Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Time Flies 2003-2010

A lot of buzz this month kicking off accreditation on campus--committees are meeting-- a new "mission" statement underway, a university "self-study" that will take some time to put together for the big 2013 HLC review. In the meantime, after much searching on campus, (you won't find it on the web, you will not find it in the university archives--supposedly the repository for these types of documents)-- but it finally emerged: The Higher Learning Commission's Report of a Comprehensive Evaluation Visit to Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois, April 7-9 2003.

You know the saying, "the more things change, the more they stay the same?" Wow, check out what HLC wrote about CSU's governance (shared or rather, lack thereof) in 2003. I wonder what exactly was the problem with a Provost search at that time? At any rate, check out some interesting excerpts from the report. There's still time for CSU to change it's evil ways...
OR La plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose..."

[2003 HLC Report sect.V. B.2.k. p. 11] "While governance structures are in place, many faculty, staff and students do not feel respected nor empowered. Further, there are significant communication gaps in governance mechanisms."

RE: [2003 HLC Report. V.C.2.a, pp. 13-14] "While the organization has many structures to effectively execute the mission and programs of the University, there is a lack of communication and feedback loops between the hierarchy of these structures to allow for information sharing and recognition of sound practices. This lack allows many anxieties and concerns to rebound through several layers of faculty, staff, and administration before the individual or group with expertise and knowledge base can correct misinformation and communicate chosen avenues of decision making. There is a lack of knowledge about roles and expectations. Many groups and individuals feel slighted but also do not understand the decision making process. Communication about how decisions are made and who carries the responsibility for decisions would greatly improve the morale on this campus. For example, faculty were not aware of how the provost search process was established, and many faculty and staff were operating with misinformation or conjectures about the budget. Communication issues extend to students who also expressed concerns about not being heard, and about receiving conflicting information from university offices"

[2003 HLC Report. V.D.2.a &b., p.17 ]
a.Despite the existence of mechanisms for faculty participation in the decision-making process (Faculty Senate, collective bargaining unit), the Team is concerned that many faculty do not feel empowered or respected by the administration. A recent example includes the establishment of a search committee for the Provost. Faculty Senate leadership do not perceive that they were appropriately consulted. Misperceptions also exist regarding whether admissions standards were raised and the role of the faculty in any process to do so. Many staff and students expressed similar feelings of lack of respect and input.
b. There is a significant communication challenge at Chicago State University. Many do not know their role in the decision-making process and frequently were unaware of the decisions that were made. The Provost search is one example and misinformation about budgets is another. Students expressed displeasure about the lack of factual information and being "bounced" from office to office when they seek assurance. The University will have a much brighter future when this significant issue is resolved."

RE: Strategic planning [2003 HLC Report. V.E.1.d, p. 18] "CSU's strategic planning process is public and directly involves faculty, staff and students."
[2003 HLC Report. V.E.1.f, p. 18] "The University's strategic planning process is public and inclusive. Budget priorities are developed in concert with the plan. Effective mechanisms are in place to monitor the plan, and the Budget Committee ensures that financial resources are linked to the plan's implementation."

Fundraising [2003 HLC Report. V.B.2.i, p.10] "While the University is to be commended for its recent fund-raising activities, these are still in their infancy. A culture of philanthropy initiative is currently underway. The Team encourages this development. In addition to the President and the development office, best practices indicate that the Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board should also assume prominent roles."

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