HaroldLeaks: Excerpts from the Chancellor’s (and Trustees’) Annual Review

You may recall any or all of the following:

1. It was three years ago today that Chancellor Hyman’s appointment to lead the City Colleges of Chicago began (Happy anniversary, Chancellor!).

2. It was two and a quarter years ago (ish) that the Board of the City Colleges of Chicago resolved “that the Board of Trustees expects all staff and officers of the District to advance the goals of the Reinvention of the City Colleges of Chicago and will hold staff accountable for reaching these goals” and, further, “that as the governing body of the City Colleges of Chicago, all Trustees pledge to hold themselves accountable for reaching these goals for student improvement and success.” The board resolution promised to track progress on interim benchmarks and milestones to achieving the Reinvention goals, “including but not limited to:

  • Increases in the graduation rate
  • Increases in the student retention rate
  • Increases in the credit accumulation rate
  • Increases in the employment rate
  • Increases in the percentage of students who transfer to a 4-year institution after receiving an Associate’s degree
  • Increases in the percentage of students who move through remediation and successfully challenge a college-level course
  • Increases in the percentage of upper-level adult education students who move into college-level courses”

3. It was just a little over two years ago that a faculty group put together an open letter to then Board Chair Cabrera quoting Board rule 2.2.3 (““The Board shall conduct an annual review of the performance of the Chancellor. Such review shall be conducted by such persons, designated by the Board, and in such manner, as the Board may deem appropriate”) and asking for, among other things, information about the Chancellor’s review.

4. It was about a year and a quarter ago that an article in Inside Higher Ed focused on the administrative accountability for the City Colleges’ Reinvention goals and plans, the penultimate paragraph of which reads, “After just one year, many of the plan’s recommendations are still being phased in. But it calls for regular checks on progress beginning this summer, and system officials promise that performance evaluations of administrators will be tied directly to the reinvention.”

5. It was about a year ago that CCC released news about exactly one of the seven “interim benchmarks and milestones,” highlighting the rise in graduation rates.

6. It was about 9 months ago that the CCC budget was released with the baselines for Key Performance Indicators broken out by schools and departments (Daley: p124; Harold: p141; KK: p160; MalcolmX: p182; OH: p202; Truman: p207; Wilbur: p240). (Interestingly, there is no scorecard for the Board, the Chancellor, nor the the Chief of Staff’s office, but they pick up again with the Department of Academic Affairs (p269). So you may be thinking that the Board and Chancellor get a mean score from the rest of the metrics. It’s also not clear in the budget how the scorecards work–is it Pass/Fail? And if so, on each category or on all of them? Is one ‘F’ enough to doom the leadership? Or will they do a color code (like a stoplight (red, yellow, green) or homeland security)? All fascinating questions that plead for answers…)

But perhaps, in your cynical, grinchy heart, you recall all of that and continue to think, as you have all along, that it’s a bunch of hot air and hooey–political mumbo jumbo that is founded on the dual expectation of being able to cherry pick the confirmation data points and mystify/withhold the less flattering numbers.

Is that you?

Well, prepare for your heart to grow three sizes this day! It’s Christmas in April today, my friends, and with you I shall share a gift bestowed upon me by a person in the know–a modern day Deepthroat, a local Julian Assange, an educational Aaron Swartz!

That’s right, for answers to your questions and a peek at the Board of Trustees’ frank and refreshingly transparent 360 review of the Chancellor (and their own performance) in light of the above, you’ll have to travel below the fold by clicking on the “More” button…

Highlights from the March Board Report

Highlights from the Board Report is a monthly regular feature that highlights what one person finds to be important from the most recent Board Report. We read it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

The March report is up; congratulations to Chairperson Woolf on the completion of her inaugural Board meeting as the gran formagi!

~No reports from HR and Academic Affairs, but there was some stuff about money.

~The policy on facilities use (which was a part of/at the root of/led to some complications (depending on your interpretation of things) last fall) has been clarified a bit (with respect to inside/outside groups and priorities and the rest). I’m particularly interested in this:

“-The service and consumption of alcoholic beverages on City Colleges of Chicago Campus property is prohibited, unless served by a properly licensed caterer with the State and/or City required liquor liability (dramshop) insurance” (emphasis mine).

~There were changes made to the academic policy, too–notably in regard to graduation eligibility (via the elimination of the home campus requirement and the promised enforcement of the diversity appreciation requirement for all of our degrees. There were some other changes, too. Check it out.

~On the personnel front, there were 11 new hires at the DO (recession, schmeesession!) including two new Associate Vice Chancellors, one of whom is a replacement for a former Vice Chancellor (of Development) who was moved over into a different Vice Chancellorship (of Athletics). That means that in addition to the Chancellor and Board members and their Chief Advisor, we now, officially, have 11 chiefs of this or that and Vice Chancellors, a Provost, a General Counsel, an Inspector General, 7 college Presidents, somewhere between 9and 81 Associate Vice Chancellors, approximately 37 (give or take 20) Directors, at least 20% of which are executive directors, and a bevy of managers. The numbers are, admittedly, a little fuzzy in spots. I’ll do a tighter count when next year’s budget comes out. Ahem. Onward. It seems that we lost Workforce Development VP Christopher Wilkerson (we hardly knew ye…did we?), and Tom Higgins has, apparently spent his sabbatical working on time travel, as indicated by his special assignment which reads “Start date from 07/30/2012 to 05/14/2012 and end date from 08/10/2012 to 05/25/2012”, which is awesome.

~Our Phy Sci people are ringing the register again (congrats to all!).

~Who uses a travel agent these days? We do, I guess!

~We hired somebody to make sure that we’re getting our share of the Tax Ripoff Increment Financing law. Hey, it’s on the books, might as well use it, I guess. (Of course, there’s this to consider…)

~Limegreen gets some more love, in the form of up to 60 G’s to manage Graduation–should be awesome!

~Plus (up to) 80K to UIC for the use of the Pavilion…wait a minute…60 plus 80…that’s a Vice Chancellor! What if we hired an Associate VC of Graduation for $100,000 and then split the other $40,000 between the seven colleges? Just brainstorming here…any other good ideas?

~They approved a contract for two years of temp staffing…think they’re planning on not having administrative assistants for a spell? Luckily for us the contract didn’t say anything about temporary faculty. Yet.

~Daley and Olive Harvey get theater renovations.

~Contracts for what bugs ya.

~The Presidents and Chancellor agreed on some other things.

~Polly Hoover addressed the board about some curricular issues, especially the stuff going on with CPS.

If you think I missed anything (or mis-stated anything), please post your ideas in the comments.



Highlights from the February Board Report

Highlights from the Board Report is a monthly regular feature that highlights what one person finds to be important from the most recent Board Report. We read it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

I haven’t done one of these for awhile; sorry.

I had one drafted for December, but then I started to get too worked up over the December District Office hiring (14 new district positions (including two new Vice Chancellors and a Procurement officer (all $100,000+, and of the 14 positions, 6 were not even in the budget released only four months earlier–see it’s happening again). How many new faculty? Five.) And that’s after November  added a new Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management, and  January was better (Nine DO hires, including a promotion for Alvin Bisarya (or at least an extra 10 G’s), four of which were new positions, which I think (but amn’t sure) means unbudgeted, but they hired 32 faculty across the district including 7 at HW), but, regardless, I digress. February is the point today.

The report from yesterday’s Board Meeting is up and available. (Whatever else is true of our District people, they’ve become lightning fast at getting those board reports up!). And, though there’s no notice of it in the Board Report, yesterday was Martin Cabrera’s last meeting as Chair of the board (check out the Union Google Group to see the nice things Perry had to say about him and his rein in the big chair); Mayor Emanuel has recommended Paula Wolff to be the new chair (an appointment that Perry called “Historic” which is exciting. Let’s hope. In any case, congratulations to Dr. Wolff.

~Nothing from HR or Academics, but there’s some stuff about money (and apparently there was a discussion about FY2013 Reinvention Vision, Goals and Objectives. I’d like to see that…maybe it’ll be on the Reinvention Blog.

~Contract Renewals are up–congratulations to Samar, Luke, Tony, Janette, Joe, Sarah, Erica, Megan, Kwok-Tuen (Ray), and Philip on their 2nd contract, and triple congrats to Yev Lapik and Paul Wandless on achieving Tenure! Looks like things went better at the other colleges this year than in some past years, too (though, in the Google Group, you can read Perry’s note which seems to suggest that there were some shenannigans around “lost portfolios.”

~No more post-retirement lifetime  medical/dental/vision coverage for people who have served 7 or more years as district officers, and no more 100% coverage for current district officers. Wayne is sad this morning.

~There were some personnel moves. The big news? No new Vice Chancellors this month. Hallelujah. HW had a couple of hires (welcome aboard Daryl Tolbert (Business Advisor–don’t know what that is; probably part of the 10000 Businesses thing?) and Raeann Caldwell has a new gig as a “retention specialist”). Also, a bunch of new faculty across the district (five at Daley (two in Humanities!)). Donna Williams is moving to Malcolm X, but otherwise there were no separations for us this month.

~We’ll be getting something called Early Alert to help with advising;

~Polly Hoover addressed the Board in regard to the CASH-to-ROI program (Worst-name-ever award winner) that was piloted at Daley and is soon to spread to the other colleges. Her speech is a really, really well argued one and important for faculty to check out (especially those engaged with Developmental Ed). Make sure you CHECK IT OUT.

If you think I missed anything important, please toss it up in the comments.

Highlights from the Board Report: April

Highlights from the Board Report is a monthly regular feature that highlights what one person finds to be important from the most recent Board Report. We read it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Well, it’s been awhile since I did one of these, but the February and March Board Reports were getting plenty of attention as it was, so I didn’t think I needed to do any highlights from them. No reason not to do April’s Board Report, though.

~At the March Academic Affairs meeting (which took place in February, remember?), the Chancellor reported on the “PeopleSoft pre-requisite project.” There is no information on what that is, though. I suspect that it has to do with something like, “changing all of the local pre-requisites to make sure that they are all the same (without consideration of (or input on) what impact that will have on students, learning, or colleges) because doing so will mean not having to change (read: pay Oracle for) new capacity.” I am, however, just speculating since to my knowledge, no information on this has been shared with mere faculty, except for the fact of the pre-requisite changes. Ahem.

~Ironically, considering what I just wrote, a PeopleSoft Upgrade is coming (perhaps they will consider “the capacity to support locally approved and determined pre-requisites that fit with the curricular expectations and institutional knowledge of each college’s student learning needs as they do their “gap-fit;” I shall hope for, but not expect it). Also coming soon, an “Investment Manager.” And someone forgot to use Spellcheck (can you find it?). (And with that I think I have exorcised the last of my lingering bitterness for the moment. Sorry. Sometimes one just needs to vent it a bit.)

~Oh, wait. There is a mention of pre-requisites. It’s in the approved March Board Meeting Minutes; the sentences read: “Provost Henderson is also instituting customized career planning for the students and working with OIT to improve our online registration. Many of the pre-requisites were not lined up with the student’s (sic) career choices and the programs they choose.” If anyone knows what that means, please interpret in the comments. Also, the colleges are apparently at 97% compliance with the residency requirement. (Sorry, I was wrong; I guess there was a little left. It’s gone now, though.)

~A new rule was passed that allows the Board to debar potential vendors from the procurement processes of the CCC for shady or illegal dealings.

~Some HR action occurred. Kennedy King got a new interim President, the District Office got a new PART TIME Ethics officer for $75Gs (good work if you can get it–sorry, wrong again; now I’m done), and five of nine hires for the month were hired to work at 226 W. Jackson (dang!); additionally, Jesse Montelongo was moved to the District Office, and Brandon Pendleton returns from Deaning elsewhere to our HR department. Dorothy Clark’s retirement became official, and Chris Kabir (Keenan’s assistant) left us for greener pastures.

~We’ve pretty much used up our grant money. Actually we spent more than 100% of it. Now that is efficiency!

~The District is renting a space for the inspector general and staff so they can “conduct investigations in a discreet and confidential manner.” It will cost no more than $63, 278 a year, not including the estimated $75,000 in furniture. (See? this one is ripe for snarky bitter commentary, and…nothing.)

~We’ve got a fixer of the clocks.

~The Board approved a $1.2 million contract to Sofbang to “design and implement a Hosted Microsoft Exchange Email Managed Services solution” over a five year period, and re-upped with Aztec for another year at the rate of $4200 a month.

~We rented the UIC Forum for graduation for “not more than $65,000.”

~Approved some money to pay for EBSCO.

~FC4 President Ellen Eason Montgomery addressed the Board to present the FC4 Academic Freedom resolution.

If I missed anything, throw it up in the comments! See you in May.