Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Fall Blood Ritual

So the semi-annual blood letting, known as the course cut session is over and the blood is still being cleaned up. This necessary but mostly counter-productive process yields little to no benefit to the university. I estimated that only 230 courses would meet the administrative axe, but imagine my surprise when the official list of courses was released. I admit that I lack the depth of administrative knowledge possessed by the regime but I could never have imagined 355 courses being eliminated. The only conclusion I can draw from acts like this is that this group is actively working to shut the university down. Their already legendary levels of incompetence, malfeasance, and corruption will likely be the reason the state moves to shutter CSU. The quiddity of the university is offering courses. The fewer courses offered the more degraded the essential nature of the institution becomes. It is likely that this blood ritual is one of the primary factors for students leaving the university. What is most tragic is that this administration is clueless about the composition of the student body. I lost one class that had nine students that was offered at night while another of my classes with 10 students was not cut. The key point is that now a group of night students who take classes at night for a reason don't have the opportunity and may have their graduation delayed as a result. If these less than capable administrators understood this they would use a different approach to scheduling and course cancellations. Maybe they would involve faculty who know substantially more about the academic enterprise than they do to provide some insight. Of course that would only happen if there was any interest in serving the best interests of the university. 
The death spiral that the university is in started nine semesters ago with the first decline in enrollment overseen by this administration. Now that the university is approaching ten consecutive semesters of enrollment decline, I can only conclude that the Board of Trustees wants the enrollment decline to continue or else they would have invited the failed president to pursue other opportunities. They didn’t and now the institution finds itself facing the very real possibility of enrollment in the spring under 4,000 students. The hiring of another political hack by the board won’t fix the plethora of problems created by the incompetence of this administration. Their reluctance to hire an interim president demonstrates the board’s complete lack of understanding of the operations of universities. The toxic waste dump that the university has become should be cleaned up before a new president arrives. The decisions that have to be made in the present (the cleanup) can negatively impact the decisions that need to be made for the future (the vision). If only the Board would inquire of people who know, like faculty, maybe their decision making would be better. I am willing to predict that the next president will not be able to right this sinking ship because they will not be given the opportunity to succeed. 
The ongoing tragedy that is CSU will continue, I would imagine for not much longer given the economic situation of the state. The real victims of the tragedy are the alumni and those who will never get the chance to be alumni. That is the unfortunate legacy of the Watson administration. Unprecedented damage wrought by incompetence and corruption of Watson and his inept cronies will be felt in this community for decades to come. This group of incompetents is the gift that keeps on giving.

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