Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Few Bits and Bobs

So I thought I would fill you, my loyal readers, in on a few bits and bobs in the theme of bleeding. No, not actual blood, though there are probably some who would very much enjoy seeing mine flow. But the bleeding that the university is experiencing.
First, yesterday Judge James McCarthy signed an order in the case Crowley v. Chicago State University that finalized the compensatory and punitive damages awarded by a jury three weeks ago in a 14-0 decision. The punitive damages stand at $2 million and the compensatory damages were doubled with 5% interest to $1,020,000. The court will decide the attorney’s fees and costs at a May 6th hearing. (Read the Chicago Tribune coverage here) It is likely that total, including the costs of the university’s attorneys will exceed $4 million. Finally, the court will also decide at the same hearing whether, when and/or how Mr. Crowley will return to his place of employment. Sources close to the victorious plaintiff tell your humble narrator, that he is prepared to return to the university having been vindicated in a court of law. Of course, it has already been reported that the Board of Trustees has rewarded the president with a two year extension after he managed to lose $4 million dollars. Might another extension be in the offing should another suit be lost???
The cavalcade of occupants of the Dean of Students office continues. I believe that I will need a score card to keep up with who is occupying the office this week. At some point I believed that the required search process would yield a few or maybe ten, qualified applicants. As it appears this search has failed as have the past three, I suppose that search processes have proved to be too cumbersome as the university has only interims serving as Vice Presidents and in several other key positions. Maybe it was the job posting that was the problem, so maybe the job positing for the Dean of Students will be changed to fit the experience of the newest interim. That way, another sham search for an unqualified applicant can be foisted on the university. The surprising thing about the most recent interim is they are already employed full time at the university and will continue in that six figure job as well as the new position. I didn’t think that state employees could hold two full time jobs whose hours are the same. The opposite of ghost payrolling (more about that later), double dipping shouldn’t be allowed especially when there are experienced employees here who have been prevented from teaching courses after their work hours. Very curious indeed.
Finally, following the theme of bleeding, the university continues to bleed students. At its current rate, enrollment in Spring 2016, the expiry of the president’s contract, will stand at around 3,600 students. That means that in seven years, this president will have reduced the enrollment of the university by more than half. That would be an astounding feat but not one worth bragging about or professing complete confidence in. Does not the vaunted enrollment management division have a plan. Or is it execution of the plan in vest in the wrong people or persons. I feel a FOIA request coming.
And the downward spiral of a public university continues. I don't lay the total blame for this ineptness at the feet of the Board of Trustees. They were all appointed by the Governor. Pat Quinn bears the most responsibility for this failure and waste of taxpayer dollars. And this in an election year.

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