Friday, September 9, 2011

While Rome is Burning...

One year before Chicago State Community College and the City College Re-employment Center is to face a full accreditation visit we have

->fired a long-standing Dean of Arts & Sciences who had more university knowledge than all the people on the top floor of Cook Administration put together, had been through at least two previous accreditation visits, was chairing an accreditation committee, was on the HLC steering committee, and had connections to IBHE and HLC

->decided to reorganize the College of Arts and Sciences to reflect our CEO's understanding of higher education as a community college (a fear expressed at the time of the trumped up search that "hired" said CEO); CAS was reorganized in the summer and will face yet another disorganization in January. Try explaining this to students who were wandering around campus in August wondering what happened to their department chairs & department offices in search of signatures since no memos went out to them or faculty describing, let alone explaining, the rationale for the changes (Puh-leeze don't say it is to save money since we are bleeding money at the top in hiring every new VP and/or former City College friend of our CEO).

->decided to shut down the College of Graduate Studies--this is the latest news. Aside from the University of Chicago and some universities of that ilk, do you know any school that offers graduate programs and does not have a School of Graduate Studies? So all those curriculum mandates the CEO and Provost made last year to require a thesis are meaningless. Who is going to enforce that departments do this since the administrative work is devolving onto the departments? Who is going to oversee that departments are following procedures, that theses are being written, that they are being collected, bound, etc. Who is going to oversee the calculation of grad credits--the Admissions Office? the Registrar's Office? Since undergrad enrollment is so low, maybe they do need extra work to do. Or, is the dismantling of the Grad College a step toward eliminating all disciplinary M.A. programs? Or is it another step in completing our march to true community college status?

->shut down the Economics Department and this year bring many many more programs up for program review (God help that committee). Faculty might want to check to see whether they are on "the list."

->no campus newspaper, no mechanism for the Administration to get its message out to the faculty and students (assuming they are not simply on some nihilistic course) about what the heck kind of direction this university is going. It leaves mere mortals like us to speculate in office corridors and on this sad little blogsite.

One year before accreditation I am wondering what we will say to those accreditation officers since it seems like we are careening out of control. If there is some method behind this madness--if the CEO already knows that the Gov/Trustees have decided to close us down/sell us off/merge us with UIC please advise. Otherwise it looks like a lot of fiddling while the house is on fire.

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