Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Zombie President

Just when you think he's gone, he resurrects.

The CSU Board of Trustees today, notably Trustee Nikki Zollar (she of the many City Colleges contracts), nominated Wayne Watson for tenure and the rest of the sheep voted to maintain Wayne. They gave the guy tenure. Tenure, that's right. Emeritus status AND Tenure. This is the most facocked situation this board has put us in since they voted to extend the Watson contract after the previous board had tried to get Wayne out of the presidency--remember Quinn gave Watson the board he wanted.

I have only heard that Watson will take his tenure in the College of Education. In a department? Will he teach? Will he get paid? Since I don't have enough of the specifics at this moment I'll leave it to my more informed colleagues to get the details.  Just remember how the old Wayne Watson harried Haki Madhabuti off the campus for being tenured and not teaching...Will what's good for the the goose be good for the gander? We have a 4/4 teaching load here, Dr. Watson, and you better be able to "make your load."

So much for the hopey changey thing the Board of Trustees promised us in the Fall when they did not bring Angela Henderson in as the anointed successor of Wayne Watson; they lulled us really good into accepting their presidential search with limited faculty input. Remember their phony email, "we heard  you..."

So much for the countdown phrase some of us have endured by our more patient and less vocal  colleagues, "if we only wait just 3 more, 2 more, 1 more year, 6 more months, 3 more months, 1 more month... he will be gone..." Nuh-uh. The zombie president will be with us even after he is gone...

So much for letting the new CSU president Dr Calhoun start fresh. Tell us Anthony Young, Nikki Zollar and the rest of you "overseers" of the university's good--what good is this going to do? You want Wayne out, but you don't want him to leave? Or, maybe you never wanted him out in the first place. Is Dr Calhoun in on this? Is he  supposed to be the front man for the continued shadow presidency of WW? Elnora Daniel did not have to work on the same campus as her predecessor Dolores Cross; Frank Pogue did not have to bump into Elnora Daniel on campus when he was interim president; and Wayne Watson and then Board Chair Leon Finney could not usher Frank Pogue off campus fast enough. Wayne Watson would never have stood for seeing Frank Pogue granted an office or two in the library with an assistant or two ...and yet you expect Dr Thomas Calhoun to try to work with his predecessor across campus. You really do want Dr Calhoun to fail, don't you?

The Trustee's performance today is a great big F-you to the faculty. 

More than this it is a signal to everyone in the state, the IBHE, and especially to the taxpayers of the state of Ill, that Chicago State University will remain unaccountable to them. It exists for the pols of Illinois to play with as they wish. The Board (i.e. the politically-connected) can place whomever they want into a job or a tenured position on this campus. Chicago State University is the ne plus ultra of patronage pits. Our Board might change the president, but not the institution. They are committed to the culture of machine politics and cronyism. They prefer to support a zombie president, one of their own, than a president who might think that the priority of an academic institution is academics not politics. 

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