Friday, May 22, 2015

Chicago State's Administrative Colossus: A University Drowned by the Sheer Weight of its "Management Team"

Over the past several years, the contributors to this blog have made a number of serious allegations of misconduct and malfeasance on the part of Chicago State’s administration. These allegations have been supported by evidence, much of it received from the university. We have discovered proof that top-level administrators lied about their degrees and work experience on official university records; we have discussed Watson’s demonstrated record of retaliatory terminations and their financial consequences for the university; we have published court documents that detail the atmosphere of fear that pervades the university and highlights the vindictive management style upper-level administrators employ; we have chronicled the disastrous enrollment declines since 2010 and have pointed out that the administrators most responsible for those declines have never been held accountable—instead they have been rewarded for their unsatisfactory performances by promotion to positions with bigger salaries and fancier titles. Finally, we have continually exposed the crony hiring practices that make a mockery of university policy and that have put the fate of the university into the hands of a number of persons whose sole qualification for university employment seems to be their loyalty to Wayne Watson.

In the face of these allegations, the university’s response has been silence. No one from the administration or the greater university community has ever emerged to challenge the accuracy of the material published on the blog. Aside from comments about our “tone” by persons with a vested interest in ignoring these extremely serious accusations, no one from the university administration has risen to provide an explanation or justification for the numerous well documented instances of administrative wrongdoing. This administrative silence provides an acknowledgement of the truth of the allegations and demonstrates that our administrators and their mouthpieces know their actions are indefensible.

I have posted a number of pieces about the fiscal practices at Chicago State. Previous posts have all featured an analysis of our internal budget, which offers no indication of what we actually spend on salaries. The budget freezes our fiscal situation at a single moment in time and fails to account for the constant flow of personnel in and out of the university. Although there is no perfect way to collect and analyze salary data, the Illinois Board of Higher Eduction (IBHE) web site offers information that allows a more accurate assessment of salary expenditures across an entire fiscal year and illustrates personnel movements throughout the year. Therefore, this analysis will be based entirely on the data displayed on that web site.

The IBHE data includes for each Illinois public university: the number of administrators and faculty along with their position classifications, and salary and override amounts paid to each person during the fiscal year. This information enables a comparison between schools. For the purposes of this piece, I compared Chicago State with four other similar state schools: Eastern, Northeastern and Western Illinois Universities and the University of Illinois-Springfield. I compared fiscal 2011 with 2014 because the salary data for fiscal 2010 is total compensation (including benefits). The 2011 and 2014 data reflect actual annual salaries plus additional compensation. Here is a crude spreadsheet with the most pertinent data:



For the years 2011-14, the comparison group experienced a 10.8 percent decrease in enrollment, reduced the number of administrative positions by 33.6 percent and reduced the aggregate salary expenditures for administrators 14.9 percent. During this same time period, Chicago State’s enrollment declined 24.3 percent as the school increased the number of administrators by 11.1 percent and increased administrative salaries 12.5 percent. In both 2011 and 2014, Chicago State featured the highest number of administrators of any of the five schools (333 and 370) and spent the most money on administrative salaries ($21.8 million and $24.5 million). In fiscal 2014, Chicago State enrolled only 12.6 percent of all students attending these five universities but could boast 47.6 percent of all administrative employees and 38.6 percent of aggregate salaries.

The administrative position titles used by IBHE include President/Chancellor, Vice President/Vice Chancellor, Senior Officer, Unit Director and Other Administrator. The data is sortable. For 2011 and 2014, total administrative positions looked like this for the comparison schools:


For Chicago State in 2011 and 2014, here were the total administrative positions (note: rather than the 416 positions reported to IBHE, CSU had only 370 full-time administrators. The database includes "Temporary Administrators" which I have eliminated in order to count only full-time employees):


There are some additional statistics on the IBHE web site that seem notable. Chicago State's 2014 total of 370 administrators is nearly triple the number at one university (Northeastern has 126) and more than triples the number of administrators at the other three. Our total administrative salary expenditure of $24.5 million nearly doubles Northeastern's $13.0 million, more than doubles Eastern and Western Illinois's expense and is 4 times the salary expenditures of UI-Springfield. All these schools enroll more students than we do.

This monumental waste of taxpayer money on administrative salaries for persons at Chicago State who have consistently failed would be scandalous under any circumstances. A recent Tribune report detailed the vast difference between the ratio of administrators to students at Chicago State compared with the other Illinois public universities. Here's the link to that report: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/cod/ct-college-of-dupage-legislative-report-20150521-story.html#page=1

I understand that some of our Board members read this forum. As a taxpayer in Illinois and one of the "stakeholders" at Chicago State, I want to know: how (and why) did you allow this to happen? If you read this blog, you must know that we've often reported on the financial shenanigans of this administration. Why did you do nothing? Perhaps you should have listened to the faculty and staff who told you about the excesses and abuses of this administration. Instead, you allowed Watson and his cronies to spoon-feed you pablum, pat your heads and tell you soothing lies. I think the time is near when investigators will begin to look at how much these high-salaried administrators cost the taxpaying public. How will you defend your actions (or inaction)?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thank You Provost Henderson for Clarifying the Senior Thesis Requirement

I received this today from the CAS Dean. It clarifies the "senior thesis" requirement and reiterates that it only applies to students who entered Chicago State in fall 2010 or later. My thanks to Provost Henderson for dealing with this issue. Here is the memorandum:



Anthony Young and Nikki Zollar listen up: U of I has a new prez-- are you still going to keep CSU the "playpen for Illinois pols and shaky administrators?"

An editorial this morning in the Chicago Tribune is singing the praises of the new president of the University of Illinois, "A Refreshing New President for U of I."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-university-illinois-edit-0521-bd-20150520-story.html

This new president, Timothy Killeen, is described as a "free-thinking outsider." Well, obviously we don't want one of those here at CSU.

But good old CSU is mentioned in the context that maybe this guy can help us. And there is just the hint that maybe a consolidation of public universities in ILL (a la SUNY in NY state) might be in the future.

From the Tribune:
Had our hour not run dry, we'd have liked to hear more from Killeen about his vision of the U. of I. president's role among this state's public university presidents, who'll meet as a group Tuesday. Many of their schools perform well. We asked whether the U. of I., perhaps through its Chicago campus, could help salvage one school that has performed abysmally. Chicago State University has functioned better as a playpen for Illinois pols and shaky administrators than it has for its students — a pitifully small share of whom earn degrees.

Killeen has no oversight of Chicago State. But he understood the topic when we raised it. He already had stressed that he wants to help this state optimize its resources and do well by its students. If those are more than platitudes, they could make the difference between past failure and future progress at Chicago State.

We have no idea whether, a decade from now, Illinois will have consolidated its public universities in a system comparable to Wisconsin's or New York's. As state resources shrink, that may make sense, although we can anticipate the objections from those whose chief interest is protecting their fiefdoms.

The new president of the U. of I. has plenty to accomplish on his own three campuses. If he also finds a way to help the young people not only at his school but at the worst-performing of Illinois' public universities, so much the better.

RE: Status of  CSU's Presidential search--"no free-thinking outsiders" need apply
Nikki Zollar's sham presidential search committee has put up a bunch of links on the CSU website and is asking for your opinions on what kind of prez we should have blah blah blah. They ask the same questions they did at the last search and paid no attention to the answers then.  Please Nikki read Hakki Madhabuti's letter from 2009--it's linked here, we've reposted it on this blog that you don't read, we've given you copies--why do you keep asking?

For those of you who still want so desperately to believe in their "hopey changey thing" as another failed politician once said, waste your time on the survey. The presidential search process is already flawed. Young and Zollar's pontifications about transparency and caring what you think do not match what they have already done. They have hand-picked their committee, they have written the job ad, they hired the search firm all with no input from faculty and staff at CSU. It's paving the way for a patronage hire. I can tell you from experience that their search firm will read and summarize the survey comments for the bored board members, but no one will care about any details you send them. It is the board alone who picks the president. They would not share governance on this matter in 2009 and they will not share governance on this issue now. They do, however, need to have a veneer of "asking" or "consulting" what the CSU "constituencies" think so they can wave that in front of some pol or neutered "governing board" like HLC and say they did "consult."

Somewhere in the 1980s I am told, CSU was made a political dropbox for friends of certain politicians. The CSU board members have benefitted from their associations to Wayne Watson and the machine. They are going to keep it all in the family, that's the board's job. Thanks for setting things up this way Emil.

So congrats to U of I. Maybe the state of ILL will consolidate all the public universities and that will be a new beginning for us. It would be nice to see the press boast about CSU as a turnaround success story and be the diamond rather than the diamond in the rough. I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CSU Shafts the Students: Another Decision That Simply Defies Description, You Really Have to Be Here to Believe This Place

What follows is not from the Onion. Rather, the circumstances I describe in this post are all too true. If anyone needs further evidence that our administrators neither know what they are doing nor possess the ability to think through the consequences of their arbitrary and inconceivable actions, here it is.

In 2010, Wayne Watson, through his academic affairs administrators, imposed by fiat a “senior thesis” graduation requirement on all programs. This curriculum addition, which became operative in fall 2010, exempted from the requirement students entering Chicago State prior to that semester. The change mandated the first semester for implementation of the contrived and ridiculous requirement as spring 2015. Predictably, the administration’s interpretation and implementation of the “thesis” has been as bad as the requirement itself. Unfathomable comes to mind.

First, for anyone doing advising, the CAPP system clearly described the “senior thesis” requirement as follows: “ALL undergraduate students entering CSU as of FALL 2010 who will graduate in SPRING 2015 or thereafter will be required to complete a senior thesis project/research paper. Therefore, if you started CSU before FALL 2010, and/or graduate before Spring 2015, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MEET THIS GRADUATION REQUIREMENT.” Simple and straightforward yes? Not so fast, remember where we are.

Here is the catalog language and the language from the CAPP system. As you can see, both advisors and students who matriculated before fall 2010 would think that the "senior thesis" was not applicable. Silly them. First, the catalog language:


If there is any question about what this means (and the persons who wrote the policy clearly intended it to apply only to those students entering Chicago State in fall 2010 or later), the language in CAPP is available for clarification.

Here's a screenshot taken on May 12, 2015 of one student's degree evaluation from the CAPP system.


Even though persons charged with advising students have relied on the language in CAPP, one (or more) of our immensely wise administrative types has apparently decided to interpret the clear language in CAPPS to actually mean that anyone who took a course at Chicago State in fall 2010 or later was, in fact, subject to this requirement, regardless of their date of matriculation. Relying on the catalog language which said “enrolled” rather than “entered,” the administration has decided to hold students graduating this spring to a requirement Wayne Watson thinks demonstrates academic rigor. Of course, none of the unfortunate students were notified that the university intended to impose this obligation until nearly the end of the spring semester, leaving them no time to meet the requirement.

This means simply that even though a student is ostensibly responsible for fulfilling the requirements present in the catalog when they matriculate, the university has decided to arbitrarily disregard their catalog requirements and impose new requirements for which they were never responsible. What a logical and eminently fair decision. Just imagine running a race and having the race officials continually move the finish line so that you never finish. This is just one more example of how deeply our university officials care for our students and of the great store of wisdom upon which they draw to make decisions.

I notified the Provost and Dean of my College one week ago. The Provost immediately responded that she would investigate and respond to my concerns. I think this issue deserves the administration’s immediate attention since a number of our students who have fulfilled their graduation requirements are waiting to see if Chicago State will allow them to graduate. Will the university change the rules of the game right at the end of their undergraduate careers? Stay tuned.





Friday, May 8, 2015

Will she or won't she? Only her human resources director knows for sure...

If you don't want to be bothered attending a Trustees' "listening tour" regarding the presidential search (they have made it clear they do not want to hear from the faculty anyway), here's an update on a non-candidate. This is culled from some documents recently filed in the ongoing Fire lawsuit regarding free expression on campus (i.e. Case No 1:14-CV04970 Phillip Beverly, et al, v. Wayne Watson, et al. "Defendants' Response to the Plaintiffs' Supplemental Brief):

p. 9 In the article titled, "The Rigged Presidential Search. Do You Want Angela Henderson as Chicago State's Next President? An Open letter to the Chicago State Community" Bionaz demeans Provost Henderson's credentials and seeks to undermine her as Provost, all based on the false narrative that she is applying to become the next CSU president...
In reality, Provost Henderson is not seeking the presidency. See Exhibit C, Declaration of Renee D. Mitchell...

And in Exhibit C, Declaration of Renee D. Mitchell, who, being of sound mind, does declare that...
"2. I am the liaison between the current CSU Presidential Search Committee and Greenwood/Asher & Associates, the Executive Search Firm responsible for accepting all applications for the position of CSU President.
3. Greenwood/Asher & Associates reported that, as of May 6, 2015, it has not received an application for the position of CSU President from any internal candidates, including Angela Henderson, Ph.D.
4. Therefore, the Presidential Search Committee is not considering Dr. Henderson as a candidate for CSU President at this time..."

So, at this writing will she/won't she "apply" for the presidency indicates that she hasn't... Hmmmm...

This does not exonerate the Trustees from their machinations and maneuverings of what should be an academic search process. If not Angela Henderson, Ph.D., I wonder who they have in mind? All you Chicagoans out there care to take a guess? I can't keep straight all the local connections and political attachments. Who is Rainbow Push telling them to hire do you suppose? Who among the 'local' political leadership will have more of a say over the presidency of CSU  than those of us who have committed our lives to this university and its students?

The CSU Board of Trustees has made it clear by their actions that they will impose a president on this campus; American Governing Board standards and AAUP shared governance policies be damned. They have organized and established a "search committee" by fiat; have written the job description without input from that committee, let alone the faculty or their representatives; they have chosen the search firm without a bidding process; they have set themselves up to lord it over the rest of us. The path to rigging the selection is paved with the pious words of "transparency" and "consensus."

And I bet in a year's time they will wonder why their way of doing things did not work out any better for them and the university than the last time a CSU board of trustees shoved a president down our throats.


  


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Rigged Presidential Search: Apparently The Board Only Wants to Hear From Some of Us

For those of you who doubt that this "presidential search" is nothing more than a scam, here's an invitation sent today to select members of the university community (or the Chicago State "family" as our administrators are so fond of calling us). Since I received nothing, I can only assume the Board is not particularly interested in hearing my ideas on their phony search.


For those of you who are not on the "A" party list, the invitation came from Chicago State's Marketing Department, in particular, Wanda Wright. Her telephone number is on the invitation if you would like to ask why you were not invited. Here's the pertinent portion of Wright's e-mail:


This event raises at least two questions for me: how much is this going to cost the taxpayers? what university fund is paying for all this?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Breaking News: It's Raining Vice Presidents Here at Chicago State

It's hard to keep up with the always increasing number of Vice Presidents here at the most corrupt university in the United States. Here was the tally from the January 23, 2015 university organizational chart:

Provost and Senior Vice President
Assistant Provost of Graduate and Professional Programs
Assistant Provost of Curriculum and Assessment
Vice President and General Counsel
Vice President of Enrollment Management (vacant)
Vice President of Development (vacant)
Vice President of Administration and Finance (interim)
Associate Vice President of Human Resources
Associate Vice President of Sponsored Programs (interim)
Associate Vice President of Administration and Finance (vacant)
Associate Vice President of Administration and Finance (yes, another one)
Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services (a fairly recent title the girlfriend(?)
Associate Vice President of Academic Personnel

Between January 23 and February 4, 2015, we picked up another one:

Associate Vice President and Athletics Director

Between February 4 and February 6, another one materialized:

Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.

How can we be expected to keep up with such dizzying expansion? What, exactly do all these Vice Presidents really do?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Our Orwellian Administration and Its Data: A Prediction for Fall 2015 Enrollment

One of the most interesting things about the academy is how two persons can look at the same data and come to different conclusions, sometimes resulting in diametrically opposed interpretations. As I have mentioned previously, the university has to provide a yearly report to the Illinois State Legislature which I assume is immediately placed into a file cabinet somewhere, never to be seen again. I have not seen any other school’s “ISL Forms” but Chicago State’s are remarkable for their contradictory data, preposterous claims and sometimes outright lies. The 2016 version of our ISL Forms is no exception. It is chock-full of ridiculous assertions that would be laughable if the situation at our school were not so dire. As an example, Chicago State has to respond to questions about its viability, in particular about its enrollment. As the administration does in front of our feckless Board of Trustees, they spin the narrative in a way that actually insults one’s intelligence.

Predictably, the administration does not want to talk about enrollment. Therefore, it is necessary to perform a bait and switch maneuver that will enable them to discuss the one portion of the enrollment presentation that is actually increasing: the number of applications. As you can see from the highlighted portion of the memorandum below, the administration is quite positive about the increase in applications. Unfortunately, that increase in applications has done nothing to stop our continual enrollment losses (nine consecutive semesters and counting). Since August 2014, Chicago State has apparently participated in the “Common Application” program, described by one CSU administrator thus: “This effort will expand the reach of Chicago State University and provide a wider market of recruitment for students around the world. We will be the second institution in the state along with the University of Illinois at Chicago to use this application process. So we’re excited about those, that new outreach to prospective students.” I will return to this enrollment strategy later. Here are the two tables submitted to the legislature:


The administration cannot avoid a discussion of our enrollment however. In that context, they make the fantastic claim, repeated in front of our Board by Watson, that “enrollment is stabilizing.” This simple statement asks the reader to ignore the reality presented in the figures which demonstrate that enrollment has, in fact, decreased from 7362 in fall 2010 to 5211 in fall 2014 (4818 in spring 2015). I am not a mathematician or statistician, but it seems to me that the empirical data presented in that chart supports an argument that enrollment is declining rather than stabilizing. The enrollment and application data, combined with the administration’s interpretations about that data lead me to support a somewhat different conclusion as to what all this means. Here it is:

The administration presents the application data as evidence that its enrollment strategies are succeeding. However, an analysis of the figures provided by the administration shows clearly that while applications for fall enrollment increased, the actual number of students who enroll declined. That observation also holds true for graduate applications/enrollment for spring and fall semesters since spring 2012. For undergraduate spring enrollments, although the university experienced a slight increase in enrolled students from spring 2013 to spring 2014, overall, the number of undergraduates enrolled has declined since spring 2012. As we know, these enrollment figures have been insufficient to replace students leaving the university.

The “Yield/Enrolled” portion of the administration’s chart measures the proportion of students accepted by the university who subsequently enroll. Looking at the “yield” as a percentage of total applications paints a somewhat different picture of the administration’s efforts. Before discussing this, I ask readers to note the increase in the “other” category of the administration’s chart. The explosion of “withdrawn, incomplete, or cancelled” applications seems worth an explanation. None is forthcoming from the university. Yet, the percentage of those prospective students in the “other” category has increased from 8.3 percent in fall 2012 to 50.6 percent in fall 2014. For spring enrollments, the number of “other” applications increased from 16 percent in spring 2012 to 58.6 percent in spring 2014. What does this suggest? These students do not want to attend Chicago State. Here’s an anecdotal comment from someone in the administration: “It is a known fact that the the universities who belong to the common app system are well known universities with a low acceptance rate. . . Before students had no idea who CSU was, as I witnessed it first hand. . . They often confused us with UIC or University of Chicago. Once I explained that were not the schools they thought we were, they walked away. But since we now show a sign on our recruiting table that we are a member of the Common App, they rush over to fill out the student inquiry cards and walk away without asking any questions. All because they associate CSU with the well known institutions that belong to it. So they don't need to ask any questions, they assume that we are a thriving institution within in the ranks of top American institutions. Countless students have visited CSU solely because we are a member of the Common App. Upon Arriving at CSU, they changed their minds and decided not to attend. Per conversations I've had with them , ‘This is not what we expected from a Common App institution’ is a resonating statement.” Although they may apply for admission, “I know that they will change their mind(s). All of this is from talking with the students and parents of future students. But this is my two cents.”

So if Chicago State’s reputation is so tarnished that students feel misled by its membership in “common app,” how will that membership positively affect our enrollment? At this point, the answer to that question is yet to be determined. Returning to the “yield” portion of the application chart provided by the administration, I believe these are the most important measures of the effect of increased applications. For fall semesters since 2012, we accepted 37.1 percent of undergraduate applications, for spring, 48.8 percent, for an overall average of 39 percent of all undergraduate applications. For fall semesters since 2012, we accepted 57.8 of graduate applications, for spring, 86.4 percent, for an overall average of 66.4 percent of all graduate applications. Rather than the “yield” reported by the university, the actual percentages of students enrolling of students applying look like this: Undergraduates: 14.2 percent in fall semesters, 33.4 percent in spring semesters, an overall average of 17.5 percent; Graduates 48.9 percent in fall semesters, 50.8 in spring semesters, an overall average of 49.5 percent. These percentages differ markedly from the administration’s reported “yield” of 44.7 percent for undergraduates and 74.5 percent for graduates. Here is the chart I created with a slightly different arrangement of the data:


As far as the actual enrollment numbers are concerned, the administration is unable to modify those to fit its narrative of “stabilization.” However, note the way they present the information. In the chart with actual numbers, the years are arranged, top to bottom, in chronological order. In the bar graph below the numerical chart, the administration reverses the order. Someone taking only a cursory glance at the bar chart data might believe that the university’s enrollment has actually increased. Call me a cynic, but I do not believe the arrangement of that data coincidental.

So our administration is using a “smoke and mirrors” approach in its report to the Illinois State Legislature, who in any event, is unlikely to have any members interested in the goings-on at our modest little institution. None of this will surprise readers who have followed this blog for any length of time.

I would like to use some recent application data to hazard a prediction on our enrollment for the upcoming fall semester. If you do not care to read my analysis, here is my belief: our enrollment will drop again, possibly to around 4700. I fervently hope I am wrong, but here is the data: Our applications are actually up again (by 5 percent) to 5787, which the administration will undoubtedly report at the May 8 Board meeting. However, the number of undergraduate students actually admitted is way down, by 34 percent to just 1071 compared to 1627 at the same time a year ago. The figures for graduate students are worse. Although applications are up by 22 percent to 473, admits are down by 38 percent. At this point, 21 graduate students have been admitted, compared to 34 the prior year. Incomplete applications are currently almost 70 percent of the undergraduate total and over 58 percent of the graduate total. Overall, the current “yield” of admitted students is 18.5 percent for undergraduates and 4.4 percent for graduates.

Obviously, the enrollment management folks will work diligently to increase both the numbers and percentages of admitted students. Last year at this time, the “yield” figures for admitted students looked like this: 29.6 percent for undergraduates, 8.8 percent for graduates. Ultimately, the “yield” for actual enrollments reached 12.5 percent for undergraduates and 43 percent for graduates, so there will be considerable revision of these numbers. However, the percentages for fall 2015 are far below where the university stood a year ago. In fall 2014, total applications resulted in 34 percent acceptances for undergraduates, 42 percent for undergraduates. Using the changes between April 2014 and the beginning of the semester as a baseline, here is my prediction for fall 2015 enrollment: 4732. That number represents a 9.2 percent decrease from fall 2014 and will be the tenth consecutive semester of enrollment declines. Again, I hope I am proven wrong in this forecast, but given the performance of this administration, I am dubious about that prospect. In any event, this additional drop will simply enable this administration to again claim that Chicago State’s enrollment has “stabilized.”

The memorandum to the legislature contains the disturbing comment that Chicago State's graduation rate has decreased to 19 percent in 2014. While we all know that this percentage is based on a small percentage of our students, this decline reverses the rise to 21 percent touted by the Watson administration. While this is a discussion for another time, I think the graduation rate will decline further as the real effect of the Watson administration's various ineffective enrollment strategies become obvious. Finally, I have to note that once again, a document that should have been polished for public consumption contains at least one egregious error. At the bottom of the page on "Enrollment Metrics," the comment following the double asterisk mentions "doctorial" applications. That of course, is not a word in the English language.


Friday, May 1, 2015

From Ferguson to Ayotzinapa, Baltimore and Chicago State

When discussing state violence in the form of police brutality and murder in this country, on this campus or throughout the world the question is Which Side are You On?

Please enjoy the sounds of Rebel Diaz and dead prez by clicking on the above link.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Chicago State Administration: Pigs at the Trough

As you may recall from a recent post, Wayne Watson blamed Chicago State’s organized workers for the university’s cost of doing business, which in effect blamed us for the school’s fiscal problems. Over the past few years, I have made a number of reports on the budget situation at Chicago State and the spending priorities of the Watson administration. In contrast to our budget information, which is a closely held secret, Western Illinois University actually posts its annual budget on its web site, making it available to anyone in the public who might like to examine the document. Using this budget as a point of comparison further underscores Watson’s profligate spending when it comes to university administrators. Perhaps someday someone in the state will actually notice how much money goes down Chicago State’s administrative rat hole, but I doubt it. Anyway, for you readers not already numbed by my frequent use of statistics, here is what the comparison reveals.

In fall 2014, Western Illinois enrolled 11458 students compared to Chicago State’s 5211. Western’s budget listed a total of 1942 ($109.1 million total salaries) positions with the following breakdown: 368 administrators, 803 faculty, and 771 civil service. Total salary appropriations were: $25.5 million for administrators, $51.9 million for faculty, and $31.6 million for civil service. As a percentage of total personnel, administrators constituted 18.9 percent, faculty 41.3 percent, civil service 39.7 percent. In terms of percentage of salary appropriated, administrators constituted 23.4 percent, faculty 47.6 percent, civil service 29 percent. Of the 368 total administrators at Western Illinois, 161 (43.75 percent) held positions at the rank of Assistant Dean or higher. The titles of these posititions break down thus: 1 President, 3 Provost (1 Provost, 2 Associate Provosts), 9 Vice Presidents (4 Vice Presidents, 2 Associate Vice Presidents, 3 Assistant Vice Presidents), 136 Directors (68 Directors, 16 Associate Directors, 52 Assistant Directors), 12 Deans (4 Deans, 8 Associate Deans). As a percentage of Western Illinois’ total employee population, persons holding positions higher than Assistant Dean constitute 8.3 percent of the total workforce.

Chicago State’s budget combined with its most recent organizational chart listed a total of 967 positions ($57.3 million in total salaries). I have incorporated some minor changes from the university’s organizational chart in an attempt to bring Chicago State’s information up to date. The total number of administrators differs from the budget appropriation by only two positions. These positions breakdown as follows: 266 administrators, 316 faculty, and 385 civil service. Total salary appropriations are: $19.4 million for administrators, $20.4 million for faculty, $17.5 million for civil service. Percentages of total personnel look like this: 27.5 percent administrators, 32.7 percent faculty, 39.8 percent civil service.. Salary percentages of total appropriations are: 33.8 percent for administrators, 35.6 percent for faculty, 30.6 percent for civil service. Of Chicago State’s 266 total administrators, 107 (40.2 percent) hold positions at Assistant Dean or above. Our breakdown is: 1 President, 3 Provosts (1 Provost, 1 Associate Provost, 1 Assistant Provost), 12 Vice Presidents (4 Vice Presidents, 6 Associate Vice Presidents, 1 Assistant Vice President), 77 Directors (54 Directors, 7 Associate Directors, 16 Assistant Directors), 15 Deans (8 Deans, 4 Associate Deans, 3 Assistant Deans). As a percentage of our total employee population, 11 percent of our employees hold positions at the rank of Assistant Dean or higher.

The comparison between the two institutions follows. A percentage higher than 45.5 percent indicates a larger proportion at Chicago State, a percentage smaller than 45.5 percent indicates a smaller proportion at Chicago State:

Enrollment: Chicago State has 45.5 percent of Western Illinois’ student population.
Total Salaries: Chicago State has 52.5 percent of Western Illinois’ total salaries.
Number of Administrators: Chicago State has 72.2 percent of Western Illinois’ administrators.
Administrative Salaries: Chicago State has 75.8 percent of Western Illinois’ administrative salaries.
Upper-level administrators: Chicago State has 66.4 percent of Western Illinois’ upper administrators.
Number of Faculty: Chicago State has 39.3 percent of Western Illinois’ faculty.
Faculty Salaries: Chicago State has 39.3 percent of Western Illinois’ faculty salaries.
Number of civil service employees: Chicago State has 49.9 percent of Western Illinois’ civil service employees
Civil Service Salaries: Chicago State has 55.4 percent of Western Illinois’ civil service salaries.

Finally, Chicago State’s percentage of upper-level administrators in the total employee population is 32.5 percent higher than Western Illinois’. I interpret these figures to mean that Western Illinois’ spending priorities are its academic programs, while Chicago State’s are its administrative salaries. This is a concrete example of two institutions allocating funds in entirely different ways. Perhaps the reason we are now purportedly struggling is the bloated, turgid administrative presence on this campus.

Here’s a photo of several of our top-level administrators at a recent meeting: