As an informational follow-up to Corday's post, the search for a permanent Provost at Chicago State began around the first of the year. On January 22, 2014, Renee Mitchell, CSU Director of Human Resources and member of the Provost Search Committee sent an e-mail to a faculty member which included the names of the ten members of the committee: 4 administrators: the Dean of the Library, Director of Human Resources, one Department Chair, an Associate Provost, 1 Civil Service Representative, and 5 faculty members, one each from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy, Health Sciences, Business and Education. According to Mitchell’s e-mail, the committee received “their charge,” and discussed the job description. The committee also “decided . . . to allow the Hollins Group to review all applicants first in order to eliminate those who do not meet the qualifications.”
A glance at the composition of the committee reveals that in a university at which the various colleges have vastly different faculty contingents, the equal representation results in the following ratios: the business member represents 15 faculty, the Health Sciences member represents 16 faculty, the pharmacy member represents 25 faculty, the education member represents 40 faculty, the arts and sciences member represents 127 faculty. Thus the “equal” representation on the committee is far from equitable.
None of this is presented to disparage the work of the committee members. However, the composition of the search committee, the secrecy with which this search has been conducted, and the ultimate products of the search appearing on campus after faculty have departed is reflective of the way we do business here at Chicago State. It is all a scam. We appear to have put together a “representative” body to consider the candidates (which, in actuality is done by the Hollins Group) and then we make sure that the most potentially troublesome university constituency is likely to be unable to attend whatever sham vetting process occurs.
This morning, a faculty colleague forwarded the C.V. of one of the applicants, a person who is not among the finalists. Because this person currently holds a university job, I will not provide any identifying information. However, I can say that the C.V. describes someone qualified for the position, a person with administrative and managerial experience at the university level, someone who received the Ph.D. in the 1980s, attained the rank of full professor and has published extensively. In short, someone who fits the profile of the “ideal candidate” as delineated in the job announcement. Of course, this person had to give way so that Angela Henderson could be included among the final four candidates.
Another observation: Renee Mitchell served on the search committee that brought Angela Henderson to Chicago State in 2011. Renee Mitchell also worked at CNA Insurance at the same time Cheri Sidney reportedly worked for that company. Cheri Sidney also served on the search committee that resulted in Henderson’s hiring. Am I the only one who finds it troublesome that Mitchell served on this committee? That she will again be able to work to reward Henderson with a position for which she is wholly unqualified?
Finally, at least one other administrator on the search committee seems an interesting choice. The Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment is included among the committee members. Given the wholesome administrative atmosphere here at Chicago State, it seems extremely likely that person will simply follow the direction of his masters. After all, he’s just deciding whether or not to vote for his current boss. This entire process is a disgrace and Henderson’s inclusion among the finalists is an insult. For insight into how a proper search can be conducted, check the University of Illinois' Board web site for the April 18, 2014 special meeting. You'll find the board's "charge" to the search committee for a presidential search as well as a list (and brief description of their university experience) of the members of the search committee, all in a public forum. Not quite the way we do things here. The Illinois material is available on this site: http://www.bot.uillinois.edu/agendas-and-material