Sunday, November 27, 2011

What is going on here?

Students articulated their frustrations with the Chicago State administration at the “Occupy Cook” event of Thursday 23, is it not time for faculty to do the same? In the past on this blog, there has been a great deal of comment about how our president is turning CSU into something akin to an eighth City College of Chicago. Is there any specific evidence to support that assertion? Recently, the president admonished faculty not to “air our dirty linen in public,” that such a desire for one’s “fifteen minutes of fame” might adversely affect our accreditation since the HLC members “read the local newspapers.” Is this something that really might hurt our accreditation efforts?

What does the HLC actually use as a basis for its accreditation decisions? The organization’s website is available here:

Here are some pertinent excerpts from the HLC site:

The Criteria for Accreditation
Criterion One: Mission and Integrity

Criterion Statement The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.

Core Component 1d The organization’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the organization to fulfill its mission.

Examples of Evidence

The distribution of responsibilities as defined in governance structures, processes, and activities is understood and is implemented through delegated authority.
People within the governance and administrative structures are committed to the mission and appropriately qualified to carry out their defined responsibilities. (bold is mine)

The HLC website does not specifically address uncomplimentary newspaper articles. It does, however, insist that all university constituencies be involved in organizational operations and that administrators are qualified for their jobs. Keeping this criteria in mind, an examination of personnel in similar positions at Chicago State, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Northeastern Illinois, and Western Illinois universities reveals stark differences in the qualifications of their key administrators and ours:

Chicago State: Wayne D. Watson. Ph.D. in Education (Northwestern), 2 years of experience in university management.
Eastern Illinois: William L. Perry. Ph.D. in Mathematics (Illinois), 22 years of experience in university management.*
Illinois State: Clarence Alvin Bowman. Ph.D. in Speech and Hearing Science (Illinois), 9 years of experience in university management.
Norheastern Illinois: Sharon K. Hahs. Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry (New Mexico), 11 years of experience in university management.
Western Illinois: Jack Thomas. Ph.D. in English (Indiana University-Pennsylvania), better than 5 years of experience in university management.
*above the level of dean.


As does our Provost, all the other provosts at Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Northeastern Illinois and Western Illinois hold the Ph.D. All have significant experience in university management.

Vice President of Enrollment Management

Chicago State: Angela M. Henderson, Master of Science in Nursing, R.N., 6 months of experience in university management. Came to CSU directly from the Chicago City Colleges.

Eastern Illinois: Part of the Provost’s duties. Blair M. Lord. Ph.D. in Economics (California-Berkeley), 20 years of experience in university management.

Illinois State: Jonathan M. Rosenthal. Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literature (Princeton), 10 years of experience in university management.

Dean of Students

Chicago State: Teresa McKinney. Ed.D. in Community College Leadership in 2011 (National-Louis University), two months of experience in university management. Came to CSU from the Chicago City Colleges.

Eastern Illinois: Daniel P. Nadler. Ph.D. in Higher Education (SIU-Carbondale), 18 years of management experience in university student affairs.

Illinois State: Larry Dietz. Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration (Iowa State), 26 years of management experience in university student affairs.

Northeastern: Frank Ross. Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs (Indiana), 15 years of management experience in university student life.

Western Illinois: Gary Biller. Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration (Kansas), 20 years of management experience in university in student affairs.

An analysis of this data reveals that the administrators in key positions at Chicago State have neither the appropriate educational qualifications nor the requisite management experience to be in such positions in a post-baccalaureate degree granting institution. Indeed, they seem to be involved in something akin to an on-the-job training program here. My question is simple: why were these two CSU administrators considered the best persons for their jobs? Given all the prior negative (and inaccurate in terms of our graduation rates) reports of our myriad administrative problems, it seems irresponsible at best to fill these key academic positions with persons with non-academic degrees, no Ph.D.’s, and no prior university administrative experience.

These two administrators are not the only key administrators to have come from the City Colleges to CSU. Yvonne Harris, Interim Associate Vice President, Grants and Research Administration at Chicago State, served as a Department Chair at Truman College, then as Dean of Mathematics and Science at Harper College, a community college in Palatine. Maricela Aranda held various administrative positions at Olive-Harvey College between 2002 and August 2011. She is currently an Associate Vice President of Administration and Finance at CSU. Jasmika Cook, Executive Director of Student Support Services at Chicago State, served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development at the City Colleges. Chicago State General Counsel Patrick B. Cage served as a Senior Staff Attorney for the City Colleges from February 2008 until November 2009. CSU Police Chief Ronnie Watson served as the Inspector General (part time) for the City Colleges from November 2007 until early October 2009. Finally Cheri Sidney lists on her LinkedIn page a two year job (2006-08) as Director of Student Retention at Harold Washington College. In addition, she lists her current position as “AVP” (which I take to mean Associate Vice President) of Enrollment Management. Her educational qualifications for a key administrative position at Chicago State are no more than a Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University in 2006. I was unable to confirm Cheri Sidney’s employment with the City Colleges.

In addition to these eight currently employed administrators. Andre L. Bell, who served as Senior Research Associate at the City Colleges from January until late November 2009. He is listed in the 2010-12 CSU online catalog as the Vice President for Enrollment Management. He no longer appears on our website and I am assuming he has left the university.

These administrators are spread out in a number of key operational parts of the university. Former City College employees with no university administrative experience occupy key positions in Enrollment Management, Student Support Services, Administration and Finance, Labor and Legal Affairs, and the university Police. It seems like Chicago State is indeed beginning to resemble the City Colleges of Chicago, at least at the administrative level. It also seems like our academic and administrative integrity is less important that taking care of former City College administrators. I find this extremely troubling and would encourage a continuing discussion on this issue.

The information in this post is based on evidence available in a variety of public venues. I would welcome any corrections to factual errors I have made (which are solely my own).

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