Monday, December 22, 2014

Tis the season, (the election season that is...)

So in Chicago it is election season, meaning the citizens of our fair city will have the opportunity to re-elect the current mayor or elect a new mayor. The offices of City Clerk and Treasurer are also up as well as the 50 aldermanic seats. As a political scientist I am always interested in campaigns and elections. This cycle is no different. One television ad making the rounds includes an appearance by the Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. Thanks to her re-invention efforts, also reported on the PBS Newshour, the graduation rates and completion rates have doubled since she took over in 2010. At a paltry 7% when she started, the City Colleges graduation rate is now over 15%. Hmmm, I wondered to my self. How did the graduation rate get so low in the first place??? Who was in charge at the City Colleges whilst academic success plummeted to such an appalling level? Why of course, it was Wayne Watson. So if I understand this right, a massive re-invention effort was necessary to correct a failing system that he oversaw for 10 years. I would hope that the CSU Board of Trustees would take note and understand that a massive re-invention/recovery/rehabilitation effort will be needed once the university is finally rid of him. Some believe this institution is irreparably damaged. I believe we are quickly closing in on a point of no repair but aren’t there quite yet. For those interested in a future for CSU and figuring out how to fix the systemic deficiencies, start keeping a list of what is broken and how might it be fixed. Putting this out in the public domain might actually help in the repair efforts. At the very least no one gets to say they didn't know it was this bad. I would imagine that with a failure this great, all options will be on the table.

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