Given the administration’s dire warnings about the financial crisis which it believes will afflict Chicago State, it seems worthwhile again to look at where the Watson regime’s spending priorities lie. In the 2016 ISL Forms, Chicago State includes its 2015-16 budget request by category. The various segments include: Instruction, Organized Research, Public Services, Academic Support, Student Services, Institutional Support and the Operation and Maintenance of the Physical Plant. Using the categories as determined by our intrepid administrators, the amount of the 2016 budget request totals nearly $83.8 million, broken down as follows: Instruction, nearly $43.2 million, or 51.6 percent of the budget; Organized Research, $405,053, or .0045 percent of the budget; Public Service, $729,913, or .009 percent of the budget; Academic Support, $7.9 million or 9.4 percent of the budget; Student Services, $6.7 million, or 8 percent of the budget; Institutional Support, nearly $11.8 million, or 14.1 percent of the budget; and Physical Plant, nearly $13.6 million, or 16.2 percent of the budget. While these figures may comply with the categories as reported to the Illinois State Legislature, they obscure the real budget shenanigans of Watson and his cronies. I have broken down the categories into two basic segments: direct instructional and administrative expenses. Using those criteria, the budget looks completely different. I have also compared the 2016 budget request with the 2010 fiscal year revised budget, the first year of the Watson administration. Here’s how we actually look:
First, in Fall 2010, our enrollment peaked at 7362. Although the enrollment for Fall 2015 will not be finalized until mid-September, I am arbitrarily using a figure of 5200 (giving our execrable administration the benefit of the doubt). Using this figure results in a nearly 30 percent decline in the university’s enrollment since 2010. The University’s revised budget for fiscal 2010 totaled $73.8 million, its 2016 request totaled $83.8 million, a 13.6 percent increase over 2010. In 2010, the university spent $34.8 million (or 47.2 percent of the budget) on Instruction, which included remediation and instructional support. Administrative expense totaled $26.1 million or 35.4 percent of the budget. In 2016, the university’s budget request underscores the Watson’s commitment to hiring friends and cronies in order to insure loyalty from his administrators. Instructional expense decreases by $1.8 million to just under $33 million (a 5.2 percent decline from 2010), while administrative expense explodes by nearly $8.8 million, to $34.9 million (a 33.5 percent increase from 2010). In the 2016 budget request, the cost for Chicago State’s administration exceeds the cost for instruction by nearly $2 million and the various components of the university’s administration constitute 41.6 percent of the total budget.
Here are some of the budget request’s big increases since 2010: the university police 33.6 percent, from nearly $2.27 million to $3.03 million; Academic Administration nearly 25 percent, from $3.25 million to $4.06 million; Student Services, which includes athletics and a number of administrative functions, 251 percent, from nearly $2.7 million to over $6.7 million; Executive Management (the President’s private reserve) 20 percent from $3.97 million to $4.77 million.
Obviously, the state’s financial situation and our new anti-intellectual, anti-education governor will affect the appropriation for Chicago State. Nonetheless, the university’s budget request highlights the enormous amount of public money wasted by Watson as he continues to build his bloated, incompetent administrative colossus.