There is no shame in making a mistake. However, refusing to admit when you’re wrong is either: 1) arrogant, or 2) ignorant. Most important, a stubborn refusal to acknowledge one’s mistakes makes it impossible to learn from them. This dynamic is again on display here at Chicago State as one of the key holdovers from the Watson administration refuses to acknowledge a catastrophic decision that continues to damage the university.
Given the time of year, I can only be referring to our school’s enrollment and the ongoing problems with advising coupled with an utterly stupid decision to cut courses this week. This morning, the university’s enrollment stood at 3624, down more than one thousand from last fall and nearly twelve hundred from last spring. It seems that extending the window for enrollment might be an appropriate response. Not here.
Of course, the poor unfortunates laboring in the Advising Center are currently swamped with students. I have received reports that two hour waits for advising are not uncommon and one student claimed to have waited four hours to see an advisor. Given the problems with the centralized advising system during the fall semester, why have they not been addressed? Why are our students being treated like this? Whose interests does this system serve?
The simple answer to the first two questions is that Angela Henderson, the architect of this system, is unwilling to accept responsibility for its failure. As you may recall, she issued an edict in August directing everyone to do advising in the Advising Center, then followed that up with another fiat in November essentially prohibiting faculty from doing any advising. The result in the fall? A new enrollment low of 4767, down 151 students from the previous spring, off 434 from the previous fall. Undaunted however, Henderson forges ahead with the same system for spring registration. Although the final numbers will not be in until February, I expect us to be in between 4300 and 4400, a unsurprising climax to six-plus years of administrative incompetence and crony hiring.