Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You Decide

So two members of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee met this afternoon with the President, Chief of Staff and the Provost. A statement, included below, was read and then discussion was had about a variety of issues. The administrators present attempted to disabuse us of the negative perceptions of faculty and convince us of the transparent nature of the ongoing Departmental Application of Criteria (DAC) process. We were told that the process will have three opportunities for faculty input, that the faculty are actually at fault for submitting DACs past the May 1st deadline and that the administration is willing to improve a process that was only created after the deficient DACs were rejected. I would expect that some faculty will be found to validate the administration’s position of transparency or collaboration. I am sure that the Senate Executive Committee, the Summer Committee and the Senate will probably be castigated as being out of touch with what faculty think specifically about the DAC process and generally about the state of the faculty/administration relationship. So it is important that you decide for yourself if being asked to comment on document that was given to you is shared governance. You decide for yourself if the environment that you work in is conducive to you giving your best effort.There was more to share that will be provide in subsequent posts.

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Statement
June 26th, 2012
    The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate takes this opportunity to express its deep concern over the clear hostility of this Administration to the faculty of Chicago State University. It was clear to some faculty that the President held nothing but contempt for the faculty of the university when he was quoted May 6th, 2009 by the Chicago Tribune Vox Pop blog as saying “...he’d focus on helping CSU professors improve their teaching skills.” From the ill- conceived Senior Thesis to a  poorly thought out Computer Policy to the dismissal of generally accepted faculty responsibilities around hiring, promotion, tenure, retention, and other faculty personnel activities, the Administration has demonstrated nothing but contempt for faculty, paying only lip service to perfunctory exercises in shared governance. In its creation of a toxic and hostile climate, this Administration is fully responsible for the self- inflicted wounds the institution has suffered in the past three years. Our concern is for the morale and performance of faculty in the critical period prior to the Higher Learning Commission visit in November. The outrage articulated by several faculty around the absence of a credible, contractually consistent process for the revision of the Departmental Application of Criteria documents is but the tip of the iceberg in terms of dissatisfaction over the unprofessional treatment of faculty since July 1st, 2009. Decision making processes devoid of data and critical and incisive analysis characterize an administration driven by petulance and hubris rather than by anything approaching collegiality or mutual respect.
    The deep concern that the Executive Committee is communicating to you is an effort to mitigate against further damage to the administrative/faculty relationship. Further damage will only negatively impact the students as repeated surveys report that students have few issues with faculty performance and multiple issues with administration. Needlessly compounding those issues is likely to lead to lower enrollment and lower student satisfaction.
    The Senate firmly stands by its contention that flawed processes lead to flawed outcomes. Therefore, the administration is hereby invited to abandon its current, flawed DAC process and engage faculty in an authentic process of shared governance around the creation of these critical documents. This may be a step toward a mutually tolerable relationship.


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  2. As we've seen before, our administrators often have a problem with the truth. If it's the faculty's fault for not submitting DACs by the May 1 deadline, what about the DACs submitted on time? They were all summarily rejected.