Friday, August 31, 2012

This is How We Spend Our Time

I have just finished writing a draft of my discipline’s response to Watson’s comments on our rejected DAC. The peevish and petulant posture adopted in his DAC response by our purported president propagated a dazzling parade of preposterous perorations and propositions. Of course, I had to respond to them.

His comments are overwhelmingly disingenuous, incorrect, or just plain uninformed. In several places Watson’s letter conflates contractual conditions of employment with criteria for promotion, tenure, and retention, ignores the contract outright, or misstates specific sections. His comments and questions about the DACs are often based on erroneous readings (or willful distortions). His comments and questions about research demonstrate a woeful lack of knowledge about how scholars in the social sciences or humanities conduct research.

What a monumental waste of time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mock Shared Governance

Notes to self 8.28.12
  • Stern warning from the Admin today via dept. meeting --obey the September 15th deadline for re-submitting new DACs or its curtains for the untenured among us--
  • Prez will rewrite all DACs (and then we'll see what draconian means)
  • Q. posed to faculty--did we know that the UPC saw 28 portfolios last year and all of them were given a thumbs up? Why am I unfazed by this? DACs are too complex and UPC is too lazy to read carefully? Should I share in the Admin's outrage? --Is anyone outraged at how other folks around here get or keep their six-figure jobs?  The main qualification for more than one is to be FOW. Cynicism all around. Who's trying to fix the patronage hiring at CSU? Stop asking this question.
  • DACs are hard to follow--would they be if each discipline could do its own?(what would it be like to be a single dept?)--Admin likes marriages of convenience among depts ergo accumulation of years of these amalgamations, new contract adjustments, new Admin directives...
  • bogus DAC process of June was to put a stop to tenure. Not sure why they don't want to tenure anyone anymore, aren't they the ones who do all the hiring? Faculty don't even rank let alone choose the candidates at CSU job search, the Admin does-- Faculty don't close time-consuming semester-long searches and start them over, Admin does... Check: how many interims are on campus now?
  • if UPI wants more time than the Ides of September they better get it in writing or the Admin will attack (Prez is convinced faculty failed to meet a May 1st deadline --even though it was really June 1st-- or was it May 15th? March 1st, no, March 15th,  oh well, some arbitrator can sort out the semantics)--in general we're all so timely about things here ... Reminder: try to call student whose paperwork was held up for 2 weeks getting from Cook Bldg on Aug 8th to SCI Bldg on Aug 24th--anecdotal, HLC doesn't care about anecdotal stuff...Cynicism (stop using that word).
AND in the meantime, a friend from the far reaches of CSU retirement sent this article with its timely refs to the "withering away of shared governance" and "bureaucratic entropy"...outrage anyone?

College Costs Too Much Because Faculty Lack Power , The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 5, 2012.
By Robert E. Martin

Surveys reveal that the public believes a college education is essential but too expensive. People feel squeezed between the cost and the necessity. At the same time, public colleges complain that they are being squeezed by declining state support and increasing pressure to educate larger numbers of less-prepared students.

Yet society has provided higher education with a river of new real revenues over the past several decades. Since nonprofit institutions of higher education follow a balanced-budget model, expenditures are capped by revenues. Therefore the real cost per student cannot increase without a corresponding increase in real revenues. So the problem has not been too little revenue.

Nevertheless, college affordability has declined. So the crucial question is: Where was all that new money spent?

A common theme among higher education's critics is that shared governance is to blame for colleges' profligate ways, because faculty have too much influence over how money is spent. And the critics are right: Shared governance does play a role. But it is not the "shared" part of "shared governance" that has failed; quite the opposite. The fault lies in the withering away of the shared part. Reason and data alike suggest that the largest part of the problem is that it is administrators and members of governing boards who have too much influence over how resources are used.

The pursuit of self-interest by both faculty and administrators is at work here. Higher education is, of course, a labor-intensive service industry. An institution's labor cost per student is the sum of wages and benefits divided by the number of students. The cost per student goes up as wages and benefits go up, or as the ratio of staff to students rises. When that ratio goes down, productivity increases, and the cost can go down, even if wages and benefits go up. Staff-to-student ratios, then, are the key to understanding higher-education costs.

A study of those ratios from 1987 to 2008 for research universities, colleges, and public master's-level institutions reveals that the number of faculty and administrators per student actually grew over those years. But we can't lump faculty ratios and administrative ratios together, because they are significantly different. On the academic side, the tenure-track ratio increased modestly at public research universities and to a greater extent at private research universities and colleges. But in both cases, the institutions significantly increased their use of non-tenure-track full-time and part-time faculty. So although faculty-to-student ratios went up, most of the increase was based on the use of contract and part-time faculty.

On the administrative side, the ratios of executives to student and professional staff to student increased—the latter by 50 percent. In 1987, except at private research universities, where administrators outnumbered tenure-track faculty, colleges had approximately as many tenure-track faculty as full-time administrators. By 2008 there were more than twice as many administrators as tenure-track faculty at all types of institutions.

So, during the years studied, costs grew further out of control as administrators and governing boards consolidated their control over institutional priorities—hardly a healthy trend for genuinely shared governance.

Indeed, if it were true that faculty members have too much influence, then all full-time-faculty increases would have been in tenure-track positions, and academic costs would have risen faster than overhead costs. In fact, overhead costs grew faster than academic costs, and institutions economized on the use of tenure-track faculty and spent heavily on overhead staffing. Now, as then, faculty members are part of the cost problem; however, the most significant problem stems from administrators and governing boards, who hold authority over resource allocation. Tenure-track faculty members' influence on campus priorities has declined steadily, while the number of nonacademic professional staff has proliferated.

In a larger context, this is called bureaucratic entropy. For example, in urban studies one finds that the number of municipal workers tends to grow faster than a city's population. So the ratio of municipal workers to population increases, raising the cost of city services even if wages and benefits are constant (which they are not).

In academe, shared governance is the only natural constraint on the pursuit of self-interest. It is past time for a new campus contract among faculty, administrators, and governing boards to affirm that fact. Communication among those three groups must be open and outside the control of any one of them. Faculty members should independently choose their own representatives, through whom they can speak to the administration or the board.

If the administration controls that communication, or if the board considers it a violation of the chain of command, then the new contract will not work—and the pursuit of self-interest by administrators and boards will lead to the same destructive effects on cost and quality we have observed over the past three decades.

Robert E. Martin is an emeritus professor of economics at Centre College and author of The College Cost Disease: Higher Cost and Lower Quality (Edward Elgar, 2011).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Qualifications? What Qualifications? The New CSU Online Catalog

Although not in time to advise new admits, the new university catalog (2012-14) is finally online. The description of the university's organization on page 13 reads: “The university is organized into four major divisions, each administered by a vice president: Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs; Administration and Finance; Labor and Legal Affairs; and Budget and Resource Planning.” The catalog lists a number of administrators from the various "major divisions." Notable by its absence is a listing of the highly-placed persons who currently reside in Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Neither Angela Henderson nor Cheri Sidney's names appear anywhere in the catalog. Why?

Although the catalog provides educational information for only a handful of administrators, neither of the top two persons in Enrollment Management, Henderson or Sidney, are even listed. Again, why? You would think that a portion of the university operation that is steadily growing would be prominently featured in any university publication. The university should be particularly proud of an Associate Vice President--earning a six-figure salary--who was hired with no previous university administrative experience and educational qualifications equivalent to an on-line Bachelor's degree from the Board of Governors program.

Are these omissions just mistakes or simple oversights? I'll leave that question for you to decide. However, prior to the Board's imposition of Wayne Watson on our school, the university catalog listed educational qualifications for everyone in the publication. Interesting that the practice no longer obtains.

Just for information, according to Institutional Research, the university's enrollment has sunk to 6158 as of August 24. This is down from 6684 on August 24, 2011, which represented a decline from 7242 (reported in Provost Council on September 22, 2010). For those of you who are counting, that's a fifteen percent drop in two years. Given that one of Wayne Watson's charges from the Board is to increase Chicago State's enrollment, this is quite a dazzling performance.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Get Back DAC and Do It Again...

“F*** this f***ing school. Chicago State is so f***ed-up. I hate this f***ing place.”

These were the first words I heard from the mouth of a CSU student who was talking to her two friends as I passed them in the parking lot behind the Student Union Building. It was my first day back on campus last week to begin another school year.

While I cannot say that more than a week later I am ready to second that student’s emotions, I can say that there seems to be a fair amount of anger, fear, and confusion among faculty I have been meeting regarding events that have been going on since last June: hirings and firings and departures—so much to say on these and more crony hires (we seem to be bordering on breaches of not just shared governance but equal opportunity laws too). Another question on some folks’ minds—why is it that the tentacles of Enrollment Management seem to reach into so many areas now? How is it that a non-Academic unit like Enrollment Management has jurisdiction over an academic unit like Counseling? Can we finally establish and get a stable university organizational chart? Can we get an updated course catalogue? It’s not just students who are frustrated with their inability to get straight answers from administrative departments but so many people have been fired, retired, or just plain got fed up and left the university that it seems as if administrative departments have to keep inventing and reinventing the wheel over and over again. Is the leadership pattern here truly that of creating chaos and then exploiting it—as a City College employee once noted of our CEO’s management style? If you look around it does seem as if a sledgehammer has hit this place.

The greatest concern to faculty is the continuing saga of the DAC process. At the Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday and at the UPI meeting on Wednesday, faculty members reported that various chairs and deans have been pressuring, intimidating, and pushing faculty in various ways to accede to the Administration’s directives regarding what should go into the DACs. Those of us involved in curriculum matters at the undergrad and grad levels saw the way the upper Admin wheedled and cajoled and harassed department members at curriculum meetings when the President’s Office mandated that senior and M.A. theses be put in place for all programs. If anyone dared voice an objection or demand a thoughtful appraisal of what this one-size fits all approach to curriculum revision entailed they were ridiculed as being anti-intellectual and obstructionist to Dr Watson’s desire for more “rigor” at CSU. (Isn’t curriculum revision the purview of the faculty? Isn’t the President supposed to be out raising money for the university and leaving this sort of stuff to the Provost?)

So, Deans and Chairs, who are well aware that there is no place for them in the process of the creation of the DACs and who know very well that their predecessors NEVER interfered to the extent they have this year, are alternately wheedling, cajoling, harassing, and threatening their faculty to follow what the President and the upper administration cooked up in their meetings in June and July. The main goal of these meetings, if you remember, was to boil down the DACs to a one-size fits all type TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR ADMINISTRATORS. In other words faculty must serve administrative needs, not the other way around. The tail has been wagging the dog for a long time at CSU and this is another example of it.

Here is some information for Faculty who were unable to attend the UPI & the Senate Meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday regarding the DAC PROCESS:
  • the UNION CHAPTER GRIEVANCE FILED AGAINST CSU HAS NOT BEEN SETTLED; the Union has not withdrawn the grievance—there has been no resolution
  • the old DAC is in place throughout the personnel process for this academic year 2012-2013; this has been agreed to in writing by the Administration; do not be intimidated by threats that new DACs have to be hurried through because of pending personnel actions for this year
  •  both the Faculty Senate and UPI leadership emphasized to all DPC and DAC committees that the DAC is a faculty-driven process. There is no place in the process for Deans or Chairs to be interfering; you can file a grievance if you are harassed by your chair or dean (I’m not sure if an entire department can file a grievance together)
  • the President’s Office has responded in writing to each DAC individually and the UPI has reviewed these comments. Clearly a template of critique was used and some comments faculty have noted indicate that either the DAC was not read thoroughly or the reader was inexperienced in the academy, in general though the comments do fulfill the Administration’s obligation at this point
  • DAC committees should be reviewing the comments and can revise their DACs to include (or not) the President’s comments; UPI emphasized—it is your DAC, it is your process
  • the Sept. 17th deadline that some Deans are pushing for is not a mandate. There is no memo of agreement with the Administration that this is the date to be followed to turn in the DACs.
  • The UPI and the Faculty Senate are working out a timeline for the completion of the DACs that is consistent with the contract and will inform the Administration. At present it calls for a working group of faculty that could share, review and comment on DACs at the college and university-levels. This is a process that could continue through the fall term. The UPI will be sending out a memo concerning this timeline to the Administration and to the Faculty.
Considering we had no contract for nearly two years, the rush to put through DACs by Sept. 17th is disingenuous. More astounding and confounding is this Administration’s insistence on uniformity and conformity in the DACs and at CSU in general. Directives that we have witnessed over the past few years have included everything from calls for students to conform to a dress code (“pull up your pants”) to stifling communication among various constituencies on campus via “computer usage policies” or communications policies—a desire to present one voice to the public that saw a demand that all requests from reporters for faculty comment be vetted first by a public relations team-- to the demand for senior and M.A. theses across the board (disciplinary research processes and campus resources be damned), uniform syllabi, and now uniform DACs. I’d add that the plan to hire “professional advisors” is part of this mentality. The only thing that CSU really has going for it right now is small classes and direct student-faculty contact—we are not a research one university where professional advisors might make sense.

Yet where uniformity and continuity of practice and process would be welcome and useful–in administrative offices—it is disregarded in favor of capricious firings and crony hires, retaliations, thoughtless plans about college reorganizations with no forward thinking about consequences or implications of such actions. Amid the disorganization and dislocation the mandate (or counter-mandate) is that everything must take place immediately. Is this a warped corporate model or some superficial version of it? Or is it indicative of something worse?

The Administrators on campus who hold Ph.D.s need to be reminded that the lifeblood of the academy is not uniformity or conformity, especially not uniformity of thought. It is argument and challenge, and anyone with classroom experience knows that questions, not stasis and uniformity, is what moves the mind forward. Students who come to CSU should not leave the institution the same as they came in. Administrative calls for conformity or faculty quietism is not what will move an institution forward. As a colleague of ours is fond of saying, “this ain’t church.” The faculty pushback on the DAC hijacking or other matters on campus is something the Administration should be happy to see. It means faculty are doing their job.

I may have cited this article earlier this year, but I will again as a reminder to faculty. Jason B. Jones in the Chronicle of Higher Ed this year, “Belief and Lazy Consensus: Focusing on Governance” (Mar. 28, 2012) notes the attempt by administrations (not just at CSU) to “deprofessionalize” the faculty in order to gain control and silence it. This includes faculty buying into the language of that misconception that “the work of the university [is] “service” rather than governance.”

One of the commentators to this article adds this:
“Faculty must take action, put themselves in harm’s way, to support each other and even support those they disagree with, when, for example, administrators and their ally colleagues isolate and act to get rid of a colleague. Not only insist on due process, insist on open due process, participate in due process, refuse to let administrators bypass or short change due process. And shut the place down when administrators corrupt the university and its principles.

Faculty all too often let little misconduct pass, which prepares them to let any misconduct pass. If you have to look for misconduct or doubt it exists on your campus, you don’t know what’s going on on your campus or you don’t care or you are too afraid to get involved….[beware] Governance is like power, you can cede it or take it. If you don’t have the authority, then you must take it.”

Faculty have authority over the DAC and over all academic matters on campus. The Administration is supposed to serve the academic interests, not the other way around. Remind them of that.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Change is Long Overdue

As we begin another school year, administrative excesses have once again created an atmosphere of uncertainty and turmoil on our campus. In the fourth year of Wayne Watson’s “leadership,” our administration is operating even more brazenly to turn this campus into nothing more than a source of political favors and lucre. Faculty efforts to bring quality persons to campus are consistently ignored and in academic matters, the judgment of persons with no academic credentials is substituted for the judgement of people who are best qualified to know which candidates are best qualified to teach, administer, and become colleagues. In addition, the administration fails to provide basic services or to make changes to policies modified in negotiation with the faculty union.

Some of these issues may seem trivial, but in their totality, they demonstrate the contempt our administration has for this school’s faculty and students. Frankly, if it did not have serious consequences, the ineptitude of this administration would be laughable. First, the administration apparently has no idea which disciplines are in which departments. Just yesterday, I received an e-mail from someone in the administration requesting that I confirm the office addresses and telephone numbers of the faculty in the department. The names reflected the configuration of the department prior to 2011, when the pointless College reorganization took place. The list had the old department’s office in a room in which it had never resided. Obviously, the administration does not remember the new configurations created by the presidentially-mandated reorganization.

Along the same lines, the printed course schedule reflects our discipline as still being a part of the old department. The department’s old office number appears in the course schedule as does the old telephone number. Again, this reflects the lack of knowledge, or lack of concern, by persons in our administration. The potential annoyance and confusion created by these failures pales in comparison with the administration’s most important omission, the lack of a current university catalog. When will the 2012-14 catalog be completed? Neither incoming students nor advisors are able to effectively plan when we do not have the basic tools to do so.

The administration also continues to thumb its nose at the concept of consultation and shared governance. A check of the human resources page on our website reveals the original version of the computer usage policy as university policy. Although representatives of the union and administration met in February to negotiate the language, and although a number of substantive changes emerged from the negotiations, the same egregious and vague iteration still appears on the official university website. I suppose those of us who did not sign the policy can expect our computer access to be disconnected soon. Whether by design or due to simple incompetence, for students, faculty and staff, the performance of our administration continues to compromise the university’s educational mission.

Most recently, the administration apparently ordered the Criminal Justice program to hire three tenure-track appointments immediately or lose the positions. How the selection process unfolded for the eleven candidates for the three positions seems opaque, although the Dean’s office and department chair were apparently leading the interview process. Of the eleven candidates, only three held the Ph.D, while one was ABD. The irregular nature of this process and its outcome suggests that something like political loyalty may be becoming the most important qualification for a job at Chicago State.

Of course, all this is occurring against the backdrop of the DAC fiasco, orchestrated by our president and his minions. The entire process represents a gross violation of our contract and again demonstrates the disdain with which our president views university faculty. In the past several months, I have heard Watson apologists decry the faculty’s use of the blog to “air our dirty linen in public,” and urge faculty to get involved in various committees on campus because the administration so “values” our participation and input. To people holding those beliefs, I say that there is scant (or no) evidence that the administration values our input, given that faculty recommendations are consistently ignored. As for “airing our dirty linen in public,” silence only serves to strengthen the position of an administration that has consistently demonstrated its unwillingness to act in good faith toward CSU faculty and staff.

I cannot understand why Wayne Watson still has a job here. Article III of the contract between Watson and the CSU Board of Trustees includes seven criteria by which the board will ostensibly judge the president’s performance. They are: 1) improve the university’s fiscal performance (audits, etc.); 2) improve the “time-to-graduation” of our students; 3) increase our enrollment; 4) implement educational programs that currently are not fully integrated into the University (these are unspecified); 5) improve relationships with faculty; 6) enhance the University’s fund-raising capacities; 7) improve the University’s media relations and public image. My examination of his performance leads me to conclude that he has demonstrably failed on criteria 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7, and had some success with criteria 2. Since I am not sure what criteria 4 entails, I cannot judge his performance there. I wonder in how many jobs an incumbent would retain her/his position while failing at least five of its seven performance criteria? Since I am not affiliated with the administration, it is entirely possible that I am unaware of the successes the president has achieved in these seven criteria. I would be especially pleased to hear of his accomplishments relative to criteria 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7.

Our administration and its apparatchiks (and others) are fond of deriding the opposition to Watson’s leadership as coming from a small group of dissatisfied faculty. Apparently, the recent satisfaction survey conducted prior to the HLC visit revealed that faculty and staff disaffection is considerably wider than only a few “disgruntled” employees. Given the recent spate of activities by our administration, I believe this disaffection will increase. After four years, it seems fair to say that Wayne Watson’s leadership style features the creation of fear and division among the staff, complete contempt for the faculty, and threats toward many of his administrative personnel. His (abetted by some of his administrators) attempts to impose his will on our school by intimidation and bullying stand in counterpoint to what an educational institution should represent.

Based on his performance, I have been convinced for some time that Wayne Watson should be fired. I can only say that recent events have strengthened that conviction. I now wonder what is wrong with Chicago State’s Board of Trustees? How can they continue to ignore the substantive failures of this administration? Why can they not see the effects of failed leadership on the university’s reputation, the morale of its employees, and its frequent public relations disasters? Why do they not notice how our enrollment continues to decline? how our financial situation continues to deteriorate? how the school’s administrative ranks are increasingly populated by people who appear to be politically connected or former employees of the City Colleges?

I would be pleased to hear from others on this subject. Of course, if I have made factual errors, if they are brought to my attention, I will immediately correct them.

As an aside, I would like to express my appreciation to Mary Butler, former head of evaluations, for her tireless efforts on behalf of our students and the university. I cannot fathom why someone as knowledgeable, diligent and competent as Ms. Butler would find herself without a job. Best of luck to you Mary!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

For Our Historically-Challenged Administrators (and anyone else who might be interested)

Demonstrating the great respect many of our administrators have for CSU faculty, the administration is now apparently claiming that the earlier DAC iterations were merely “suggestions.” If this seems like an insult to your intelligence, it is. At this point, it seems useful to review the chronology that has led our intrepid leaders to disassociate themselves from the process which led to such faculty anger and resistance.

In early June, the administration convened Department Chairs and College Deans in a meeting designed to produce new DACs for the entire university. Our Department Chair notified us in an e-mail dated June 7 that “ President Watson has rejected all the DACs that were submitted this spring - across the university.” As a result, “The view of the administration is that faculty submitted the first draft (which represents shared governance in this particular world view) and the administration (in this case Provost, Deans, Chairs) is working on the second draft. There will likely be a chance for faculty to comment on the second draft, but I would expect that what comes out of this meeting will pretty much be the final draft.”

On June 19, the College Dean sent an e-mail to faculty that included the following: “I suspect that faculty will have about 30 days to send me their thoughts on the proposed DAC. The proposed DAC is being sent out to peer institutions for their review. Following the comment period, the proposed DACs will be revised. A detailed timeline for this process will be sent to you from Dr. Watson in the near future. The implementation date of the revised DACs has not been determined.”

On June 23, the president deigned to communicate to the faculty directly. In a memorandum dated June 20, the president described the process of DAC revision to date, noting that “external reviewers from universities with similar demographics or programs” would be used as “subject matter reviewers” of the new DACs. The president then outlined the next steps. They read as follows: 1) faculty would be allowed “three weeks during June and July 2012 to review the DAC and provide comments to department chairpersons;” 2) at the same time, “the revised DAC will be sent . . . to external faculty reviewers;” 3) “comments received from the faculty, external reviewers and the administration will be discussed during an administrative in-service of deans and chairs to be convened between July 18-25;” 4) the final round of reviews “will be completed by faculty and the administration by July 31, 2012.” Following that date, “The Provost will convene deans and chairpersons between August 1 and August 3, 2012, . . . to examine faculty responses and prepare DACs for presidential approval;” 5) “The President, after consulting with the UPI chapter president, will determine the final contents of the DAC;” 6) “The President will implement his approved DAC on August 31, 2012.”

In none of these three communications do I see any language that is even vaguely permissive. These are simple decrees emanating from the president and passed along by Chairs and Deans.

On June 27, the president softened his language somewhat. For the first time, he categorized the DAC revisions as “suggestions.” Also for the first time, he referenced the CSU-UPI contract, alluding to the provisions of section 19.3. Had something happened to cause our leader to moderate his position? Indeed, the faculty had begun to push back against a process that had clearly created considerable anger. On June 26, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate scored Wayne Watson and his administration for its handling of the DAC process and its continued failure to engage faculty in any substantive way. The statement expressed “[t]he deep concern that the Executive Committee is communicating to you is an effort to mitigate against further damage to the administrative/faculty relationship.” And noted that “[f]urther damage will only negatively impact the students.” Finally, the statement called upon the administration to end its “current, flawed DAC process and engage faculty in an authentic process of shared governance around the creation of these critical documents.”

The next day, the same date as the president’s memorandum, UPI informed a large number (for the summer) of faculty and staff that they would be filing a chapter grievance since the administration had failed to adhere to the contractual DAC process. Our UPI contended that everything that occurred after the departments submitted the DACs constituted a violation of the contract, which makes no provisions for chair or dean participation or for the use of “outside reviewers.”

Although I do not know the actual date UPI filed the grievance, the public administrative pronouncements on the DAC process ceased. On July 25, the administration continued to involve Chairs and Deans in the process, convening a “DAC Workshop” that featured the original DACs submitted by university departments. One participant observed that several attendees had “pointed criticisms” of the administration’s behavior. At least one attendee observed that “much of the [faculty] anger could have been avoided had everyone been brought into the process from the start.” When the Provost complained that faculty had not responded “with constructive criticism” of the administratively imposed DACs, another participant noted that “the grievance in and of itself constituted direct feedback on the June DACs.” During the “workshop,” “no one spoke openly in favor of the DAC process and there were no public defenders of the administration's actions other than Drs. Watson, Westbrooks, and Jefferson.” Ultimately, the “workshop” concluded with the administration expressing the desire that the grievance be resolved “prior to August 15, at which time departments will take the DACs and faculty will rework them. There is a short window for this...about four weeks. DACs need to be presented to the president in time for him to read and sign before October 1.” Contradicting its own conciliatory language, apparently treating the grievance as nothing more than an annoyance, the administration steams ahead at full speed in is continuing attempt to direct what is essentially a faculty-driven process.

I see this fiasco as a potential first step in CSU faculty combating the toxic and destructive environment created by Wayne Watson and many of his administrative apparatchiks. The attempt to hijack the DAC process demonstrates the level of contempt this administration holds for CSU faculty, staff, and especially our students. We have to actively resist incursions into areas in which we are the authorities. The Senate’s statement of June 26 describes the problem well: “ It was clear to some faculty that the President held nothing but contempt for the faculty of the university when he was quoted May 6th, 2009 by the Chicago Tribune Vox Pop blog as saying ‘...he’d focus on helping CSU professors improve their teaching skills.’ From the ill- conceived Senior Thesis to a poorly thought out Computer Policy to the dismissal of generally accepted faculty responsibilities around hiring, promotion, tenure, retention, and other faculty personnel activities, the Administration has demonstrated nothing but contempt for faculty, paying only lip service to perfunctory exercises in shared governance.” I believe that as faculty, we must continue to fight for our rightful place in the governance of this institution.