Sunday, April 28, 2013

Redux: A Black Man with a Ph.D...or Why I DO NOT Sit on the Sidelines...

In case you had not noticed, the date of the next Board of Trustees' meeting which had been scheduled for May 10th has now been moved to May 17th. Clearly, the two appointees have not been invested by the ILL Senate. In a perfect world the May 10th meeting would have been the one where the Trustees would have announced in no uncertain terms that CSU had new leadership--at least that's where it was headed in late February and March before the Southside political machine swept in to flex its muscles and take out the board. Well, it's not a perfect world as we know. Point of interest--if there is no quorum to have a meeting, how is there a quorum to change a meeting? What violations of the law are going on here--or have we finally dispensed with all formalities and the fiction that governance on campus contains checks and balances i.e. a Board overseeing us, is now finally in the President's Office? A President's Office calling a board meeting...this is what we are. Ask your colleagues at other places if this would happen to them.

Two honors' ceremonies on campus celebrating the academic achievements of our students last week and this week led me to think about the reason to go on fighting against the southside wind that has been whipping over our campus so furiously the past month. Others have their own reasons for doing what they do and when I am in the maelstrom of doubt and anger and heartsickness over the loss of faith in how much better we could be, I turn to art and literature, the works and words of others for inspiration.

Dr Madhubuti was the first, though not the last, voice of opposition to be silenced on campus. For those of you who were not part of CSU in 2009 there has since been no artist's critique, no public intellectual's voice heard like his.

Subject: An Open Letter To Chicago State University’s Board of Trustees, President Dr. Wayne Watson, Students, Faculty, Staff, Administrators and, All people of concern and good will

June 22, 2009
An Open Letter To:
Chicago State University’s
Board of Trustees, President Dr. Wayne Watson,
Students, Faculty, Staff, Administrators and
All people of concern and good will

Haki R. Madhubuti,
University Distinguished Professor
Chicago State University

I am a poet and write as such. I am also a concerned member of the Chicago State University family. In September of 2009, I will start my 25th year as a professor at Chicago State University (CSU). I arrived in September of 1984 from the University of Iowa with an unstated purpose to support CSU students by spearheading the critical in-depth study of African and African American contributions to American/World literature and culture. The idea was to develop the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing, bring Gwendolyn Brooks to the University as a distinguished professor, convene an annual Writers Conference in her name that would attract world class writers, develop the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, start a journal for the dissemination of Black culture and ideas, and help in developing the first Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing in the world that is centered around the canon of African/African Amer ican Writing, i.e., Black literature. All of this has been done, but is incomplete.

I have, along with my colleagues, paid close attention to the process that has now provided the CSU community with its new president. Until now my voice in the current debate on the occasion of selecting a new leadership for CSU has been silent for several reasons:

1. I know all of the participants from the University’s Board of Trustees to the two finalists for the position, some of them for over thirty-five years.

2. I wrote a letter of recommendation for one of the five finalists who did not make the cut and did not want to seem duplicitous, dishonest or self-serving.

3. One of the defining lessons I learned from Gwendolyn Brooks, other than to each day try to be a fine poet and person, is that integrity, good work, good name and quality production will, in the final analysis, define you and travels faster than the speed of light throughout one’s community. These are more effective than fine words and images from the best public relation firms. She always reminded me, and others, to speak on your own terms if you wish to change and influence the conversation. She writes, “truth-tellers are not always palatable. There is a preference for candy bars.”

I have served under the leadership of three presidents and two interim-presidents. Each of these presidents arrived with goodwill and I believe good intentions. However, within two to three years of their presidencies, they ceased being collaborative and open and each became the President: secretive, selective and ineffective. All three of the presidents left the university under what has been described as a cloud. Actually, each of them was forced out and left under a storm raining buckets of negative press, each exiting while leaving CSU in worse condition than they found it. However, this is not to leave the impression that excellent work was not done during each of their terms. Yet, it can be successfully argued and I am certain history will show that each achieved a mixed record. I can easily elaborate, but this is not the place.

I have remained at Chicago State University because I care deeply about the institution, its mission and its students. I am sure that an overwhelming number of faculty members feel the same way. We also share a commitment to ensure that students succeed. Over 56 percent of our students are Black women, many with young children. Most of our students are first generation university attendees; most of them work part-time or full-time jobs while completing undergraduate or graduate degrees. The often stated six-year graduation time period is in light of these students trying desperately to study, attend class and maintain a healthy and disciplined environment and home for their families. I, like many of the faculty members, am aware of and accommodating to the unique situations that may arise to challenge a student’s academic schedule. I did not consider it unusual or inappropriate for a student, who could not find a sitter, to on occasion bring a child to class. I am from this community and I understand firsthand such hardship. I am also encouraged by the university’s efforts to increase the enrollment and retention of black male students. Currently, Black men are 33 percent of the student body (the additional 11 percent of the student body are Latino, International or non-Black).

Chicago State University is a fine university. Its recent academic expansion includes adding advanced degree programs in the Colleges of Education, Pharmacy and Arts and Science’s Department of English. Even though the university is under serious financial restraints, it recognizes that this type of expansion is imperative if we are to be a competitive, inviting and progressive institution. CSU can also claim that its faculty is first rate and can easily rival other regional and national institution in preparedness and academic excellence. I am particularly pleased with the College of Arts and Sciences and our own Department of English. I can categorically state that the Department of English is one of the most effective and creative in the nation. I comment on this only because recently the quality and dedication of CSU’s faculty have been questioned.

I am particularly troubled that this questioning or attack of several our faculty members coincides with their questioning or audacity to challenge the selection process for the new president. Nevertheless, it is evident that the process was flawed since thirteen of the fifteen members of the Campus Advisory Committee charged with the selection process oversight resigned from the committee acknowledging in a joint statement that, “we feel it would be inappropriate to legitimize a less than transparent or participatory process by recommending either of the two finalists for the position of Chicago State University President.” This process was further damaged by the CSU faculty senate’s unanimous vote of “no-confidence” in the Board of Trustees and its call on Governor Quinn to halt the selection process and to remove the current Board and appoint a new Board of Trustees.

My position as University Distinguished Professor does not grant me any more privileges than any other CSU faculty member, however, it does increase my personal obligation to voice my concerns for the growth and future of this university. During my twenty-five years at CSU, I have taught many of the courses in the English Department excluding British Literature and Linguistics. I have served on over twelve search committees for new faculty openings in the Department. Additionally, I have observed Chicago State University and other universities’ selection process of new presidents and leadership. These experiences have provided me with insight on the criteria to evaluate the overall process and make recommendations on the requirements for leadership for a university president and other high administrative positions. These are some of those recommendations:

1. He/she must be a scholar of national note, with significant peer review publications and books in his or her field. There must be no doubt as to his/her standing in the community of scholars. This would also include a history of the candidate’s participation in the appropriate professional organizations.

2. He/she must have served with distinction as the administrative head of a major unit within an institution of higher learning or at the important position of Provost and/or Dean. Of course, prior service at the presidential level is preferred.

3. He/she must have a documented history of raising significant monies from the private and public sectors. At most major and research one universities it is not unusual to expect the president to come with a plan to raise in excess of half a billion dollars or more in the first few years.

4. The prospective president must have a consensus buy-in from the faculty, students, administration and staff, therefore, arriving with a unity mandate to lead by joining a University community that has bought into his or her vision for the future.

Did our Board of Trustee’s apply such criteria? And, what state unit watches, directs and evaluates the Board? Whatever the answer, we have a new president, legally selected by the Board of Trustees of CSU; and if we are to continue to remake our university into a better place, we must give him a chance to prove that he can do the job and have at the top of his agenda the healing of the university. This is no small matter. Whatever his agenda for change is, it must be shared with the Chicago State University community and not with a few “movers and shakers.” To that end, in consultation with my colleagues, I offer ten suggestions that need immediate attention.

1. The university’s tarnished image and the tarnished image of the incoming president is fixable; the lack of integrity that already pervades the entire institution affects all of us, as well as fundraising. No one is going to give money to an institution with little financial integrity. This must be given immediate attention and the highest priority.

2. Appointment of a Vice President for Finance, one of the most important positions at any university: in light of the serious audit findings and lack of formal processes and procedures in financial affairs, this position should have been filled during the tenure of the interim president.

3. Strong academic leadership is needed to provide confidence for faculty and direction for the development of academic programs and policies. The Board of Trustees needs to understand that the Faculty Senate and the union are not enemies of the university. They play a pivotal and legal role in protecting the rights and advocating on behalf of the faculty, staff and students.

4.. Enrollment growth: a knowledgeable Enrollment Management Specialist is needed as well as staff members who know recruitment strategies and how to implement them. Direct funding to provide academic support to the large freshman student population with poor skills is also needed.

5. Staff training as well as training for supervisors on developing workable processes and implementation: staff needs to understand how to do follow-up and assess where problems exist and what to do to solve them.

6. We need key, knowledgeable people in these areas: provost; financial operations; technology; and facilities grounds and plant operations. There is a great need for a knowledgeable Director of the Physical Plant who understands how to address the needs of the academic areas within the context of a neglected infrastructure. A major problem for the university is the number of incompetent employees who were hired because of political connections, friendships and family relationships.. Therefore, little if any recourse for bad practices exists and we are stuck with nonfunctioning individuals and entities.

7.. The next president should have an understanding of four-year comprehensive universities based on experience and how to improve efficiency and effectiveness. The individual also should be a “futurist” who reviews the current situation (in a variety of arenas) and plans for next steps. Chicago State University is not a community college. Do not make it one. Keep the hiring of community college personnel to fill administrative or faculty positions at a minimum. The university graduated its first two doctoral students two weeks ago. We need faculty with the Ph.D. and research experience.

8. Compared to other universities, there is inadequate support for grantsmanship for both governmental and private (corporate and foundation) agencies and entities, and a lack of effective leadership for fundraising. As one of the oldest universities in the state system, it is shameful and embarrassing that CSU virtually has no endowment.

9. The Board of Trustees does not seem to understand the board’s role and has inserted itself in day-to-day operations because concerns about the previous President’s leadership were apparent. The trustees also do not seem to understand their role as major contributors to the university.

10. Faculty and student support. There needs to be funds available to boost academic programs and departments. Funds are needed for conferences, research, student assistantships, graduate assistantships, work-study, etc. There is a need for an understanding that the university should encourage freedom of speech and open discourse, which have traditionally been the hallmark of the academy. I believe it was George Orwell who wrote “in a time of universal defeat, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” We need to stop spinning the truth.

Finally, and this is very personal, I suggest to the “powers that be” to consider naming the new academic library after one of the greatest poets in any language at any time, our former distinguished faculty member at Chicago State University, Gwendolyn Brooks, and, on this important occasion initiate The Brooks Lectures in Poetry. This, along with the acquisition of the Brooks Papers will finally, I think, make Chicago State University a destination for students, scholars, and researchers rather than an afterthought.

All of our actions or non-actions will surely be revisited by history. Our quest should always be for human intellectual emancipation. I am a son of the sixties and seventies; that is, I cut my teeth on the streets of Detroit and Chicago. W.E.B. Dubois, Paul Roberson, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Margaret Burroughs, Gwendolyn Brooks, Hoyt W. Fuller, Frantz Fanon, Ella Baker, Dudley Randall, Rosa Parks, Lerone Bennett Jr. and Patrice Lumumba were all contemporaries and heroes of mine. The one ingredient that they all possessed is that they unconditionally loved Black people; people of African ancestry and by extension all people of goodwill and good actions. And, they all acted, not purely for themselves, but for the betterment of the majority rather than the elite few.

To betray a trust is to cut yourself off from being trusted. Who really represents the students of CSU? Who speaks for them? They come to us with open minds and bright eyes only to be blinded by the deals made in the night. Chicago is clout city and anybody with half a brain knows that backroom stuff happened, and to not acknowledge it is to place one in the room with cowards and small people afraid of their own shadows. How does the university spend $75,000 in this down economy to find two candidates who live less than seventy blocks from the university? Were there other candidates who were exceptional but overlooked because they were not from Chicago or the state of Illinois? The culture of corruption that blankets this state is an embarrassment. The “clout lists” that have been exposed at the University of Illinois-Champaign is only symptomatic and a microcosm of our problems—from Wall Street to Main Street.

What I have learned in my short time on this earth is ultimately that which is greater than family, friendship, children, status, fame, wealth and strawberries is truth. Remember, if a person can be bought for $50.00, he/she can be bought twice for $100.00. To dance with liars in this culture, partners are always available. However, to go subsurface for greater meaning and substance, especially in the service of the disadvantaged poor (the majority), is to experience an aloneness that few, other than artists understand. It is the confined distances that separate those who read a great piece of literature rather than cliff notes.

The beauty and intricacies of an author’s insight can make us whole and better people (that’s what art does). We become more critical, insightful, well rounded, opened for discussion and objection, democratic, human, intellectually independent allowing us to sleep full nights, positioning us to rise early each morning expecting in this world to run toward fear. Gwendolyn Brooks positions us to do best with this conscientious directive:

Warning, in music – words
devout and large,
that we are each other’s
we are each other’s
we are each other’s
magnitude and bond.

Let the healing begin. I remain in the service of the university.


Haki R. Madhubuti
University Distinguished Professor,
Professor of English,
Founder and Director Emeritus of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center,
Founder of the Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference,
Founder of Warpland: A Journal of Culture and Ideas,
Co-Founder of the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent,
Co-Founder and Director of the MFA in Creative Writing at
Chicago State University
Founder and Publisher of Third World Press
and Third World Press Foundation

Haki R. Madhubuti
Founder and President
Third World Press
University Distinguished Professor
Chicago State University

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Well at least it's not Leon, --two new board members on board

Well, maybe having a bishop will be better than just a minister. (I know, I know...) Sent to me this morning by a friend ---this article is from the Chicago Tribune. Were their appointments approved by the Illinois Senate or are they hanging in limbo? As of yesterday there had been no reference to appointments approved.

Of course at CSU we are a unique little patronage pit. Contrary to HLC regs that demand it--we can't really have an independent board of trustees for oversight of the university. We are afterall beholden to our godfather Emil Jones. Note the age of the new appointees--60s & 70s (check offline). No more young Af Am leadership needed here--they might actually question why CSU has to be part of the southside political machine. Well the prez (with Daddy Jones) runs the board.  If you didn't know for sure, you got a good look at Watson and his political backers at last month's shenanigans--call daddy who calls his bud Quinn. Now we know, our board cannot act independently. In spite of Bishop Smith's good intentions in the last sentence, the precedent of a board not being able to replace this particular president for a very long list of failures (it's not just about cherchez la femme) has been set.

So, let the education of yet another board begin...

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn appointed two new members to a previously half-vacant Chicago State University Board of Trustees on Monday.

With four of the eight seats open since the end of March, the newly appointed members will replace former Vice Chairwoman Zaldwaynaka Scott and former trustee Adam Stanley. Two seats on the board remain open.

The appointments are especially important because without them, the board couldn’t reach a quorum.
Horace Smith, of the 1100 block of South Michigan Avenue, and Spencer Leak Sr., of the 9100 block of South Constance Avenue, will become permanent members once they are confirmed by the state Senate. Smith is a pastor at Apostolic Faith Church in Chicago as well as a physician – a hematologist, oncologist and pediatrician – working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Leak is a prominent funeral-home director as the owner of Leak & Sons Funeral Homes in Chicago.
“Now that the position was open to be a trustee there, I just couldn’t turn that down,” said Leak, who got a call from the governor’s office confirming he had been appointed on Monday. “I want to see the university flourish and really thrive here in the city of Chicago. I think it can.”
Both Smith and Leak are alumni of Chicago State University.

University President Wayne Watson has recently been at odds with senior board members, including former board Chairman Gary Rozier and Vice Chairwoman Scott, who had wanted a change in leadership. Both Rozier and Scott’s terms expired Jan. 21, and they were not reappointed within 60 days, so their assignments lapsed in March.

For a period in February, it was unclear who the university’s president was, as the board expected Watson to take a yearlong sabbatical and appointed an acting president. The board ultimately decided Watson would remain in office as the university investigated allegations that he violated unspecified policy. The board promised a decision on his employment by June 30.

Smith said he’s joining the board with an open and optimistic mind.
“I’m anxious to sit down with the persons involved and make an assessment of what’s happening with the university,” Smith said, “and make education better for our students.”

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oh to be a normal school again...

A chief executive devoid of petty jealousy, and refusing to use it as a spur for his subordinates, will find the possibilities of a solidarity among the members of the corps, or faculty, which does not exist in any other calling. Love of knowledge and faith in the future of humanity are in varying degrees peculiar to the minds that elect to teach the young. If the superior officer really consults with heads of departments in open meeting, they will rise from personal considerations to the question of relative values, and will appreciate the various claims as intelligently presented. If, however, authority of position dominates the discussions, or claims are presented and passed upon privately, petty jealousy will sorely perplex the head of the system, or school.

---From Isolation in Education by Dr. Ella Flagg Young

(student of John Dewey, principal of the Chicago Normal School - 1905)

 In the dust of last month’s coup d’├ętat of CSU’s Board of Trustees by the President’s Office (accomplished with full backing and the political mastery of godfather Emil Jones whose neutering and gutting of Governor Quinn has consigned CSU to continued mediocrity), a friend wrote this morning reminding me of what had once been CSU’s glory days. More than a hundred years ago, Chicago Normal School was an academic destination. Long before university presidents became fund-raising machines, they were scholars first. Of course at CSU we really haven’t had either for a long time. And why should we have need of them? Job-gifting is what distinguishes our early 21st-century institution—and Daddy Jones (no longer deus ex machina) can swoop in anytime to make sure we know who is boss around here.

So have a look at what CSU’s predecessors once upon a time thought about power and academic administration. This is Dr. Ella Flagg Young’s summary of W.H. Maxwell’s “theory of supervision” in her work, Isolation in Education. You can see her portrait in the CSU archives gallery.

Superintendent W. H. Maxwell, of New York City, when at the head of the public schools in Brooklyn, concentrated his attention upon the influence of the theory of supervision, and presented at some length the objections as they appeared to him :

" Principals and heads of departments do not teach classes. They are supposed to spend their whole time in supervision. There is one supervisor who does not teach for every eleven classes. In my judgment the number of non-teaching supervisors is unnecessarily large. The excessive development of supervision has resulted in several clearly defined evils in our schools.

" First, it has withdrawn from the work of class teaching many of our best teachers, and has thus lessened the efficiency of the teaching force as a whole.

"Second, it has created the feeling that office work and making out examination questions are more honorable than the active work of teaching. If teachers are to have a due moral influence on their pupils, their office should be held in the highest honor.

" Third, the struggle for the prizes that are held up before the eyes of our teachers in the shape of head-of-department places, involving as they do, in most cases, considerably less work and considerably better pay, has resulted in much unseemly wire-pulling and intrigue, an evil always to be deprecated in the administration of a public-school system.

" Fourth, the multiplication of superfluous heads of departments has resulted in division of responsibility in school management, in petty jealousy, and in much harmful interference with the work of class teachers.

" Fifth, the unnecessary increase in the number of heads of departments has led to much of the excessive examination of pupils, with its attendant evils of cramming and nervous prostration, that, though now much less than in former years, still hurts our school work.

" Sixth, the cost of this supervision, not merely in the salaries of heads of departments, but in the fitting up of elaborate offices with expensive furniture, is withdrawing each year a vast amount of money that is sadly needed for necessary work and material is expended on superfluous heads of departments. Surely a better use might be found for this money.

" From such facts as are here set forth it appears that in some places general supervision has been carried to too great an extreme, and the only question that remains to be settled is where to draw the line."

These conclusions represent fairly the conditions existing in large systems into which have been introduced subjects under the care of special supervisors. Without criticising the superintendent who has fearlessly set forth the above facts, it becomes necessary to indicate the way in which some of the objectionable conditions originate in the general method of the system. The petty jealousy referred to in the fourth section, whether found in a system or in a single institution, is always evidence that the highest ranking officer is a person in power rather than a person of power. A chief executive devoid of petty jealousy, and refusing to use it as a spur for his subordinates, will find the possibilities of a solidarity among the members of the corps, or faculty, which does not exist in any other calling.

Love of knowledge and faith in the future of humanity are in varying degrees peculiar to the minds that elect to teach the young. If the superior officer really consults with heads of departments in open meeting, they will rise from personal considerations to the question of relative values, and will appreciate the various claims as intelligently presented. If, however, authority of position dominates the discussions, or claims are presented and passed upon privately, petty jealousy will sorely perplex the head of the system, or school. The first, second, third, and fifth sections are different views of the same topic — the strong tendency at the present time to get away from the active work of teaching children. Some of the causes of this condition will be discussed later. The sixth section suggests rivalry as to creature comforts and display all along the entire line, and is a natural outcome of the withdrawal from the duties of direct teaching.

...Upon a cursory survey of the situation it is natural to conclude that it is impossible to recognize for all teachers the ethical law of change for intelligent and responsible beings. This conclusion, though seemingly of great weight, is valueless.

Ella Flagg Young_summary

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

STUDENTS OCCUPY COOK on Thursday--they've got their reasons

I've been asked to post this on the blog on behalf of students involved in Occupy Cook on Thursday. Will we support them?
The students of Chicago State are occupying President Watson's office on Thursday, April 11, 2013 because of
  • the alarming drop in enrollment that threatens the very future of the school.
  • the hiring of unqualified people into high paying jobs who have mismanaged their departments, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and embarassing the school.
  • the general sloppiness in management by the current administration that has led to the scandalously high numbers of audit findings.
  • the refusal of the current administration to honor the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.
  • the removal by the Governor of members of the Board of Trustees who were on the verge of removing the current President. The Governor, instead of acting to protect the reputation of the school, as he did in the wake of the recent enrollment scandal at U of I Champaign, acted to protect politically connected incompetents to the detriment of the reputation of Chicago State University.

Monday, April 8, 2013

More of Wayne in Wonderland: City College Enrollment Tanks Under His Administration

I have been able to find total enrollment figures for the City Colleges from 2000-01 through 2008-09. How did Wayne Watson do? The short answer is even worse than he did with the certificate and degree-seeking students. City College enrollment for the 2000-01 year totaled 122,663. In Watson's last year, after declining every year but his final one (when enrollment increased by 83 students), the system's enrollment stood at 95,307, a decline of 22.3 percent. Compared the the Illinois college and community college enrollments, Watson's performance at City Colleges seems particularly dismal. During the same time period, Illinois college enrollment increased by 17.1 percent while enrollment at the state's community colleges grew by 2 percent. How does one continue to be rewarded for constant failure? If our president were an automobile, I'm afraid he'd be an Edsel. Enrollment figures are available here:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Watson at City Colleges, a True and Amazing Story.

“I’m among the top in the nation in terms of higher education.” Wayne Watson talking about Wayne Watson, May 6, 2009.

For those of you who are interested in Watson’s pre-Chicago State tenure at City Colleges, the job that demonstrated his spectacular qualifications for his current position, here are a few more items for your consideration.

As many of you know, our enrollment is down, from a high of 7362 to 5815 (at last unofficial report). That represents a better than 20 percent drop in three years. The folks at Enrollment Management have received a considerable amount of criticism for their inability to do their jobs competently, and the Watson administration has spun the issue as one primarily attributable to his “raising standards,” a favorite canard of his. Let’s look at his City College record and see how he did there.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education reports enrollment figures for students in degree or certificate programs in the community colleges. This results in a large number of students not being counted, but a look at the students IBHE tracks can, nonetheless, provide a useful picture of how a school is doing.

The year before Wayne Watson took over as Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, the system’s total enrollment of degree and certificate students stood at 70,717. By 2007, those student numbers had dropped to 56,903, a decrease of 19.6 percent. The next year, Watson’s last at the City Colleges, enrollment increased to 59,702, an overall 15.6 percent drop in enrollment during his time as Chancellor.

Other interesting tidbits from his time at City Colleges: Between July 1999 and July 2009, Watson reduced full-time faculty by 14.8 percent. Although this seems to mirror the drop in enrollment, the two are not necessarily connected. The fewest number of full-time faculty: 524, occurred in 2004-05, when the enrollment for degree and certificate students stood at 63,811. In addition, the 2004 strike at City Colleges apparently damaged the district’s enrollment as it dropped by more than 5,000 students in 2005-06.

In terms of salary, full-time faculty remaining at City Colleges saw their pay increase 4.7 percent for the ten years from 1999-2000 through 2008-09. That’s an average increase of less than one-half of one percent per year. In contrast, Watson’s top-level administrators decreased by 2 during the same period, dropping from 105 in 1999 to 103 in 2009. Administrators at City Colleges enjoyed a pay increase of 35.6 percent over the same 10-year period in which faculty received a 4.7 percent boost.

I suggest that Watson is “among the top in the nation” in doing significant damage to the educational institutions he ostensibly leads. All the material cited in this post is available on the IBHE website or by consulting the Fiscal Year Salary Reports published by the Illinois Community College Board.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

This is How Chicago State Feels About the First Amendment

This is from an e-mail sent to me by a student:

I went to hand out flyers at the Tavis Smiley event at the JCC today. Not IN the building, mind you, but outside. Campus police descended. Officers Burgoyne and Perez, Sgt Mack and Lt Robertson. Told me I couldn't. Told me to go 500' away. At one point one told me I'd HAVE TO LEAVE THE CAMPUS!

Contacts to the media will be made Monday concerning this attempt at intimidation.

I guess this university is not a place for the free and open expression of ideas.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The problem with the coup d'etat...

Since the dust has settled from all the drama of last month’s coup d’├ętat of the Board of Trustees by the still President of CSU Watson and hizzoner Emil Jones and a phalanx of the southside pol’s followers, I’m reminded of the old joke about the dog who chases cars –what will he do when he catches one?

So now that it is out in the open (finally after all these years) and there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Wayne Watson and Emil Jones control the CSU Board of Trustees (dangling southside votes to get the gutless Quinn to off the three board members, Rozier, Scott, and Morrison-Butler, who dared to think that a board actually determined the leadership of the university) how do Watson and Jones now propose to run the university?

For those of you who haven’t considered the implication of the gutless Governor’s actions, there are a few pesky state laws that require board actions for tenure/promotion decisions and for certain university contracts. CSU no longer has a full board membership. There is no chair named, more importantly there is not even a quorum on the board in which to conduct business. What we have are three board members and one student member. There is no quorum for voting on tenure/promotion matters because the student cannot vote on faculty. The gutless Governor gutted our board. Have I mentioned that no business can be conducted legally right now. To compound matters, the gutless Governor has been having trouble getting his membership picks approved by the Illinois Senate—no doubt CSU’s fixer Jones can work that out, but so far he has not.

And this doesn’t even get to another question—who wants to serve on a board of trustees that has no power? If the Board objects to President Watson’s actions all he has to do is call in Daddy Jones again to set that board straight, no?

Maybe the CSU Act should be changed—abolish CSU’s board of trustees-- and we can just move on from farce to pure fascism. Last month we were shown by our gutless Governor, by the ruthless political maneuvers of Watson and Jones and their loyal soldiers, that there will be no challenge to their authority. HLC shared governance and integrity issues be damned. This is Chicago!

I’m waiting to see what they do now that they’ve caught the car.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

More Audit Stuff

Although the audit findings have not been publicized yet, I think it is likely that our stellar administrative team will find them a positive result. In my previous post, I detailed the total numbers of audit findings for 2013 and the three-year total. However, let’s not look at those numbers in a vacuum.

In 2010, the last year enrollment data is available on the IBHE website, the total enrollment at six schools: Chicago State, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Northeastern Illinois, Northern Illinois and Western Illinois totaled 88,307. Chicago State, with 7362 students garnered 8.3 percent of that total enrollment.

As I pointed out in my previous post, auditors found 29 audit exceptions at Chicago State, with 16 repeat exceptions. This brought the total to 104 audit exceptions and 49 repeat exceptions in Wayne Watson’s three years here. Of course, we know that his administration is not responsible, but, nonetheless, a comparison with other universities might be useful here.

Here are the three-year totals at other schools: Eastern: 29 audit exceptions, 8 repeat exceptions; Illinois State: 14 exceptions, 6 repeat exceptions; Northeastern: 29 audit exceptions, 11 repeat exceptions; Northern Illinois, 20 audit exceptions, 11 repeat exceptions; Western Illinois: 22 audit exceptions, 9 repeat exceptions. The three-year totals for these six schools: 114 total exceptions with 45 repeat exceptions.

Statistically, this means that Chicago State, with 8 percent of the enrollment of the six schools possessed 47.7 percent of the total audit findings, and 52 percent of the repeat findings in 2011-13.

The only comparable figures in the state of Illinois belong to the University of Illinois system, with its 3 campuses and better than 75,000 students. They had 30 exceptions in 2013, one more than CSU. For the 2011-2013 period, Illinois had 110 total audit exceptions, six more than our school. Once again, a great job by Wayne and his minions.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Imagine our lives if this would happen here. . . .

Northern Illinois University names new president 


DeKALB — Northern Illinois University Tuesday named its 12th president: Douglas Baker, current provost and executive vice president of the University of Idaho. Look, Not from Illinois!!!
The announcement came that afternoon, immediately following the vote by the school’s board of trustees.

Baker’s appointment will be effective July 1, according to NIU. He will replace John Peters, who announced in October that he planned to retire at the end of June after 13 years leading the DeKalb school.
The 57-year-old had been trustees’ “top choice” to succeed Peters, according to Cherilyn Murer, board chair.

And Faculty Senate President Alan Rosenbaum, co-chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, said, “The PSAC was impressed with Douglas Baker’s wide range and depth of experiences.”
“At his core, he is an educator who is deeply committed to the student learning experience. He is also a faculty advocate who places high value on shared governance. He is well equipped to navigate the complex issues that face higher education today, and I believe he will build upon the university’s national reputation for engaged learning, research and service to the region.”

According to the University of Idaho website, Baker became provost and executive vice president in 2005.
He had been at Washington State University for 24 years before that, during whih he was vice-provost for academic affairs and director of the office of undergraduate education, according to NIU. Previously, he had 

taught courses in management, organizational behavior, organizational design, strategic planning, human resource management and research methods, it said. Understands the classroom

He served on the Faculty Senate, including as its chair, and won MBA Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards five times, including Teacher of the Year. He also won the Shell Oil Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1990 and in 1984.

“Dr. Douglas Baker has been successful across all facets of higher education,” said Robert Boey, who chaired the presidential search advisory committee and has served on the NIU Board of Trustees since its inception in 1996.

“He’s a leader who works to create consensus, make decisions and move forward.”Baker holds a Ph.D. in business from the University of Nebraska, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Colorado State University, according to NIU.NIU has nearly 23,000 students.

The Courier-News will speak with Baker at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Stay tuned to for details.