Friday, September 16, 2016

Board Meeting This Morning: See the Nation's Worst Board of Trustees do its Sleazy Business Right Before Your Eyes

This morning just after 8:30, the CSU board will apparently vote on Thomas Calhoun's "separation package." Why is he being separated? We have no answer to that question, other than the silly and self-serving suggestion by Senator Donne Trotter (who likely nominated several of the current board members) that CSU needs a "war-time" president. That's Cecil Lucy? Why not just bring back our old friend Wayne Watson? In effect, that's what the board will do today.

So what has Dr. Calhoun done? Has he hired his girlfriend into a $90,000 year administrative job? Has he looked the other way as multiple lies were discovered on her resume? Has he continued to promote her despite demonstrable incompetence? Wait, that was Wayne Watson.

Has Dr. Calhoun hired a long-time crony as a University Vice President, then after two dismal years failing in that position, promoted her to Provost? Has he looked the other way when lies were discovered on her resume/application? No, that was Wayne Watson again.

Has Dr. Calhoun decreased the university's enrollment by 40 percent during his six-year tenure? Oh, Wayne Watson again.

Has Dr. Calhoun's vindictive management style cost the university millions of dollars in damage awards and legal fees? You guessed it, Wayne Watson again.

Has Dr. Calhoun been exposed in open court as a liar? Sorry, that was Wayne Watson.

Has Dr. Calhoun failed completely to raise money for the university? Sorry, Wayne Watson once again. In fact Watson's fund-raising was so inept that his sycophants decided the answer was to have the college deans become fund-raisers, about "one-third" of the time. Ridiculous and idiotic.

Has Dr. Calhoun been found by the OEIG to be both unethical and dishonest? What, that was Wayne Watson?

Has Dr. Calhoun, despite a year of lead time, failed to provide the university with a plan to deal with the totally predictable financial crisis that occurred in 2015-16? Really, we all know that was Wayne Watson again.

Confronted with all those scandals and many more during the Watson administration, our board did nothing save lavish more money on the former president, and spend more of the university's purportedly scarce resources on propping up his miserable regime. No scandal was bad enough to get them to move on Wayne Watson or any of his senior administrators, and the contortions they went through (see the OEIG finding) to defend Watson were truly laughable.

Now we are told only that Dr. Calhoun is not a "war-time" president. That is apparently sufficient for this board to decide to continue destroying this university. Now the board springs into action to take away the only chance this university has to come out of this predicament. Cecil Lucy is wholly unqualified to be president of this university. In fact, none of the members of the MAC or Chicago State's senior administrators would be acceptable in that role. We have the president we want already in place.

Make no mistake that the members of this board are responsible for failing this university, its students and staff. Anthony Young, Michael Curtin, and James Joyce are responsible for Watson keeping his job in 2013. Along with Spencer Leak and Horace Smith, they are responsible for the vote of "confidence" they gave Watson in May 2013. Nikki Zollar, Young, Curtin, Joyce, Smith, and Leak are responsible for the contract extension Watson received in mid-2014, and along with the most recent board member, Marshall Hatch, they positioned Watson on campus after his retirement to continue to do his underhanded business. Despite the knowledge that the staff and faculty almost unanimously support Thomas Calhoun and almost unanimously oppose Angela Henderson, they have apparently decided to continue her destructive tenure at Chicago State while they terminate his.

This is arguably the worst board of trustees at any U.S. university. The only thing they should do today is convene the meeting then all resign. If they won't resign, the Governor should remove them immediately.

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