Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Are you kidding me???

So this is what it has come to. I will use four words to make my point. “No confidence” and “silk pajamas.” That’s right. After spending who knows how much money on an executive search firm to conduct a nationwide search the CSU Board of Trustees has selected two candidates whose names surfaced more than 18 months ago for the final interview for President of the university. To say that I was stunned would be an understatement.

I was stunned because one of the candidates received a vote of no confidence from the faculty of the five colleges in the City Colleges of Chicago system and forced a contentious strike in the City Colleges during his tenure. Clearly this is an administrator diametrically opposed to the interests of faculty. The other candidate, appointed by the now impeached governor, supported the firing of a state worker who alleged sexual harassment by her Chief of Staff. The actions of that official begs the question of how far did the corruption go in that administration. Did it go so far as a subordinate filing a complaint results in that employee being fired three weeks later? Hmmm. Isn’t that retaliation?

This is a university that has been mired in scandal from insufficient (non-existent) oversight by the Board of Trustees, to a lack of accountability by the former President in supervision of subordinates, to a revolving door of athletic directors and unqualified coaches, to two consecutive years of increased numbers of audit findings and it is now left to be ‘led’ by one of these candidates. I am disappointed that the process used by the Board was not transparent, that the Advisory Committee was advisory in name only with no substantive contribution to the process which is demeaning and insulting. I am disappointed that money was wasted in a time where money is likely to be rescinded this fiscal year on a process where the outcome was known more than a year in advance. I am disappointed that the people who have the least amount of experience in higher education chose to dismiss the experience of the people who know the most about higher education. I was disappointed when the numbers of candidates to be reviewed and interviewed kept changing. The initial cut was to be 10 and mysteriously 12 appeared. Then there were to be three receiving on campus interviews and only two names appeared, one of whom did not even extend the courtesy to the university to outline a vision for the university in the initial application process.

I had high hopes when the Interim President was named. It appeared that CSU had come through its dark night of the soul and was ready to actualize its potential. Now it appears that I should prepare myself for another period in exile. I was told pointedly that one of these candidates remembers the people who ask the hard questions and retaliates against them later. Someone has to ask the hard questions not just of the applicants but of the Board of Trustees and the person responsible for their appointment.

So let the questioning begin.

1 comment:

  1. This is to outrageous to take in. For the past several years, I'd been thinking that Chicago State University's Board of Trustees are corrupt and this just proves my suspension. To have orchestrated these two individuals as finalist for an university that's in dire straits is outrageous. Where's the faculty, staff and students' voices in this matter? How long is the faculty, staff and students at Chicago State going to allow this Board to continue to operate like this without calling for their resignations? When is the campus community going to get tired? I'm tired...aren't you?