Sunday, March 29, 2015

Some Thoughts About The Futurepast

So our Potemkin Village rituals continue. To wit, the Provost’s Breakfast event no doubt touting her outstanding leadership and readiness to become the interim president when the current placeholder finally leaves. For long time readers of this humble attempt at keeping the community informed you will recall the various antics of the Provost.
It started with her hiring when she indicated on her job application that she expected to complete a Ph.D. before she had even gotten UIC Institutional Review Board approval to conduct the dissertation research on which the project would be based. This misrepresentation was probably the first clue to her competence. The next was the scandalous decline in enrollment experienced on her watch and the cancerous growth of the division of enrollment management. The division grew at an inverse rate to the student enrollment.
As if her mismanagement of that division weren’t enough she was made the interim provost without having completed a Ph.D. The disregard for the quaint little customs of the academy, like having appropriate credentials, was certainly noticed by faculty and students. That appointment began the disintegration of the academic affairs division. The first indicator was the move of the provost from the academic affairs area to the president’s suite. The elimination of the boundaries between the president and provost was a harbinger of further decline. Her appointment then evolved into a months long wait to see if she actually finished a doctoral program. Finally, in December of 2013 the dissertation was discovered on a public website at UIC. My distinguished colleague thoroughly reviewed that document and found it to be plagiarized. Having an ethical obligation to report such gross academic misconduct, he submitted a quite thorough report to the Graduate College at UIC. The Chicago Tribune submitted the document to three recognized national experts and they concluded it was plagiarism. The editorial board of the Tribune concluded it was plagiarism. I reviewed the document, checked sources and concluded it was plagiarized. My review wasn’t nearly as thorough as my colleague’s and it was clear that this work product should never have been approved. Then there were the ethical and procedural problems with the dissertation. The candidate’s direct supervisor, who has a material impact on the student’s financial and employment situation, was listed as a member of the committee and the candidate did not have the required number of Graduate College faculty on the dissertation committee. All of those deficiencies were brought to the attention of the UIC Graduate College. The outcome of that was a lawsuit filed against the university by the candidate alleging slander and libel. A review by a “hearing” officer concluded that mistakes had been made, (passive voice; who made the mistakes?), and Henderson was allowed to revise. That was curious because the document had already been approved. After the “fix’ of the situation, likely involving a local attorney and the now retired chancellor, there was the sham search for a provost and after spending $100,000 on the same search firm that found the university the current president, she was identified as the best candidate in national search.

Loyal readers, I know it is difficult to suppress your laughter at such an assertion, but take a deep breath before you continue reading. I am sure some former administrator in an exit interview told Watson that it would be a mistake to make Henderson the Provost. Of course that counsel was not heeded. If we follow the performance of Henderson to date, she has cut the highest number of courses during each of the semesters of her tenure. No other chief academic officer has eliminated the number of courses that this Provost has. She brought the skills of driving enrollment down from Enrollment Management to the Division of Academic Affairs and now students worry about their ability to take courses they need to graduate in a reasonable time frame. Faculty contracts go unsigned for weeks. Documents in the procurement system go unauthorized. Travel authorizations for recruiting purposes go unsigned. The division is in free fall because the current office holder has no idea how to do the job. Playing at Provost is not the same as being the Provost. But when you have never been university faculty, gone through personnel processes, earned tenure, been a department chair, been a college dean, then the explanation for your professional incompetence and failure is obvious. 
So with so little getting done at the university, it begs the questions, what is her time spent on and why is no one else outraged? It might be getting spent on the security for the provost. If you read the email message below, you will see that virtually round the clock security was being provided because of the "pest", aka Willie Preston, and his ‘threatening’ behavior. It doesn’t really matter that her allegation of stalking was later found to be false and dismissed ab initio by a judge but the regime never lets facts get in the way of their twisted narrative. And how much in overtime was spent on this farce?

The time is being used to cancel meetings and other events. The recently scheduled Academic Affairs Town Hall Meeting was cancelled less than 90 minutes prior to its start. Before being barred from the Provost Council Meetings, I observed that roughly half of those weekly meetings were actually cancelled.
Cancelled meetings, a plagiarized dissertation, total absence of professional qualifications, unsigned contracts, cancelled courses, absence of planning for facilities upgrades, catastrophic enrollment declines, and the mistaken belief that faculty will mistake activity and "sharing" for accomplishment are the defining characteristics of this provost. When will she stop playing at being an administrator and really serve the university by departing before more damage is done? When will the president stop foisting her upon the university as a credible interim president and just go away?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Watson Slime Machine: The Price Tag for this Failed Presidency Is Going to be Enormous

It seems eminently reasonable to argue that the Watson administration at Chicago State is the most dishonest and corrupt administration in American higher education. The mounting evidence of the lies of omission and commission by upper level administrators in a variety of venues is simply part of a pattern of misconduct that combines incompetence and dishonesty with a pathological desire to destroy the administration’s “enemies.”

Unfortunately for the frauds in the Cook building, they are no longer able to operate in the shadows. The successes of Willie Preston and James Crowley in Circuit Court represent major victories against the Watson slime machine. Watson and company have been publicly exposed as the vindictive liars they are and the exposure of their activities in both instances shed light on the enormity of their perfidy. Ultimately, the unwillingness of Chicago State’s Board of Trustees to end this corrupt enterprise will cost the taxpayers of Illinois dearly.

The Willie Preston story includes trumped-up judicial charges to expel him from the university, uncorroborated statements by Angela Henderson to obtain an Order of Protection that should never have been granted and trumped-up criminal charges. All these actions taken by the Watson administration in an effort to silence Preston. After two arrests and a costly effort to clear himself of these bogus allegations, Preston’s complete exoneration by the Cook County Circuit Court underscores the falsity of the charges lodged against him by Chicago State administrators.

Although Angela Henderson served as the point person for the administration’s attempt to destroy Preston, Wayne Watson found time to involve himself in the charade by writing the following letter to Assemblyman Ken Dunkin. The letter is quintessential Watson; disingenuous and dishonest, with a dash of ass-kissing for good measure:

I wonder if it is really necessary to point out the ridiculous nature of this communication. First, an expelled student has the requisite political connections to damage the university’s financial position? Idiotic. Second, if Preston was so well-connected, why did he submit to expulsion? Why not simply have his “high ranking official” friend intercede on his behalf? This letter positively drips cynicism and underscores the limited intellectual ability of its author.

Certainly, the administration’s attempt to ruin Preston’s life mirrors its efforts to do likewise to Jim Crowley. In his August 2014 opinion, Circuit Court Judge McCarthy acknowledged the vindictiveness and dishonesty of the Watson administration. Here are the salient passages:

The Crowley jury certainly repudiated the administration’s position. Deliberating for a short time, the jury returned a verdict for Crowley and awarded an amount of damages they felt reflected the severity of the wrong done by the Watson administration. As of this date, the appeal of this case drags on and the amount of the judgement increases daily. I estimate that it is now in excess of $4 million and will undoubtedly exceed $5 million when the appeal concludes.

Of course, Tom Wogan claimed in February 2014 that the university’s “insurance policy will cover the damages.” As one of the major purveyors of nonsense on behalf of the Watson administration, is it possible that Wogan really believed that? Or was he told to say that by the demonstrable liars who populate our upper administrative ranks? No matter, the February 2014 statement is rendered false by looking at the university’s liability coverage.

I recently obtained a copy of Chicago State’s liability policy, which the administration has refused to provide in response to FOIA requests (the administration’s obvious contempt for FOIA is a post in itself). The policy seems to confirm my belief that the university’s liability insurance will not cover the award in the Crowley case. In addition, if the lawsuits by Glenn Meeks and Lashondra Peebles succeed, those damages will not be covered by the university’s insurance.

In common with other types of insurance coverages, this policy contains numerous “exclusions” in its coverage. These exclusions are specific circumstances for which the insurer is not liable, the liability is borne by the insured. Scrolling down the list, we come to exclusion Q which reads (bold in original):

As many of you likely remember, the Crowley verdict affirmed the allegation of wrongful termination. As a result, the jury award falls under the policy exclusions and the insurance company has no obligation to pay the damages.

This is Watson's legacy. He has done virtually nothing but damage to Chicago State and will ride off with another lavish pension whenever his execrable term here concludes. The state legislature will have to come up with the money to pay the price of his presidency. Will the university survive? Making all this possible is a Board of Trustees who have willfully ignored the myriad misdeeds and failures of this administration. Why?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Have You Had Enough Yet?

Welcome back from our spring break. Given recent events, I would like to pose several questions to all Chicago State faculty, students and staff. Have you had enough yet? Enough administrative scandals? Enough administrative incompetence? Enough administrative corruption? Enough of our administrators’ “ethics”?

Since Chicago State is currently under pressure to reduce salary expenditures, here are my nominations for employees to be discharged in order to save the university money. I think the reasons for these selections apparent, so I will not elaborate on them; save to say that for most of these persons, we now know how they spend their time and our tax dollars. The list, with last known salary included:

Wayne Watson $199,500
Angela Henderson $225,000
Patrick Cage $155,004
Renee Mitchell $144,996
Bernetta Bush $85,000
Cheri Sidney $113,304
Thomas Wogan $85,008
Robin Hawkins $110,004
Farah Muscadin $102,000

The total salary saving achieved by discharging these nine employees comes to $1,219,816—not enough to satisfy Rauner’s ravenous appetite, but a nice start. For those of you who might shrink at such a drastic culling of the upper administrative ranks, I argue that given their "performance" over the past 5-plus years and its demonstrable effect on the university, we might actually experience an increase in administrative effectiveness if all their positions were vacant.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Declaration of LaShondra Peebles in ‘Beverly, et al. v. Watson, et al.’

FYI The Fire published two things regarding the LaShondra Peebles' lawsuit see links below. Especially illuminating is the full text of Ms Peebles' declaration. This is a real insider's perspective on the workings of a political machine masquerading as a university.

Peebles' declaration betrays the Watson administration's oft-spoken statement that "no one reads the blog..."

Declaration of LaShondra Peebles in 'Beverly, et al. v. Watson, et al.'
By Fire March 19, 2015

Case: 1:14-cv-04970 Document #: 68 Filed: 03/19/15 Page 1 of 8 PageID #:547

I, LaShondra Peebles, declare as follows:

1. I was hired by Chicago State University (“CSU”) in March 2012 as a Process Improvement Specialist.

2. In July 2012, I became the Director of Compliance for Enrollment Management.

3. On July 1, 2013, I was promoted to Interim Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs. My duties were to manage and supervise eleven departments and a staff of approximately 130 employees in the areas of enrollment related services and student affairs. In this role I oversaw a budget of approximately $7,000,000. I was employed by CSU in this position until my termination on June 2, 2014.

4. On February 18, 2015, I filed a civil lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, alleging that Chicago State University, the university’s President Wayne Watson, and the Board of Trustees of Chicago State University violated the Illinois State Officials and Employees Act, 5 ILCS 430/15-5 insofar as the termination of my employment constituted retaliatory action of my protected speech in violation of the Act. See Exhibit A.

5. My lawsuit alleges that while I was employed at CSU:
     a. I was asked to approve payments without signed contracts, and my statements to Watson that I would report any such conduct to the Illinois Auditor General constituted protected speech as defined by 5 ILCS 430-15-10(1);
     b. Watson prevented me from reporting CSU’s provisional status with the U.S. Department of Education regarding Title IV Federal Financial Aid for students to the Board of Trustees in violation of my protected speech as defined by 5 ILCS
     c. Watson and other CSU officials demanded that I make false claims of sexual harassment against Phillip Beverly as part of an effort to shut down the CSU Faculty Voice blog, and my refusal to do so constituted protected speech as defined by 5 ILCS 430/15-10(1).
     d. My protected speech was a motivating factor in my discharge.

CSU Faculty Voice

6. As a CSU employee, I was familiar with Professor Beverly because he and other CSU faculty members publish a blog titled CSU Faculty Voice. The blog discusses management by the CSU administration, and provides links to public documents regarding CSU. It contains information and opinions critical of CSU management and President Watson.

7. Watson referred to the “fight” that he was in against the CSU Faculty Voice, Beverly, and the blog’s contributors. Watson routinely had his assistants, Joy Hearn and Binta Chauncey, print copies of blog articles that angered him and distribute the copies to CSU officials. I heard many conversations among management critical of the blog.

8. Watson described Professor Beverly in my presence as a trouble-starter.

9. When I began my position as Interim Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs, Watson advised me that he wanted to be immediately informed if Professor Beverly spoke with me and that I was to report the substance of any conversations with Beverly to Watson.

10. From at least September 2013 through April 1, 2014, I was present during several conversations about Professor Beverly and the CSU Faculty Voice among CSU officials who discussed what actions they could take to remove Beverly from campus and shut down the blog. During that time, I was present during numerous meetings in which Watson, Patrick Cage, General Counsel and Vice President for Labor and Legal Affairs; Angela Henderson, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Hon. Bernetta Bush (Ret.), Ethics and Diversity Officer and Special Counsel to the President; Farah Muscadin, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs; Renee Mitchell, Director of Human Resources, and other CSU officials discussed ways to remove Beverly from the CSU faculty and shut down the blog.

Cease and Desist Letter

11. In November 2013, I attended a meeting in Henderson’s office along with Watson, Cage, Bush, and Mitchell to discuss sending Professor Beverly a letter to cease and desist from publishing the Faculty Voice blog. Henderson typed the letter and all attendees at the meeting were asked to assist in drafting the letter. The letter was conceived to shut down the CSU Faculty Voice blog and silence Beverly and other blog contributors who criticized Watson’s administration. I believe the letter was sent within one or two days of the meeting.

12. Attendees at the meeting offered various suggestions for what grounds could be asserted for shutting down the blog. Cage suggested that the letter assert that the name of the blog violated a registered CSU trademark. Watson said that even if the intellectual property claim did not “stick” he wanted the letter sent to Professor Beverly. Watson suggested that the letter reference CSU’s civility standard, as set forth in the Computer Usage Policy.

Cyber Bullying Policy

13. In November or December 2013, Henderson spoke with me and asked me to research examples of cyber-bullying policies at other universities. A meeting of CSU officials was convened to discuss adopting a cyber-bullying policy. I brought the sample policies that I researched from other schools to the meeting.

14. At the meeting, Watson, Cage, Henderson, Bush, and Muscadin discussed whether a cyber-bullying policy could be used at CSU to discipline Professor Beverly and shut down the Faculty Voice blog. The cyber-bullying policy was promoted by the CSU officials who attended as a response to the Faculty Voice blog and a means to close down the blog.

15. A draft CSU cyber-bullying policy was presented to the CSU Board of Trustees.

16. At the March 2014 CSU Board of Trustees meeting, the Board heard a “first reading” of the final proposed cyber-bullying policy, which was presented to the Board by Watson and Cage.

Sexual Harassment Allegation
17. In September 2013, Professor Beverly visited my office and asked to schedule an appointment with me to discuss CSU enrollment issues. I told him that no appointment would be necessary and offered to speak with him immediately in my office. We sat at my conference table and discussed CSU enrollment strategy and my professional qualifications to address CSU’s enrollment issues. Our conversation lasted ten to fifteen minutes. At the conclusion of our conversation, Beverly referenced his military experience and said that he had found it essential in life – as in the military – to have a “wing man” or someone to “watch your back.”

18. Per Watson’s request that I inform him if I had any contact with Professor Beverly, I immediately went to Watson’s office and reported my conversation with Beverly. Watson responded by characterizing Beverly’s parting words a “threat.” I responded that I did not feel threatened.

19. In a later conversation the same day in his office, Watson advised me that he needed to “protect” me and asked me if I felt threatened by Professor Beverly. I told him I did not feel threatened by Professor Beverly. Watson advised me that I should not talk further with Beverly and that Watson would “teach me” how to respond to Beverly in the future. The incident did not come up again until several months later.

20. In December 2013 I hired Monica Moss as Dean of Students. I passed along Watson’s instruction and told Moss to report to me if Professor Beverly spoke with her because Watson had said Beverly was out to “get him.”

21. In late January, Moss called to inform me that Professor Beverly had met with her and asked her questions about her professional experience and qualifications for her role as Dean of Students.

22. Complying with Watson’s standing instructions, I called Watson and informed him that Professor Beverly has spoken with Moss without discussing the content of the conversation. Watson responded by stating “that’s three,” claiming that Beverly had threatened and sexually harassed Angela Henderson, Moss, and myself. Watson stated that he needed the three of us to charge Beverly with sexual harassment. Watson said that he and the CSU administration were in a fight against Beverly and that he wanted to get rid of Beverly. Watson told me that he needed my help in the fight and advised me to file a lawsuit for sexual harassment against Beverly based on Beverly’s visit to my office. I told Watson that I did not feel threatened or harassed by Beverly’s conversation. Nevertheless, Watson asserted that I had been harassed and that I “did not realize it.”

23. I later spoke with Moss who informed me that she had been contacted by Watson and that Watson asked her to file sexual harassment charges against Professor Beverly. She resigned her employment February 28, 2014.

24. In early 2014, I was interviewed by Patrick Cage about my meeting with Professor Beverly. I was not advised about the subject of the meeting in advance. I described my conversation with Beverly and in response to his questions told Cage that I did not feel harassed or threatened by Beverly.

25. I was subsequently pressured by numerous CSU officials to file false sexual harassment charges against Professor Beverly. I was pressured in approximately ten different meetings with various CSU officials including Watson, Cage, Henderson, Bush, Muscadin, and Mitchell. The meetings would be initiated by a request via phone, in person, or via my assistant, Arlina Worrill, to participate in an ad hoc conference in an office or conference room without prior notice.

26. On another occasion, in early 2014, I was summoned to a meeting in Muscadin’s office, along with Watson, Cage, and Henderson, as well as Robin Hawkins, Assistant General Counsel and Tom Wogan, Director of Public Relations. I was again questioned about whether I was sexually harassed by Professor Beverly. When I denied any harassment, Watson to me that I was “too strong” and that he needed me to file the harassment lawsuit against Beverly so Watson could protect me. I reiterated that I did not feel threatened by Beverly and did not intend to sue Beverly. I stated that if I testified that Beverly harassed me, my testimony would be false.

27. In late February 2014, I received a text from Henderson to come to Watson’s home for a dinner meeting. At the meeting were CSU officials and others, including Watson; Bush; Muscadin; Hawkins, Cage; Angela Henderson and her husband Victor Henderson, Esq.

28. A discussion was held over several hours on how to get rid of Professor Beverly and shut down the CSU Faculty Voice. Attendees voiced their anger that blog contributors continued to post articles criticizing the administration without punishment.

29. Victor Henderson criticized Cage for not enforcing the cyber-bullying policy to get rid of Professor Beverly and blog contributors in light of recent blog reports suggesting that Angela Henderson had plagiarized her dissertation. Watson asserted that the administration had developed the policy to be used to shut down the blog and complained that no action had been taken against Beverly or any blog contributors via the policy yet.

30. There was also a discussion of filing a CSU lawsuit that would be used to obtain an injunction preventing publication of the blog.

31. The conversation then turned to whether or not CSU should file suit against Professor Beverly for sexual harassing me.

32. Angela Henderson said that she had agreed to file a sexual harassment complaint against Beverly.

33. Bush told me I was threatened by Professor Beverly and just did not realize it. I again stated that I did not feel harassed or threatened by Beverly’s conversation related to CSU administrative matters. I stated that would not falsely testify in support of such a complaint.

34. Bush offered to file a sexual harassment complaint if Moss and I refused.

35. The discussion became heated, with individuals telling me to file a claim against Professor Beverly. I was accused of not being a “team player.” I became distressed by the discussion and left the meeting.

36. In March 2014, I was interviewed once again regarding my conversation with Professor Beverly in a teleconference with Cage and lawyers who introduced themselves as attorneys retained by CSU to investigate the conduct of Beverly’s interaction with me and other CSU employees. I answered questions from the attorneys regarding my conversation in September 2013 with Beverly and stated again that Beverly had not sexually harassed me. The attorneys then questioned me regarding Moss's resignation and asked whether she had resigned because Beverly had harassed her. I told the attorneys that I did not believe Moss would state that she resigned because she felt harassed by Beverly.

37. I make the above statement based on my knowledge and recollection of events and if called as a witness would testify to the above facts.
                                                                   LaShondra Peebles


I, LaShondra Peebles, under penalties as provided by law pursuant to 735 L.L.C.S. 511-109 certify that the statements set forth in the foregoing Declaration are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
                                                                   LaShondra Peebles

CSU in the News (Again) "Chicago State president is accused of pushing fake claims of sex harassment"--Chicago Tribune

Well, the Chicago Defender can write all the vanity articles it wants about our illustrious administrators Angela Henderson and Wayne Watson, but check out what the Chicago Tribune has to say about them. Is Ms. Peeble's complaint finally going to be the thing that blows the lid off this corrupt bunch? Tom Wogan says its all a lie... of course...

Chicago State president is accused of pushing fake claims of sex harassment
By Lolly Bowean
Chicago Tribune
MARCH 20, 2015, 7:14 AM

The president of Chicago State University tried to pressure a high­level administrator to file false claims of sexual harassment against an outspoken professor to help the college try to silence him, according to court documents filed Thursday as part of an ongoing lawsuit.

In a sworn statement, LaShondra Peebles, the college's former interim vice president of enrollment and studentaffairs, said before she was fired that President Wayne Watson pushed her to accuse Phillip Beverly of sexual harassment, though Peebles said she was never harassed.

Beverly contributes to the blog CSU Faculty Voice, which has been critical of Watson and his policies.

Beverly and professor Robert Bionaz have sued the university in federal court for allegedly attempting to shut down their blog. Their lawsuit was filed last year with support from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, also known as FIRE. Peebles also has sued the university; in a filing last month, she claimed she was wrongly terminated from Chicago State in June 2014 after working for more than two years at the South Side school.

According to the professors' lawsuit, CSU has taken several steps to keep them from publishing their blog, including accusing them of trademark infringement. But Thursday, they alleged in court papers that Watson and other top college administrators repeatedly pressed Peebles to file a sexual harassment claim.

"The discussion became heated, with individuals telling me to file a claim against Professor Beverly," Peebles said in the documents. "I was accused of not being a 'team player.' I became distressed by the discussion and left the meeting."

Beverly and Bionaz's attorneys have asked for an injunction to stop CSU administrators from interfering with their blogging. A hearing for the matter is scheduled for next month, officials said.
"To have a university president, whose institution is supposed to promote discussion, to go (to) these lengths to shut it down is disheartening," said Catherine Sevcenko, the associate director of litigation for FIRE.

CSU spokesman Thomas Wogan said he couldn't talk specifically about the allegations made in the sworn statement or about the reasons Peebles was terminated. But he said her statement was not true.
"I can say that when this is all said and done, it will be shown for what it is, which is a complete lie and totally false," he said. "I would just add, that if you consider the sources here, the allegations of a terminated employee ... and a professor who is willing to file any number of frivolous lawsuits in order to advance his agenda ... this document has zero credibility and is completely false."
Twitter @lollybowean

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The FY 14 Audit Report Part Deux

So my distinguished colleague, Dr. Bionaz reported on the FY 2014 audit report yesterday. I thought it would be instructive to put that report in an historical context as well as a comparative context with other state universities.  Based on data collected from FY 1996 through FY 2014 (minus 3 universities which have notbeen reported for FY14 as of this writing) we find some striking discoveries. First, during the period only two public universities averaged annual double digit audit findings, the University of Illinois and Chicago State University. That would be the University of Illinois with three campuses, 70,000 students and a two billion dollar budget and CSU with now less than 5,000 students on one campus and a $150 million budget. Both universities averaged 17 audit findings per year. By way of comparison, the other universities averaged about 5 audit findings per year. During that 19 year period, Illinois State University had only one year of double digit audit findings. During her ten year tenure, Elnora Daniel racked up 107 audit findings, about 10 per year. During the tenure of the current administration, Watson has racked up 140 audit findings in five years, about 28 per year. To put that into perspective, the Watson regime has generated almost three times as many audit findings in half the time. If you examine enrollment during the period you will find that CSU had less than 5% of the enrollment but routinely generated 23% of all audit findings statewide among the public universities. With only 3% of the enrollment during the Watson era, the percentage of audit findings increases to 27%. The most troubling element of this data is that Watson was to be evaluated on his reducing audit findings and increasing enrollment, two areas that contrary to his ridiculous claims, are epic failures. His continued presence will guarantee an enrollment decline for AY 2051-16 and will likely drive enrollment below 4,000 by Spring 2016. Another key to remember about the audit is that it is based on sampling. A forensic audit which would examine every transaction during a time period is time consuming, expensive and in CSU’s case extremely embarrassing. The annual audit is only based on a limited sample size. Since that's the case, you can imagine the scope of the dysfunction present. A small university with the same number of findings as the largest university system in the state is beyond troubling.

The enrollment issue is critical and is tied to a specific finding in this year’s report, namely what can only be characterized as crony hiring in the division of enrollment management. The hiring of an unqualified assistant director by an unquestionably unqualified associate vice president only exacerbated the problems in the division created in large measure by the former vice president, an office holder who had no enrollment management experience at a university before being given the job by Watson in 2011. The connecting of dots should not be necessary in understanding the failure of this administration. The audit report only scratches the surface of a cancerous dysfunction brought by this administration and enabled by the board of trustees. In their defense, it is possible that information was purposely withheld from the board. An examination of the minutes for meetings held after the receipt of the March 2013 Department of Education report reveals no discussion of federal financial aid status changes and the subsequent programmatic implications for the university. This begs the question what else has been withheld from the board during Watson’s tenure. Are the audit reports routinely discussed in board meetings? To his credit Trustee Young has inquired repeatedly about enrollment trends, though I fear his inquiries occur too late to stem the tide of student losses.

I don’t know how much more information the board needs about the epic failure known as the Watson presidency. It is almost like deniers of climate change who are waiting for “more evidence’ before acknowledging what everyone else knows. The next academic year is a write off because the board has indeed waited too long to excise the cancer that is killing the university. When all the evidence, including the FY 15 Audit Report, is finally collected on the damage done by Watson, I hope it is not CSU's post mortem.