I have been thinking about the past two weeks worth of Administrative song and dance first to the Deans and Chairs, then to the Faculty Senate, and finally at the All-campus Assembly last Thursday. To paraphrase the oft-quoted Claude Rains as Captain Renault in Casablanca, "I'm shocked, shocked to find administrative failure going on here."
And I was puzzled by the apparently contradictory perspectives of Provost Westbrooks and the Not-Yet-President of CSU Wayne Watson. In her presentation, Dr. Westbrooks emphasized that there would be "transparency" throughout the process of responding to the NCA's scathing critique of administrative neglect at CSU. The Not-Yet-President of CSU Watson, however, who was allowed to speak at the end of Dr Westbrooks' presentation, I guess in his capacity as CSU's only "unpaid (sic) consultant," began by admonishing those assembled not to talk to the media about this.
Huh? I thought she just said the whole process would be "transparent."
The week before, in the meeting with the deans and chairs, Dr Watson had admonished them not to tell the faculty about this report.
In his address to the all-campus assembly Dr Watson did what he does best, parrot the Finney party-line. Remember Leon Finney's comments last April after one of the incendiary Trustee meetings where protests over the presidential search reached epic proportions? He accused "the white-controlled media" of playing the race card in the corrupt and trumped-up search he and Dr Tolliver headed. Dissatisfaction at CSU he attributed to a few disgruntled "white faculty."
So, Not-Yet President Watson told us last week that we shouldn't talk to the Sun Times or the Tribune (read "white media") which doesn't understand CSU and "always gets it wrong." Well, I guess Watson thinks he knows his audience.
It is gratifying for me to include a couple of links here for our own students' Cougar Chronicle and the ChiTown Daily News that have stories on just these very topics that need to be kept transparent. I would applaud the students in particular for publishing their story before either of the so-called "white-controlled media" Sun Times or the Tribune have done so.
And while I heard the term "transparency" bandied about last Thursday, I did not hear much about how real "shared governance" among the administration, faculty, and students would be incorporated at the university to make some lasting reform at CSU. Alas, it might not be possible with the Trustee by-law changes that Leon Finney instituted last year that accrue nearly all university power to that body. But then, the NCA may be interested in that document too.
Something is rotten in the administration of CSU. And as a biologist might say, the best way to cure an infection is to expose it to sunlight.