Sunday, April 12, 2015

How the Watson Administration Treats Chicago State's Tenure-Track Faculty: Use Them then Screw Them

On of the administrative practices that has basically escaped examination is the Watson gang’s contempt for personnel action deadlines. Even a cursory look at how they perform their duties in this area reveals again the utter incompetence of this administration. We already know that it took a grievance last year to force the administration to honor its contractual obligation to grant sabbaticals, but their failure to give even lip service to personnel obligations mandated by the contract and their own policies starkly sketches the contours of their disdain for our tenure-track colleagues. Our administrative motto might be: "use them if you must, screw them when you can."

As many of you know, contrary to customary practice and in contravention of its own personnel action policies, the administration last year apparently failed to notify in advance of the May board meeting any faculty who had earned tenure. As this year’s deadline for administrative notification of tenure recommendations approaches (April 21, 2015), there seems little reason to expect that the administration will act differently this year.

In addition, this year for tenure-track faculty in the midst of their probation, the university has, for at least several faculty, failed to provide status notification for either promotion or retention. Despite a December 15, 2014 date for retention announcements, faculty have still not been notified. Despite a January 21, 2015 date for promotion announcements, faculty have still not been notified. These unwarranted and inexplicable delays are simply unconscionable.

During my probationary period at this university, the administration scrupulously adhered to the personnel action deadlines. When the time came for the board to vote on my tenure, I already knew that the administration had made a favorable recommendation. The timely notification did much to reduce the understandable anxiety associated with the probationary process.

For those unfortunate faculty who are in the current tenure process, no such relief is forthcoming. Imagine waiting three or four months past the deadline to learn your fate—will you be retained or on a terminal contract? The utter lack of qualifications of anyone in this administration to judge any faculty member’s performance notwithstanding, failure to notify persons of administrative personnel decisions creates unnecessary anxiety and in the case of those faculty not retained, the late notification may put them at a distinct disadvantage in the job market.

As far as our administrators are concerned, the only reason for the existence of staff, faculty and students seems to be the furtherance of the interests of Wayne Watson and his regime. As little more than props, staff, faculty and students frequently wait for incompetent administrators to make other important decisions, often with necessary paperwork languishing in an office waiting for nothing more than a signature. In the past few years, Wayne Watson has centralized operations under his control with the result that almost no one else can make a move without his approval. As a result, ignorant, capricious and often disastrous administrative decisions abound.

The scorn with which our administration treats all Chicago State’s faculty is magnified in the case of our tenure-track colleagues.

Here is the personnel action timetable for 2014-15:


  1. This story just keeps getting worse. What would happen at CSU to a faculty member who missed a couple of deadlines in getting renewal, tenure, or promotion materials to committees? My guess is that the motley crew in administration would flex their power and squash that faculty member like some peoe squash bugs. They, however, have nobody to fear and violate any policy at any time--or so it seems from documentation presented in this blog. Unbelievable.

  2. If they didn't violate processes and policies, they would. respond to FOIAs, and incompetent paramours wouldn't get 6 figures when they lied on resumes and can't do job. The only thing admins fear is getting. exposed on local news. Remember how he threatened to fire anyone who goes to media? (illegal of course).

  3. I'm not at all surprised at how things have gone. It was pretty obvious from the moment this kakistocracy was installed what the plan was: to shut down this University, It had to be done under the aegis of an African American President and "educational leader", so that it would be more palatable for everyone to wash their hands of it. The fact that Watson got to feather his and his his friends' nests was a given. What was NOT planned was that the faculty would not screw up the re-accreditation, despite the Watson administration's best attempts.

    Now, are we going to DO something about it? THAT's the question.

    1. Based on our history, what do you think the answer to your question will be?

    2. The delay in granting tenure speaks volumes. If the goal is to close the University, then one would expect no new such arrangements be made. This is an issue that I would expect would be front-and-center with the Union. So, that kind of places the ball in your court.

    3. "We're in a battle trying to save a damn university."

      The President actually believes that he is the university's savior.

      Is the Kool-Aid available in diet?

  4. ...or in the court of the current Union leadership...such as it is...