Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Who Will Defend Chicago State?

Angela Henderson cheated to obtain her degree by plagiarizing her dissertation. Faculty at Chicago State are certainly qualified to detect such academic dishonesty and therefore do not have to depend upon another institution's investigation to validate their assertions. The question is not what UIC will do about sanctions, it is about what Chicago State's administration and board will do to protect the institution's academic integrity and, ultimately, the value of its degrees. The answer is clear. The university's leadership intends to do nothing. The university's laughable "Board of Trustees" intends to support that do-nothing position. In fact, the recent pronouncement by the board underscores its commitment to the Wayne Watson regime at the expense of everything else. No amount of administrative failure, no amount of damage to the institution's already threadbare academic reputation, no amount of dishonesty by senior administrators on official records, no amount of academic dishonesty by the school's chief academic officer is sufficient to move the people in the administration or on the board to lift a finger in defense of the institution.

As Phil Beverly said yesterday, this kind of situation would not be tolerated at any other four-year college or university in Illinois. However, as far as our administration and board are concerned, it seems apparent that the students, faculty, staff and administrators of Chicago State deserve nothing. Therefore, if anyone is going to come to the defense of this school as an academic entity, who must it be? In the coming days, faculty will be asked to weigh in on the issue of Chicago State's viability by supporting or rejecting the recent "no confidence" votes of your Faculty Senate. Currently, a non-controversial vote is taking place on amendments to the Faculty Senate Constitution. I urge all faculty to participate in this election and to make their voices heard on the other issues before us.

We know what Wayne Watson and the board stand for. What do we stand for? I suppose we will find out soon.

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