Thursday, May 14, 2009

Breaking news....

So here we go. The board's applicant doesn't start until August 1st, and he is already making disparaging remarks about the faculty. BTW, if Dr. Pogue is leaving June 27th and the applicant doesn't start until August 1st, who will be President for the month of July???? Today's Tribune outlines what's wrong with the CSU faculty. The Finney-Watson duo is doing more to damage the university's reputation than I would have imagined was possible. That the university has the money to hire a public relations firm because our people can't do the job is beyond contemptible.

Now what we do professionally is being likened to selling 99 cent hamburgers. Faculty are responsible for students leaving the university and faculty will need to be taught how to teach. Ok faculty, are you ready to do whatever is necessary now? Have you been insulted enough yet?

Later today I will post video clips from yesterday's board meeting on this blog. The behavior of the Trustees is very telling. This board must go. They have failed the university repeatedly and now insult our professional committment, competence and integrity. I wanted to send a shout out to Len Etlinger, retired CSU employee who visited us from the City Colleges,at the Tuesday Faculty Meeting. I hadn't seen Len in several years so I was curious until I realized it was just old home week, right???

Continue to contact Governor Quinn and your state representative about the board if you believe they should go. Speaker of the House Michael Madigan introduced HB 4450 last week. This bill, if passed, would fire all members of boards and commissions in the State of Illinois and would the give the Governor the choice to re-appoint them. Tell your Representative to vote yes on HB 4450!

Stay tuned.


  1. Yan just sent around a rather remarkable letter from Frank Pogue calling for Leon Finney to retract false and harmful remarks Finney made about Pogue. Among other things Finney blamed Pogue for the protests at CSU. If you haven't seen the letter and would like to see it, you can email me at

    There was a large and encouraging presence of faculty at the BOT meeting on Wednesday; I would estimate about one hundred. During the comments session both Yan and Phillip made important points about the irresponsibility of the Board of Trustees, particularly Finney. We have important work to do this summer. Again, we should be proud, this time particularly of the faculty activism.

  2. I forgot to mention that at the BOT meeting yesterday two ministers came to the mike during the comments session to support the BOT and the appointment of Watson. Finney seems to be organizing other ministers to support him and attack the faculty. One minister even promised that he would bring his congregants to the next BOT meeting in support of the board and, presumably, to attack faculty.

    This is important because the faculty are being portrayed in some of the black media (WVON) as incompetent, irresponsible, and white (ideas that Watson is reinforcing in his comments that Phillip cites). These attacks use the low graduation rate of first-time full-time freshmen as a weapon to attack the faculty. The suggestion is that the low graduation rate is the result of bad teaching. Of course, there is no evidence to support that view; in fact the evidence points in the opposite direction.

    I might suggest jokingly that we organize a touch football game of ministers vs. faculty, but we would win if we put Phillip at quarterback and Yan at running back (Yan ran track at ND). More seriously, we might consider reaching out to the congregations of these ministers. There is going to be a battle for public opinion in the months ahead. The ministers have the advantage of having a base of support within their congregations. We might try to counter or neutralize that by bringing our story to the congregants so that they would understand the educational issues that move us and our concern for the education of our students. I am suggesting the possibility of a flier representing our view of things that could be passed out at area churches (including those of Finney, Tolliver, and the ministers who spoke at the BOT meeting).