Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Will Anyone Be Held Accountable?

Let’s talk some more about the folks over at Enrollment Management, the flesh-eating virus that is devouring Chicago State. Does anyone in charge over there know what they’re doing? The latest enrollment figures (September 4, 2012) are out and they are disturbing:

New Admits: 1364, down 12 percent from 1544 on September 8, 2011.
Total Enrollment: 5989, down 11 percent from 6733 on September 8, 2011.
Full-time Equivalents: 4510, down 12 percent from 5136 on September 8, 2011.

These declines come on the heels of the decline in 2011. In late September 2010, CSU enrolled 7242 students. The latest figures represent more than a 17 percent drop in the student population in only two years.

In past posts, I have criticized the qualifications of the two persons who are ostensibly responsible for the operation of Enrollment Management: Angela Henderson and Cheri Sidney. Neither has a terminal academic degree and Sidney does not even have an advanced degree; neither had any apparent experience at the university level when they were inexplicably hired for vital jobs at Chicago State. Indeed, their only qualifications seemed to be their previous connections to Wayne Watson and the City Colleges of Chicago. The university pays these two people over a quarter of a million dollars a year. For what?

Wayne Watson is fond of using the term “metrics” as a means of assessing performance. Well, take a look at the metrics coming out of enrollment management. I understand that Ms. Henderson recently told at least one faculty member that enrollment was actually up. Who should we believe, her or our lying eyes? Perhaps here in Wayne’s World, down is indeed up and ignorance is truly bliss. Perhaps some people in the administration really believe its propaganda. Unfortunately, the currently available data suggest that some parts of our usually well-oiled and smoothly operating administrative machine are performing poorly.

In 2009, before he had worked a single day at Chicago State, Wayne Watson, made several comments that suggested he expected to fire people for poor performance. His performance at both City Colleges and here at Chicago State suggests that he really likes to fire people–it might even be described as his calling. Here, he has had the pleasure of discharging a number of employees, particularly in the “right sizing” of 2010. Of course, employment standards here at Chicago State seem somewhat arbitrary. To be sure, someone valuable and competent like Mary Butler must go. But I wonder how many years an incompetent crony must underperform, how much damage must they do to the institution, before her or his job is at risk? I guess we will find out.

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