In early June, Anthony Young steadfastly refused to take the university out of the state of "financial exigency" declared by the Board on February 4, 2016. It has been my position that the declaration, and the ridiculous Management Action Committee making personnel decisions, is more about saving the jobs of former Watson cronies than the university's financial condition.
As you know, nine faculty lost their jobs recently. These faculty join hundreds of other former Chicago State employees who were ushered out the door without any compensation. The total salaries of these faculty come to $590,000. The university contends that financial exigency enables it to avoid adhering to the CSU/UPI Contract, that those faculty are not entitled to compensation that accompanies contractual notification requirements. However, while the university refuses to pay anything to faculty it laid off "with a sense of profound regret," it made no attempt to avoid Board regulations requiring administrators terminated without cause to receive what is essentially severance pay based on years of service. Altogether, 49 administrators received payouts that included leave accruals, Board-mandated compensation, or both. The total cost of these payouts: $1,981,280.33, or an average payout of just over $40,000 per person. The total included $1,569,992.50 in post-employment compensation, and the university paid the total amount in the May 30 and June 15 payroll cycles. Not surprisingly, Cheri Sidney, Wayne Watson's girlfriend, received the highest payout, $114,425.14. I guess it pays to lie on your resume/application.
I am certainly not suggesting that a severance payout is preferable to a full-time job, but at least the university provided most of these persons with some kind of safety net for their transition into unemployment. Of course, for staff and lecturers laid off earlier, nothing in their contracts entitled them to anything after their employment ended. As we have seen, based on the recent experience of our laid off faculty, the university administration obviously believes that "financial exigency" entitles it to do anything it pleases. Frankly, I have a somewhat different view.