Thursday, March 2, 2017

CSU Board of Trustees Meets Tomorrow. The much vaunted "new Trustees" are on board. Will it be business as usual?

The first meeting of the new Chicago State Board is tomorrow at 8:30 am in the Academic Library Auditorium on the fourth floor. The UPI and Faculty Senate encourage the university community to attend to demonstrate that the faculty and staff are committed to a new direction for the university, that we believe it imperative to root out every remaining remnant of the failed Watson administration.

I don't  know if the Board will hear what any of us have to say at the meeting. In January it seemed Gov Rauner's visit to CSU signaled some possibility that CSU will go on. How sincere he is for maintaining CSU's existence or its transformation remains to be seen. I hope this Board in 2017 will not be about "business as usual."  I don't know about anyone else but I am fed up with the lack of real leadership at CSU. I do not mean the leadership in name that has been festering month after month in the Cook Building since financial exigency was declared and then undeclared --the old crony-ridden regime of Wayne Watson--I mean leadership that shows some kind of vision for this university. 

I am sick of walking onto a ghost town of a campus in the morning and making my way across a deserted, poorly lit, abandoned campus at night. 

I am sick of stumbling on the cracked sidewalks, the rutted parking lots, the crumbling staircases. I am sick of smelly toilets, broken doors, and broken desks jumbled up in hallways and corners of classrooms.

I am sick when I see the darkened offices on my hallway emptied now of faculty who have been fired or fled for better offers or retired sooner than they might have, disgusted by the way the university is run by the inhabitants of the upper level of the Cook Building.

I am sick of seeing my department chair trying to run a ridiculous "department" of five disciplines without a secretary or clerical help. 

I am sick of not being able to access computer technology in my classrooms even after multiple phone calls and help because there is simply not enough technology staff to upgrade and oversee the computers.

I am sick of seeing this university work at cross purposes: firing staff in student service areas and expecting that students will be served; firing tenured faculty and then hiring them back as adjuncts because they are needed to cover certain courses; miraculously attracting students and then cancelling classes that they need; mandating that faculty with knowledge of their field and programs be replaced by "professional" advisors who are expected to do the impossible and master the curriculum details of several programs and not specialize in any.

I am sick of being told that I am to blame for "airing our dirty laundry" in public and that those who create the dirty laundry are not to blame.

I am sick of hearing about our lawsuit pay-outs but nothing about consequences for those who caused them.

CSU needs leadership that is not tainted by the stench of Watsonian antipathy to faculty and student needs.  And I am purposely putting faculty first in this sentence for a change. The administration likes to remind us that without students faculty would not have a job. I am reminding them that without faculty, students would not have a university.

And is anyone else sick of hearing Nikki Zollar's mantra that the Interim President Mr Lucy and the sinecured and "untouchable" Provost Henderson "saved" CSU last year? They did so by firing some good faculty. This "saved" CSU alright. Saved it so that Henderson could maintain her sorority sisters in administrative jobs as my colleague pointed out in a post below. 
I am sick of the same leadership clique roosting at CSU and keeping its own nests feathered. 

Mr Lucy is a stop-gap interim president put in place nine months ago by Watson-obsessed Board of Trustees. How long do we need an interim president? CSU might not be able to change the external assault on education in Illinois that the state budget crisis has provoked. But the Board of Trustees must begin to act independently and be what a board is supposed to be. Step up and show some leadership. Fish rots from the head. You corporate types know that to change the culture of an institution you have to cut off its head. Give us something to hope and believe and work for at Chicago State.

Agenda for the Board meeting is linked below. Sign up for public comment before 8.30 am. 

1 comment:

  1. I was told and have subsequently told others that public comments was moved to the beginning of the meeting. The agenda says that public comments are at the end of the meeting as per tradition. Can anyone verify?