A tenure-track professor at Chicago State comes to grips with messy reality.
Now that I've been here for a couple semesters, I have seen the general lack of facilities upkeep and maintenance. There is intermittent wi-fi, electrical outages and surges that have damaged expensive research equipment, floods from burst pipes, potholed and cracked walkways, muddy ruts and pooling water over sidewalks, and don't even get me started about the lack of childcare on campus when half of our students are women with children! I also get the feeling when attending university and departmental meetings that a lot of committee work feels like a waste of time because recommendations and decisions get reversed or altered by the time they are finalized.
The professor's error, dear reader, is in thinking his paychecks come from an institution of higher learning.
When I go back and review that list, it sounds like I'm working in a poor, developing, corrupt country - but I take the Red Line home each day and remember that we live in a vibrant, modern American city that should be providing a quality education and experience for our students who work so hard to attend. We should be an example of progress and upward mobility for the community that we serve, not an embarrassment that continues to fulfill stereotypes and further marginalizes our students.
A university that educated its oppressed and marginalized students would be a university that got rid of remediation and the therapeutic bureaucracy that enables underachievement.  It might insist that the high schools do their job properly so college faculty wouldn't have to teach junior high math.  That would be the end of the first-generation-nontraditional scam that turns many a public university into an expense-preference playground for diversity hustlers.  Not only that, successful students would no longer be constituents rendered helpless by years of Democrat policies.  Democrat ward-heeler politicians and diversity hustlers at nonselective universities owe their continued existence to the continued misery of the poor.  The only option for an individual coming to grips with the understanding that he is not working for an institution of higher education is to exit.
I was very happy to accept this position and was hoping to stay for at least a few years until I was (hopefully) granted tenure, and I have really loved teaching and interacting with our CSU students and the other faculty. However, the upper administration's actions make me very worried for the integrity of CSU, and, therefore my professional reputation. I have been starting to look for other positions already this next academic cycle, and the thought of going through that again churns my stomach.
Idealism (doing the poor a service) crashes with reality (the continued existence of the poor keeps the diversity hustlers employed).  Yes, the academic job market is scary this year.  Scarier, too, is the likelihood that other institutions of higher education are advertising for professors, yet perpetuating the same access-assessment-remediation-retention scam that culminates in a Chicago State style dropout factory.

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