In the colleague’s description, the private college is perpetually in the grip of a panic over the prospect of a drop in enrollment. The college’s administration has therefore instituted an unwritten but implacable policy the upshot of which is that the student is always right, no matter how absurd his complaint, and the consequence of which is that instructors must never tax students beyond an infantile minimum of scholarly exertion. Among the consequences of the consequence are that students refuse to undertake out-of-class reading assignments, fail quizzes related to those assignments, and then lodge complaints with chairs and deans against the instructor.Thus everybody graduates, possibly with high honors. Whether everybody gets into a professional school or a white-collar job is another matter. Or perhaps the institution becomes a dropout factory.
No need to rehash the enrollment declines that have occurred at Chicago State in the past four years, as the persons charged with increasing the university’s enrollment continue to demonstrate their inability to stop the bleeding. As of yesterday, our enrollment for Spring 2014 stood at 1200 fewer students than the enrollment for Spring 2013. The university at this point has around 4500 students enrolled, down from 5701 in the Fall. How long can we sustain these kinds of losses?At Chicago State, dissident faculty seek regime change. A change of the academic culture is also desirable. How much evidence do I have to produce that the excess capacity is in access-assessment-remediation-retention?