In the sorriest chapter in the annals of the worst university board of trustees in the United States, Horace Smith, Nikki Zollar, Anthony Young, James Joyce, Spencer Leak, and Marshall Hatch put a bullet into the head of Chicago State University this morning. This abominable group ousted the President we all wanted in favor of Cecil Lucy, who likely does not want the job (with this board who would?). Clearly the ex-Watson cronies won the day against our President.
For those searching for a reason why the board would do something this monumentally stupid, here's Donne Trotter to explain: "With all the pressure they've been under, they need a plan," Trotter said. "Without a plan, I've been told he hooked up with those fighting the administration and didn't work with the members of the board."
So that's Dr. Calhoun's fatal transgression. He actually had the audacity to listen to faculty and others who have the temerity to want legitimate people running the school instead of the collection of hacks with which we have been plagued the past six years. Dr. Calhoun did not work with members of the board? Maybe because the board was too busy listening to a cavalcade of petty complaints about the President from Watson cronies. And a plan? Given that the Watson administration did no planning whatsoever, despite the lies they tell about that, Dr. Calhoun is suddenly responsible for the university's lack of a coherent response to our current predicament. What a pile of bullshit.
Of course, the real losers in this wretched scenario are our students, who acquitted themselves magnificently at today's board meeting. The student trustee voted against the monstrous injustice. She was the only member of that group to show integrity. Students speaking during public comment called upon the board to resign. They reminded the board that dismissing Dr. Calhoun was in direct opposition to the wishes of the students, dozens of whom expressed their full-throated support of the President. Of course, as always, this board did not care. As Charles Preston eloquently stated, at least one board member, eminent physician Horace Smith, warned him not to let the "white man" use him, which means, of course, that Mr. Preston is some kind of weak-minded fool, a proposition soundly rejected by our brilliant student. Commenting on the articulate and reasoned remarks by our students, one prominent and well-respected member of the African American community told me after the meeting that "this is the best protest I've ever seen." High praise indeed.
So now the foul deed is done and we're back to where we started. Wayne Watson's sycophants with proven track records of failure are running the university and I suspect we will soon realize the fruits of their labors. We have lost the one person capable of leading us out of the wilderness and we are left with dashed hopes and broken dreams. All this is the responsibility of our execrable board. As one of the student comments predicted, the headlines about Chicago State will soon read: "school closed because of inept board." I'm sure all the administrators who undermined the President, the board members who now look like a fiscally irresponsible pack of fools for firing someone they just hired--never having given him the opportunity to do the job he was hired to do--and everyone who looked the other way while this travesty unfolded must be proud of themselves today. By the way, even though it was on the agenda, the board never voted to discontinue the MAC. Are we still afflicted with that?