Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Our Continued Misery: The Scramble by Watson Loyalists to Escape Blame

On the eve of another round of what are sure to be draconian course cuts, enrollment at CSU has reached 3082 as of yesterday. I anticipate an enrollment for the fall of fewer than 3000 students. The Watson holdovers will be contorting themselves to blame the President for this horrific decline, but here’s a look at what they did in the guise of the Management Action Committee, which has three members loyal to Henderson, against Calhoun's lone vote.

The layoffs in April damaged both financial aid and admissions. In fact, admissions has only one remaining full-time staff member. I am sure this has contributed to the drop in new admissions from 1195 last fall to 397 late last week. This number will probably barely creep about 450 or so. Clearly, if we don’t have new students coming in to the university, we’re in even worse shape than our enrollment figures suggest.

The Provost arbitrarily and unilaterally raised the class size limit as well as the CUE range for full-time teaching faculty. This positions the administration to make more than the usual number of cuts, certainly causing some students to leave the university and probably resulting in a number of faculty members being reduced to part-time status for 2016-17, and more than likely triggering a new round of faculty/staff layoffs for 2017-18 (assuming that we still exist). Just as an aside, you also may have noticed that our Public Relations person, Sabrina Land—related by marriage to a Chicago alderman, and making nearly $100,000 per year to do next to nothing—has put out nothing to combat the narrative that the school will close. Land, who has expressed her loyalty to Henderson rather than CSU, works directly for the Provost.

I believe we have now arrived at the point this question must be asked: at what point do we cease to be viable as a university? I anticipate enrollment for spring 2017 will be around 2500. If we continue to hemorrhage students at our current rate, we’ll certainly be below 2000 in fall 2017. There is still no plan on the table to stop the bleeding and I have no hope that any of the Watson holdovers will be able to come up with anything useful since they have overseen an enrollment drop from 7300-plus to our current dismal numbers.

I think it fair to say that at this point, the Provost is winning the power struggle to determine who actually runs the university. The MAC is the primary vehicle for this. As Henderson has emerged as the de facto President, the administration’s wild thrashing about has accelerated. One after another, bad decisions come from her. At this point, it is hard to argue that the ultimate goal is anything other than the destruction of our university.

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