Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Chicago State U decries politics? Really?
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Chicago State U decries politics? Really?

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009

* Having been involved in student politics back in the day, I know firsthand that it’s usually a lot of overheated silliness, which is one reason I’ve kinda ignored a story that came to a head a few minutes ago

After weeks of controversy, Chicago State University’s board picked Wayne Watson this morning to be the school’s next president.

The choice of Watson, who is retiring as chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, was met by boos from a packed audience.

“The pick of Watson puts politics, contracts and jobs above academic excellence,” said student Michael O‚Connor.

The other finalist for the post was another political figure - Carol Adams, secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services.


“I feel that I’m at a funeral, and we are presiding over the burial of hope and change,” said Van Searcy, president of the Faculty Senate, during the period for public comment after the vote. […]

The announcement came days after the Faculty Senate took the unusual step of asking Gov. Pat Quinn to remove the trustees and stop the board from hiring a president.

Chicago State faculty and students have argued they were excluded from the search process and have criticized the two finalists as local political insiders. Earlier this month, 13 of the 15 members of the campus’ search advisory committee resigned in protest.

Chicago State was the direct benefactor of blatant political pork - the “politics, contracts and jobs” referenced above - for almost two decades. If it wasn’t for Senate President Emil Jones’ back-room machinations on its behalf, the campus would still be run-down and forgotten.

I totally understand why the campus didn’t want either of those two candidates shoved down their throats. But for the university community to ignore why they’ve found themselves in this position is inexcusable. In reality, Chicago State is a child birthed by blatant politics. All they have to do is look around them for proof. But here’s some history

Despite strong opposition, Jones pushed through legislation to provide a percentage of revenues from a new gaming license in Illinois to go to inner-city Chicago State University rather than the more prestigious University of Illinois downstate.

He is also responsible for targeting enviable funding to Chicago State for capital improvements, scholarships and technology programs, including a new library. The school is also building a convocation center, named for Jones and his late wife, Patricia Jones.

“Senator Jones has made it possible for incredible opportunities for students at Chicago State University,” says President Elnora D. Daniel. “He has brought economic resources totaling $200 million to the university that have long been overlooked. Our students are now in position to better compete in technology and other fields the same as students do from other state-supported institutions.”

Politics is a lot like the mafia. You take their money, you follow their rules. CSU took a whole lot of that political money, and it came with a price. It shouldn’t, but it did.

I’m happy to see they want out of this endless cycle, but the university community ought to be honest with itself about how they got where they are and where they really want to go. Because if they now want to be treated like every other university in this state, that means flat funding, limited capital projects and priorities put on the back burner.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Higher Ed - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 11:39 am:

    Very good points Rich. Being in higher ed, it has always been frustrating to see the millions of state funds go to CSU over the years. Their graduation rates are awful, the former president was involved in hinky expenditures but the money kept flowing in while the rest of us were fighting for the table scraps.

  2. - Louis Howe - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    Bingo Rich….CSU always made the short list for certain African American legislators in both houses. Of course, that meant jobs and appointments for their friends with little accountability……

  3. - 2ConfusedCrew - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 11:48 am:

    Besides the grad rates — which are highly over rated — I am not sure the Univesity of Emil was into more hinkiness that UofI, SIU, on a per capita basis

  4. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 11:52 am:

    The Chicago State University Victory March! - M. Shea & J. Shea, enhanced by VanillaMan

    Rally friends of Emil Jones,
    Cash his checks, and spend his pork!
    Raise those taxes high!,
    And cheer with voices true,
    Rah! Rah! For CSU.

    We will fight for every dime
    Jack budgets up, make numbers inflate.
    He’ll ne’er forget her
    And Emil’ll cheer her ever,
    Loyal to Chicago State.

    Cheer, cheer for Chicago State
    Spending other’s money is so great!,
    Send a budget, that’s so high,
    Shake down the taxpayers, until they die,
    What though the odds be great or small
    Old Emil Jones will win over all,
    While his constituents are marching
    Onward to Victory!

  5. - BIG R.PH. - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 11:57 am:

    Why do you think they got a pharmacy school? HELLLO!!

  6. - Dudeman - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

    CSU is a 3rd class University that gets 1st class money from the state. The quote from the previous CSU prez,”Our students are now in position to better compete in technology and other fields the same as students do from other state-supported institutions.”
    They may be in position, but the administration and the majority of the faculty need to be upgraded. They have been the worst University in Illinois for years in any way you want to assess them, like graduation rates. They have been extremely savy politically to get the state to overlook their repeated failures and still get money. I feel bad for all the south side kids being dupped into attending, because nobody outside of 20 miles attends that school.

  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 12:17 pm:

    You have to wonder about CSU’s long-term viability with its clout gone.

  8. - zeke - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 12:37 pm:

    I’d say politics continues to play a role in capitol allocations and CSU still gets a big chunk of cash. In addition, so does NEIU. I’d never heard of NEIU until the past couple of months. Now I wonder, is it a coincidence that the OMB Director Ostro is married to an NEIU finance dept honcho and they’re a top earner in the Gov’s capitol proposal? Take a look at this comparison of Quinn’s capitol proposal and 2007 fall enrollments I got from IBHE website:

    University 07 Enroll Per Capita/Quinn Proposed
    WIU 13,331 $7,352
    CSU 6,810 $7,165
    NEIU 11,644 $7,162
    SIU 34,381 $4,872
    GSU 5,692 $4,415
    U of I 72,928 $3,707
    ISU 20,274 $3,212
    NIU 25,254 $1,472
    EIU 12,179 $1,065

    Analysis is quick back of the envelope, but the figures are still revealing. What this says to me is Quinn believes the most important institutions and those most in need are by far and away WIU, CSU and NEIU. NIU and EIU? Not so much. And how did he reach that conclusion? It would appear the fingerprints of Blago’s people are all over that capitol proposal and Quinn hasn’t changed a thing. Someone really needs to question how staff arrived at these recommended amounts. My guess is he’s never questioned his (Blago’s) staff on capitol.

  9. - disgusted - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    Well put Rich…what are they thinking? The faculty protesting should have talked to emil first…maybe they could have gotten more done inside the system. For sure they dont want to get those purse strings cut, unless self destruction is the real underlying goal….leaving more money for uofi and siu to spent on no bid contracts and trustees with large contribution and state contracts. siu is so desperate they are now educating kids from TN, KY, and others at the same tuition costs as IL kids….so now taxpayers get to pay for their tuition as well.

  10. - zeke - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 12:47 pm:

    Sorry - data in previous post got crunched together. It’s University, followed by Fall 07 IBHE listed enrollment, and then per capita capital funds proposed by Quinn for each univ.

  11. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 1:02 pm:

    Good dig, Zeke, and great points Rich. Those project carry a price tag and the bill is not paid yet. SIU also throws a lot of money into an urban campus no one goes to…

  12. - Captain America - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 1:41 pm:

    Watson at least a professional education administrator - so if my choises was between Watson and Adams, it appears to me that Watson was the obvious pick. However, I think the faculty is probably right to want some credible outsider with sterling academic adminstration credentials to deal with the problems at CSU.

  13. - Captain America - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    Make that “my choice” was

  14. - Skoien4Gov - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 3:30 pm:

    “University 07 Enroll Per Capita/Quinn Proposed
    WIU 13,331 $7,352
    CSU 6,810 $7,165
    NEIU 11,644 $7,162
    SIU 34,381 $4,872
    GSU 5,692 $4,415
    U of I 72,928 $3,707
    ISU 20,274 $3,212
    NIU 25,254 $1,472
    EIU 12,179 $1,065″

    Numbers like this are disgusting.

    It’s at the point where U of I is getting so little revenue from the state that you wish the school could just go private.

  15. Pingback ArchPundit | Daily Dolt: Chicago State - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 4:09 pm:

    […] Rich has the details and a great post. Chicago State decrying political interference is like Daley decrying patronage. […]

  16. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 5:42 pm:

    Rich, I completely agree with your post. AA has sat through approp and Audit Commission hearings for many years and was stunned by the combination of bumbling and arrogance displayed by the top brass from CSU whenever they were called to testify.

    On the other hand, I don’t think zeke’s post really proves anything. When one considers the 3 UI and 2 (3?) SIU campuses, those figures aren’t out of line. The higher numbers for the top three (WIU, CSU, and NEIU) could easily be accounted for by one new building or major do-over on each campus. A multi-year average may be more useful in applying this metric.

  17. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 5:50 pm:

    Perhaps the new president can use his experience in making City Colleges the shining star of the community college system and raise the graduation rate at Chicago State from 16 percent to 17 percent.

  18. - southside_info - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 10:00 pm:

    I must take issue with the vitriol shown towards CSU. After the campus was built in 1972, there was no major capital investment made again until 1996 or 1997. And that was in the form of new buildings - union building and dormitory. The construction of which the IBHE completely messed up.

    So when Sen. Jones said he was making up for lost time by funneling money to CSU, guess what African Americans think? About time. Was Daniel a good president? No. Is the six-year graduation rate her fault? No.

    Guess what? NEIU has a similar graduation rate and a similar type of adult learner/commuter student body.

    Rich, I enjoy this blog very much, but you did yourself a disservice with this post.

  19. - southside_info - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 10:03 pm:

    Oh, I forgot to add.

    CSU currently has over $60 million in deferred maintenance. Not due to mismanagement or corruption, but due to a lack of state appropriations, a desperate desire to not fire faculty and staff and a burning desire not to raise tuition.

    Unfortunately, they were forced to raise tuition, because there was no other way to make up the budget shortfalls coming out of Springfield.

  20. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Apr 29, 09 @ 10:48 pm:

    southside, my heart aches for you and CSU with all that “deferred maintenance.”

    My alma mater, UIUC, has $60 million in “deferred maintenance” in one freakin’ building. It’s called Lincoln Hall. The campus total is well into nine figures-the campus has started to fund the backlog with a (yet another) student fee.

  21. - Loyal Alumn-Uof I 65 - Thursday, Apr 30, 09 @ 12:37 am:

    I wonder if anyone has checked into the federal funds earmarks that CSU has received from the Dept. of Defense for some highly technical mechanicals and guidance systems. Since when does CSU do this kind of weapon based engineering?

  22. - southside_info - Thursday, Apr 30, 09 @ 1:52 pm:

    @ Arthur Andersen - Oh, I’m sorry. How much did UIUC, UIC and UI-Springfield rake in from their last capital campaign? Oh, that’s right, $1.53 BILLION. How much do they plan to take in during their current campaign? $2.25 BILLION. Now, I see why the feds nailed you guys on fuzzy math. CSU’s total budget doesn’t exceed $125 million.

    Oh, and Loyal alum? What? Predominantly minority schools can’t do high-tech, government-funded research? The DoD grants are for Fuel Cells and alternative energy research. Check it out -

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Question of the day
* Illinois Primary Health Care Association CEO resigns under racial cloud
* Rauner escapes criticism in gun rights hotbed
* More revisionist history
* It's most definitely ribbon-cutting season
* Pritzker ad: "Rauner wasted a billion dollars and got nothing for it"
* Expect partisan fireworks at committee hearing next week
* Bost opponent launches first TV ad
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






* During La Salle County stop, Bruce Rauner dares.....
* Analysis: Pritzker, Rauner navigate national po.....
* Chuck Sweeny: Erika Harold brings her GOP attor.....
* Gov. Rauner signs two bills to help Veterans.....
* It's most definitely ribbon-cutting season..
* Rauner signs legislation for Quincy Veterans Ho.....
* Pritzker ad: “Rauner wasted a billion dollars a.....
* Rauner signs laws to speed up Veterans Home con.....
* Illinois Governor Signs Laws for Vets' Home.....
* Rauner Disagrees With Trump's Statements On.....

* Funds available for monument honoring Ida B. Wells-Barnett
* Correction: Mental Health Grants story
* Trump says Air Force One to get red, white and blue makeover
* Test track proposed for Illinois transportation lab
* Chicago museum stops selling doll depicting Hindu god
* Activist sues for video of Chicago police shooting
* Correction: Legionnaires’ Disease-Illinois story
* Off-duty EMT, lifeguard save girls from Lake Michigan waves
* Giant pyramid tourist attraction burns in northern Illinois
* Board votes to demolish 123-year-old Rock Island courthouse

* Springfield man wins Illinois State Police logo contest
* Rauner 'deeply troubled' by Trump's Helsinki comments
* Rauner signs bill to ease physician assistant hiring
* Bill taking Illinois out of voter registration system vetoed
* Rauner signs laws to improve Quincy veterans' home
* Rauner: President Trump should blame Russians for hacking
* Rauner signs laws to speed up Quincy veterans' home construction
* U of I paying alum $7,500 to halt sales of Chief Illiniwek T-shirt
* Rauner's campaign spent nearly $8 million last quarter. Pritzker's spent more than double that.
* Gov. Rauner signs two gun control bills, says he'll veto another

* Jewel-Osco names president
* How Grubhub and Uber Eats can save restaurants from apocalypse
* Sinclair to keep WGN-TV in revised Trib Media bid
* Sinclair to keep WGN-TV in revised Tribune Media bid
* Can a 3-D printer solve Chicago's affordable housing problem?

* Woman, 69, reported missing from Portage Park
* Alexandre Fortin’s timetable has changed, but his ultimate goal hasn’t
* Lightfoot demands investigation of ‘leaked’ consent decree on police oversight
* Chief Keef set to kick off new hologram tour
* ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ a campy sequel sure to please fans, my my
* White Sox option Charlie Tilson to Class AAA Charlotte
* Auto industry cries foul as Trump moves toward car tariffs
* UNC coach says football is ‘under attack’ because of CTE allegations
* Lay’s new ‘Taste of America’ chips include Deep Dish Pizza flavor
* Really big pike for Fish of the Week: Not too young for a fish of a lifetime

* 'Serial stowaway' found mentally fit to stand trial, freed on ankle monitor to Chicago treatment facility
* Why Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook won't ban Holocaust deniers and Infowars
* PETA lawsuit alleges ‘cover-up’ in death of 54 stingrays at Brookfield Zoo
* Richard Marx meant he 'wouldn't' be right here waiting for you, and other reactions to Trump's walk-back
* Bikini Bottom owner agrees to use doormen, install cameras and scanners to cut down on illegal activities at West Dundee bar
* After a brief lull, we now return to our regularly scheduled baseball season
* Field Museum halts sale of 'insensitive' Hindu deity doll
* Crews responding to massive fire in Prospect Heights, people urged to avoid surrounding area
* Jabari Parker's edge makes homecoming more pragmatic than romantic
* Tale of sex, deception emerges about suspected Russian agent Maria Butina

» Fast Food ‘No Poaching’ Clauses; Trade Wars & Farmers; Small Town ‘Brain Gain’
» 'Carnaval’ Festival To Highlight Latinx Stories In Theater
» The Cook County Sheriff Is Launching A Podcast On Opioid Addiction
» July 17, 2018 - Full Show
» Rauner Vetos 'Crosscheck' Ban — Illinois' Participation Already On Hold
» Rauner: Trump Should Be Holding Russians Accountable
» Suit: Chicago Should Refund Drivers Hit With Expensive Tickets
» Vallas Returns Campaign Cash From Controversial Donor Tied To CPS Scandal
» Biometric Data Lawsuit Reaches IL Supreme Court; Electronic Monitoring Devices; HPV Vaccines
» Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs Two Bills Aimed at Reducing Gun Violence

* Springfield man wins Illinois State Police logo contest
* Rauner 'deeply troubled' by Trump's Helsinki comments
* Guest View: As politicians duke it out, we must remember that most children just want to go home
* Byron York: Trump's approach doesn't work for the Trump-Russia probe
* Marc Thiessen: Trump isn't the first president to embarrass America by cozying up to Putin
* Catherine Rampell: Why do Republicans hate consumers?
* Rauner signs bill to ease physician assistant hiring
* Bill taking Illinois out of voter registration system vetoed
* Rauner signs laws to improve Quincy veterans' home
* Rauner: President Trump should blame Russians for hacking

* Niabi expands offerings with badgers, camels
* BND reporter undergoes mock rape exam
* Legislation could improve care for sexual assault victims
* Codfish Hollow has a 'museum-like' way of displaying its history: Wooden show posters
* Watch the demolition of historic, 150-year-old log home in O’Fallon
* Family offers $10K reward for info in hit-and-run after dad struck in Collinsville
* Glen Carbon dad critically injured in hit-and-run
* Gary Metivier buys ad agency, launches Metivier Media
* Boil order issued in Harrisburg
* Judge: Ruling over Davenport fire chief's dismissal expected within 2 months

* One injury reported in massive Prospect Heights apartment fire
* Parker begins his Bulls career by defending Rose
* Acquaviva Ristorante Batavia now open on Water Street
* Judge denies NFL's investigator request in concussion case
* Palatine official wants assurances children will learn English at proposed day care

* Parlak Wins Court Decision—Deportation Eff...
* Judge grants deferral to allow Ibrahim Par...
* County Board hopefuls report fundraising: ...
* 'Justice has prevailed' for Berrie...
* Solutions to Stopping Illegal 'Robocal...
* Inaugural Black Arts Fest MKE adds more he...
* These Illinois House Republicans hold huge...
* Illinois Dems Blast Trump On Twitter After...
* Black Arts Fest MKE announces headliners f...
* Ruling saves restaurateur from deportation...

* After Durbin slam, Chicago nonprofit promi......
* Democrats fault Kavanaugh comment on indep......
* Schumer demands Kavanaugh recuse himself f......
* White House dismisses 'laughable' ......
* Nonprofit investigating "disturbing&q......

* Get Loud Now makes it easy to mail a postc......
* Wyden-Merkley bill to 'reunify, protec......
* Democrats Launch Bill To Reunite All Separ......
* Us military preparing for north korea...
* US Senators Harris, Merkley, Cortez Masto ......

* Chicagoetry: Wells At Dearborn
* The [Wednesday] Papers
* GOP Candidate Wilhour calls for new Speaker and government accountability in next IL General Assembly
* 26 IL Counties declare themselves sanctuary counties for gun owners; 14 more considering resolution
* The Weekend Desk Report
* Court Vacates Injunction Against Publishing The Law
* Pilcher Park Now A Dedicated Nature Preserve
* Scholarly Publishing Is Broken. Here's How To Fix It.
* Do You Recognize This (Alleged) Package Thief?
* Brazilian Asylum Seeker Released After 11 Months In Detention; Grandson Had Been Held In Chicago

* Nursing Home Violations for Second Quarter 2018
* Illinois Department of Human Rights Releases Important New Guidebook for Housing Providers
* Illinois State Fire Marshal announces $2.2 million in grants for fire safety
* Gov. Rauner vetoes SB 2368
* Governor takes bill action

* Former soldiers use AI to wage war on convenience store lines
* The Nokia X5 predictably has a notch and dual cameras
* eBay satisfies Q2 earnings targets
* A brief history of the world’s most controversial emoji
* Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: The start of something beautiful
* Reddit added chat rooms, and they’re about what you’d expect
* IBM delivers Q2 revenue growth, IBM Z leads hardware gains

* White Sox option Tilson to Triple-A
* Top MLB Prospects: Updated Top 50 Rankings
* Six Pack of Stats: 2018 All-Star Game
* Six Pack of Stats: 2018 All-Star Game
* White Sox first-round pick Nick Madrigal was magical in his ...
* Guzman hits walk-off single, DSL Reds beats DSL White Sox 2-1
* Hanley & Rozner: Bulls interested in Okafor? Manfred's crit...

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller