Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Senate/UPI: Discussion & Vote on No Confidence in President's Performance

In the past 10 days, Chicago State's Faculty Senate and UPI leadership have responded to their membership's call for a vote of no confidence in the performance of President Watson. This is not something that either body has come to easily.
 
After months of growing displeasure and dissatisfaction over violations of the contract and other decisions that have overstepped the bounds of presidential authority, a Joint Senate/UPI Committee was formed this fall to examine President Watson's performance. This committee has set out two Bills of Particulars, one from the Senate, one from the UPI. The items contained in these summaries reflect the failure of President Watson in five of the seven categories laid out in his contract with the university Board of Trustees. They outline his abrogation of the UPI contract over the past three years including a serious university-wide grievance. This is not a vote of no confidence based on Dr. Watson's personality or management "style." It is based on decisions he has made that have not helped the university improve graduation rates, audit findings, or faculty, staff, and press relations. It is based on his decision to interfere in curriculum matters and matters of departmental hiring. It is based on a wide array of unfair labor practices that have come with his administration of the university. 
 
The summaries of both bills of particulars are posted below and a link to the more detailed Senate Bill of Particulars (13 pages) will be posted as well.
 
These are two separate (but coordinated) efforts to evaluate Watson's tenure as CSU president.

Yesterday, Laurie Walter, our UPI President, emailed the UPI membership with the notice of a meeting scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1st in SCI 216 to discuss the UPI Bill of Particulars. Her email contained a link to an online voting site (surveymonkey) where members may anonymously vote yes or no on No Confidence in the President. All union members have a right to vote. This voting site will be open until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6th.

At the upcoming Senate meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6th, the Faculty Senate will also discuss and vote on a motion of no confidence in President Watson. Senators should be surveying faculty opinion in their departments to determine their vote on Tuesday. Tenured as well as untenured faculty Senators have a responsibility to the departments they represent.
 
If you have any questions about the survey itself, please contact the Joint Committee at csujointcomm@gmail.com. You may also contact Dr Walter or your Faculty Senate representative.

I. UPI BILL OF PARTICULARS

University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) Local 4100
Chicago State University Chapter
Performance Evaluation of President Wayne Watson and his Administration

Starting from the beginning of his employment at Chicago State University in 2009, President Wayne Watson’s administration has demonstrated very little regard for the CSU-UPI Contract, even as it negotiated a new contract that was approved in the 2011-2012 academic year. In addition, President Watson’s administration has demonstrated negligence in numerous areas that directly affect workers at Chicago State University.

The series of unfair labor practices and grievances filed by UPI on behalf of its members from 2010-2012 demonstrate some of the most serious acts of negligence and harmful actions that have directly affected faculty, academic support professionals, and technical support staff at the University.

Unfair Labor Practices
During the calendar year of 2012 alone, UPI Local 4100 filed four (4) Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB). These ULPs demonstrated numerous violations of the CSU-UPI Contract, violations of Illinois labor law (specifically the Illinois Education Labor Relations Act), and also serious negligence of standard university business operations. These ULPs include:

·       Two (2) ULPs filed February 1, 2012 concerning a wide array of specific instances throughout 2011 and up to the date of filing where the University administration, particularly in the areas of Human Resources and Legal Affairs, demonstrated a pattern of failing to implement the CSU-UPI Contract, failing to respond to legal and legitimate requests from UPI Local 4100, and/or failing to respond in a timely manner;

·       One ULP filed on September 6, 2012 concerning University violations of a grievance settlement concerning the employment of a faculty member; and

·       One ULP filed on October 1, 2012, concerning the University’s failure to deduct union dues at the contractually-mandated start time following the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic year.

These first of these ULPs is particularly telling, since the 67-page document filed by UPI with the IELRB details numerous acts by the University administration over a period covering more than a year and includes the following issues:

·       Ongoing failure to respond to Local 4100 and its attorney’s request to schedule arbitration procedures and/or to select an arbitrator in response to layoffs implemented contrary to procedures agreed on in the CSU-UPI Contract;

·       Ongoing failure to respond, in whole or in part, to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests;

·       Failure to schedule appropriate and timely follow-up meetings for the CSU-UPI 403(b) grievance, as well as refusal to provide complete and appropriate documentation for this grievance;

·       The imposition of a new Computer Usage Policy without prior notification or bargaining of the change in working conditions;

·       Other instances of ignoring contractual procedures and timelines as they pertain to evaluations, time reporting, payment of back pay owed, etc.

Both the extent of the issues covered by the ULPs filed in 2012 (as shown by the one discussed above) and total number (4) of the ULPs filed during this year is striking.

In addition to these four ULPs filed in 2012, several ULPs were filed within the first year of Wayne Watson’s administration, including:

·       One ULP filed on April 15, 2010 concerning the removal of employees from Unit C (technical support staff) of the CSU-UPI Chapter;

·       One ULP filed on September 29, 2010 concerning the unfair layoffs of employees in Units B and C (academic support professionals and technical support staff).

Both of these ULPs deal with serious attacks by Wayne Watson’s administration on the UPI and the workers represented by this union.

 Grievances Filed
The volume of grievances filed by the UPI during President Watson’s Administration at Chicago State University has been particularly heavy. Some of the more serious grievances have dealt with the following matters:

·       The removal of specific employees from Unit C of the CSU Chapter of UPI Local 4100 due to faulty claims that such employees should be classified as “confidential employees” in January 2010;

·       The laying off/termination of several employees in Units B & C of the CSU Chapter of UPI Local 4100 in March-April 2010 without following procedures outlined in the CSU-UPI Contract;

·       The shutting down of faculty websites in the middle of the Fall 2010 semester with no advance notice or discussion with faculty who regularly used such websites for teaching and research;

·       The removal of TIAA-CREF, VALIC, and Fidelity as 403(b) providers for University employees due to the University’s employment of a Third Party Administrator, causing serious financial hardship to University employees starting in February 2011;

·       President Watson’s decision to modify the tenure-track faculty retention decision process in May 2012 by deciding that some faculty can be “retained” but would repeat their previous probationary year, essentially having these faculty members do that probationary year over;

·       President Watson’s inability to follow the contractual process for approving Departmental Applications of Criteria (DACs) by encouraging deans, chairs, and other administrators to write DACs in June 2012 without the direct participation of faculty.

Though there has been some progress made towards a resolution of some of these grievances, the fact that UPI has had to file grievances about such serious violations of the CSU-UPI Contract demonstrates President Watson’s and his administration’s minimal regard for the CSU-UPI Contract.


Other Employment Matters
In addition to the instances documented in grievances and ULPs filed by UPI Local 4100, President Watson’s Administration has engaged in the following additional acts harmful to University employees:

·       Failure to pay raises to Academic Support Professionals at the contractually-mandated time;

·       Late payment of Unit B (temporary and part-time) faculty;

·       Inaccurate calculation of contractually-mandated raises for several faculty members;

·       Late deduction of union dues from UPI members’ paychecks.

There are two things that are particularly striking about these harmful actions. First, these actions have had direct impacts on University employees’ livelihoods. Second, all of these acts were avoidable if the University had followed standard business operations. Payment of salary, pay raises, and deduction of union dues are all predictable events that the University should be prepared to deal with each year. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
Conclusion
Based on the harmful and negligent actions taken by Wayne Watson and his administration, including many actions documented in grievances and ULPs filed by UPI Local 4100, the CSU Chapter of the UPI concludes that Wayne Watson’s tenure as President of Chicago State University has been harmful to the University and its workers. As such, Wayne Watson’s performance as President of Chicago State University has been inadequate.

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II.  SENATE SUMMARY OF A BILL OF PARTICULARS
Performance Evaluation of Chicago State University President Wayne Watson
Prepared by The Shared Governance Committee of the Faculty Senate

Wayne Watson’s contract with the Chicago State University Board of Trustees specifies that his performance will be judged on seven criteria. Based on our evaluation, the Shared Governance Committee finds that he has performed unsatisfactorily in five of the seven:

Criterion 1: the Board charges the President with “improving the performance of the University with respect to annual financial and compliance audits [of] the University.”

·        Audit exceptions increase from 13 in 2008-09 to 41 in 2009-10, decreased to 34 in 2010-11.

·        9 additional Civil Service Audit exceptions

Criterion 3: the Board charges the President with “increasing the enrollment at the university.”

·        Enrollment down across Illinois, largest drop reported (CSU did not report this information) this past year, 6.8 percent.

·        Chicago State’s enrollment down 11.05 percent over the same period. The largest decline reported by any other public Illinois university was 6.8 percent at Illinois-Charleston.

·        Chicago State’s enrollment has declined 18.6 percent in past two years, from 7362 to 5989.

Criterion 5: the Board charges the President with “improving relationships with the University’s faculty.”

·        Incursions into curriculum matters, Senior Thesis, Master’s Thesis

·        Public dispute with Haki Madhubuti, Madhubuti’s eventual resignation

·        Reorganization of Colleges of Education and Arts and Sciences

·        Reorganization of Graduate School

·        Hiring unqualified persons, primarily from City Colleges of Chicago, for key administrative positions

·        2012 Computer Usage Policy

·        2012 Communications Policy

·        2012 DAC fiasco

·        2012 Criminal Justice search in violation of university rules, subsequent questionable hires

Criterion 6: the Board charges the President with “enhancing the University’s fund-raising capacities.”
·        University’s endowment down

 Criterion 7: the Board charges the President with “improving the University’s media relations and public image.”

·        Numerous public relations disasters: audit findings, communications policy, adversarial relationship with press, consistent negative publicity for the university

 Additional information and links to sources may be found in the full Shared Governance Committee Report.
 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing such great information. It has help me in finding out more detail about Upi

    ReplyDelete