Monday, September 16, 2013

Administrative Failure 102: Or Hey! Hermene Hartman: Watson's a Loser

"The Chicago State University presidency is ideal for Wayne Watson. Education is his passion. He will bring the school to new heights with student enrollment, a wonderful facility and a good team. I hope for the students' sake that he is the choice. His skill set is perfect, his commitment is sincere and his accomplishments speak for themselves. And perhaps, just perhaps, this experienced veteran educator will take Chicago State University to greatness." Hermene Hartman on April 17, 2009.

Forgive me for posting twice in one day, but I've just finished research into the audit findings and I wanted to share the results. The examination reveals a far more accurate statistical breakdown. Here it is:

2011: Chicago State 41 exceptions, Urbana-Champaign 35 exceptions, UIC 7 exceptions, UI Springfield 1 exception. 2012: Chicago State 34 exceptions, Urbana-Champaign 31 exceptions, UIC 5 exceptions, UI Springfield 1 exception. 2013: Chicago State 29 exceptions, Urbana-Champaign 24 exceptions, UIC 4.5 exceptions, UI Springfield 2.5 exceptions (one audit finding was present at both UIC and UI Springfield). Three year totals: Chicago State 104 exceptions, Urbana-Champaign 90 exceptions, UIC 15.5 exceptions, UI Springfield 4.5 exceptions. Chicago State had 15.6 percent more audit exceptions than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a school with more than 43,000 students. This officially makes the Watson administration's compliance performance the worst in the state.

This is just one of several dismal administrative statistics during Wayne Watson's tenure. As of last night, Chicago State's total enrollment stood at 5796, down 311 (or 5.1 percent) from Fall 2012. This year's figure contributes to the total decline of 1566 students (or a drop of 21.3 percent) since 2011, again the worst administrative performance in the state in terms of enrollment management. This decline comes as no surprise since Watson presided over a 22.3 percent drop in enrollment at the City Colleges during his last nine years as Chancellor. In fact, we now have thirteen years of data to use in evaluating Watson's performance in enrollment management. During that time the schools he "led" experienced only two years of enrollment increases: City Colleges in 2008-09 (Watson's final year) added 83 students to a population of 95,224 (an increase of .000872 percent or 872 one millionth of a percent). In Watson's first full year at Chicago State, the population increased from 7235 to 7362, a gain of 127 students (or .01755 percent). Historically, these meager increases have been wiped out by yearly enrollment drops of 6.1 and 9.6 percent at City Colleges and successive declines of 6.5, 11.3 and 5.1 percent at Chicago State.

In terms of fund raising for the university, the Chicago State Foundation's income has decreased 46 percent under Watson's regime, while contributions have decreased around 35 percent. Of course, it is hardly necessary to recount the difficulties Watson continues to have with faculty and the press.

Hartman's 2009 column represents an almost textbook version of doublespeak. Permit me to provide a translation. "The Chicago State University job is going to Wayne Watson whether you like it or not. Self-promotion is his passion. He will bring the school to new lows with precipitous drops in student enrollment, a crumbling facility (see the Science building or the parking lots for examples), and a bumbling, highly-compensated, crony-filled team. . . His skill set is non-existent, his vindictiveness and cynicism are legendary and his accomplishments as a scholar, "educator" and administrator are negligible. And perhaps, just perhaps, this political hack will leave Chicago State University on life support."

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