Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Notes from Today's Meeting With President Calhoun

In an eloquent and sober presentation today before an estimated 400 faculty and staff (standing room) in the Breakey Theater, Dr. Calhoun provided his assessment of the current financial state of our university and discussed possible responses to the financial crisis. This is a brief synopsis of his remarks.

First, he told everyone that the university would not be out of money on March 1, although he could not give an exact date when that might occur. Thus, we will not be going out of business at the beginning of that month. Second, he called on everyone in the Chicago State community to participate in efforts to draw public attention to our situation. Third, he assured everyone that we would complete the current semester, award degrees and function as a university. Fourth, in keeping with his commitment to honor our obligations to our students and staff, Dr. Calhoun said he would "protect the instructional side of the university," and insure the safety and security of the campus. Those endeavors would receive priority.

Dr. Calhoun outlined several possible responses to the crisis, none particularly appealing: they mainly included staff reductions, reduced pay, volunteerism, and reduced or no pay for some work duties that had heretofore been compensated. Needless to say, given the uncertainty surrounding the continuing budget impasse, he was unable to offer an exact course of action in response. Dr. Calhoun also made clear his belief that the state had a responsibility to fund the university and insure that our students continued to receive a quality education. He assured everyone that Chicago State had a bright future and that he was anxious to reveal his vision for the university's renaissance.

As I am not completely sure of the accuracy of my notes, anyone with corrective information, please let me know. Although our situation is dire, I think it fair to say that the attendees left the meeting with at least cautious optimism, an improvement over the despair recent events have brought to the campus. Kudos to Dr. Calhoun for his candor.

5 comments:

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  3. The Tribune’s article about “Lil Wayne” is further proof that he should not be allowed on the campus. A Board of Trustee (BOT) that feels Integrity is not an important trait for the president of the university to have, should be removed. This is a reflection on the BOT integrity, who’s non action says integrity does not matter, no wonder CSU has the problems it has. Now comes Dr. Calhoun who acts as though the problems at CSU can be solved with lip service. It is beyond belief how Dr. Calhoun can allow ‘Lil Wayne” to remain on the payroll receiving $200,000 a year when the university is behind the eight ball for funds and the possibility of closing. I do not think Dr. Calhoun can or will be successful in the salvation of CSU. It appears “Lil Wayne” and his gang of misfits will take what money they can and run leaving CSU financially dry, in which case the doors will have to close.

    Dr. Calhoun talked the talk, now is the time for him to walk the walk and, the first step is to deal with “Lil Wayne” and his cronies or CSU will not belong to him. I hope in order to get the job he did not promise that “Lil Wayne” and his cronies could stay.

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    1. Well said! Rauner's actions are horrible in not approving funding for higher education, but what attempts has CSU made to reduce wasteful overspending in the administration. Someone needs to justify how paying Watson for a title he no longer holds takes priority over distributing academic merit money to the hard working students who have earned it.

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  4. Any word if the athletics programs will function like normal as well? Like it was mentioned in a prior post, the investment the university has made in the WAC would be all for naught if the budget situation puts a hold on CSU's athletics.

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