Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Chicago State Administration: Pigs at the Trough

As you may recall from a recent post, Wayne Watson blamed Chicago State’s organized workers for the university’s cost of doing business, which in effect blamed us for the school’s fiscal problems. Over the past few years, I have made a number of reports on the budget situation at Chicago State and the spending priorities of the Watson administration. In contrast to our budget information, which is a closely held secret, Western Illinois University actually posts its annual budget on its web site, making it available to anyone in the public who might like to examine the document. Using this budget as a point of comparison further underscores Watson’s profligate spending when it comes to university administrators. Perhaps someday someone in the state will actually notice how much money goes down Chicago State’s administrative rat hole, but I doubt it. Anyway, for you readers not already numbed by my frequent use of statistics, here is what the comparison reveals.

In fall 2014, Western Illinois enrolled 11458 students compared to Chicago State’s 5211. Western’s budget listed a total of 1942 ($109.1 million total salaries) positions with the following breakdown: 368 administrators, 803 faculty, and 771 civil service. Total salary appropriations were: $25.5 million for administrators, $51.9 million for faculty, and $31.6 million for civil service. As a percentage of total personnel, administrators constituted 18.9 percent, faculty 41.3 percent, civil service 39.7 percent. In terms of percentage of salary appropriated, administrators constituted 23.4 percent, faculty 47.6 percent, civil service 29 percent. Of the 368 total administrators at Western Illinois, 161 (43.75 percent) held positions at the rank of Assistant Dean or higher. The titles of these posititions break down thus: 1 President, 3 Provost (1 Provost, 2 Associate Provosts), 9 Vice Presidents (4 Vice Presidents, 2 Associate Vice Presidents, 3 Assistant Vice Presidents), 136 Directors (68 Directors, 16 Associate Directors, 52 Assistant Directors), 12 Deans (4 Deans, 8 Associate Deans). As a percentage of Western Illinois’ total employee population, persons holding positions higher than Assistant Dean constitute 8.3 percent of the total workforce.

Chicago State’s budget combined with its most recent organizational chart listed a total of 967 positions ($57.3 million in total salaries). I have incorporated some minor changes from the university’s organizational chart in an attempt to bring Chicago State’s information up to date. The total number of administrators differs from the budget appropriation by only two positions. These positions breakdown as follows: 266 administrators, 316 faculty, and 385 civil service. Total salary appropriations are: $19.4 million for administrators, $20.4 million for faculty, $17.5 million for civil service. Percentages of total personnel look like this: 27.5 percent administrators, 32.7 percent faculty, 39.8 percent civil service.. Salary percentages of total appropriations are: 33.8 percent for administrators, 35.6 percent for faculty, 30.6 percent for civil service. Of Chicago State’s 266 total administrators, 107 (40.2 percent) hold positions at Assistant Dean or above. Our breakdown is: 1 President, 3 Provosts (1 Provost, 1 Associate Provost, 1 Assistant Provost), 12 Vice Presidents (4 Vice Presidents, 6 Associate Vice Presidents, 1 Assistant Vice President), 77 Directors (54 Directors, 7 Associate Directors, 16 Assistant Directors), 15 Deans (8 Deans, 4 Associate Deans, 3 Assistant Deans). As a percentage of our total employee population, 11 percent of our employees hold positions at the rank of Assistant Dean or higher.

The comparison between the two institutions follows. A percentage higher than 45.5 percent indicates a larger proportion at Chicago State, a percentage smaller than 45.5 percent indicates a smaller proportion at Chicago State:

Enrollment: Chicago State has 45.5 percent of Western Illinois’ student population.
Total Salaries: Chicago State has 52.5 percent of Western Illinois’ total salaries.
Number of Administrators: Chicago State has 72.2 percent of Western Illinois’ administrators.
Administrative Salaries: Chicago State has 75.8 percent of Western Illinois’ administrative salaries.
Upper-level administrators: Chicago State has 66.4 percent of Western Illinois’ upper administrators.
Number of Faculty: Chicago State has 39.3 percent of Western Illinois’ faculty.
Faculty Salaries: Chicago State has 39.3 percent of Western Illinois’ faculty salaries.
Number of civil service employees: Chicago State has 49.9 percent of Western Illinois’ civil service employees
Civil Service Salaries: Chicago State has 55.4 percent of Western Illinois’ civil service salaries.

Finally, Chicago State’s percentage of upper-level administrators in the total employee population is 32.5 percent higher than Western Illinois’. I interpret these figures to mean that Western Illinois’ spending priorities are its academic programs, while Chicago State’s are its administrative salaries. This is a concrete example of two institutions allocating funds in entirely different ways. Perhaps the reason we are now purportedly struggling is the bloated, turgid administrative presence on this campus.

Here’s a photo of several of our top-level administrators at a recent meeting:


  1. did anyone read this article and the tom wogan response? really? CSU students are only worth 55K/yr? and they should be happy?

    'Chicago State University spokesman Tom Wogan said the school is achieving success given that 59 percent of its graduates come from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level and go on to jobs earning $55,000 a year.'

    1. I can personally attest to the fact that there are MANY Unit B faculty members who *WISH* they were worth $55,000. Our faculty is tremendously overworked and underpaid.

  2. This is kind of an insult to pigs, don't you think?