An SIUC faculty blog, brought back to life by the Illinois funding crisis.
Friday, April 15, 2011
A Requiem for SIUC
O how I long for the days when coming to campus was a joy and being a faculty source of pride. When we all had the same goals and purpose! Our leaders had come up through the ranks and were intellectuals. Pedagogy and quality education were given more than lip service. We worked for the betterment of our university, our students, our region and our future. Then along came individuals who had agendas. They changed the goals and purpose. They put business models in place, where students became a source of income and our purpose became increasing revenues. Plans with fancy names like "responsibility center management," "self supporting units," and "super faculty" were devised for temporary gains. Leadership became more focused on how to "down size" and maximize productivity in lieu of intellectual freedom and liberal education. Unqualified people were hired and we became excessively heavy on top. Units were rewarded for bringing in more numbers regardless of quality. Those with quality but low numbers were eliminated in the name of cost saving. One by one, however, these "leaders" came and they left. Some found better jobs; others were forced into obscurity. Meanwhile morale was destroyed, unions found a strong foothold, and students disappeared. And here we are on the eve of an inauguration that for the most part is a demonstration of the depth of disconnect between the people who run the university and those who have vested interest in the university.