Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dear CSU Board: Are You Ever Going to Notice How Bad Things Are Here?

Certainly, no one on the Chicago State Board of Trustees would ever read anything so vulgar as the Crony State Faculty Voice. However, on the eve of another special Board meeting which will likely result in nothing positive for this university, I think it appropriate to revisit Wayne Watson’s plan to deal with our school’s unending enrollment decline. Here it is:

“Then we hope, the hope with strategic planning, the hope with strategies in place, and goals and metrics and accountability behind it, for our enrollment to grow incrementally . . .”

Now that stream of meaningless verbal sludge was apparently sufficient to mollify Anthony Young and other Board members who sat mute after Watson’s empty pronouncements. It seems easy to understand their silence, after all anyone with such a firm sense of purpose inspires confidence. Just think of it, “strategic planning . . . strategies in place . . . goals and metrics and accountability behind it” will solve all of Chicago State’s enrollment difficulties.

Of course, we do have some “metrics” with which to assess the effectiveness of Watson’s plan. As of Monday morning, our enrollment stood at 4795, a slight decrease of 416 students or an 8 percent decline from Fall’s anemic total of 5211 students at the school. Since Fall 2013, Chicago State’s enrollment has dropped by 906 students or 15.9 percent. Of course, now that we have “strategic planning, strategies in place, goals and metrics and accountability behind it,” all our problems are solved.

The Board could do everyone a great service by firing Watson and the entire Chicago State upper administration, then resigning themselves. Of course, they will not do that. I suspect they will reaffirm their allegiance (read obeisance) to this completely failed President and find a way to place the blame on the faculty and staff. Perhaps it is time to close some of the colleges or programs in order to give Watson additional time to make his “vision” a reality. Needless to say our students and school continue to suffer as this obscene story continues.

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