Monday, April 27, 2009

Bring the Pressure

As several posts here have mentioned, Gov. Quinn will only likely act if he feels pressure to do so. As Yan Searcy pointed out at the rally, CSU is a STATE university, so we need to make our voices heard in as many locations of state government as possible. To that end, I would encourage all faculty, staff, and students to contact their state representatives and their state senators (after you have contacted the governor’s office). If you don’t know who your state rep or state senator is, there’s an online tool called “civic footprint” that will give you the names of each with links to their websites, based on your home address. If you do know your state rep and state senator’s names, then you can get their contact information on the Illinois state government website – for state reps go here, for state senators go here.

Now, what should we do when we contact our state reps and state senators? Well, the first thing I would say is talk with them about the current situation at Chicago State and what you would like to see done. From my perspective, I plan to ask my state rep and state senator to contact Gov. Quinn’s office on my behalf and request that he act upon the letter that was submitted by the CSU Faculty Senate which requested that the governor: (1) remove all members of the current Board of Trustees, (2) implement a campus wide process to suggest future Board members to the governor for his consideration, and (3) enjoin the existing Board of Trustees from executing any contract relating to the hiring of a university president until such time as a new Board of Trustees be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Illinois State Senate.

We need to make it clear to all of our state-wide elected officials that this is an issue that affects the entire state -- again, we are a state university. If any state official has a CSU faculty member, staff member, or student in her/his district, then this is their problem too. We need to enlist as many allies in state government as we can to encourage Gov. Quinn to act quickly. Remember, the Board of Trustees will be meeting on Wednesday morning to vote on one of the two “candidates” (or should we say “heirs apparent”). Please contact the Governor’s office, your state senator, and your state representative on Monday or Tuesday.

Steve Rowe

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