Presidential Saga: Chapter II – You’re Fired!

Straight cut-and-paste from email. Read and post.
Update: I’m replacing the email with links:
Chancellor Cheryl Hyman says a change in the perception of City College is needed to reverse an enrollment decline. She said getting new college presidents is the key to that.
At Daley College, Jose M. Aybar will retain the job he has held since August 2009. Aybar was credited with making “significant strides” in improving student support services and enrollment since he was hired. Donald Laackman will stay on as president of Harold Washington College, a post he has held since March.

32 thoughts on “Presidential Saga: Chapter II – You’re Fired!

  1. The mayor approves the naming of college presidents?

    Isn´t there something inappropriate, illegal, corrupt, sleazy,
    about having the colleges being so directly trapped in the slime
    smeared network of political patronage of Chicago?

    Someone please clarify what the law establishes!
    Something is rotten here!

  2. Nice reinvention of your original post. As I approached HWC today, noticed a news van…and then the chancellor-mobile. After asking where the chancellor was, I made it to the second floor and noticed more than normal security. I knew the mayor was there at that point. I got to sit in the back, behind the local media, and then saw that our SGA was lining the tables with the new presidents and other suited people…they even had name cards in front of themselves.

    Funny how an hour earlier or later could have changed my day (and chance to meet the mayor, which was not privileged to me). Wish I would have worn pants and a collared shirt…

    The point is, and this is the best way to do this I believe, The Herald would like to ask anyone interested (or bold enough) to write a letter to the editor…of The Herald for our print edition this summer, or the future. Entries must be received by June 30 this summer. Details on the submission process are available in any former edition of The Herald or by emailing the editors at

    I do hope to hear from you. Whomever you are.

    Gregory Fairbanks Jr.
    The Herald newspaper of Harold Washington College.

    That is all…wait no its not. How can I change this funny little picture that looks nothing like me on my posts? Narcissism aside, I would like a little control…

    • Hi Fairbanks,
      Thanks for putting the contact info out there. I do hope you hear from someone.

      Regarding the funny pic, I think you need to get yourself a wordpress username and password, then you can proceed to change/set your avatar.
      (I wish I could remember exactly how I did it. Sorry.)

      • Sounds like work…plus, maybe that little alien will be the best thing to ever happen to me…nowadays, in this digital era, who knows…

  3. There’s an article on Jim Palos which appeared at Stanford University Hoover Institute’s web-site back in 1996. For those not familiar, Stanford’s Hoover Institution was founded by Pres. Herbert Hoover in 1919. It is recognized by most as one the the most prominent think-tanks for conservatives and libertarians, and is well-known for its prominent influence over national Republican policy. It was founded by Pres. Herbert Hoover in 1919, and became the home of Milton Friedman when he left Chicago.

    Some tidbits about Hoover Institute:
    “Some major issues: education reform that centers around private school vouchers and charter schools, dismantling affirmative action, privatization of social services, “flat tax” and other tax reduction schemes, deregulation of industry, Reagan’s policy legacy, and “character education.”
    Well-known for its influential role in developing President Bush’s economic policy, the Hoover Institution is “the…conservative think tank President Bush looks to for ideas.”
    Forges strong ties between right-wing ideologues, right-wing think tanks and right-wing policy makers; many of its scholars have worked for various Republican Presidential Administrations— Nixon, Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and the current President W. Bush.”

    Palos was at the time (1996) the head of an organization called Midtown Education Foundation (MEF).

    “MEF began as an outreach of Members of Opus Dei (Latin for “work of God”), a movement of Catholic laymen determined to integrate their faith with daily work, social activity, and family life. Although all 18 MEF staff members are Catholic, they seek to promote not church doctrine but rather a broad Christian ethic. The foundation’s 465 volunteer mentors — one for each child in the program — are Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, even agnostic. But they share a common core of moral principles, based on the Bible and on natural law, which they try to transmit to the children.”

    Hoover Institution Stanford University
    . . . ideas defining a free society

    May 1, 1996
    Policy review » no. 77
    One Nation Under God

    Catholics tutor city youth

    • Conjunctive and full of information. Perhaps going up and down the staircases has left you light-headed? (funny, I hope you find it so) My challenge is to tie this in to what I am not able to figure out about what is going on as well…if that makes sense. If it does not, history has shown I eventually do…or it does. Or something.

      Fairbanks, Out.

    • Your point was that I did not understand your point?

      I do not know who you are, but I can say that you need to take
      some basic courses on logic, rhetoric and argumentation.

      It’s not too late. Good luck.

      • Actually, you know exactly who I am as I have mentioned it before. Sorry my posting has compelled you to discredit my grasp of logic, perhaps a little later you can criticize my taste in music? All of that aside, I don’t understand what your post about the MEF, right-wing hoover institute has to do with this thread. The ending was particularly confusing. Are you telling us what you think about the new presidents by linking your post to someone else’s website? Is there a right-wing conspiracy that involves CCC? What is your beef with Jim Palos?

        That’s what I meant. Sorry it wasn’t designed as intelligently as you would have liked.

        See ya, peeps!

        • Program: Please speak your name as it appears on your current federal identity card. Document number G24L8.
          Joe: I’m not sure if—
          Program: You have entered the name “Not Sure”. Is this correct, Not Sure?
          Joe: No, it’s not correct.
          Program: Thank you. “Not” is correct. Is “Sure” correct?
          Joe: No it’s not. My name is Joe—
          Program: You’ve already confirmed your first name is “Not”. Please confirm your last name “Sure”.
          Joe: My last name is not “Sure”.
          Program: Thank you, “Not Sure”.
          Joe: No. What I mean is that my name is Joe.
          Program: Confirmation is complete. Please wait while I tattoo your new identity on your arm.

    • Joe says “I’m Not Sure” to a machine, which proceeds to tattoo this name on his arm. Everyone calls him “Not Sure” for the rest of the movie.

      Costco (grown to the size of a small city, with its own subway system and law school).

  4. On that note…let us throw it way back and make it really random…or not.

  5. I feel very concerned for Wright College’s students, faculty and staff. The info provided by Me-UpTheDownStaircase about Palos is scary. The outfit he headed in the 90s was controlled by the Opus Dei. For those of you who are not familiar with Opus Dei, you should be aware that it is on the extreme right wing of the Catholic Church. It has traditionally been connected to Spain’s brand of fascism, yes Franco’s kind. To this day their members practice the ritual of self-flagellation. When the Opus Dei takes control of a Catholic University it proceeds to squelch free thought, to ban books from their book fairs, etc.

    • The truth about Opus Dei
      A graduate of the Opus-Dei-owned university in northern Spain on the ultra-secretive Catholic organisation

      Elena Moya, Sunday 30 May 2010 21.00 BST

      I have always been shocked at how little people in the UK know about Opus Dei, the ultra-secretive Catholic organisation mostly present in Spain, Italy and South America, but also active here. I have more knowledge of it than I would like, having studied at the Opus Dei-owned University of Navarre in Pamplona, northern Spain, in the early 1990s when it was the top university to go to.

      On beautiful spring days, in-love couples would keep a distance (Opus Dei condemns pre-marital sex). Students dressed conservatively. The system favoured those close to what we called “the cause”, who dominated the clubs or extracurricular groups. This crowd would also lead tutorials, leaving the contrarians at the back (I was an independent minority, sitting towards the front). Some students came from Opus Dei-owned schools and knew how to play the system, even if they didn’t always follow strict Opus Dei guidance. Others were full members: rich (it is a private university), smart, attractive 20-year-olds who avoided the opposite sex in order to avoid temptation. I had friends among both groups. Some were helped by a celice, a spiked ring, worn so tightly around their legs that they would bleed, in order to suppress desire.

      The rest here:

      Note: The “celice,” is the spiked chain worn around the upper thigh by some Opus
      Dei members…

    • Maybe as educators, we should do some research before we jump to conclusions. Yes, Jim Palos is involved with Opus Dei, but Opus Dei is not some ultra-conservative, super secret cult. Opus Dei was founded as a way for lay people who did not want to become priests or nuns to be more active in their faith. Everyone in Opus Dei is well educated, and hold professional jobs. They do not seek to preach or convert or shove their philosophies down people’s throats. The whole point of Opus Dei is to worship God through doing their jobs to the best of their abilities and living their lives with honesty and integrity. Some members do practice forms of self-flagellation, but never with the intention of causing harm to themselves. The celice is not intended to draw blood, it is worn to cause minor discomfort as a form of sacrifice. Anyone who says otherwise is either exaggerating or has no first hand knowledge. Why don’t we judge our new presidents based on their performance as opposed to their religious or political views?

      I am not a member of Opus Dei – I don’t share all of their values – but I have known members of Opus Dei for my entire life and many of them have become close friends. Never have any of them tried to “convert” me or squelch my freedom of thought. In fact, the majority of Opus Dei members that I know actually bought and read Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” and found it humorous in it’s overly exaggerated and mostly completely erroneous protrayal of Opus Dei.

      Wright College is going to be just fine.

  6. OK, we will see about that. I hope that you are right.

    But is there a pattern forming?

    So far we have:
    A free-market neo-liberal aparatchik implicated with the Enron fiasco.
    An Opus Dei far right conservative operative implicated with a prominent neo-liberal think tank.

    Isn’t there a cruel irony in this apparent trend?
    1. Neo-liberal politics since Reagan end up causing the worse economic crisis since the Great Recession.
    2. City Colleges start the extraordinary rendition of (some?) of its colleges to neo-liberal administrators.

    He waxes desperate with imagination.

    Let’s follow. ‘Tis not fit thus to obey him.

    Have after. To what issue will this come?

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

    Hamlet Act 1, scene 4, 87–91

    • I’m personally at least as troubled by the pattern of tin foil hat worthy posts you’re sprinkling in the comments.

      I’m a Packers fan and deer hunter and you write frequently on a blog that I started. So would someone be justified in saying that you’re a second amendment loving, cheese eating, union hating zealot like “other people from Wisconsin”?

      Ridiculous. Opinions are fine, but you need to be at least moderately responsible (intellectually) in your formulations.

      Read Hamlet again; note, at the least, his thoughtfulness. Please.

  7. “Tin foil hat worthy comments?”
    “Ridiculous” guilt by association claims?
    Irresponsible formulations?
    Careless reading of Shakespeare?

    Well, it’s your blog, and I assume your insults are intended to drive me away. If you thought that insulting me would do the trick, well, you are correct. You win. I am out.

    Maybe you want to appear as the thoughtful guy, fair and willing to compromise with the new power structure. You perhaps want to present yourself as the level headed philosopher worthy of praise and administrative support and that this will safe you from reprisals. Let’s see what happens. My hypothesis is that it will not work. You see, there’s an all out war against working people in this country (actually, is a global assault) and they (YES, THEY) will not give up until the colleges & the profession are changed and taken back to 19th century standards. But do it your way. Time will tell…

    And good luck with your support for Idiocrats.

    • Peeps,
      Read what PhiloDave states with care. This blog he started has done us much good to communicate ideas related to our profession.
      I don’t think PhiloDave is sayin’ to leave if you don’t agree with him. I believe PhiloDave is askin’ that we become responsible bloggers.
      It’s ok if we agree to disagree, but let’s find that uncommon ground with respect.

      I’m a Bears fan. The uncommon ground is that I can watch a football game with PhiloDave. I can live with that.

      I guess what I’m tryin’ to say is don’t walk away from a good argument. We have much to learn from each other.

    • A surprisingly thin-skinned post for someone so willing to toss about criticism and calumnies; not an insult, just an observation.

      Suggestion: no heat tolerance, no kitchen.

      Do what you want–stay, go, whatever; but if you’re going to take every criticism as a personal insult, then this probably isn’t the best place for you.

      • Mention ONE, just ONE calumny toss by me, Mr. Triangulator!


            I did make accusations and directed statements against certain individuals, but I backed them up with documentary evidence.

            You just wanted to leave –for the record– a statement attacking me, so that the administrators who read the blog take note of you as “reasonable” and a middle of the road individual by contrast; someone they can count on and do business with. You are a not so subtle triangulator! (And Sister Soulja I am not).

            As for me not willing to take the heat, how little do you know! I have traversed the Nicaraguan countryside while your tax dollars were arming the Contras. I traveled by (mined) roads expecting road explosions anytime. I was shot at by cops as a student activist. I was the victim of assassination attempts for political reasons on two occasions when younger. I have been in countless labor strikes, mobilizations and confrontations with despots since junior high school. Your insults are baby games in comparison to what I have been through. This kitchen is not too hot; it’s your kitchen and is kind of silly. You may have it.

            Good luck with your blog.

  8. I am not an educator.. There is nothing riding on my opinion which is quite naive. I just enjoy the thoughts of educators, very much enjoy this blog and suspect it is quite cathartic for the educators who post on it. (wait…did I use cathartic correctly?) I am disappointed at the conversation that is displayed. Certain parties handled themselves with dignity in face of irrational rantings and that is appreciated as a good lesson in how one should approach similar instances..Others..well that is where the disappointment occurs.

    If I may gently warn the enthusiastic contributor with hopes of taking up arms (in a strictly metaphoric sense), students do read this. Is that the example of polite conversation one should be displaying? Whether you agree or not, people do learn from you even when you are not in a classroom. There were inappropriate and accusatory links where there should not have been. Instead of attacking arguments, people were attacked. (suggesting a logic class was flat out insulting. Accusing people of placating when they disagree with you is a little self-indulgent) I am truly sorry you feel slighted, but these people are not your enemies or naive fools. They are trying to raise interesting questions in a safe environment where they should not be belittled. You should apologize.

    Again, I enjoyed the original post and am a fan of the blog. I just hope this acts as a lesson on how not to convey oneself. It was not dignified and weakened the point trying to be conveyed.

  9. I don’t know about the other debates going on. Frankly don’t want to be involved. But the naive picture of who ever presented the Opus Dei is truly scary. It is simply about a couple folks. Look at the great body of history and activity of the Opus Dei as an institution. We are talking here about Fraco’s fascist cronies. If you go today to Spanish plaza repeat such naive comments people will chase you out of town. Franco’s fascism cost so many people their lives and made the life of tens of millions miserable for decades. The Opus Dei is an outfit (yes as in mafia) deeply entangled with this history. Have you ever seen the pictures of bishops and cardinal doing the fascist salute in unison with Franco.
    As if that wasn’t enough to minimize the sickening issue of self-flagellation is unbelievable too me. This is the 21st century! And if your children were self-injuring and you were not upset and worried sick I’d think there would be something wrong with you. To have such a nonchalant attitude to this fanatically religious and right wing organization and to think that that doesn’t inform how Palos will operate is extremely worrisome. No, Wright College won’t be alright, and neither will be anyone else at the other colleges. To pretend otherwise is either to have one’s ostrich neck deep beneath the sand or to be a disingenuous supporter of the emerging status quo.

    • Saying that a member of a religious organization like Opus Dei must be a facist is the equivalent of saying that a Muslim must be a terrorist, or a German must be a Nazi, or an Italian must be in the mafia. Enough with the generalizations. Pictures of bishops doing a fascist salute? That means nothing. During the Mexican civil war, the government planted its allies into the priesthood because religion was such a large part of people’s lives and it was a way to convince the people to the government’s way of thinking. And in terms of self-flagellation, maybe you should see it first hand before you jump to conclusions. There is no blood, no bruising, no bodily harm actually caused. you’d cause yourself more harm by stubbing your toe. And, talking about a child self-injuring is a completely different scenario, and perhaps you should get your facts straight. What exactly are you worried is going to happen? Please, be specific, instead of trying to instill mass panic with generalizations, loose facts, and exaggerated statements.

      • In my land we have a saying: you cannot block the sky with your hand. But that is what you are attempting. One thing is to be a member of some secretive (ask why?!!!) organization that maybe more or les congenial, another is to a leader of such an organization. I’ve have seen with my own eyes what the Opus Dei is capable of currently. I’ve seen they take over a Catholic University and destroy a very constructive annual fair by banning books from subsequent fairs: censorship. There was a big public outcry, and rightly so.
        So please, don’t try the goody two shoes act with me, I know and seen more than that. Please stand at the line of the applicants for Reinvention brown nosers, who in exchange for crumbs will stab the rest of us in the back.
        As to the self-flagellation issue, you have exposed yourself enough with this sickening ritual, so nothing more with the witness.

  10. Y’all can continue this in the Tabula Rasa Sunday post. I left it empty on purpose.

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