Saturday, August 30, 2014

Post-Crowley appeal: what some folks are thinking...

Comments from the common folk of the state of ILL are starting to emerge following the Tribune article on Friday upholding Jim Crowley's multi-million dollar win over CSU. The Chronicle of Higher Ed has already cited it and it is just a matter of time before others follow suit. We will have to endure a lot of ignorant comments about CSU, but who can blame those outside the institution for noting the colossal waste of money our administration with its grandly stated support by the Board of Trustees has brought on us. No money for classroom technology that actually works, but money for CSU's lawsuits and pay-outs and bogus searches. So what that we hired the same search firm that participated in a trumped up search in 2008-2009 for another trumped up search in 2014 for $100,000 that has yet to bring us a permanent provost. So what? we're told, "insurance will pay off Crowley" (love to see how much "insurance" really will pay out and how many times we can wreck the car before they pull the insurance). 

One nasty commentator referred to CSU as a "rathole."

But a letter to the Tribune from the far off reaches of Schaumburg stated something that I have even heard voiced at CSU itself: "Merge Chicago State with UIC." 

Cook County judge recently upheld a verdict in favor of James Crowley, an employee whistleblower who asserted that administrators at Chicago State University engaged in misconduct. Those improprieties will now cost Chicago State in excess of $3 million. This is just one of a string of controversies over the years reflecting bad management, fiscal improprieties, poor hiring practices and questionable purchasing at this university, into which taxpayers have dumped tons of money.

 Chicago State is an academic cesspool that should be drained. In an era when higher education has overbuilt and tax money to support Illinois’ community colleges and universities is increasingly scarce, why not make Chicago State a branch campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago? Scores of administrative and staff jobs could be eliminated. Better management and efficiencies of scale could save money. Chicago State has lost the right to steer its own course.
 -- Charles F. Falk, Schaumburg

Unfortunately that is no panacea. The UIC Faculty Senate just voted no confidence in their Chancellor. What is really needed is a complete overhaul of the governance of state universities. The use of these institutions by politicians and their friends needs to come to an end. CSU cannot continue to be a political football passed from one politician to another and expect to succeed at all "those good things" we as faculty try to do. As one of my now retired department chairpersons wearily said, "yes, yes, they'll get us a new president who will be worse than the one before..." We must get off this cycle.

In September there is a meeting of all ILL state faculty senate presidents. I hope they will begin to have this conversation to liberate the universities from the intolerable and expensive political patronage that has been allowed to choke out "all the good things we do" and that envelops all of us across the state.

I'd remind people that there is a CSU board meeting in September where they could also make these pleas known, but the Board is essentially complicit in the entire process and hear, see, and speak no evil where Dr Watson is concerned. And save yourself the insult of writing to them. All you'll get in return is a form letter from Farah Muscadin telling you how much they believe that manure smells like roses.


  1. I think that while the idea to take control away from political insiders like Watson and his allies, the point that CSU is 'an academic cesspool' is wrong, misinformed and based on racist stereotypes of our students and the university as a whole. CSU IS an administrative, political cesspool. My faculty and staff colleagues work their asses off and provide a high quality education and academic environment.

    We don't need to be a part of UIC. We have plenty of talent and know-how to build our university in the way that we know best. When does that story get out?

    When do people start to see the incredible things that we do in spite of the limited resources we have and a criminal administration that fattens itself at the expense of CSU students, faculty and staff?

  2. I agree that the real problem is the crop of highly paid administrators from all I have read on this site. Governors State University has its own administrative problems. Merging the two, GSU and CSU might be in order.