Thursday, March 12, 2015

More Thoughts on the Presidential Search and More Illiterate Written Material on Chicago State's Web Site. Is There Anyone Among our Highly-Paid Public Relations Folks Who Can Write in English?

Given the apparent willingness of the Chicago State Board to revisit the Presidential Search Committee's composition, some further discussion might be fruitful. To preface my remarks, I would like to point out to the board that the upcoming presidential search has important ramifications for Chicago State in particular and its responsibilities to the taxpayers of Illinois in general. As a publicly supported institution, anything that affects the institution has the potential to affect the taxpaying public and as such, is a matter of public concern. The search for a new president should be of great interest to the people of Illinois.

The “Presidential Search” component has just appeared on the Board of Trustees portion of the Chicago State web site. At present, it is somewhat devoid of information; including only a brief description of the goals of the search committee and a lengthy encomium to the wonderful leadership of Wayne Watson. As yet, no names grace the page dedicated to search committee membership. It seems reasonable to assume that when the Board announces the names of the non-faculty members of the committee that five (5) administrators will be among those selected. Why?

This administration has been an epic failure. Why allow persons who have demonstrated their inability to govern this institution to participate in the selection of Watson’s replacement? Which one of Watson’s stellar upper administrators seem to you qualified to undertake such an important task? In the search the University of Illinois conducted last year for a new president, only one administrator served on the 19 person committee, the Chancellor of the University of Illinois-Springfield campus. The remainder of the Illinois committee included three (3) members of the Board of Trustees, eight (8) faculty from the three campuses in the system, three (3) students, one from each campus, one (1) academic professional, one (1) civil service employee, one (1) alum, and one (1) person from the Foundation. Rather than load its committee with administrative personnel, the University of Illinois chose to entrust the choice of a new president to a committee composed of a majority of its faculty and staff. You might also note that a faculty member co-chaired the committee. The announcement is here:

The legitimacy of this search is yet to be determined. However, in contrast with the Watson administration's history of excluding faculty from university governance, the comments by Nikki Zollar on the presidential search sound promising. We will soon see how much that actually means. Hopefully, the candidates will not be put off by the glaring, embarrassing and persistent error in the “Search Firm” part of the Presidential Search web site. Why in hell are we unable to find anyone to write copy for the web site who knows the difference between a possessive and a contraction? To the best of my knowledge, we have a functioning English Department on this campus. Perhaps someone might consider having them proof read the material that goes up on the web site so we are not continuously embarrassed by the illiteracy of our public postings.


  1. Your diligence, concern, and willingness to so thoroughly and ethically research details, processes, and backgrounds merits you a reserved place on search committee. Every word you write and do represents transparency and accountability and the community is indebted to you and those who work so hard to return values and ethics to university. Those willing to abuse positions of power to destroy innocent employees' careers and lives need to step
    down and remove themselves from search because they are through. The community no longer likes nor wants them. They gave themselves 6 figure salaries only to flagrantly abuse public trust filing false police reports, promoting nonentities willing to lie and cover up escalating fraud and misconduct. Their illegal poker game is over and not just one,but they all need to get out.

  2. Why does the CSU administration and Wayne's board (it is clearly not independent) continue to do everything the wrong way? Every time they do something they make the wrong choice. The faculty search in Criminal Justice from 2-3 years ago and the failed faculty searches one year later are examples of how admin sticks their noses in the wrong places and screw things up. This is what happens when you get non-educators to attempt to run a university. Faculty at universities have figured out how to do searches over several decades. Why do non-academic, political hacks make decisions about how university should run? True academics have already figured this out. We know how do this. We have institutional memory. We will be here long after these hacks have gone on to ruin other people's lives at some other institution. We are not beholden to politicians or Watson. Carefully chosen faculty members should be the foundation of a presidential search committee. But, since we have rolled over and taken Watson's abuse for so long, I guess they think they can do whatever they want. It is clear to them that faculty will not object. Faculty will allow them to run this university into the ground. So, why would they pay attention to us or to the well-established protocols for presidential searches?

    1. This is a good time to revisit the resistance to the presidential search that brought Watson. Remember that a couple hundred members of campus gathered to publicly announce our opposition to the sham search process orchestrated by the BOT and Hollins Group. Hundreds more attended the presentations of Carol Adams and Wayne Watson. There we vehemently voiced our concerns. We had a mobilized campus then. While the BOT still forced Watson down our throats, we demonstrated a collective power. We were late to the game last time. If we get together now, we have a chance of getting our university going in the right direction again.

  3. All should be aware of and read the following:

    By these criteria, we are not even close to initiating a legitimate search.

  4. Now, here is how such a search COULD be conducted: