Saturday, September 21, 2013

Some Random Thoughts on Yesterday's Opera Buffa

Yesterday I was struck by the structure of Wayne Watson's rhetoric. By turns during the meeting he relied on sclerotic banalities, unsupportable generalizations and assertions, turgid pedantry and occasionally, misleading statistical analyses. It was particularly painful to see him employ a succession of prosaic platitudes in order to rescue the unfortunate victim from Enrollment Management who had to deliver the bad enrollment figures to the board. I found particularly interesting his claim that nationwide, college enrollment had dropped 700,000 this year. Of course, he neglected to provide any context for that figure. In truth, college enrollments are down about one million students the past two years, or around 5 percent of the total student population in 2011. If that figure sounds familiar, it should, it is the same percentage drop experienced by Illinois public institutions during the same time period. Of course, it's a slight improvement over Chicago State's decline of 21 percent. Thanks to our new, vibrant board, we can now look forward to another two years of this poseur and his minions.

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