Saturday, February 27, 2016

Shame on you Anthony Young, Nikki Zollar, Michael Curtin, Marshall Hatch, James Joyce, Spencer Leak, Horace Smith. Proud of yourselves now?

So this is what it has come to. After years of propping up the failed presidency of Wayne Watson, covering for him, acting as his apologist, on February 4th you, the CSU Board of Trustees, had to declare  CSU financially exigent. Now, today you tell 900 CSU employees of all ranks that they may be out of a job in April or August. Well done Anthony Young. Well done CSU Board of Trustees.
After years of hearing from us here and in other venues that the CSU house was on fire, treating us as if we were outsiders with no stake or interest or commitment to the university--you just stopped up your ears and swallowed the pablum, the snake oil that HRH your friend and pol Wayne Watson pedaled. And you even went on record time and time again about your support of Watson and his vanities. Well done. Great management of a state institution you were entrusted to protect.

Ok, so Gov. Rauner has put all the state universities into circumstances that are beyond their individual control. But let's face it, without WW's lawsuits and all the legal fees incurred by the university, all his whims and extravagances, his running of CSU as a jobs for friends political ward--lovingly detailed here in these blog posts, not to mention his and your board's failure to fund raise (nice touch by the way, caving into Watson's desire to blame it all on the old beleaguered Foundation and then dismantle them), you have to admit that you really did not do your due diligence. You did not attend to the falling enrollment of which you were reminded at every Board meeting. You let Wayne and his "team" off the hook time and time again. You even extended the megalomaniac's contract. Then, for some reason, who knows why, last fall you decided to hire a new president to clean up the mess or help shut us down as the case may be. You wanted the new president to start in January, but you still kept WW on campus in  university-supported office space. Your blind support of the failure of the Watson presidency has helped our undoing immensely. It is cold comfort to think that among all the pink slips you have to sign, one must now bear Watson's name. Three years too late.

So bravo CSU Board of Trustees. 

If Rauner were truly interested in cleaning up the corruption of the state he would have disbanded the CSU Board long ago. But we know the dance is all about Rauner vs Madigan. We know that at a place like CSU we are all pawns in a much bigger game. Too bad, however, you could not have provided us with a higher ground on which to endure the assault from outside.
Shame on you all.  


  1. Is it true that layoff notices are dated February 26, 2017? If so, why?

  2. The announcement of the plan to lay off has been completely botched. The press stories are contradictory. There is also a difference between announcement to lay off and announcement to terminate. Unsupported rumors say that the February 28, 2017 date is one that was given to some administrators. I know the UPI is looking into all these details.

  3. Why the shot a Dr. Calhoun? Didn't he just arrive some 6 weeks ago? Seems hardly fair to indict him as complicit in this mess as I seriously doubt he or anyone would have willingly signed on to contend with this kind of tragic state of affairs. We're all frustrated and angry but anger and resentment towards any actions taken by Dr. Calhoun are grossly misplaced. Frankly, I feel horrible for the guy. He unwittingly walked into a colossal dumpster fire of a mess and now he is being blamed and or scapegoated for the past failings of an incompetent administration, board, etc. That hardly seems reasonable.

    1. The blame here is on the former president and this execrable board. However, the layoffs were botched.

    2. This is no indictment of Calhoun. But one wonders why was he hired to begin in January with no time to put his own "team" together? Instead he must use Watson's leftover cronies with all their baggage and loyalty to WW to deal with an unfathomable situation. The onus of the internal damage to the university is on the Board. Someone else suggested to me that Calhoun was brought in just for that reason you mention--to be the scapegoat, to spare Watson from having to face the dismantling of the university he oversaw so poorly. Like Ronald Reagan, Wayne Watson remains the teflon man.

  4. Is my thinking too outside the box to think that students, faculty and staff of CSU can file a class action suit against the members of the BOT and WW?
    Doesn't the CSU community have grounds for such action?

  5. It would be interesting to know if there are any precedents for such a class action suit. I know that faculty who have been fired have succeeded in class action lawsuits, but the conditions have been different. I am doubtful we could muster one that covers all categories you describe. I have been thinking of how those who are powerless in society in the past took justice into their own hands when they reached a breaking point--peasant revolts, mob action. The impulse is understandable but it seems our course is through the legislature, not lighting torches and burning down the castle. Express displeasure on a local level. A number of local community leaders came in to defend the rights of Wayne Watson when he was about to be laid off by a previous Board of Trustees. Where are these voices now--where is Hermene Hartmann of N'Digo? (oh, she's in Rauner's pocket). Where is the Defender? (they had a front-page story a few years ago praising WW--oh, they are his friend, not friends of CSU); where are the ministers who showed up with their congregations to defend Wayne Watson at the Board meeting in 2013? Where is Rev Finney? Emil Jones? the ones who maneuvered Wayne Watson into the CSU presidency. All of these were notably absent from the last board meeting that saw the university declare financial exigency. We know that some of these folks have also had their pockets lined with Rauner money. Our website used to be plastered with pictures of Wayne Watson shaking hands with any politico who was visiting on campus. Where have they gone?

  6. It's infuriating to think about all of the families of students, faculty and staff who have been impacted by the actions of the BOT and Watson. Watson stated upon his arrival that he was going to change the culture at CSU which apparently included breaking the union and faculty tenure. You can change the culture while building at the same time but it was clear to see that he was in the process of dismantling the university. Illinois taxpayers are beginning to demand change at the local and state governments. I just wish there was some way to hold the BOT members and Watson accountable for mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, I don't expect Springfield to do anything about it; some of them benefited (contracts and jobs) from his presidency.

  7. Damn the corrupt politicians in this city and state. Damn them to hell.

    And damn the bovine electorate that accepts this killer level of corruption.