Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blame the Chairs!

The latest communication relative to the DAC process is out from the president's office and it basically blames the fiasco on the departmental chairs. Here are the pertinent sections: "In a commitment to shared governance, during a June 6-7 inservice with Department chairpersons, the provost disseminated my written comments on areas in the DAC where, in my opinion, each Department should strengthen their DAC. Department chairpersons were instructed to share my suggestions with each faculty member as they convene and discuss ways to strengthen their DAC documents.

Since some faculty members may not have been in contact with the chairperson or may have missed essential communications, I am transmitting my suggestions again in writing. Below is a list of the suggestions I disseminated earlier for use and consideration as the DACs are developed by the faculty for approval. Each statement/question applies to each department's DAC and is as follows . . ."

What follows is a list of generic questions that were apparently originally presented as power point presentation to the assemblage laying out the workshop's agenda. They were not presented as responses to individual DACs. The contention is ludicrous on its face.

In analyzing these two paragraphs, it seems apparent that the president has little or no respect for the intellect of either the faculty or the chairs at Chicago State. I have a difficult time imagining that any sentient being would be convinced by this cavalcade of mendacious claims: "A commitment to shared governance," a falsehood as evidenced by any number of imperial fiats that have emanated from the president's (usually through surrogates) office in the last two-plus years; "written comments on areas . . . each Department should strengthen their DACS," another blatant falsehood; "instructed to share my suggestions with each faculty member . . ." directly contradicted by all the e-mail communications from the deans and chairs regarding the DAC process; "developed by the faculty for approval," a ridiculous, even laughable falsehood, belied by all the communication that has come before this memorandum.

Nice try, president Watson, but only the most dedicated sycophants or apparatchiks believe this nonsense. You are responsible for trampling the contract. You are responsible for interfering in what is the faculty's responsibility for setting disciplinary standards, you are responsible for the creating a toxic environment and for attempting to pit faculty against administrators (even mid-level administrators like departmental chairs).

In 2009, one writer in the Huffington Post made the following observations about the imposition of Wayne Watson on Chicago State: "Chancellor Wayne D. Watson is the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a bad pick as the next president of Chicago State University . . . What cannot be denied is that Mr. Watson is a skilled self-promoter and a man experienced at political maneuvering. . . And this is part of Dr. Watson's political genius: In his circumscribed education administrator's world, faculty members are to blame if students flunk out of the university. How convenient -- for Dr. Watson's career."

Based on his behavior during the DAC controversy, it seems apparent that Wayne Watson has no desire to take any responsibility for what is obviously his handiwork.

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