Monday, August 3, 2009

The Latest on Wayne Watson

I had been thinking about posting something on my experience doing research while at CSU, and the importance of the summer for getting substantial research done. You know, to try to add another conversation to this faculty blog to reflect the diversity of our work as faculty members at CSU. But, then I saw these articles in both the Chitown Daily News and the Capitol Fax Blog, which report that WYCC, the City College's public television station, is the subject of a state ethics investigation as well as a federal law suit for allegedly producing free videos for politicians who were friends of then-Chancellor Watson.

Some choice bits from the Chitown Daily News: "The Daily News learned of the investigation from a July 15 internal e-mail titled "Meeting regarding Ethics Report." The e-mail was sent by LaDonna Perry, who works in the ethics office, to WYCC's general manager and to a college vice president who oversees the station at Kennedy-King College. The e-mail highlights more than a half-dozen issues and criticisms contained in an "Ethics Report." The report lists at least 15 programs that were never broadcast and were allegedly "distributed only to friends and associates of the Chancellor." The programs showcasing Jones included “Emil Jones fundraiser,” “Emil Jones State Senate California Trip,” "Emil Jones St. Francis Hospital" and four editions of "Emil Jones Golf Promo."Other programs included “Jesse Jackson Birthday Party" in 2006 and “Todd Stroger Registration Event” in 2004."

And, just slightly later in the article: "The e-mail also mentions Maria Moore, the former WYCC general manager who took issue with the Chancellor's request "to have WYCC assist with filming the Jesse Jackson birthday video …" Moore sued the City Colleges in federal court last week, saying that she was fired in 2007 after she voiced concerns about the television station being used for political ends."

And, then here's the substance of Moore's lawsuit: "“Each time Dr. Moore voiced her concerns to Chancellor Watson, he told her ‘I’ve heard your concerns. You’re wrong, I’m not asking you to do anything unethical. Do what I tell you to do or I’ll have you fired for insubordination,’” the lawsuit reads. Finally, the lawsuit says, she was fired in late 2007 after she was denied a medical leave, even though she had a letter from her doctor."

Perhaps it's time to renew calls to Gov. Quinn and others to act quickly and decisively before the fall semester starts. In the words of the title of the article from the Capitol Fax Blog, "Just when you think you’ve seen it all…"


  1. I had the strangest visual when I read about the new federal lawsuit. Pigpen, a character from from the Peanuts comic strip popped into my head. The President Elect dragging dirt behind him to wherever he goes. So now, how long will the university have to deal with this and why is the Governor not acting? I guess the political powers that be didn't get the memo about reform.

  2. And the Board of Trustees claims to hear our complaints and says to trust us that they know what they are doing, then they do nothing or don't like the "tone" of the discourse. Well you know what? The tone is angry because many of us are angry and sick and tired of CSU being the political football of a few select people. Morale is low and they want another Noel Levitz survey to find out why. God Almighty. I am long convinced that we are not intended to amount to much of a school and will just be kept functional as long as we can keep pockets or contracts flowing to the chosen few. All the letters and petitions to the board, the votes of no confidence, the backroom conversations with the Black Caucus come to nothing, Quinn is in their pocket at least until November. And yet I'll sign another petition and I'll be like my colleagues here and beat on like "boats against the current" (as F.Scott F. would say) and hope that someday, just maybe someday, someone will see fit to give Chicago State the leadership it deserves.