Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Real Story at CSU

The endless stream of embarassment brought to CSU by administrative incompetence and feeble attempts at bullying faculty, students and staff has made our campus a laughingstock around the country and places beyond.  For this reason alone (not to mention their numerous failures) Wayne, Patrick, Angela and the many others who have received their cushy admin jobs without proper qualifications, with falsified resumes or as a result of personal relationships with someone in power should resign as soon as possible.  They should do the decent thing and quit before the damage they do is irreversible.

But, that is not the point of this post.  The point of this post is to remind us of the work that gets done on this campus on a daily basis in spite of the roadblocks erected by our administration.  Recently, I have had the pleasure to see my colleagues and our students in action and it reminded me why I am an academic and a scholar and renewed my faith in our profession and our students. I have been witness to or made aware of a number of events resulting from the great professor-student interactions and collaborations that go on regulary at CSU.  They include:

Blues for an Alabama Sky, Pearl Cleage’s esteemed play set during the Harlem Renaissance, was performed well by students under the direction of Professor Kamesha Khan.  We have a great deal of artistic talent at Chi State.  Recent performance and media industry excellence coming from our campus includes the CSU Jazz concert held on November 26 and the continuous work on the popular radio station, WBEZ, of CSU students and faculty including Herb Kent and Troi Tyler.  CSU boasts a number of very well respected and award-winning authors who produce poetry, short stories and essays.  In addition, these authors are training an enthusiastic and talented group of younger writers.

Community work that involves students, faculty and other members of the CSU campus is ongoing here.  The Neighborhood Assistance Center (NAC) and the Institute for Youth and Community Empowerment (IYCE) have made their presence felt in our community in recent weeks, months and years.  The NAC has had a long presence in Chicago assisting neighborhood organizations access the resources they need to do their work.  In recent years, the NAC has focused a great deal of energy on questions regarding food and hunger in the Chicagoland area.  The NAC supports an urban agriculture network in the Roseland-Pullman area, works with the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council and has helped establish the new Urban Agriculture concentration in the biology and geography departments.  IYCE has recently begun to make itself known on campus through important dialogues and other programming relating to their mission of empowerment of the communities surrounding CSU.  Their Truth-N-Trauma project has begun to develop younger students and help many on the road to positively dealing with trauma in their lives and in our larger world.  A number of departments, programs and centers have developed important scholarly events open to the entire campus and reaching out to the larger Chicago community.  Students, faculty and staff held a successful Coming Out Day this Fall that included activist and recording artist Tim’m West in an effort to help LBGTQ members of our community cope with homophobia and to enlarge our sense of community.  African American Studies seems to always be putting on important educational events such as the most recent discussion of Kari Lydersen’s timely book, Mayor 1%.  The geographers do a lot with a small program including the just completed, Geography Week, with educational programming including discussions of powerful movies such as The Rise of the Drones and The Agronomist.

Our faculty and students conduct a great deal of scientific research.  The biology, chemistry and physics labs are overflowing with professors leading students in exciting new areas of research including health breakthroughs, energy development, and environmental sustainability.  The centrality of the professor-student relationship is illustrated well by the work being conducted in our labs.  Related to the scientific research being conducted in the sciences building is the work of many in public health and occupational therapy.  Public health students and faculty regularly sponsor or participate in health fairs and screenings, workshops and discussions regarding public health problems and the development of solutions.  Faculty, students and staff at the HIV/AIDS Research and Policy Institute continue to conduct groundbreaking research into understanding HIV/AIDS, its spread and how to prevent it.  Particularly important is the culturally-relevant materials and programs being developed through the institute.

While I have had the good fortune to witness the incredible intellectual work being conducted at CSU by many colleagues, I have only scratched the surface as I know that many in the College of Ed and College of Business, for example, are also contributing positively to knowledge and to our communities.  I only hope to learn more about this work.  In addition to local events and research like those previously mentioned, our colleagues publish books, articles and music scores, contribute to professional organizations, work as public intellectuals, and assist myriad non-profits and community groups.  And we do this all while teaching 4 or 5 classes per semester and doing the nuts and bolts work of maintaining the intellectual integrity of the university through our committee work.

The previously mentioned work illustrates the importance that we place on the professor-student relationship in higher education.  It is not just a job.  It is a vocation.  It is a calling.  We do it because we know that it is important.  At CSU, like other institutions of higher education in the US and around the world, the primary work is to educate.  Thus, the student-professor bond is the key to our success.  At CSU we take the student-professor relationship very seriously and as a result the bond is strong.  So, while negative press and scandal have plagued CSU, all of it has been as a result of administrative incompetence, retaliation and a lack of professional ethics and integrity.  The teaching and learning at Chi State rival most institutions of higher education.  And this under the most difficult of conditions including the remarkably busy lives of our students and the continuous failures and misdeeds of the upper administration.  It is the sacred bond between faculty and students and the work that this produces that is the real story at CSU.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Pattern Developing????

So it seems that our university continues to struggle in the area of human resources. No loyal readers, it isn’t the falsified job applications and resumes of  administrators. This time it is the management of the Civil Service employees. In accordance with the State Universities Civil Service Act, the university is audited biennially to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act. In the 2009 report, the university had three findings with one repeat finding from the previous audit. The 2011 report, the first under the current administration, revealed nine findings with four repeat findings. This threefold increase mirrored the audit findings for the university at large with audit findings increasing from 13 to 41. A reasonable person might expect some improvement and lo and behold the 2013 audit report revealed an improvement.  The most recent audit report, dated October 3rd, 2013, shows the university had only seven findings with five repeat findings. Numbers are just numbers though. Without context, they have no meaning. So let’s put these numbers into a context. Since 2008 University of Illinois at Chicago has received 18 audit findings with 16 repeats. Illinois State University has received 19 audit findings with 12 repeats. Six state universities received single digit total findings over multiple audits. Of the six non-university agencies covered by the State Universities Civil Service Act there were four audit findings with three repeats covering 15 audits since 2008. Four of those six agencies received no findings since 2008. Therefore, I would have to ask how a university with one of  the smallest number of employees covered by the civil service laws and regulations could be in the top three of audit findings since 2008. CSU had nearly 20% of the audit findings statewide while only having 3% of the enrollment of state public universities. Clearly, CSU should not have as many findings over time as it has. 
What could possibly be the reason for this substandard performance in the area of human resources? Could those reasons be related to the previously documented activities around falsified applications? 

And it is official. The attempt to silence this Blog has received international attention. From London (England, not Ontario) Times Higher Education has a brief entry. Is CSU now officially an international laughingstock?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Clumsiness and Cowardice in the Cook Building

The most recent attempt by our administration to crush dissent at Chicago State seems to have been rather poorly conceived. One caustic article concludes with this paragraph:

“Obviously the school and its lead counsel habitually attempt to stifle criticism. Of course, each attempted shutdown usually results in more critical speech. Not only are its actions counterproductive, they're counter-intuitive. Rather than let criticism flow by, indistinguishable from the millions of other angry voices flowing across the internet, the school has called attention to this blog, upping its readership and further spreading the negative portrayal of the school and its administration. And it's done it in the clumsiest, most cowardly fashion -- by wielding intellectual property as a weapon.”

Quote taken from Tim Cushing “University With History of Free Speech Violations Abuses Trademark Law in Clumsy Attempt to Shut Down Critical Blog” available here :

Let’s just call this whole uproar over faculty “incivility” what it is: another attempt by Wayne Watson and Chicago State's administration to stifle dissent. Wayne Watson and his administrative flunkies are unable to refute the fact-based substance of the posts on this blog. Thus, they must resort to a cynical three-pronged defense strategy: threaten their critics with legal action for "trademark infringement," imply that discipline could result for their critics because of their violation of "the University's policies requiring civility and professionalism of all university faculty members," and caution members of the university community not "to air our dirty linen in public." Given the numerous examples of the uncivil behavior displayed by the Watson administration over the past four years, Watson's current concerns about faculty incivility likely stem from simple self-preservation. If no one looks into his behavior, if no one exposes it publicly, he can continue to abuse various university policies and degrade the university's academic reputation with impunity.

An instructive example of how Watson behaves when he faces sustainable allegations of misconduct occurred in February and March 2013, during the struggle over his potential dismissal as Chicago State's president. In the late February draft of a letter he ultimately sent to the Board of Trustees, Watson creates a world in which he is the victim, in which a number of persons are conspiring against him, and in which any kind of attacks against his opponents are appropriate. Watson's letter mixes innuendo, lies and obsequity into a set of accusations that appear in a document that should be beneath the dignity of anyone serving as the president of a university. However, his letter provides an example of the incivility and intellectual and ethical bankruptcy of its author.

At that time, Watson was desperately fighting to keep his job. Cowering behind his attorney, Emil Jones and his political allies, Watson sent a letter to the board detailing a number of unsubstantiated charges against those he considered his primary enemies: Gary Rozier, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, “Z” Scott, Vice-Chairman of the Board, Sandra Westbrooks, then Provost and the interim president named to succeed Watson, and Faculty Senate President Phillip Beverly.

Watson was under fire for, among other things, an improper relationship with another university employee, Cheri Sidney; an employee for whom Watson could and did make decisions regarding her hiring, salary and advancement. This relationship violates Chicago State policy as the university's Human Resources Policy Manual clearly indicates:

Wayne Watson begins his letter with a discussion of his improper relationship. His first two paragraphs miss the entire point of the Chicago State policy as he invokes the first amendment as affording him the right to associate with anyone he chooses. Of course, no one cares about his relationships, the only concern is the impropriety of giving highly-paid administrative positions to your friends. Documents previously posted on this blog contradict Watson's self-serving claim that "no employee has received any unearned benefits based on their friendship with me."

His next paragraph provides an overview of his primary strategy: attack the persons he perceives as most responsible for his predicament. Watson notes that Patrick Cage is in possession of information the board needs to know:

Watson then commences his attack on Gary Rozier and "Z" Scott by offering allegations based on e-mails which are not included with the letter in my possession. Because these are unsubstantiated allegations, the following excerpts have the names of persons still working at Chicago State redacted.

Watson then moves on to his charges against then Provost Sandra Westbrooks (these are doubtful accusations and the most incendiary allegation is reacted):

This is nothing more than a parade of cynical, self-serving accusations. In fact, the Provost's Office is not responsible for financial aid, Watson's friends in Enrollment Management are. What did Watson do when he discovered Westbrook's "improper actions"? By his own admission, he covered them up. He allowed Wesbrooks to continue in her position until the conclusion of "a critical re-accreditation process." Of course, Watson neglected to mention the 20 percent salary increase he bestowed upon Westbrooks in late 2012, several months before he decided she was "conspiring" against him.

However, Watson saves his most virulent invective for Faculty Senate President Phillip Beverly. The passage speaks for itself and I have again redacted the most problematic (and totally unsupported) accusations made by Watson:

Although Watson claimed the existence of an ongoing "investigation," no one from the university ever contacted Beverly about any of Watson's allegations. Who did this investigation? While the university does not seem to have a blanket policy on personnel investigations, its policy on EEO complaints includes an early notification of the alleged offender of the nature of the charges and protects the subject's due process rights. In the case of Phillip Beverly, however, Wayne Watson apparently feels that following any kind of procedure is unnecessary. This raises the question of whether this investigation is still ongoing some eight months later.

Ultimately, Watson determined that each of the four persons he attacked had ulterior motives for wanting him removed as president. For Rozier and Scott, they desired to ensure that their friends and associates could obtain jobs at Chicago State. Of course, in Wayne Watson's fanciful account, he staunchly resisted this attempt to use Chicago State as a patronage dumping round. Westbrooks was simply angling for his job and Beverly wanted to stop administrative inquiries into his improper behavior, while at the same time strong-arming 28 weak-minded members of the Faculty Senate into a no-confidence vote against Watson. In order to make this ridiculous assertion, Watson had to resort to the bald-faced lie that "some" of the 28 faculty had "been denied tenure."

Rather than attempt to make his case for retention as Chicago State's president on its merits, Watson resorted to conspiratorial thinking, hiding behind his representatives, depending upon one of his political patrons to gin up support for his presidency, personal attacks on the integrity of several persons and outright lies as rationales for continuing as the "leader" of this institution.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Let's Have a Contest!

So loyal readers, you may have noticed an aesthetic change to the site. Yes, we changed the picture from the shrubbery that had adorned our blog for the past four and half years. After receiving many comments about missing the old, I decided that have old and new on the same site. You will see two of the choices in our newly announced CSU Faculty Voice Graphics Contest. Yes, loyal readers, you will be able to vote for your favorite graphic that will adorn our humble site. Our first two choices are below.

Number 1:

Number 2:


The voting on these first two contestants will close on Thursday at 5PM

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

After the Streisand Effect-- All Quiet on the Midwestern Front?

I just read in the Chronicle about your blog - I wish I had thought of something like that here before I stepped down as dean. I entered academic (sic) to contribute to 'a life of the mind' and to be able to work in a just, inclusive, collaborative environment. I have been fortunate to find that in several institutions but here in ______ I have found an abusive, punitive, totally unprofessional environment stemming from a socio-pathic provost & a co-dependent president. I …am in several legal battles with the 'university' so a blog would work - lawyers don't want me to have anything to do with institution except through them & I've asked AAUP to investigate faculty interference & tenure issues so don't want to mess that up.

Anyway - I just want to thank you & tell you, from someone who has been a faculty member/administrator for over 35 years (1st post was in Jan 1977) I respect & admire what you are doing.

                             --from  a Professor at a state university in Massachusetts

You're (sic) faculty blog fills in what traditional newspapers do not report. Our local newspaper, __________ is not much more than a PR arm of [the university] And, [another paper], though more independent than our local newspaper, will not report the details that you or I have knowledge of and evidence for. That's what our blogs do best. As long as you provide evidence, documentation, proof for your stories and label your editorials, folks will pay attention.

Of course, faculty are afraid of retaliation. You have to lead the way and that's what you are doing.

And don't worry that only a few faculty participate in your blog. Or that some moron administrator spouts his propaganda like "only a small group" are critical. If you weren't having an effect, they'd ignore you. That would be, in my view, troublesome.

I outlasted most of our miscreant administrators at _________and they, not me, give me credit for having played a small part in getting them gone.

We do our small part making our home, schools, a better place.

                                                  ---from a  Professor in Mississippi.

And there are other emails or comments of support the CSUFacVoice bloggers have received from faculty in other far off places like California, Wisconsin, and even UIC!

Well Land o' Goshen! Who'da thunk it?

Maybe faculty around the country are just expressing how sick and tired they are of phoney administrators and their "corporate models" of governance (forget the shared part).  

At any rate, I had never heard of the “Streisand Effect” before I read it in one of the comments on one of the several articles that have appeared about the CSU since Patrick Cage issued his memo of “cease and desist” to us.

The "Streisand Effect":
Named after the American singer and actress Barbra Streisand, the Streisand Effect describes how efforts to suppress a juicy piece of online information can backfire and end up making things worse for the would-be censor. Ms Streisand inadvertently gave her name to the phenomenon in 2003, when she sued the California Coastal Records Project, which maintains an online photographic archive of almost the entire California coastline, on the grounds that its pictures included shots of her cliffside Malibu mansion, and thus invaded her privacy.
That raised hackles online…Ms Streisand… was scorned for what was seen as a frivolous suit that was harmful to freedom of speech. As the links proliferated, thousands of people saw the pictures of Ms Streisand's house—far more than would otherwise ever have bothered to browse through the CCRP's archives. By the time a judge eventually threw the suit out, Ms Streisand's privacy had been far more thoroughly compromised than it would have been had she and her lawyers left the CCRP alone.

The Economist explains: What is the Streisand effect? Apr 15th 2013, 23:50 by T.C.

Going Viral

In case you need to know what it means to "go viral" the Streisand Effect began with an article by Juan Perez in the Chicago Tribune:

"Chicago State University wants faculty blog shut down"
By Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune reporter
7:23 a.m. CST, November 12, 2013,0,1259026.story

This story and a little video of the reporter discussing it got picked up by a few other sources and printed more or less the same information. Some of these media are the usual suspects, but a couple of surprises (the AAUP Academe Blog and an academic freedom organization, The Fire). Links are listed below 

"Chicago State U. Orders a Faculty Blog to Shut Down"

Nov. 12, 2013 Charles Huckabee

INSIDE HIGHER ED"Chicago State vs. Faculty Blog"
November 12, 2013 by Scott Jaschik
Read more:

"Chicago State administration puts foot in it again"  by Hank Reichman

...“A thuggish effort…”
While Chicago State may have an argument that use of its trademarks without permission is illegal, its contention that the bloggers cannot use its name or must adhere to some ill-defined standard of “civility” is entirely without legal, much less ethical, foundation.  Anyone who might be misled to believe that the blog is an official publication of the University needs some serious assistance in life.  This is clearly an independent, albeit critical, voice, maintained outside the university and hence fully protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the most basic principles of academic freedom.  Moreover, the publicly funded university’s claim that the blog violates its standards of civility is itself a flagrant violation of principles of academic freedom long endorsed by the AAUP.

Chicago State’s demand that the blog be shut down, and not simply that use of its trademarks cease, indicates clearly that the administration’s intent is to silence a dissenting faculty voice.  The university’s letter is little more than a thuggish effort to bully and frighten, with no legal or moral justification.  Its action therefore deserves the same sort of condemnation and contempt that greeted its previous bone-headed effort to require prior approval of all faculty communications with the media, including contributions to social media.  I hope Professor Beverly and the other bloggers at “Crony State” stand firm against this demand.  The AAUP certainly is ready to provide whatever assistance we can.

You can read the whole thing and excerpts of the AAUP statement on Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications below.

And thanks to an ex-colleague from CSU I found out aout this organization:

THE FIRE: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
"Chicago State Tries to Shut Down Faculty Blog"
November 12, 2013  by Susan Kruth
Cage also states in his letter that “the lack of civility and professionalism expressed on the blog violates the University’s values and policies requiring civility and professionalism of all University Faculty members.”
FIRE has explained before that “civility” mandates often impede free and open debate on college campuses and can easily be used by administrators to censor speech based on its content or viewpoint. Even “uncivil” speech is constitutionally protected unless it falls into one of the few and narrowly-defined categories of speech traditionally unprotected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court noted in Terminello v. Chicago (1949) that free speech “may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.” In this case, such a result might be inevitable given the striking accusations contained within the blog. Last week a writer for the blog remarked on CSU President Wayne Watson’s previous complaints about the blog’s “incivility”: “I am not sure how to say in a nice way that someone has lied.”

 Charlotte says:

"Hey, wait a minute, I thought they said, 'no one reads the blog'..."

From the U.S.S. Caine: What Happened to the Strawberries?

At the bottom of this post is a sample trademark infringement letter. A comparison of this template with the letter sent Monday by Patrick Cage reveals some important differences. First, the tone of the template is not accusatory, saying "We believe it is possible that you are not unaware of this conflict, and we feel it is in our mutual interest to bring this matter to your attention." Rather than threats and bullying, the proposed letter reads: "To resolve this matter amicably, we demand that within the next ___________________ business days of the date of this letter you voluntarily cease and desist from the use of the Trademark, and any combination of the same, in any and all products or services. If you fail to cease using the Trademark within such time, we will take appropriate steps to enforce our rights." The obvious goal of this communication is the protection of the company's trademark.

In comparison, here's the language from Patrick Cage's recent communication: "On November 6, 2013, as a result of statements you made at a meeting of the President's Executive Council, it came to my attention that you publish an on-line blog called the 'Chicago State University Faculty Voice Blog,', without any content civility standards. As the publisher, administrator and editor of the Chicago State University Faculty Voice Blog, you are using CSU's trade names and marks without permission or a license from the University to do so." What do "civility standards" have to do with trademark infringement?

Cage's next paragraph contains similarly baffling language, totally unrelated to trademark infringement. It reads: "Moreover, the lack of civility and professionalism expressed on the blog violates the University's values and policies requiring civility and professionalism of all University faculty members. As an educational institution, the University encourages intellectual discourse. Such discourse often includes opposing viewpoints. Thus, high standards of civility and professionalism are central tenants [sic] of the University's values and included in the standards of conduct required of faculty members."

The penultimate paragraph reveals the true purpose behind Cage's letter: "We therefore demand that you immediately disable Chicago State University Faculty Voice Blog and any posting that includes the unauthorized use of any trade names or trademarks owned by the University. Please provide us with written confirmation that you have complied with the request no later than November 15, 2013, in order to avoid legal action."

In the world of the Chicago State Administration, represented here by its top legal mind, a potential trademark infringement is cause for silencing the dissenting voices posting on the faculty blog. This is not about protecting Chicago State's "brand" whatever that might be, it is about controlling the ideas of dissenting faculty, ideas expressed in a forum with no connection to the university. Does Mr. Cage really believe that the Chicago State faculty will stop criticizing the Watson administration because he "demands" it?

I can only speak for myself here, but I will say this to Mr. Cage and to the Chicago State administrators who have now made four attempts to stifle dissent on this campus. Your threats have exposed the university to nationwide ridicule, in the same way the university's clearly unconstitutional "Communications" policy made the school a laughingstock in March-April 2012. You may bluster and threaten to your heart's content but the criticism of the administration will continue. Since Wayne Watson and his administration are clearly unable to refute the charges made on this forum, I would expect more attacks of this nature, designed to deflect the discussion into areas that are simply not germane to the issue at hand: falsified resumes and crony hiring practices.

Finally, I stated my position clearly to Wayne Watson in an e-mail I sent him on November 7, 2013. Here is the text:

President Watson:

In the interests of clarity and in response to some of the comments you reportedly made at the PEC meeting yesterday, I offer the following:

The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act is to ensure that citizens are informed of the activities of their public officials. In that spirit, I posted materials on the faculty blog that are public information and that I received from Chicago State’s legal department in response to my FOIA requests. I think it particularly important that the university community be apprised of what your administration is doing, since the activities occurring in the Cook building are often quite opaque.

The information I have posted to this point is far from everything I have on falsified resumes and other inaccurate and untruthful information emanating from your administration. Therefore, I can assure you that there will be more posts forthcoming, all including documentation. I understand that these posts have generated some discomfort among a number of persons in your administration. I believe that once an individual decides to willfully misrepresent his or her credentials that they forfeit the right to either outrage or hurt feelings when those misrepresentations are exposed.

I will not engage ridiculous assertions about incivility or the tone of the posts. The issue is neither my behavior nor my rhetoric, it is the behavior of those persons who have chosen to lie in a variety of venues.

Of course, if you or anyone else wants to respond substantively to anything I have written, I welcome that discussion.

Bob Bionaz

I can only hope that someone in the Chicago State administration has the ability to stop this ill-conceived attack on faculty dissent because it is truly harming the school's "brand."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Here's Another Falsified Resume From the Current Assistant Director of Financial Aid

The case of Tyra Austin is completely straightforward. Despite a bachelor's degree being the minimum educational qualifications for her position of Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Chicago State hired Austin on August 16, 2012 without the requisite degree. The documents that follow include: 1-2) the job announcement for the position detailing a bachelor's degree as the minimum educational qualification; 3-4) Austin's application that lists a Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in English from Howard University, with a degree date of May 10, 2013, ten-plus months in the future; 5) Austin's resume that repeats the same false degree information; 6) Austin's "enrollment verification" that lists her final dates of attendance at Howard in August 2012, with the indication that she has not received a degree; 7) the listing of degree programs in the Howard University College of Arts and Sciences, with the information that Howard's bachelor's degree in political science is a Bachelor of Arts, not the Bachelor of Science Austin claims to hold. To this date, Austin continues to be employed in her administrative position despite lacking the requisite minimum degree.

These documents speak for themselves, I have nothing further to add.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hot off the presses...

So it goes on. For your consideration I present the following correspondence and link to a subsequent newspaper article. You may click on the images for a larger size. The redaction marks on page one are mine.


There will be more to follow I am sure.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Administration's Lies: Here is What Transparency, Accountabilty, Responsility and the Committment to Academic Rigor Really Look Like at Wayne Watson's Chicago State University

Here are policies relevant to the hiring of employees at Chicago State University.

The University expects all employees to act with integrity at all times in the workplace, or when representing the company. The following list gives examples of lack of integrity, although it should not be considered an exhaustive list:
• falsification of employment application, official academic transcripts, degrees or other records"
Page 9 of the Chicago State University Human Resources Policy Manual, available here:

"Background Checks
All job offers are contingent upon satisfactory completion of the University’s background check process, including employment history, education, references, criminal record, a motor vehicle record (MVR) when driving is a requirement, and any other data that may be necessary to analyze a candidate’s qualifications for a position at Chicago State University.
Background checks are required for all employees in full-time, part-time, and temporary positions. Background checks must be run on all candidates prior to beginning employment, regardless of whether they have previously been employed by Chicago State University or are transferring from another State University."
(Page 7 of the Chicago State University Human Resources Policy Manual)

Here is the statement on the CSU application that addresses untruthfulness by applicants. The consequences for lying on an application are clear: termination when the lies are discovered:

At Wednesday's PEC meeting, Wayne Watson apparently reiterated his commitment to transparency, a platitude he has continuously articulated. Of course, since the truest indicator of how a person feels is behavior not rhetoric, Watson's actions often contradict his stated belief in "transparency." Watson has also frequently pontificated about "responsibility" and "accountability." In the past four years, the Chicago State community has seen various examples of how much Watson values these ideas. Even before he began at CSU he criticized its faculty publicly, soon after assuming the presidency he began meddling in curriculum and imposed his re-organization scheme on two of the school's colleges. He and his administration have subsequently attempted to stifle expression on campus and dictate academic standards to faculty. He has created extra-contractual statuses for tenure-track faculty, violated the CSU-UPI contract on various and sundry occasions and is now involving himself in the hiring of faculty. He apparently expressed the belief (I'm paraphrasing here) at the PEC meeting that he needed to interview faculty members to ascertain whether or not they were "afraid" to teach here. What that says about his perception of both CSU students and faculty, I will leave for the reader to decide. Watson has also taken it upon himself to uphold the highest standards of the academy by weighing in on degrees and the quality of schools attended by CSU faculty applicants (across disciplines, it seems like he has a Ph.D. in everything). He has apparently decided that no one without a Ph.D. in hand should be hired at Chicago State and has often expressed the notion that CSU faculty should be able to "transfer" to Harvard.

As I demonstrated in previous posts, Watson has apparently failed to apply the same stringent standards to some of the members of his administrative "team." In the case of Cheri Sidney, lying on her resume has resulted in promotions and raises. Angela Henderson's untruthful omissions and exaggerations on her resume have similarly resulted in promotions and raises. I will soon be discussing the case of Tyra Austin, another administrator who has falsified her resume and application. Although Human Resources has policies in place to deal with academic misrepresentations, the administration has not terminated any of the individuals who have included demonstrable lies on their resumes and applications. Rather, Watson concerns himself with the "incivility" of the faculty blog and the fact that the exposure of (public information) portions of someone's personnel file makes them feel bad. Clearly, his administration has demonstrated no will to address these serious issues of untruthfulness. Fortunately, the Freedom of Information Act exists to enable citizens to access public information that will allow them to assess how public agencies operate. Combined with other public records, the disclosures under FOIA make it possible to obtain a clear picture of how the Watson administration operates in both its hiring practices and its adherence to university policies and procedures.

This information raises troubling questions about the integrity of Chicago State's administration. In fact, the Watson administration has engaged in a series of untruthful representations regarding the educational qualifications of Angela Henderson. These include falsehoods about her degree status on the university's website and extend to the official records of the Chicago State University Board of Trustees. The following documents demonstrate:

This is the material from the University website under the title of the "President's Operations Team." The information on Angela Henderson has been updated to reflect the recent award of her Ph.D. However, for several months prior to her receipt of the degree, the Chicago State website listed her as "Angela Henderson, Ph.D," the Vice President of Enrollment Management. Of course, based on the chronology of events surrounding the award of her degree, Angela Henderson never held a Ph.D. while she was the Vice President of Enrollment Management. She received her Ph.D. some six weeks after (August 11, 2013) her appointment as interim provost on July 1, 2013. Nonetheless, the university claimed for several months that she held the Ph.D., although the text clearly contradicts that claim. The material below I downloaded from the university website on July 8, 2013:

The below material is the earliest reference I have found on the CSU website to Angela Henderson as "Dr. Angela Henderson." This is a portion of the Enrollment Management Organizational Chart dated November 27, 2012, nearly nine months before Henderson received her Ph.D. (The organizational chart is available here:

Next is an undated press release that appeared in early 2013, most likely in late January or early February. Again, this is several months prior to Henderson earning her degree. Nevertheless, the press release refers to her as "Dr. Angela Henderson," with her title (the press release is available here:

Up to this point, the university's falsehoods had been confined to its website. However, in March, the false information about "Dr. Angela Henderson" began appearing in the agendas and minutes of the Chicago State Board of Trustees. Altogether, Henderson is referred to erroneously as "Dr. Angela Henderson" in five official Board of Trustees documents. The next three items show "Dr. Angela Henderson" appearing on the agenda of the March 8, 2013 meeting(document 1) and in the March 8 minutes (documents 2 and 3):

The next three documents show Henderson listed as "Dr. Angela Henderson" on the agenda for the May 17, 2013 meeting (document 1), a correction to "Ms. Angela Henderson in document 2, then another reference to "Dr. Angela Henderson" in document 3:

The appearance of these misrepresentations in the official agendas and minutes of the Board of Trustees raise the question of why these records have never been corrected. Equally troubling, the misrepresentation of Henderson's academic credentials is not an isolated incident. The university website currently lists "Renee Mitchell, Ph.D." as the Director of Human Resources. However, according to Mitchell's resume, her degree is actually a Doctorate of Management from the University of Phoenix. While Mitchell possesses a doctorate, it is not a Ph.D. and should not be listed as such anyplace in official university records or on a website accessible to the public. The brief biographical sketch also contributes to the misrepresentation as it describes her degree as simply "a doctorate in organizational leadership."

These various falsehoods and misrepresentations stand in counterpoint to the basic values of truthfulness and academic integrity that must undergird the culture of any university. I try not to speculate as to motive and I will not do so here. However, the "why" of these falsehoods is an intriguing question. Indeed, how do these kinds of misrepresentations appear without someone correcting them? The argument that no one in the administration knew about these falsehoods is hardly credible. Is this the work of some clerk? Finally, are we going to continue to display this kind of inaccurate information on our website? Little wonder why our school's reputation is often under attack. Of course, this must be the fault of the faculty and I should certainly have not brought any of this to light in such an impolite manner. In subsequent posts, I plan to address the issue of civility so helpfully raised by Wayne Watson.