The latest development from Chicago State University is the anticipated retirement of president Wayne Watson.  To the dissidents of CSU Faculty Voice, it can come none too soon.
According to university public relations people, Watson’s achievements include “renewed accreditation, a reduction in the number of audit findings, an increase in academic standards and better relations with the South Side community.” Heady accomplishments in five years, and only one connected to the purported evaluation criteria. Interesting that the university fails to mention Watson’s singular achievement: his dramatic expansion of both the number of administrators and the salary expenditures for those persons. An article about another university president seems quite applicable to Chicago State: “a whole lot of it (money) goes directly into the pockets of a metastasizing cadre of university administrators, whose jobs, as nearly as I’ve been able to determine . . . consist of inventing justifications for their own existence while harassing faculty . . .”
Mr Watson at least brought continuity to Chicago State: it was a subprime dropout factory when his predecessor had to resign, and it remains a subprime dropout factory today.  The one bright spot might be that there are fewer students enrolling, which might cut into the number (if not necessarily the proportion) of dropouts.  And the student credit hours per vice president has fallen more rapidly than enrollments have.  For the usual reason.
Wayne Watson can create any number of Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents for Chicago State. With the addition of this new Vice President’s position, we now have 12, compared to 6 in fiscal 2011.
But the academy's house organ for business as usual reported on the presidential shift at Chicago State in a way that didn't sit well with one of the president's retainers: a rebuttal to the retainer's claims reveals the true purpose of Chicago State.
There has not been enough outrage from the taxpayers of IL about what has gone on under Watson's "reforms" of CSU because they don't know about it--the agencies in place to monitor institutions in IL give CSU a wide berth--criticize and you are a racist. African American faculty and many in the community on the southside of Chicago have been conditioned not to air their dirty laundry in public and not to tear down a "successful" black man or woman no matter how outrageous his or her behavior--be it cronyism or plagiarism.
Thus does the soft bigotry of low expectations continue.

No comments: