HWC gets new VP

Per Don’s email:


This morning, the Board of Trustees of the City Colleges of Chicago confirmed Margie Martyn, Ph.D., as the new Vice President – Academic Affairs for Harold Washington College. Previously, Dr. Martyn served as Vice President of Instructional Systems and Dean of Online-Blended Programs at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she oversaw Academic and Student Affairs, assessment and operations for Online-Blended Programs and managed instructional technologies and pedagogies for all campuses. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Dean of Academic Administration at the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University.

Dr. Martyn also has experience as a faculty member, teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses in adult learning, computer literacy, mathematics literacy, liberal arts and sciences, management, telecommunications and networking. She has published articles on the impact of technology on student learning outcomes and engagement. Her most recent research studied the impact of social media on student learning. Some of her recent publications can be found at ttp://www.educause.edu/members/margaret-martyn.*

A 10-person search committee made up of administrators, faculty members, union representation and the president of SGA screened and interviewed candidates. I consulted with the search committee extensively before making the final selection. Dr. Martyn will start at Harold Washington College on Monday, July 16.

Please join me in welcoming Margie to Harold Washington College.


Thank you very much Don for communicating the news. I’m only posting so that we, as an educational institution can, if we so want, have a discussion about the matter that will have a direct impact on our academic life come Fall 2012. I’m also posting to welcome our new VP to HWC, as Don recommended.

Perhaps our new VP would like to introduce herself to our college by way of The Lounge?

*Minor typo on that link Don, but no big thang. Nice of you to give us the resource. I’m just ribbin’ you. We’re bloggin’ buddies so it’s all in good jest.

36 thoughts on “HWC gets new VP

  1. I especially love the phrasing of this: “I consulted with the search committee extensively before making the final selection.” In reality, it should say, “I consulted with the search committee extensively before declining the recommended first and second choice.”

    • If this is indeed the case, and I have no information to either confirm or deny, then it may be a case of the old Chicago way. ”Pay to play” anyone?

      • There’s nothing quite like the smell of politics in Chicago.

    • More likely, “I consulted with the search committee extensively, and then just did what Cheryl told me to do.”

  2. She is also married to one of the big guns over at district. City of Big Shoulders hard at work.

  3. What a shame and a sham! I lost faith in the district when Cheryl walked in, but I still had some faith in Don and HW. Now, that’s gone.

    • Perhaps the business model bolsters the practice of firing, or- excuse me- “laying off,” dedicated employees who are barely making ends meet in order to “balance the budget” only to turn around and hire numerous bozos at $100,000+ salaries to “fix” “problems,” but I find it to be a disgusting abuse of power and an embarrassment for the City Colleges of Chicago. Shame on you, Cheryl Hymen. Shame on you!

  4. Well-said. I couldn’t agree more. The morale amongst HWC has plummeted since Cheryl stepped into power.

  5. As a faculty member, I’m a little ashamed of the posts here. While I’m also unhappy with the final decision for vp and I worry about what this means for HWC, we don’t represent ourselves very well when we rush to judgment based on assumptions and prejudices and when we make such clearly sexist comments. Aren’t we – as academics – supposed to be the ones to evaluate ideas (and people) based on their merits? Aren’t we supposed to be the ones with high ideals? Has anyone even read her articles, assessed her credentials, considered that she is her own person aside from the man to whom she’s married? If you’re going to criticize someone you haven’t met in person yet, you should at least do that much.

    • No one has rushed to judgement, or criticized Dr. Martyn in any way as a person or as a professional. I have looked at her credentials, and while she may very well be qualified for the position and may very well do an excellent job at HWC as VP, the very fact that we already had a strong VP in place, who was one of us, and was the first recommendation of the search committee and who was overlooked for someone with connections at district, who was not even the committee’s second recommendation is what is being criticized. It is the actions of the district, the blatant favoritism, and the total lack of respect shown by our president when he refused to fight for what we, as a college, represented by our search committee, decided was best for HWC, its students and its faculty that is under scrutiny here.

      • You say, “No one has rushed to judgement, or criticized Dr. Martyn in any way as a person or as a professional.”

        And yet, someone says regarding Cheryl, Don, and, by way of extension, Dr. Martyn, “All I see are arrogant asses who have created an environment of contempt, distrust, low-morale and did I mention contempt. In what business class did they learn that fostering an us/them mentality, such as hiring a “them” VP and kicking one of “us” to the curb, is good as a leadership style?”

        I don’t know about you, but I would label being called an “arrogant ass” and a “‘them’ VP” personal criticisms and, for all we know, unfounded judgments.

        And, when someone says “She is also married to one of the big guns over at district. City of Big Shoulders hard at work” despite the fact that her credentials suggest that “she may very well be qualified for the position,” Dr. Martyn is reduced to simply the “spouse of a District member” rather than a professional in her own right. I don’t know. It seems like a backhanded professional criticism to me.

        And, I’m not even going to go too far into the fact that some of our statements are based solely on an anonymous post about the search committee rather than a statement from the search committee.

        All I’m saying is we (well, I) don’t know her yet, and perhaps we should give her the same benefit of the doubt that we gave Don. Besides, I’d rather model what’s best in academia – critical thinking, withholding judgment until one has documented evidence, careful analysis of information, etc etc etc – than what we think of as the worst of corporate mentalities – groupthink, knee jerk reactions, etc etc etc.

        It’s just not a good look for academics, not a good look at all. . .

        • I have met Dr. Martyn briefly, and I have read one of her articles (before all this was announced) and was impressed by it. I think she may very well be a strong choice, but if she really was number three (or lower) on the search committee’s list, I find that very troubling. I’d like to know if #2 was offered the job and turned it down. If not, the situation definitely seems fishy.

          This district has a very long history of posting jobs for the minimum amount of time required because people are already slated for positions, and that is a horrible shame that I think has greatly hurt our district not only because we don’t get the best people for the job, but also because it fosters distrust and cynicism, as is clear from these posts. So it is not Dr. Martyn who is being attacked here, but the fact that her hire seems to be in keeping with a long and troubling history of questionable hiring practices.

        • I’m not sure that rushing to the “sexist” argument makes too much sense either. Perhaps the comment was made about nepotism in general- which our fair city is rife with. The post could have said “she’s the sister (or brother, or father, or cousin, or babysitter) of some big gun over at district. The point is that she was on the inside track because of this relationship, regardless of her qualifications.

        • I don’t think jumping on the “sexist” bandwagon is fair either. I think the comment about being the wife of a big gun over at district could have said, “the new choice is the brother, the cousin, the grandfather, the babysitter, of a big gun over at district.” The point is not about gender or about qualifications, it is about nepotism and being on the inside track for a position. This should be worrying to everyone. It seems to me that under this new administration, there seem to be people who have already been “chosen” for jobs. The interview process is a scam.

        • it’s also odd that she’ll be making almost 20k more than any of the other vps

          • Check your facts. She makes the exact same amount as the most recently hired VP at OHC.

          • So new hires get paid more than those who have doing the job for longer? That makes sense.

    • I was thinking the same thing, but I wasn’t on the search committee.

  6. Let’s hear from the search committee. I would like to know what were the actual recommendations from the search committee. Currently there is the appearance of malfeasance perpetrated by Don and Cheryl. How much credibility can they have if they really did ignore the search committee in order to promote a candidate of their own choice? This dispute can be ended very quickly if the search committee shows that their recommendations were the guiding reason behind the VP decision. So, let’s see the letter from the committee to Don and District and quit discussing this based on rumors and innuendos. Let’s see what about the candidate chosen makes her the best candidate for our school as determined by those 10 committee members.

    • That’s not going to happen unless you FOIA the info. What I do know, not by rumor, is that John was the first choice and the incoming VP was the third.

  7. I agree that we should extend Dr. Martyn the same courtesy and respect we would extend to any new employee joining HWC, but that is a separate issue from how this search was handled. Choosing a 3rd choice candidate and acting as if John “chose” to rejoin the faculty are both questionable decisions. Regardless of her merits, hiring the spouse of a prominent district employee looks bad. Given that John was the first choice candidate and isn’t married to anyone at district, he would seem to be the logical choice. The frustration here shouldn’t be directed at Dr. Martyn, but rather at Don for choosing to let John go. I think it would be great if Don spoke up here to explain his rationale for the decision. My guess is that because it’s personnel related, he won’t be able to do that. This certainly wasn’t the best decision for a relatively new president still looking to earn the respect of the HWC community. But then that’s really the point isn’t it. It’s not that any of the new leadership needs to bend to us, but rather, we’re suppose to bend to them or leave. It may not be the intention, but that is the net effect.

  8. Has it occurred to anyone else that the greatest degree of “favoritism” involved in this episode may have been on the part of the search committee? How objective were they in making their recommendations? I bet that both their first and second choices were internal candidates. Typical Chicago politics?

    If our president went against the search committee recommendations he demonstrated courage and likely did so because he believed it to be in the best interest of HWC. You don’t think he anticipated these negative responses? Leaders sometimes need to make difficult decisions knowing they may suffer in the short-run in order to achieve long-term benefits for all.

    • Do you know that the first two choices were both internal candidates? Are you saying that internal candidates are not qualified?

    • But should one person have the power to make such an important decision that impacts us all? If Don made the decision to replace you with someone else would you still trust his decision?

      “Leaders sometimes need to make difficult decisions knowing they may suffer in the short-run in order to achieve long-term benefits for all.” – The only way this holds true is if you believe that John was a lesser choice for the position. Obviously Don did, but I think you’ll find that vast majority of employees at HWC felt he was an excellent VP and that that there was no sufficient reason to let him go.

    • It is a well-accepted practice to allow internal candidates to apply for open positions. After all, if they are not selected, what are the repercussions? Well, may be some occasional awkwardness.

      A close relative of a highly-positioned official applying for an important post in the same organization can create a highly unethical situation: if the person is not hired, can the decision-makers experience any negative consequences (direct or indirect) from the above mentioned relative-official?

    • I’m sorry…really??? Who’s knows what is best for our college – the search committee, comprised of faculty leaders whom WE elected into leadership positions, who have taught here, who have worked in several different positions within the college, who have dealt first hand with our students and faculty, or someone who has been here for one year, has still not proven his leadership abilities, and has no background in education?

    • “If our president went against the search committee recommendations he demonstrated courage and likely did so because he believed it to be in the best interest of HWC.”
      Is this a “green light” to do whatever the “gods” believe is “best” for us? Is it part of the “put those inner-city kids to work fast because they will take too long [and “cost too much”] earning their higher-educational goals” campaign? => My humble translation of “earning credentials of economical value.”
      The main point isn’t whether the new VP is a very qualified woman or not. It is not about being sexist or not. It is simply about being tired of not being taken seriously concerning important decisions that can affect our future as a college.

      • Exactly. And to have the authority of a “search committee” so grossly overridden and to state that this was a fair decision-as if we’d buy it-is shameful and further evidence that the voices of faculty and staff do not matter–the complete opposite of what an institution of higher learning should be.

  9. Given the problems some of the other colleges are currently having with their presidents and the fact that several of them had very limited experience and/or spotty track records, I am extremely curious how/why they got hired.

  10. Obviously, the decision has been made and nothing that’s said here is going to change that. However, the point of voicing concerns at this point should be to send a message that we don’t agree with how this was handled. This isn’t “Don’s school” or “district’s school”. This is our school. One only needs to look at U of I to see the repercussions of a president (chancellor as they call it) placing himself above the faculty. Don knew this would be a very unpopular decision, but went ahead with it anyway. Posting anonymously on this board may not make much of a difference, but there are formal avenues to express displeasure with this decision. Faculty Council…where are you?

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