In response to Corday’s post yesterday, here is what I have learned about the most recent layoffs: At least seven persons have been laid off, eliminating two employee classifications from the Chicago State budget. The elimination of these classifications apparently enables the university to avoid issues of seniority and precludes any of the laid off employees from “bumping” junior employees.
The persons affected by the layoffs have served Chicago State University for between seven and twenty-one years and the total salary “savings” realized by these layoffs are around $200,000. Of course, there will be no actual salary savings for the university as we are currently involved in searches for at least four upper-level administrative positions: the Chief of Police, a newly created Executive Director of Alumni Giving, another newly created Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and a new posting for the Vice President of Enrollment Management. I estimate that the aggregate salaries for these four positions will be at least $500,000.
This is an outrageous action by a president desperately trying to hang on to his ability to hire his friends and cronies. Both the Chief of Police and Student Affairs searches are most likely rigged to insure that Watson cronies (pick your Watson here) get those positions. You can just imagine who Wayne Watson will select as the “Executive Director of Alumni Giving” and the new Vice President of Enrollment Management. Perhaps it’s time to culminate the Cheri Sidney farce by giving that mendacious fraud another hefty raise and a new position from which she can further damage Chicago State.
Why are these layoffs happening at this time? I recently received an e-mail from a highly-placed administrator who had the following explanation:
“An interesting thought though, the IBHE warning that public higher ed institutions should consider/plan for a potential 20-30% drop in funding next year is being used as a perfect scapegoat for firing staff to cover our PRIOR financial mismanagement. We're in the hole and hemorrhaging money via enrollment losses/bad business decisions/lawsuits and they got the gift of being told to prepare for a 30% cut. . . . We have to act to resolve insolvency over prior issues under the guise of state budget cut warnings and will have to run another round of firings if the cuts do come to pass. We're probably firing 20% of the university's labor workforce to help pay for the $4m Crowley judgement that the university doesn't have $/insurance to cover. Oh, and to get around that pesky 'union' issue, they are just going to fire everyone within certain classification groups to close out all union employees within that classification.”
This is truly the worst university administration in the nation.