Friday, January 31, 2014

New Bits and Pieces

So as my distinguished colleague continues to serialize the plagiarism of Crony State’s very own Interim Provost, I sense I have neglected you loyal readers about the other goings on at Crony State. What follows are bits and pieces of the university’s ever exciting activities.
First, the Internal Auditor is rumored to have moved on to pursue other career opportunities. The timing of his exit is interesting as it comes after the revelations that Cheri Sidney and Tyra Austin falsified their job applications and mysteriously continue to remain employed at Crony State. And all of this occurs in the midst of continuing declines in enrollment. I guess the tagline (Where We Hire Our Friends) of the university is as true as ever.
Second, your humble narrator has been told, but has not yet confirmed by scientific evidence, that the university dormitory is in need of mold re-mediation. Could the presence of mold been responsible for departure of  the last two directors of housing? Is the owner of that building not in a position to ensure that students aren’t exposed to mold, if it is in fact present? Recently a middle school in the suburbs closed while environmental safety contractors made repairs to the building. I would hope the building’s owners would inspect the facility and take appropriate action, even if that action is to assure the community that there is no mold in the dormitory.
Third, one of the university’s hired law firms goes to court on Monday to defend the university in a wrongful termination suit filed by a former employee. Once that trial is complete, I will report more on the circumstances and outcomes. As a layman, I would have thought the university would have settled to avoid a costly trial but that’s only because I don’t really understand the law.
Fourth, how is the work in Douglas Hall progressing? I understand asbestos abatement can be a time consuming process and dangerous if not done exactly as required by law and federal and state regulations. I would hope that after the interior work is complete that maybe the doors to the building that have not had glass in them for the last several years might actually be repaired and not appear as an advertisement for a board up company.
And finally, I received notification that reports to the Board of Trustees for their March meeting are due on February 7th. I have no idea what to report as the city’s newspaper of record seems to have reported on issues important to the faculty, namely infringement on First Amendment rights and academic dishonesty. If, loyal readers, you have any other ideas on what the Faculty Senate could report on, please don’t hesitate posting it here.

The Morning Inspiration for Friends of Wayne

“I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got." Richard M. Nixon, quoted in the Washington Post, November 18, 1973.

For all the liars, cheaters and incompetent cronies of Wayne Watson who populate the upper administrative ranks at Chicago State, I have a few questions. First, do you sometimes find your enthusiasm for corruption and incompetence waning? Second, do you notice that you are having difficulty obtaining those unearned raises and promotions? Third, do you require inspiration elsewhere than from the exploits of the most accomplished liars and cheaters at the top of the administrative ranks? Fourth, do you occasionally question the infallibility of that “giant” of a president, that eminent "educator" Wayne Watson?

All you need is a little morning inspiration to get you back on track. Here at the Faculty Voice Blog, we attempt to appeal to a broad cross-section of the university community, or our “family” as the administrative “team” is so fond of calling Chicago State. In that spirit, and in keeping with the kind of intellectual integrity modeled by our upper administrators, I humbly present your daily plagiarized inspirational quotation. Of course, what better source exists for plagiarized material than the dissertation of our most distinguished plagiarist, the Vice President and Chief Plagiarizing Officer of Chicago State University?

Today’s quote comes from page 25 of Angela Henderson’s dissertation. It’s stolen from:
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, “Conceptions of the Transition to Adulthood: Perspectives from Adolescence Through Midlife,” Journal of Adult Development 8-2 (2001): 133-43. Quotation from p. 142. Here it is:

Here's what appears on Henderson's dissertation. It inspires with its rhetoric and its purloined character gives it extra spice. Enjoy!

If this sterling example of intellectual theft does not convince you that with fraud and deception all things are possible, you can always convince yourself that you've earned everything you've got, just like Richard Nixon.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

More on Our Plagiarizing Provost's Dissertation

In an attempt to give a fuller picture of what a fraud Angela Henderson perpetrated on the academic community, I now present another exploration of her plagiarized dissertation. Although much has been made of the TurnItIn program as the source of the information I used to construct my original plagiarism report and to check Henderson’s references, that particular venue provided little assistance. Instead, the vast majority of the plagiarized passages I discovered came from a simple google inquiry into relevant sentences along with occasional downloading of specific articles and searching them for keywords and verbatim passages. Although I am confident I could unearth more plagiarized passages, here is what I have discovered to this point.

Henderson’s dissertation includes 37 pages of text that is primarily based on external literature. Of those 37 pages, 28 pages, or 75.7 percent include plagiarized material at least a sentence long. On pages 2-3 and 11-22, Henderson’s dissertation features 21 plagiarized passages on 9 of the 14 pages. Henderson, however, was just getting warmed up on these pages. The 21 pages from 25-45 include a breathtaking 61 separate plagiarized passages on 19 pages. Thus, the total plagiarism I have discovered in the dissertation amounts to 82 separate passages on the aforementioned 28 pages. As an example, here is a segment from the material I reported to UIC. This comes from page 26 of Henderson's dissertation and the plagiarism continues onto page 27. The plagiarized portions are highlighted in yellow:

Henderson lifts this material from the following article: Eva S. Lefkowitz, "Things Have Gotten Better": Developmental Changes Among Emerging Adults After the Transition to University," Journal of Adolescent Research 20:40 (2005): 40-63. Available online here: The first passage comes from page 54, the second from page 60:

It took only a simple search to reveal the existence of the article in question and the inclusion of the plagiarized passages in the Lefkowitz piece. As I have said before, truly the kind of plagiarism one might expect from a second-year undergraduate.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Can't Shut Down the Blog, but maybe the Faculty Senate...


TO:            Chicago State University Faculty

FROM:      Wayne D. Watson

DATE:       January 28, 2014

RE:             Faculty Senate – Constitution and Actions         

The University greatly appreciates a functioning Faculty Senate and the value it provides to the overall campus.  Accordingly, as a follow-up to the correspondence dated October 31, 2013, regarding the Faculty Senate not operating in accordance with its 2011 Constitution as a duly constituted University organization, it is important to communicate the status of this issue to the general faculty body of CSU.  The Faculty Senate has failed to respond and comply with the previous requests made during meetings with the executive team and through University correspondence throughout the Fall 2013 semester.

These concerns arise out of the September 20, 2011 Faculty Senate meeting where the Senate suspended the rules without following the requirements of the Faculty Senate’s 2011 Constitution and changed the calculus for representation on the Faculty Senate.  This action changed the Faculty Senate’s membership representation structure prescribed by its Constitution.  Since the October 2013 correspondence, a new document purported to be the Faculty Senate’s Constitution was placed on the Faculty Senate’s website.  Article IX of the Faculty Senate’s 2011 Constitution states:

“Proposed amendments shall be presented in writing to the members of the Senate at least one week in advance of a regularly scheduled meeting or at least two weeks in advance of a special meeting during the academic year.  Approval by a two-thirds majority of the Senate members present at a duly-convened meeting at which a quorum is present shall be required for submission to the University Faculty for consideration.  Voting by the University Faculty as described in Article III shall be by ballot.  Approval by a two-thirds majority of the ballots returned shall be required for passage and submission the University President for review and approval.  Following review and approval by the President, each amendment shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for review.” 

The proposed amendments to the Faculty Senate’s Constitution have no effect until the process outlined in the 2011 Constitution is followed.  The Faculty Senate has untilFebruary 26, 2014, which is 21 days from the date of this memorandum, to follow the process above to make amendments as prescribed in the Faculty Senate’s 2011 Constitution. The Faculty Senate will not be recognized as a University committee if it does not comply with its 2011 Constitution by February 26, 2014.  Should the Faculty Senate decline to take the appropriate action by the requested date, the University encourages the faculty-at-large to make a determination as to how it wishes to participate in the governance of the University.

Again, the work of the Faculty Senate is of great value to the University since it is a mechanism that should promote inclusiveness and shared governance. In this vein, the Faculty Senate must comply with the mandates dictated by its Constitution, which permits all eligible faculty to vote on significant amendments to the Faculty Senate Constitution.  We look forward to the timely resolution of this issue, so that we can continue to move forward with the great work of this institution.  The administration is confident that by working together, we can overcome these hurdles.

cc:     CSU Deans

Wayne Watson, Ph.D.
Chicago State University
9501 S. King Drive
Cook Administration / #313
Chicago, IL  60628

Monday, January 27, 2014

Community Work Continues at Chicago State

 In spite of the negative press that the Watson regime has received, much good work continues on this campus and in the surrounding communities.  Unfortunately, the media has conflated the misdeeds of Wayne, Patrick, Angela, Cheri and other FOWs (Friends of Wayne) with the university as a whole.  All of us, students, staff, faculty and mid-level administrative non-FOWs have been tainted by their dishonesty and incompetence.  The students who overcome great odds to be here, the staff who are often overworked and underpaid (see rally by service workers for higher wages and dignity on January 16) and the faculty who excel in spite of the numerous unnecessary barriers erected by administrative incompetence deserve to be seen for what we are and not part of this political plaything, this dishonest patronage pit.  And we deserve better than what we are currently getting.

In a previous post titled, "The Real Story at CSU," I mentioned a small number of the amazing things our faculty and students have been doing.  Last week WBEZ did a pretty good story about one example of community development, community service and community education being conducted by CSU faculty and students.  The Aquaponics Center has been praised in the media before but the amount of important work being done there has yet to be discussed.  The WBEZ story on "The Morning Shift" show presents a picture of what the Aquaponics Center does and what our university could be.  Professor Emmanuel Pratt explains well some of the goals and ethics of the Aquaponics Center at

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Installment 4 of the Plagiarism Chronicles: Let's Steal an Entire Paragraph

First of all, I promise this will be my final post on this topic today. Here is another excerpt from Henderson's dissertation. This time she plagiarizes an entire paragraph. The article from which she steals the material is: Williams, M., A. Bowen, U. Pallonen, M. Ross, S. McCurdy, S. Timpson, and C. Amos (2008). "An investigation of a personal norm of condom use responsibility." AIDS Care, 20 (2008: 225-234. Article is available online here:

I will have additional posts on Henderson's "alleged" plagiarism that will actually be far worse than the items I have documented today in terms of the volume of plagiarized material. This is a contemptible academic fraud, cheating to receive a PhD from a reputable university. Henderson has heedlessly exposed both UIC and Chicago State to pointless embarrassment and disgraced herself in the process. Aided by her enabler, Wayne Watson, she is apparently determined to fight this to the bitter end, doing incalculable additional damage to this university. This behavior is despicable and will do nothing but fan the flames of this scandal. Thank you Illinois officials for doing nothing to address this. After all, to the people who could do something about this, it seems that they view Chicago State as just a university filled with African American students, this is all they deserve.

Here is page 15 of Henderson's dissertation. As you compare the material from the Williams article, note the occasional change of a word or two, another trait of the ham-handed undergraduate plagiarizer.

This material comes from the first page of the article:

This is from page 3:

These next two passages are from page 5:

The final two items appear on page 6:

I have been at Chicago State for nearly 12 years and have seen a number of embarrassing scandals. This one will be hard to top. By all means, let us ignore this and focus on happy things because after all, just "because it is alleged does not make it true." Idiotic and irresponsible.

Dissertation Plagiarism Part 3: Don't Forget Wikipedia

For my next installment, I offer the kind of plagiarism that we generally see from our undergraduates. On page 11 of her dissertation, Henderson offers the following:

While the material beginning with "this addition was made . . ." appears on several internet sites, I'm sure that all of us have experienced the undergraduate plagiarists sophisticated reliance on the first site that pops up. In the case of this material, it happens to be Wikipedia, that proven source of scholarly material. The material from Henderson's dissertation appears in this article: You will note that in the Wikipedia article, the anonymous author actually accurately references the material from this source: Katherine Miller, Communications Theories: Prospectives, Processes and Contexts, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004). The quotation cited in Wikipedia and plagiarized by Henderson appears on p. 127 of Miller's book:

I think further comment on this version of plagiarism is unnecessary.

The Plagiarized Dissertation, Part 2.

In the second part of our serial on the Chief Plagiarizing Officer's dissertation, I present another variety of cheating. This time, Henderson steals from the literature review of two authors: P. Bennett and G. Bozionelos. Passing their words off as her own, Henderson exhibits one of the most common traits of the garden-variety plagiarist: laziness. As with most of the passages she plagiarizes, the material from the Bennett and Bozionelos article appears on the first two pages. No sense in going too deep into the article when the material you want to take comes early in the piece. The material below comes from Henderson's dissertation, page 13:

Compare the dissertation material with the following passage from P. Bennett and G. Bozionelos, "The theory of planned behaviour as predictor of condom use: a narrative review," Psychology, Health and Medicine 5-3 (2000): 307-26. Plagiarized material from p. 307.

On page 14 of Henderson's dissertation, she presents a bigger segment of the work of Bennett and Bozionelos as her own:

Compare Henderson's text with the following passage from p. 308 of the Bennett and Bozionelos article:

I included none of this material in the plagiarism report I sent to UIC. By my tally, we are now up to six passages plagiarized from five sources on less than one page of actual text. Combined with the plagiarized material from pages 25-44, the count of plagiarized passages form Henderson's dissertation has reached 41 in only 44 pages of text (1-44).

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Dissertation of Chicago State's Vice President and Chief Plagiarizing Officer

Remember when newspapers and magazines serialized things like books? Probably not since that took place mostly in the first half of the twentieth century. In any event, in order to give the university community at Chicago State a more complete picture of the extent of Angela Henderson's dissertation plagiarism, I plan to present, in serial form, a number of pages of that document along with the sources from which she plagiarized her material. This post is intended for anyone who believes in the importance of academic integrity to an institution of higher learning. Supporters of Angela Henderson and devotees of Wayne Watson's vision of a university where lying and cheating by upper level administrators is not only excused but rewarded should probably not read the following material.

First, a little background. Yesterday, Wayne Watson and Angela Henderson attended a faculty meeting of the Geography, Sociology, History and African American Studies (GSHAA) department. The presence of Henderson at the meeting seems to me to be an example of Wayne Watson's extended middle finger to the entire faculty of Chicago State, particularly those faculty who actually earned their various university degrees. Message received. The meeting provided a typical Watson performance, a great deal of self-congratulatory nonsense and a rosy picture of how well the administration has performed and is performing, including Watson's assertion that the current enrollment catastrophe is actually a very positive thing, something directly related to his commitment to "academic rigor."

Needless to say, Watson's commitment to "academic rigor" does not extend to his administrators as Henderson continues to perform her duties during the University of Illinois at Chicago's assessment of her plagiarized dissertation. For his part, Watson refused to comment on the matter except to assure everyone that he was concerned about "due process," and that Henderson received the same. Henderson indicated that legal action was forthcoming or in progress. Neither person addressed the rather substantive nature of Henderson's plagiarism.

In the wake of the meeting, Watson apparently felt the need to at least address the issue in a letter to the CSU "family" that reiterated his position that he will take no action other than to "protect the rights of our employees," and reminded his readers that "because something is alleged does not make it true." In Watson's mind, the most useful thing CSU employees can do is "remain focused on the important work we do and on the many positive things that are happening on campus." So, putting on our happy faces, we will ignore the horrific scandal created by the recent revelations of academic dishonesty from UIC.

I must remind Watson and his stooges that the administrators at UIC are not the only persons in academia who are fit to judge plagiarism. Indeed, those of us who teach and evaluate student work are quite adept at ferreting out cheating when done by our students. In that spirit, I present the following information. Also, Henderson's dissertation was available to anyone on a website called UIC Indigo from late October until the University withdrew it in mid-December. Thus, Henderson's completed dissertation was a public document.

This is the plagiarism policy of the UIC College of Nursing Doctoral Manual. You will note it is quite specific. You will also note that it does not require that the plagiarism be intentional. These are the requirements with which Henderson should have been thoroughly conversant:

Now to give Henderson credit, one has to get pretty deeply into the dissertation before discovering any suspect material. I found the first obviously plagiarized material on page 2. Here are the bottom of page 2 and the top of page 3 from Henderson's dissertation:

Here is the article from which Henderson lifted her material. Compare the passage beginning with "AA college students" with the material in the second column of this article:

The article from which Henderson lifts the passage is: Mohsen Bazargan, Ella M. Kelly, Judith A. Stein, Baqar A. Husaini and Shahrzad H. Bazargan, "Correlates of HIV-Risk Taking Behaviors Among African-American College Students: The Effect of HIV Knowledge, Motivation, and Behavioral Skills," Journal of the National Medical Association, 92-8 (August 2000): 391-404. The plagiarized passage appears on p. 392.

Next, compare the passage beginning with "Consistent Condom Use . . ." with this brief passage:

Henderson takes this passage from: Robert L. Johnson, Walter Douglas, Andrew Nelson, "Sexual Behaviors of African-American Male College Students and the Risk of HIV Infection," Journal of the National Medical Association 84-10 (1992): 864-868. Plagiarized passage from p. 864.

The next plagiarized passage comes from a book, with the authors of the book receiving no credit for language taken verbatim from their material: The book's title follows:

The plagiarized material appears on 174 of the Azjen work and is available online here:,+latex+condoms+are+highly+effective+and+have+been+shown+to+reduce+the+risk+of+HIV+transmission+by+80%25+to+94%25&source=bl&ots=6yEVxZK9Y7&sig=n8VAaLk7V6Oi4Js_6Fgp_lbZjHk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mx7jUu_uI8TLsQTkiIG4Ag&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=When%20used%20consistently%2C%20latex%20condoms%20are%20highly%20effective%20and%20have%20been%20shown%20to%20reduce%20the%20risk%20of%20HIV%20transmission%20by%2080%25%20to%2094%25&f=false

Of particular interest is that the material in Henderson's dissertation comes verbatim directly from the internet. Neither the original article nor the edited book appear in Henderson's bibliography.

Finally, at the bottom of page 2 running over to the top of page 3, Henderson plagiarizes from another article. Note the similarities between Henderson's material and these passages from: Ekere J. Essien, Angela F. Meshack, Ronald J. Peters, Gbadebo O. Ogungbade and Nora I. Osemene, "Strategies to prevent HIV transmission among heterosexual African-American men," an open access article available here:

The two paragraphs on pages 2 and 3 of Henderson's dissertation include four plagiarized passages from four different sources. Since my focus in the original examination of her dissertation included only pages 25-44, I included none of this material in my report to UIC. In the next day or two, I will examine other pages of Henderson's dissertation to see what might be discovered.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Congratulations to William H. Adams!

Here's a story we can feel good about. William H. Adams, archivist in the Chicago State Library and graduate of Chicago State University (B.A. in History 2005, M.A. in History 2009), has been accepted into the American Studies Ph.D. program at the University of Kansas. Congratulations, William on your achievement, we know you will do Chicago State proud!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Perfect Mouthpiece for Wayne Watson and Angela Henderson: Hermene Hartman Takes a Stand in Favor of Lying, Cheating and Academic Dishonesty

A few days ago, I opined that the Watson administration would use a three-pronged strategy of attacking the messenger, trivializing the offense and making Angela Henderson the victim to ameliorate the fallout from her plagiarized dissertation. Well, it didn't take long. Here's Hermene Hartman, close friend of Watson and the recipient of over $300,000 in no-bid contracts from Watson at City Colleges and Chicago State commenting on the situation:

For the link to Hartman's comment, see: Scroll down and you'll find it.

Here is the simple truth: While plagiarized passages appear elsewhere in Henderson's dissertation, the majority come from pages 25-44. There are 35 separate plagiarized passages of varying length on 16 pages (pages 25-28, 31, 33-39 and 41-44). Henderson plagiarized virtually all of page 43 and a significant portion of several other pages. Based on word count, 32.3 percent of the words on those 16 pages are plagiarized: nearly identical and in virtually the exact word order as the sources from which they are lifted without quotation marks or page numbers. I am not a statistician, but I guess the statistical probability of 1461 words appearing in the same order as words from other sources is rather low.

So these are the "incorrect quotes" Hartman alludes to. Two final points: 1) what does the length of time it took Henderson to get a degree have to do with anything? 2) she worked with 5 advisors? Hartman obviously has zero understanding of how Ph.D. programs work, although that does not prevent her from weighing on the side of lying, cheating and academic dishonesty.

Colorado State--Pueblo uses rule for email usage to suspend prof's email

You got to check out this link: It is a story from Inside Higher Ed about the use of an email rule banning use of email to "intimidate, threaten, harass other individuals or interfere with the activity of others to conduct university business" to suspend the email account of a sociology professor who protested cuts to programs and personnel at the university. Outrageous!! But it is what policies like those at CSU (Chicago State, in this case) make possible.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Solution: Follow Haki Madhubuti's 2009 Recommendations

Wayne Watson must be removed as president of Chicago State as soon as possible. The students at our school have a right to a properly administered university that serves their educational needs and enables them to achieve their academic goals. They have a right to obtain a degree from an institution that engenders respect for its academic quality. Excellent university leadership is imperative in order to provide our students with what they deserve. The appointment of Wayne Watson in 2009 ensured that the university would struggle during his tenure since his track record at City Colleges featured significant enrollment declines, deterioration in student achievement, a contentious relationship with his faculty, and finally scandal surrounding his use of public monies for political purposes and the massive and untraceable cost overruns incurred during the construction of the new Kennedy-King College. Based on Watson's recent tenure (and sadly, the terms of at least two of his predecessors) we certainly know what terrible leadership looks like. Perhaps the time is propitious to begin thinking about what we want in a new president.

Fortunately, in 2009, Haki Madhubuti provided a description of the experience and qualifications he wanted in a president. This description is as applicable in 2014 as it was then. I argue that Madhubuti's ideal candidate be what we as a university community insist the board provide Chicago State in a new president. Our students, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni deserve no less than a distinguished occupant of the Cook building. The taxpayers of the state of Illinois deserve a university that operates like a meritocracy instead of a local political ward.

Here are Haki Madhubuti's recommendations, taken verbatim from a letter dated June 22, 2009, printed in its entirety on the CSU Faculty Voice on April 1, 2010:

"June 22, 2009
An Open Letter To:
Chicago State University’s
Board of Trustees, President Dr. Wayne Watson,
Students, Faculty, Staff, Administrators and
All people of concern and good will

Haki R. Madhubuti,
University Distinguished Professor
Chicago State University

My position as University Distinguished Professor does not grant me any more privileges than any other CSU faculty member, however, it does increase my personal obligation to voice my concerns for the growth and future of this university. During my twenty-five years at CSU, I have taught many of the courses in the English Department excluding British Literature and Linguistics. I have served on over twelve search committees for new faculty openings in the Department. Additionally, I have observed Chicago State University and other universities’ selection process of new presidents and leadership. These experiences have provided me with insight on the criteria to evaluate the overall process and make recommendations on the requirements for leadership for a university president and other high administrative positions. These are some of those recommendations:

1. He/she must be a scholar of national note, with significant peer review publications and books in his or her field. There must be no doubt as to his/her standing in the community of scholars. This would also include a history of the candidate’s participation in the appropriate professional organizations.

2. He/she must have served with distinction as the administrative head of a major unit within an institution of higher learning or at the important position of Provost and/or Dean. Of course, prior service at the presidential level is preferred.

3. He/she must have a documented history of raising significant monies from the private and public sectors. At most major and research one universities it is not unusual to expect the president to come with a plan to raise in excess of half a billion dollars or more in the first few years.

4. The prospective president must have a consensus buy-in from the faculty, students, administration and staff, therefore, arriving with a unity mandate to lead by joining a University community that has bought into his or her vision for the future."

I suggest the language in point two be revised slightly to read "served with distinction as the administrative head of a major unit at a university . . ." Otherwise, this series of recommendations seems to succinctly capture what we deserve in the leader of our institution. I suggest it serve as a manifesto for our demand for change. Personally, I want to see this school realize its potential and am prepared to labor incessantly toward that end. How about you?

The Problem: The "Fix" is in: Wayne Watson Rigs the Provost Search.

Here are a succession of laughable quotes from a recent article in one of Watson's propaganda rags:

“CSU has come a long way in a short amount of time in terms of enhancing a culture that values accountability, stresses academic excellence,” Wayne Watson.

"Watson has overseen a dramatic shift towards academic integrity at CSU by insisting on higher standards from students and faculty and also has strengthened compliance efforts and infrastructure improvements," CSU spokesperson, Thomas Wogan.

“The Board of Trustees has carefully reviewed the progress made at Chicago State University from the time Dr. Watson arrived until now and has decided unanimously that the students of CSU are best served by extending Dr. Watson’s tenure,” CSU Board Chairman Anthony Young.

All these comments appeared in "Chicago State University Extends President Watson's Tenure," by Deborah Bayliss. Article in Chicago Weekly Citizen, October 30, 2013. Available here:

Although the focus of the most recent scandal at Chicago State is our “provost” Angela Henderson, let us not forget the root of the problem: the continued presidency of Wayne Watson. Nothing at this school will change for the better until he is removed from his position. I wonder when the Board of Trustees will figure that out. I wonder if they will ever have the integrity to admit their mistake in supporting this failed president and finally do what is right for our university. Frankly, I have my doubts.

If further evidence is necessary to prove that Wayne Watson administers this school like his own personal fiefdom, we have it in the form of the job announcement for a permanent provost. Even a cursory look at this document will reveal that the “fix” is in and that Watson and his flunkies are preparing to slide our latest public embarrassment into the most important administrative role at the university.

First, let us take a look at the qualifications for a similar position at another public university: Bridgewater State in Bridgewater, Massachusetts:

You will doubtless note that the Bridgewater State announcement requires a candidate to be able to meet the requirements for full professor. Now, we will turn to the recent announcement for the same position at Chicago State:

In my estimation, the Chicago State announcement is laughable. Most important, is there anyone currently in the upper administration who seems a particularly good "fit" for the job as outlined in the announcement? Going through the qualifications one-by-one paints a clearer picture of the sham nature of this job search. The first qualification asks for only five years of experience in "academic leadership roles . . . in a higher education institution." Although this minimum qualification eliminates virtually no one, we have an on-campus candidate whose previous experience dovetails nicely with the desired qualifications: Angela Henderson. Moving to the second minimum qualification, "familiarity with respect to research/teaching or community service in higher education, in particular; having attained faculty tenure in higher education." This qualification is virtually meaningless. It eliminates almost no one. Nonetheless, there is an on-campus candidate whose previous experience fits nicely: Angela Henderson. The next two qualifications are basic boilerplate, although they at least serve to limit the potential candidate pool. The next qualification pertains only to specific institutions, one of them Chicago State with its unionized faculty. The last qualification is also basically boilerplate although in the case of the current interim provost, the requirement that the "ideal candidate" should possess "Significant experience in, and appreciation for, research and service activities in a higher education setting," could pose problems. For whom do you think the university wrote this job announcement?

Of course, Wayne Watson and his cronies are not going to take any chances that some kind of rogue search committee might gum up the works by trying to exercise independent judgement. In order to ensure that the fixed job search yields the correct candidate, they have entrusted the canvass to our old friends, the Hollins Group. You remember them, the search firm the university paid $75,000 to in 2008-09. The search firm that found the two best candidates right here in our own backyard: Carol Adams and Wayne Watson. They are back and, based on their track record, will certainly serve the interests of their benefactors:

So, anyone out there who wants to apply (and most of you are qualified based on this ridiculous job announcement), make sure to send your applications to the right people.

There are some other notable differences between the two job announcements. Bridgewater State's is remarkably free of meaningless verbiage. Bridgewater State's announcement details the university's goals then tells the applicants in one paragraph:

In contrast, Chicago State's job announcement overflows with meaningless corporate jargon:

You might take particular note of the second sentence in this portion of the job announcement. There is no doubt that the provost will advocate solely for the president. Based on what I see in these documents, I have concluded that we are about to witness another of Wayne Watson's rigged searches. We have seen the process before: a short window for applications, a small pool of basically unqualified candidates, Wayne Watson selecting one of his cronies. Finally, does anyone know of the existence of a search committee for this position? If one exists, does anyone know who is on the committee? What do you think? Are we about to see another incompetent and dishonest administrator permanently ensconced in a critical position? Or am I simply overreacting?

Wayne Watson's response to the Angela Henderson fiasco certainly demonstrates how he really feels about accountability, academic excellence and academic integrity. Will the bunch of fools who constitute our board ever realize that they are fiddling while Chicago State burns?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Roll Call

So I was struck by the claim that Angela Henderson and Cheri Sidney need protection from attack, that they are the victims of academic misconduct and lying on an employment application. The insulting nature of this should be clear especially given that more accomplished African-American women were subject to attack by this regime since 2009 and received no protection. A roll call might be useful to jog the memory of those unsure of what I am talking about. How might the university have been different if the following former colleagues were protected:
  • Dr. Cheryl Green
  • Dr. Sylvia Gist
  • Ms. Lois Davis
  • Ms. Carnice Hill
  • Ms. Mary Butler
  • Dr. Rachel Lindsey
  • Dr. Sandra Westbrooks
  • Ms. Addie Epps
  • Dr. Teresa McKinney
  • Ms. Brenda Hooker
  • Dr. Dolores Lipscomb
  • Dr. Patricia George
  • Dr. Cecilia Bowie
  • Dr. Juanita Sharpe
  • Dr. Debrah Jefferson

To the regime, you have been warned!

“At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”: Angela Henderson is No Victim

Quotation in the title from comments made by Senator Joseph N. Welch to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings in the United States Senate, June 9, 1954.

As does almost every important issue at Chicago State, the uproar over Angela Henderson’s plagiarism is likely to take an ugly turn. The administration has dug in its heels. Henderson has not done the decent and correct thing by resigning in the wake of these most serious and well-documented plagiarism charges. Wayne Watson has done nothing to ease the university’s embarrassment by discharging Henderson. In fact, he sent his spokesperson out Tuesday to assure everyone that she would remain as provost “during and after” this episode. The damage this administrative stance will do to the university is impossible to calculate. How can, how will Watson and his supporters defend the indefensible?

Before I attempt to answer that question, I will say unequivocally that Henderson cheated to obtain her degree. Her plagiarism is not a matter of a few missing quotation marks or page numbers. Instead, her plagiarism is patently obvious and sustained over more than twenty pages at the heart of her dissertation. The originality checker I ran on her dissertation revealed nearly 40 percent of the work to be unoriginal. If anyone wishes to see for themselves, I will be happy to provide copies of the dissertation as well as the report I wrote detailing her myriad violations of academic integrity.

Since Leon Finney and Pat Quinn imposed Watson on Chicago State, Watson has demonstrated his contempt for the students, staff and faculty of this university in various ways, many of which have been detailed on this web site. In March 2013, under assault for his misdeeds and poor administrative performance, Watson defended himself by attacking his critics and playing the martyr. His defense at that point offers a glimpse into what I believe is coming in the next few days: the Watson camp will attempt to trivialize Henderson’s academic dishonesty, attack the messenger and position her as the victim in the whole episode. Remember when Henderson’s husband likened Watson’s travails to the suffering of Jesus or Martin Luther King, Jr.? Remember when a parade of witnesses who had nothing to do with Chicago State spoke out against the bullying Watson had to endure at the hands of a supposedly “ethically-compromised” Board of Trustees? The oppressor-as-victim strategy worked then and I suggest the Watson-Henderson camp will try something similar again. Since they cannot refute the substantive charges, what else do they have left? I will resist the temptation here to engage in a prolonged discussion about the cynicism of this strategy; about how reversing the roles of elite oppressor and victim trivializes the suffering of people who have experienced real persecution. In addition, the Watson-Henderson camp will likely interject race into their victimization narrative.

So, do we yet have a sense of what the defense strategy will be? I suggest that it is still being formulated but we have gotten early glimpses. The university’s response to the January 14 Tribune story featured Tom Wogan saying that “Right now we are talking about a series of claims made by some individuals who have shown they will go to great lengths to undermine any member of this administration in any way they can." The following day, Wogan accused me of “mischaracterization” and “bending” the enrollment numbers. Obviously, this is an early foray into attacking the Watson-Henderson critics over this specific issue. I suspect these efforts will intensify in the coming days.

The issue of race is coming. Two days ago, one of my colleagues reported that Watson criticized a group of African American faculty members for not coming to the defense of both Henderson and Cheri Sidney. I think Watson’s stance here illustrates perfectly the man’s manipulative and cynical propensities. One of the features of the Watson administration has been its persistent failure to understand this school’s students and faculty. Ignoring the fact that Chicago State students are hard-working, discerning and intelligent men and women, Watson and his minions have demonstrated that they view them as a bunch of weak-minded fools who are in thrall to the faculty. Watson’s behavior toward the faculty oozes contempt. In his view, we are rubes who will swallow any nonsense the administration dishes out. In fact, how dare we question any of the proclamations and decrees that come down from Mt. Olympus? Watson’s ham-handed recent attempt to split the faculty along racial lines is an appeal for support for his destructive behavior from a group of people who, in my estimation, have little in common with him professionally.

Based on my observations, I offer the following: Wayne Watson has done nothing scholarly since receiving his Ph.D. in 1972. His teaching experience is negligible. In contrast, the African American faculty at Chicago State consistently distinguish themselves in teaching and in their scholarly pursuits. They honor their responsibilities to the university and the community by their service to both. In comparison with Angela Henderson, they actually earned their advanced degrees. Finally, if the African American faculty feel that anyone on this campus should be defended, they are sufficiently articulate to formulate their own arguments. They do not require instruction on how or what to think.

Of course, the early “attacks” on Henderson and Sidney consisted of criticism of their lack of qualifications and their performance failures in key administrative positions. More recent “attacks” include criticism for their blatant dishonesty and–I think predictably–the ultimate academic disgrace: plagiarism by the university’s chief academic officer. Unfortunately, these ethical failings have not yet resulted in any apparent consequences. They are perfectly in tune with the practices of an ethically deficient administration led by a president whose job performance has been an utter failure.

In truth, this wretched scenario has produced victims. The students, current and past, of Chicago State University are victims; the school’s staff, faculty and administrators are victims; the citizens and taxpayers of the state of Illinois are victims, and persons who respect the standards and values of higher education are victims. Angela Henderson is not a victim. She brought this disgrace upon herself.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Why do we cut courses?

So I have had the following discussion with Provosts for the past twelve or so years and have yet to hear any reasonable response to the points that I raise. That conversation goes something like this:

Me: Why do we cut classes?
Them: To save money.
Me: How much money did we save last semester?
Them: We don’t know.
Me: What mathematical model do you use to calculate the amount that you “saved”?
Them: We don’t have a model. Cutting classes is complicated.
Me: Then why do we cut classes?
Them: To save money.
Me: But you don’t know how much money you save and you don’t have a way to calculate that.
Them: Well yes, but we have to save money.

Now I would be the first to admit that low enrolled courses should be examined. Those with zero enrollment can obviously be cut. From one student on, every situation should be evaluated individually, preferably with some knowledgeable faculty present. For example, if you have one student enrolled in a student teaching course in the College of Education you probably would not cut that class, right? The student can’t graduate without it. There is no money to save here. Providing education is what we do. Cutting classes runs counter to that.
The cost saving explanation is fine until other questions are asked. If you don’t know how much money you saved, that’s fine, right? Except what does the university do with the un-calculated amount of savings generated from cutting courses. Why, they use that money, whatever amount it turns out to be, on other costs in the enterprise. There is an expense however, that is not monetized or calculated, that I would argue may be greater than the unknown cost savings and that is the ill will generated toward our students by cancelling courses and poorly communicating those decisions.
The administrators responsible for cancelling courses either have no experience or limited experience with our students. Many, if not most of our students have two primary factors in mind when scheduling classes, time of the course and necessity of the course for graduation. So if students are cajoled into registering early for courses and then some significant number of courses are cancelled, it provides a disincentive to register early which provides an incentive to cut courses which provides a disincentive to continue at the university because our students, most of whom work, can’t get the courses they need when they need them. This downward spiral has been exacerbated by the abysmal management of this regime. (See the last five years of blog posts)
The communication process involved in course cancellations is probably more damaging than the actual cancellations. For a professor to meet a class on Tuesday morning, have the class cancelled on Tuesday afternoon, have the students contacted on Tuesday evening about the cancellation and then have the course reinstated on Wednesday morning is worse than embarrassing. And yes this happened. It displays a level of incompetence that is unacceptable. Students are voting with their feet because this university is being incompetently managed. The damage wasn’t as bad in the fall 2013 semester because the previous Provost had planned and scheduled the fall semester before she retired in June 2013. The current interim provost seems incapable of stemming the bleeding of students. That isn’t surprising given that she has overseen the Enrollment Management division for the past two years. Those years have seen significant declines in enrollment. The arguments by president Watson about these low numbers bringing academic rigor are ridiculous on their face. 
This administration has failed. That failure is a clear and present danger to the future of the university. The president and his failed minions must go before we reach a point of no recovery. I don’t expect the Board of Trustees to act and I don’t expect the Governor to act. So whose left?
You, loyal readers. Communicate to the powers that are the overseers of higher education in the State of Illinois. Tell them what you think of this situation. If the university's possible demise is acceptable to you, tell them that. If you believe that the taxpayers of the State of Illinois, the current and future students of Chicago State University and the thousands of alumni of CSU deserve better than the current regime, tell them that. The point is say something. Call, fax, email, text your state representative and state senator. Have your voice heard.
Long time readers of this blog will note that the posts here have been consistent for the past several years.
To the regime I say this, if you choose to stay in light of your clear failures, you have been warned. Our inquiry and exposure of your failed regime will continue.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Confidence, No Confidence?: Is it Time to Choose?

To the students, staff, faculty and administrators of Chicago State University:

It seems an appropriate moment for another no confidence vote and a call for the resignation or firing of both our interim Provost and President. Here are the reasons:

Interim Provost Angela Henderson:

1) The interim Provost made false and misleading statements on both her application and resume when she originally applied for the position of Vice President of Enrollment Management.

2) The interim Provost’s dissertation is currently under review by the University of Illinois Chicago for plagiarism. The dissertation is clearly plagiarized and certainly violates the academic integrity standards of the UIC College of Nursing.

President Wayne Watson:

1) None of the performance failures enumerated in the previous vote of no confidence of November 6, 2012, have been corrected: As of yesterday, enrollment stood at just under 5000, a drop of more than 2300 (32 percent) students since Fall 2010; audit findings continue at unacceptably high rates; the relationship between the administration and the faculty continues to deteriorate; the school’s public image is continually battered and the president does virtually no fund raising. He is still failing on five of the seven measures of his performance established in his 2009 contract.

2) The president has taken no appropriate action upon learning that three of his top administrators falsified their applications (official university records), despite the university’s human resources policy mandating termination for such behavior.

3) There seems to be no likelihood that the president will take any action regarding the interim Provost’s plagiarism. In fact, he served as the outside reader on the interim Provost’s dissertation committee, a severe breach of academic integrity. In a recent radio interview an administration spokesperson claimed that the interim Provost would remain in that position “during and after” UIC’s review.

4) These last two actions demonstrate Wayne Watson’s contempt for both the academic integrity and institutional health of Chicago State University.

At this point, the pejoratives in the English language are unable to capture the essence of this foul administration. In my estimation, the shockingly unethical and unacceptable behavior by both Watson and Henderson should be more than enough grounds to move even our Board of Trustees to action. What do other members of the university community think? Send me your thoughts via e-mail or post them as comments if you're so inclined. If you're one of those integrity-filled Watson supporters who likes to send anonymous e-mails or contribute cowardly and vituperative posts, feel free to do so.

A Recap

So loyal readers, you may have noted the flurry of activity at our fair university this week. It feels like so much has happened I feel compelled to recap the most recent events. If I got this right it goes something like this. 
Angela Henderson applied for the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management in 2011. In the application process she stated she expected to complete her Ph.D. by June of 2011, prior to her July 2011 start date. For those of us who have earned doctorates, we are quite familiar with the inexact nature of completion dates. However, we do know within a reasonable range based on the progress of the work when we might be done. Ms Henderson assumed the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management and by many reports including her statements to your humble narrator she worked in excess of 60 hours per week. Later examination shows that she did not submit her Institutional Review Board application for human subject research, foundational in her work, until January, 2012. That application was approved in February 2012. That means that she could not begin her data collection until February 2012 eight months after she said she would have completed the doctoral degree. That appears to be a deliberate misrepresentation. She was then appointed in July of 2013 to serve as the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. At this time the doctoral degree had still not been conferred, two years after her self-reported completion date. This means that the chief academic officer of a doctoral degree granting institution did not possess the minimum educational requirement for the position. This meant she was ineligible for tenure and for promotion to full professor. These are typically necessary qualifications for such an important university administrator. In August of 2013, six weeks after her appointment the Ph.D. was conferred by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Four months later, a review of her dissertation by one of this blog’s contributors revealed evidence of plagiarism. As an ethical matter, my colleague contacted the Graduate College at UIC and presented his evaluation of her dissertation. Because of the irregularities of her appointment and the gravity of this position, a review of her work was warranted. In my opinion it seemed highly unlikely that someone would be able to complete a doctoral dissertation during this time period. Even with the contributions of her unnamed research assistants, I am dubious about her ability to manage the largest division at the university and produce a doctoral dissertation. I believe my colleague shared my intuitive hit about this thus leading to an examination of her work. Based on my more than 20 years at the university, I believe the examination was warranted because the evidence led me to conclude something was amiss. Lo and behold, something was amiss and now three experts from around the country have agreed with my colleague's assessment. 
The hiring of Ms. Henderson seems, in retrospect, to have been premature as she was not close to finishing her degree and the job for which she was hired could have provided significant impediment to her finishing. That hiring decision rests with Wayne Watson and it was clearly the wrong decision. Serving on her dissertation committee while simultaneously functioning as her supervisor was wrong and unethical. For her part, whatever the circumstances of her life, personal or professional, there is absolutely no justification for academic dishonesty. 
The only question left at this point is when, in the best interest of the university, is she going to resign. And if the answer is that she isn't going to resign, that is the clearest indicator that she doesn't grasp the severity of this situation and must be removed to protect the university from further damage.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why not call it racism?

Yesterday, after my 11 am class, I went by the bookstore on the ground floor of BHS. There was a long line, stretching from the entrance of the bookstore eastward toward the east entrance to BHS. Everyone I saw in that line would be called “black” in this racist society.

Can you imagine that more affluent white students would be treated like this, with so little respect? Well, perhaps you can barely imagine it, but it is very unlikely. This disrespect is usually reserved for black people, which makes it racist.

The long lines have two sources. First, the students are not allowed into the book aisles to select their own books, as they would be able to do at almost any other university. Instead they hand their schedule to a clerk who selects their books for them.

Second, there aren’t enough clerks hired to do this work to avoid the disrespect of the long lines for students.

One bookstore employee told me the reason for not letting students select their own books is the small space in 102 BHS, but if that was an excuse six years ago, it is not an excuse now. Space needs to be found for a decent bookstore.

The last location of the bookstore had been in the old cafeteria space of the Robinson University Center, the old railroad building along 95th Street.  That was also where there was a day care center open to the children of our students. Child care facilities have also been unavailable on campus now for many years.

Every university experiences problems, but in my experience only black students are so consistently subject to such disrespectful treatment. Why not call it racism? That’s what it is.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 15 Editorial About Our Provost's Plagiarism

This Morning's Interview, Let the Administration Tell You What You're Thinking

Here is the link to the interviews from WBEZ this morning. Please note what Thomas Wogan is saying about a variety of issues, particularly his claims that the "majority" of Chicago State's faculty don't agree with the views of the CSU Faculty Voice.

The Provost's Plagiarized Dissertation: An Open Letter to My Faculty Colleagues

This is a sad moment for our university. This morning's Tribune article further exposes the depth of administrative corruption here at Chicago State. The university's administration is unable to substantively respond to the plagiarism charges against Angela Henderson and once again attacks the persons bringing the message. For certain persons employed at this school no infamous deed is sufficient to subject them to any risk of termination. Lying on your resume or application? No problem as long as you are a friend of Wayne Watson. Plagiarizing your dissertation while you occupy a top management position and will later become the top academic official at the school? No problem as long as you are a friend of Wayne Watson. Performing your duties at a dazzling level of incompetence? No problem as long as you are a friend of Wayne Watson.
In the next few days and weeks, administrative mouthpieces will either try to ignore this scandal or they will spin the story as much as they can. I expect the usual round of personal attacks, coming anonymously or through surrogates. I expect an angry response from the supporters of Wayne Watson who have so much invested in his continuing presidency at Chicago State. Unfortunately, these reactions will do nothing more than diminish the reputation of the school.
No amount of feigned righteous indignation on the part of the Chicago State administration and/or the acolytes of Wayne Watson can alter the simple fact that Angela Henderson plagiarized her dissertation. What she produced violated the academic integrity standards of both the University of Illinois Chicago's College of Nursing and the citation standards of the American Psychological Association. If anyone wishes to debate this point, I would be happy to speak with them. If anyone would like to offer an affirmative defense of her actions, I would be happy to hear it.
In my estimation, this current public embarrassment is a predictable result of hiring, retaining and even promoting people who lie and cheat to gain positions for which they are demonstrably unqualified. The presence in the administration of Angela Henderson demonstrates the contempt with which Wayne Watson views the entire academic enterprise. I wonder how you, my colleagues, will react to this. Will you put your heads down and try to closet yourself in your offices believing that you can weather the storm? Will you acquiesce again to the outrageous behavior of our top administrators? Will you temporize and rationalize behavior that would earn students in your classes an "F" while at the same time it is tolerated from the university's Provost? Is this what we stand for? If so, does this university even exist as a viable institution? I await your answer.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Other views

So loyal readers, the works of the Crony State Eight are recognized beyond the "few readers" of the blog. For your consideration I present the following: Chicago Tribune and Inside Higher Ed. I guess the more an institution tries to suppress the truth, the more the truth emerges.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Crony State University Administrative Application Form

Given the reality of hiring here at Crony State University, I have taken the liberty of redesigning the somewhat cumbersome employment application currently in use. Persons applying for administrative jobs (in the event that they actually do so) should not have to answer a bunch of silly questions. Therefore, I have streamlined the application to require only what I believe to be the most pertinent information. I believe our public documents should reflect our actual employment practices so here is my suggestion. I welcome any editorial comments.


General Information: There are two categories of employees at Crony State University: 1) those who are classified as “Friends of Wayne Watson” (his friends and/or political associates or friends of his friends; 2) everyone else. Accordingly, there are two parts to this application. Part A includes required information for applicants who do not know Wayne Watson. Political associates, friends of Wayne Watson or friends of his friends submit part B of the application.

Part A


Highest Degree Awarded (the university will require verification of your degree before employment commences):

Work Experience (the university will verify your work experience before employment commences):

Salary: Will be the budgeted salary for the position.

Certificate of Truthfulness: I certify that all statements on This Application for Employment are true to the best of my knowledge. I understand and agree that the statements made herein may be investigated and, if found to be false, will be sufficient reason for not being employed, or if employed, will be cause for dismissal, when discovered.

I certify that all information provided is true and complete.

Part B


How Are You Connected to Wayne Watson? (be specific here, are you a close friend, or do you know someone who knows him? If your influence comes from political connections, give the name of the political figure):

Highest Degree Awarded (don’t worry if you don’t have the required degree or that you don’t even have a degree, just put anything you think appropriate on the application):

Work Experience (Make up anything here you feel is pertinent):

Salary: Employees hired in the “Friends of Wayne” category typically start in the $90,000 and above range; lower salaries are for the “little people” at this university.

Certificate of Truthfulness: This is not applicable to “Friends of Wayne.” If someone discovers your lies, you will not be terminated. In addition, lying on your application is no impediment to advancement.

Here at Crony State, we value persons who have demonstrated their ability to lie and cheat to secure gainful employment. We will support your efforts until public disclosures of your various misdeeds become so embarrassing (unlikely as our sense of shame is virtually non-existent) that we can no longer maintain you on the payroll. In that case, we will attempt to secure a position for you with one of our numerous benefactors.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

You Have Done Enough Damage. Time for Wayne Watson to Resign or be Terminated. Time for His Crony Administrators to Be Swept Out.

Although this comes from Wikipedia, I think it is a fairly accurate depiction of circumstances as they exist at Chicago State:

“Cronyism exists when the appointer and the beneficiary are in social contact; often, the appointer is inadequate to hold his or her own job or position of authority, and for this reason the appointer appoints individuals who will not try to weaken him or her, or express views contrary to those of the appointer.”

It is past time for Wayne Watson, Angela Henderson, Cheri Sidney and Tyra Austin (at a minimum, this is not an exhaustive list) to resign or be discharged from their lucrative, and undeserved, positions. Chicago State is a doctoral degree granting state university. The overwhelming majority of faculty at this institution hold the Ph.D. and most (at least in my college) are actively involved in research and writing. Since 2009 we have been saddled with “leadership” that has done grievous damage to the university. That must change if we are ever to have a viable institution.

There are a number of reasons for my assertions. First, neither of the top two administrators, Watson or Henderson, are even tenurable at this school. Neither has any publications or significant teaching experience to their credit. They are career administrators, moved along in bureaucratic systems for unfathomable reasons and damaging the institutions they purportedly lead. Their advancement seems reminiscent of a job applicant having a letter from the “right” alderman. While they gain accolades from political allies, friends and friends of friends, substantive problems at the schools they govern fester and eventually erupt into scandal, partly because they hire a number of persons for key administrative posts at generous salaries despite non-existent or even fraudulent credentials.

Second, as I have said repeatedly in this and other venues, measured by quantitative standards the performance of this administration has been disastrous. 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? How long must we suffer under this kind of incompetent leadership?

Third, the corruption and scandals at the top of the university cannot be obscured by fawning press releases from university mouthpieces, glitzy awards, celebrity appearances on campus, community outreach, or trips to Washington, D.C., and New York City. At least three of our top administrators assuredly lied on their applications and/or resumes, two claiming degrees they did not have. This is an offense that demands termination, yet none of the three have been fired. In fact, two have been promoted and been granted lavish raises. Why? Based on their woeful performance in key administrative positions, their advancement can hardly be merit-based.

Fourth, the continued presence in top management positions of administrators who have lied on their applications/resumes corrodes the academic mission of the university. The Chicago State Human Resources Manual claims that “the University expects all employees to act with integrity at all times,” and cites “falsification of employment application, official academic transcripts, degrees or other records” as actions that demonstrate a “lack of integrity.” The continued employment of Henderson, Austin and Sidney renders impotent the university’s stated policy on falsification of official records and makes a mockery of its claims to protect institutional integrity. Unfortunately, I can say with authority that these lies are only part of the story. We have not yet reached the bottom of this cesspool of dishonesty.

The presence of these unqualified individuals (especially the president) will undoubtedly expose the university to further embarrassment. The question is how much humiliation will be necessary for persons like the members of the Chicago State Board of Trustees to finally decide that enough is enough? Up to this point, their tolerance for bad management and administrative missteps has seemed endless, we will see if that continues. It seems doubtful that any of the persons benefiting materially from their sinecures will suddenly experience an epiphany of conscience and resign on their own. They are going to have to be removed. The Board must act now before the university is damaged beyond repair.

Friday, January 10, 2014

For the Blog That Nobody Reads

So I have heard on several occasions from administrators that nobody even reads this blog so why do we continue to waste our time publishing it. I have been called despicable, and told I don't have a life and should get one. I have been subjected to any number of personal attacks. My fellow  Crony State Eight have also been attacked virtually and personally. And yet, my colleagues and I continue to publish the blog nobody reads. Interestingly, a couple of other bloggers have picked up on the university's continued attacks on our attempt to shine the light on this public body's behavior. I hope you enjoy their comments as much as I did.

On hedges and logos and trademark infringement

The Hedge Police: Censorship at Chicago State University

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rapidly Approaching the Break Even Point

So I was recently informed the university continues to experience an enrollment crisis and one of the responses to the most current crisis has been to cold call students who have not registered. What is most interesting to me is if there is any awareness of what the university’s floor is in terms of enrollment.
Every business has a break even point. A university has a break even point in terms of revenue and/or in terms of enrollment. Research 1 universities have more flexibility in terms of declines in enrollment because their grant revenue is significantly higher. When the revenue from enrollment can’t meet the percentage of fixed costs that it needs to, then the institution risks becoming financially ineffective. If the enrollment has been declining, as it has at Chicago State University over the past four years, once that trend line intersects the break even point, the university is in deep trouble. It should be rather easy to determine what the necessary level of enrollment is and at what time point given the current decline the university will become financially ineffective. Having heard that our 20% decline in enrollment brought the university needed academic rigor, I am a bit dubious about this continued assertion. I contend it is a response to not knowing what to do or being unwilling to do what is necessary to increase or even stabilize enrollment. 
Cold calling, and begging students to enroll will not solve this problem. Possibly asking former students and students who made other educational choices why they didn’t choose CSU would be a reasonable start to address this problem. Last minute crisis management every semester will not stem the enrollment decline. Thoughtful, data based, decision making is the only way to address this situation and given the time the university has left before it reaches the break even point, they had better do something different soon.