Friday, August 7, 2009

And the beat goes on.......

So, the first week of the new regime is over, well sort of. Below is the text of an email message sent by the Faculty Senate President Yan Searcy.

"Greetings Senators!

At a 9am conference call of the President's Executive Council, The Board of Trustees Choice for President of Chicago State University, Dr. Wayne Watson, was introduced as
"President Elect."

This was found to be a curious title. The contract of Dr. Watson allegedly states that his term as president was to begin on August 1st . After inquiry, it was discovered that the signatory on university related business remains Dr. Westbrooks. In addition it was found that Dr. Watson's monetary compensation is to begin on October 1st.

It is unclear why this is the case. Rumors have surfaced and some have suggested that this may be related to retirement pension issues. If this is indeed the case, then any type of compensation on the part of Dr. Watson would bring up ethical, legal, and professional concerns related to the state retirement pension system. State housing and state vehicle use are considered compensation. Again, we are unclear of the rationale. We do not wish to operate in a culture of rumor.

In addition, it is unclear what the responsibilities of a "President Elect" are. It is unclear whether the directives of a" President Elect" are binding.

Senators at this important juncture (at the start of a new school year and the beginning of a new presidential term) the university community must gain clarity, particularly as ethical concerns continue to plague the leadership of CSU.

In service,

Yan Searcy
CSU Faculty Senate President"

So the the first question I want answered is who is the president? Being unclear about who is in charge diminishes further the reputation of the institution. As Yan points out in his message, are any of the directives binding. For example, the number of personnel actions that have taken place in the past few weeks may actually have been illegal.

There was a possibility that the new regime would have started off on a high note with a meet and greet on Monday morning. About fifteen minutes prior to the start of the event the university community was notified that event was canceled without explanation. Rumors began to surface almost immediately, including a very plausible one that the 'President Elect" was summoned to Federal District Court to appear as a defendant in his most recent wrongful termination lawsuit. That would be the lawsuit referenced by my colleague on Monday.

A second, also plausible explanation, is that the "PE" could not participate in any activity which would indicate his acceptance of employment in a State University Retirement System (SURS) institution. So was the recent inspection of the university dormitory by the "PE" an activity indicating his acceptance of employment prior to the legally required period of no employment. I can fully understand wanting to make a good impression on the students in the residence hall, but wasn't the real reason for the inspection to get the dorms in top shape for the students from Mississippi Valley State who will be participating in the Bud Biliken Parade tomorrow? Was the continuous back and forth about the parade an indicator that the "PE" was actually serving in an official capacity? Was the installation of a telecommunication system at the official residence an indication of acting in an official capacity? Were the numerous meetings and requests for information from the "PE" as far back as May an indicator of acting in an official capacity? Who was responsible for giving the movers instructions about what furniture was to go where in the official residence? Was it the "PE"'s official cheerleader and chief sycophant, someone rumored to now be in charge of the marketing efforts for the university. The University Legal Counsel's office has not responded to my Freedom of Information Act requests in the legally mandated time period. What is the "PE" and his masters on the BOT hiding? Will we find out that what we are seeing is simply a continuation of the malfeasance and incompetence of the BOT manifested in the flawed hiring process of the "PE"?

Maybe a visit by 75-100 faculty to Governor Quinn's office will at least get a commission formed to investigate the activities of the university board of trustees. Or should we have something a bit less important like an influence peddling scandal. Oh wait, that's what we have. Go figure.

As usual I welcome any comments to clear up the proliferation of rumors surrounding our university.

Stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment