Cease and Desist” order from Patrick Cage on November 11, 2013, the response from Wesley Johnson on November 27, 2013, and the trademark infringement letter from Gonzalez, Saggio and Harlan.

I believe that these documents demonstrate a serious and sustained pattern of incompetence and misbehavior on the part of Wayne Watson and members of his administration. Various portions of this information have been communicated to members of the Illinois state legislature, to the Chicago State Board of Trustees, to the Illinois Executive Inspector General and to the Governor of Illinois. You can see what their collective response has been. It is my belief that if something is not done soon, this school may cease to exist. I trust you to come to your own conclusions on that matter.

I am willing to have a substantive discussion with anyone regarding the material enclosed in this communication. I will not, however, respond to anonymous attacks or stale talking points. If there is evidence that counters the material I am providing, I would be delighted to see it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Repression at CSU Forum, Wednesday, April 9, 6pm, Library Auditorium

Repression at CSU has reached an all-time high recently as Wayne’s office continues to stifle dissent and free speech rights.  This school year Wayne and his team of crack lawyers (how many lawyers do the people of Illinois now employ at CSU?) attempted to shut down the faculty blog and the Faculty Senate, engaged in smear campaigns against vocal faculty, had students bring bogus judicial charges against dissenting students, helped develop the “See Something, Say Something” classroom spying campaign, and continues to attempt to ruin the lives of one family by bringing judicial charges against them in the court system. 

This is just this school year!!

Wayne’s desire to control information about him and his minions has a long history at CSU beginning with his first semester here in 2009 and his  attack on Haki Madhubuti and the Gwendolyn Brooks Center.  The history of repression includes the Computer Usage Policy and the Communications Policy; both of which would have suspended free speech rights on campus and made CSU a laughingstock of the academy.  The powers that be at CSU are not afraid to use good ol’ physical intimidation tactics either.  Vocal students and faculty have been threatened and intimidated.

We as an academic community should not stand for this type of bullying tactic from Wayne’s Gang.  We are all invited to learn more about the numerous cases of repression on this campus from students, faculty and staff willing to stick their necks out so that all of us can have a better institution.  Join courageous students and fed-up faculty for a forum on Repression at CSU and let Wayne and the Gang know that our voices will not be silenced!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Here's How Renee Mitchell and Human Resources Abet Wayne Watson's Efforts. State Law is No Impediment to Filling the University's Administrative Ranks With Incompetent Cronies

In 2009, a commission appointed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn reported on the state of corruption in Illinois. Does this description resonate with anyone?:

"The endemic nature of corruption, coupled with employees' low morale . . . has led to a sense of learned helplessness among many in state employment. In other words, state employees come to believe that corruption is a fact that they cannot change or challenge." The report went on to say: "Talented public servants may choose not to pursue employment in state government, while those who do so may be turned away in favor of the wrong candidates hired for the wrong reasons." In addition, "[m]any honest, hard-working state employees put forth their best efforts each day without acknowledgement, only to see less-qualified political cronies land coveted promotions. . . In short, the culture of corruption has become more than an embarrassment to the People of Illinois; it’s an impediment to their receipt of honest, effective public service." (available here: http://www.uic.edu/depts/pols/ChicagoPolitics/anticorruption.htm)

As the search for a new Provost at Chicago State unfolds, it seems a propitious time to examine the activities of one of the persons who has enabled Wayne Watson to advance his poisonous agenda: Renee Mitchell, our erstwhile “Director” of Human Resources. This examination reveals behavior that has served the interests of Watson in numerous ways: for example, signing off on dubious hiring and promotion decisions, creating job announcements that are almost laughable in their lack of rigorous qualifications and producing “investigations” that whitewash administrative misbehavior. During the current Provost search, Human Resources has actually drafted policies–to ensure that a Watson crony gets the job–that seem to contravene Illinois state law.

When Watson “officially” took over the presidency at Chicago State on October 1, 2009, he obviously realized that he had to pack the place with cronies if he was going to be able to realize his “vision” of destroying the university. As previously described on this blog, he hired a number of insiders early in his administration, including Renee Mitchell. Mitchell began at Chicago State on October 5, 2009. According to her resume, she came directly from a Human Resources management position at CNA Insurance in Chicago. Coincidentally, Cheri Sidney also worked in a clerical-support position in Human Resources at CNA during Mitchell’s tenure at that firm. Within five weeks, Mitchell had participated in the creation of an administrative position for Sidney and had signed off on her hiring, despite her obviously falsified resume and lack of management experience. In 2010 and 2011, Mitchell approved promotions and raises for Sidney and also in 2011, Mitchell and Sidney served on the university search committee that produced a job announcement so vague that it brought us Angela Henderson as Vice President of Enrollment Management–despite her woeful lack of credentials for the position.

Thus, by mid-2011, Mitchell had solidly established credentials as a “good soldier” in the Watson regime. In June 2011, Mitchell’s Human Resources Department participated in drafting new search procedures that dramatically altered the conduct of faculty searches and inserted the president directly into the process. These search policies remain in place with the latest iteration coming in March 2013.

The existence of even these watered-down procedures became a nuisance in 2012 as Watson wanted to rig a search to hire two of his cronies as faculty in the Criminal Justice Department. Again, as detailed on this blog and elsewhere, Watson did just that, hiring new faculty in that department after a search conducted by several administrators and no faculty–a direct violation of Chicago State’s own search procedures as outlined in the Human Resources and Legal Affairs policies. After the improper nature of the search resulted in an outcry from a number of faculty members, the administration assigned Mitchell to investigate itself. Not surprisingly, her ridiculous report found absolutely no administrative wrong-doing, although it offered recommendations designed to ensure that the kind of search that had occurred in Criminal Justice would not happen again.

Having proven her loyalty to Wayne Watson, Mitchell reaped her reward. On January 1, 2013, Watson granted her a 21.4 percent raise from $119,484 to $144,996. Later in 2013, she again demonstrated her loyalty to Watson and his cronies. When I advised Mitchell of the lies on the resumes/applications of both Cheri Sidney and Tyra Austin, Mitchell responded that Human Resources had already dealt with the issue. Although this may seem like a trivial matter to persons outside the academy, most people at Chicago State take the matter of valid credentials seriously. There are a number of administrators working at this school after having lied on resumes/applications by claiming degrees and experience they simply did not possess. Mitchell herself is listed on the Chicago State website as “Renee Mitchell, Ph.D.” Ms. Mitchell does not, in fact, possess a Ph.D. She earned a D.M. (Doctor of Management) from the University of Phoenix in 2003. The difference is significant. First, the Ph.D. is a research degree and the requirements for that degree are far more rigorous than for a professional doctorate. Second, It takes longer to get a Ph.D. than most other doctoral degrees and it is so difficult to obtain that Angela Henderson had to cheat to do so. The mention of Angela Henderson brings me to my current concern: the possible illegality of the search now being conducted for university Provost.

The Illinois State Legislature created something called the Chicago State Law (110 ILCS 660/) that specifies the composition of the Board of Trustees and lays out the various responsibilities and duties of Chicago State University. Among the salient points of the law are:

“Sec. 5-45. Powers and duties. The Board also shall have power and it shall be its duty:
(1) To make rules, regulations and bylaws, not inconsistent with law, for the government and management of Chicago State University and its branches;
(4) To issue upon the recommendation of the faculty, diplomas to such persons as have satisfactorily completed the required studies of Chicago State University . . .”


“(110 ILCS 660/5-150)
Sec. 5-150. Faculty and staff contact with public officials. All faculty and staff members of the University are free to communicate their views on any matter of private or public concern to any member of the legislative, executive, or judicial branch of government, State or federal, without notice to or prior approval of the University, so long as they do not represent that they are speaking for or on behalf of the University.”
(Source: P.A. 96-147, eff. 8-7-09; 96-1000, eff. 7-2-10.)

Finally, the Chicago State Law contains a prohibition on the use of search firms, except in specific instances and for “justifiable need.” This language is standard and appears verbatim for every state university:

Here is the problem Chicago State’s Human Resources Department. In my estimation, the policies it has created far exceed the latitude permitted under state law. As the legislative prohibition charges the university with “implementing a policy,” and outlining “qualifying criteria” by July 1, 2013. Here is Chicago State’s “policy” (the statue cited is actually from the Western Illinois Law):

As you can see, the university has arbitrarily expanded search firm use to include “the Provost or Vice President(s) of the University.” The position titles hardly constitute “qualifying criteria.” The subsequent laundry list of “qualifying criteria” are highly problematic. How does the use of a search firm ensure “strict confidentiality”? how does the use of a search firm enable the university to fill a “critical” position “immediately”? The other purported criteria seem like nothing more than boilerplate.

I intend to seek the opinion of someone in the state more qualified than I am to judge the extent to which Chicago State’s search firm policy violates state law. If the university can use search firms for Vice Presidents, why not Deans? Department Chairs? Most important, just what is the “justifiable need” the board and president have agreed upon to bring us the Hollins Group and their $100,000 contract to find a Provost for this school? The same firm that brought us Wayne Watson is now orchestrating another search for university Provost. Not surprisingly, Renee Mitchell is a member of the university search committee for this position. Will history repeat itself? Will Wayne Watson get his crony hire? Will Renee Mitchell help? Will the disgraced Angela Henderson be anointed as Chicago State’s new Provost? Will Chicago State continue on its death spiral while unqualified persons continue to draw exorbitant salaries for failure? We will soon find out. After all, these people must protect their six figure positions. I certainly would not want to bet on the integrity of anyone involved in this process. How about you?

Monday, March 31, 2014

And more on the Crowley thing....

Jury foreman in Chicago State case may have had conflict 
By Jodi S. Cohen and Stacy St. Clair Tribune reporters

7:34 p.m. CDT, March 31, 2014


In my 
best Valley Girl voice: