Friday, June 10, 2016

The Big Con Continues to Play at Chicago State: The Administrative Colussus

Here in the first month of the summer, we await the decision on additional faculty layoffs that may come at some point from the incompetents in the Cook building. No sense attempting to discern what the administration’s “plan” might be, since they have not had a viable plan from the beginning of this budget crisis in February 2015. Of course, there is some kind of discernible attempt to insure that the friends and cronies from the past administration remain in a position to administer the coup de grĂ¢ce to Chicago State as an educational institution.

Over the past six weeks, I have been able to cobble together an unofficial census of the layoffs which took place between April 30 and May 15. Not surprisingly, both the numbers and the pattern of the layoffs point to a “business as usual” attitude from our administration. Here is some of the most revealing data:

At the end of February, the university employed 883 full-time staff and full- and part-time faculty. Data received from Human Resources listed 247 full-time administrators, 296 staff, and 340 full- and part-time faculty. In addition, a category of “Temporary Administrator” included 29 persons, including the Interim Vice President of Administration and Finance. Thus, the university totaled 912 employees categorized as administrators, staff, or faculty.

After the blood-letting of April and May, the number of staff had been reduced to 581 (this is somewhat volatile as it is likely that a number of “temporary administrators” have been laid off). Included in this number were 185 full-time administrators, 197 staff, and 173 full-time faculty, a total of 555 persons. An additional 26 “temporary administrators” bring the total to 581, although an unknown number of these persons have likely been terminated. This staff complement comes to 63.7 percent of the staff present in February.

The university reduced salaries from $50 million per year to just under $38 million, a 24 percent reduction. Administrative salaries declined 21.6 percent, staff salaries, 28 percent, and faculty salaries 23.7 percent. However, the proportion of total salaries remained virtually the same, indicating the administration did nothing to address the acknowledged administrative bloat that has plagued the university for years. From 36.2 percent of the total salary expenditure, the percentage of administrative salaries post-layoffs, actually rose to 37.4 percent all salary expense. As I said, “business as usual.”

Another manifestation of the “business as usual” approach of the Watson holdovers is evident in the number of senior administrators continuing to blight the university. Their salaries have remained constant and they have retained their positions while other employees have lost their jobs. Here’s a list of our senior administrators pre- and post-layoffs/terminations with their salaries:

President Pre-Layoff/ Post-Layoff
Thomas Calhoun, President $300,000/ $300,000
Wayne Watson, President Emeritus $199,500/ $199,500

Provost’s Office
Pre-Layoff/ Post-Layoff
Angela Henderson, Provost $225,000/ $225,000
Bernard Rowan, Associate Provost $135,000/ $135,000
Paula Carney, Associate Provost $135,000/ $135,000
Yvonne Davila, Assistant to Provost $85,008/ $85,008

(who is this person and what in the world does she do?)
Assistant Provost Position (Vacant) $100,000?/ $100,000?
(a new incumbent is being sought for this interim position, there are apparently a number of applicants)

Vice Presidents/Associate VPs Pre-Layoff/ Post-Layoff
Patrick Cage, General Counsel $155,004/ $155,004
Carol Cortilet Albrecht, VP, EM $150,000/ $150,000
Renee Mitchell, Assoc VP, HR $144,996/ $144,996
Cecil Lucy, VP, Admin and Finance $140,000/ $140,000
(he is listed as a “Temporary Administrator”)
David Kanis, Sponsored Programs $129,240/ $129,240
Denisha Hendricks, AVP, Athletics $125,004/ $125,004
Maricela Aranda, Assoc VP, A&F $118,440/ $118,440
Robin Hawkins, Assoc VP, L& Legal $110,004/ $110,004

As you can see, we are still a great place for Vice Presidents and above to ply their trades. In the layoff frenzy, only two senior persons lost their jobs, Chicago State still fairly bursts with Vice Presidents, Provosts, and even Presidents.

Needless to say, the number of employees at this university should be driven by the number of students enrolled. While I realize this calculus does not apply to our administrators, particularly our upper administrators, our enrollment looks dismal for Fall 2016. As of Wednesday, we had enrolled 1642 students, a 17 percent drop from the previous year’s dreary figure. I expect a loss of at least 25 percent from Fall 2015, which would make the university’s student count around 3500. How many faculty will be needed to teach that many students? Stand by for an answer, coming some day. How many administrators will be needed? Probably lots more than we have now.

The main thing the university has done to address administrative overpopulation has been to re- submit its salary data to IBHE. The new, streamlined CSU administration can be viewed on the IBHE salary database, along with this note: * “CSU FY10-FY14 information reflects updated managerial classifications as of April 28, 2016.” So the answer to managerial bloat is simply to re-classify persons out of administrative positions. Amazingly, this drops the administrative employee total for fiscal 2015 from 252 (according to Human Resources), to just 82. No one is fooled administrative folks. You are still scamming the Illinois taxpayer and you are still killing the university.

Most notable, the persons who owe their current positions to their personal/professional relationships with Wayne Watson have certainly demonstrated that they have learned their patron's "management style." They have mastered the art of the big con.

1 comment:

  1. At this point IT does not have any administrators over there. They let them all go. How does a university operate without senior level IT? Beats my imagination