First of all, what I do for a living is hire and manage software engineers. Mostly they are new college graduates and need to be lead toward a goal of becoming senior software engineers (in later years I have had to do more and more marketing and product creation because that is what really senior engineers do). I spend day after day, week after week, month after month, one on one with these kids. If this seems something like being a professor of computer science and running a big lab of graduate students, it is almost exactly the same thing. Please don't give me this self righteous crap about how no one who isn't in academia can understand academia. It is total nonsense. Next thing you know you will be saying that only farmers should study plants, only drug dealers should study crime. As a matter of fact it is easier to understand academia if you aren't having to do major rationalization about how poorly performing your employer is and by easy logic, how poor your own performance is because of the guilt by association (think about that one for a minute).
That you want to hold our leaders accountable here at SIU is laudable; that you want to commodify education and model this University on your business experience isn't. Education is a not-for-profit enterprise. You can't quantify how much people learn, or how they grow culturally or spiritually. Choose whatever ridiculous metric you want (SIU tries to use lots!), none measure wisdom. Students are not products. Parents and society are not customers. This isn't a factory.
I guess you can say that SIU isn't a business, but the word business doesn't matter. The reason to use the terms I use isn't because I want to describe a business, it is because those are the terms and ideas of management and leadership.
Your ideas that SIU isn't a factory is just stupid, of course it is a factory. Students choose from a limited number of majors, a limited number of classes, they must follow rules, going down the same assembly line as defined by the place. Are you thinking that when you become a CS major, you aren't on an assembly line? Each student is unique, but not that much different than all the others around them. Can you quantify students? Of course, professors do this all the time. The big quantification of how professors do this is called a diploma.
Quick note on SIU's assembly line, it is defined by the classes the professors choose to make a student take to earn a major. Each step is somewhat defined by teaching standards, books and materials, by the professors. How is this different than building an assembly line for cars again?
Maybe you are saying that I can't quantify students because I'm not part of the professor priesthood? Or maybe you don't understand my language and you don't want to study leadership and management and see if I'm correct? This blog can't be understood by the kids at SIU, I know it is beyond many professors. You will notice the most interesting commenters here include Jon Bean, a person who studies business? He gets it.
Sometimes in this life I just agree to disagree, but in this case I just can't. If you don't think that SIU is producing a product for society you are plain nuts. SIU produces trained students and research for society/State of Illinois. Society owns the buildings and gives money to get these products. If you want more money from society, do a better job. It isn't a for-profit business, but is sure is a not for profit one.
We have seen that countries that experimented in socialism and communism are failures. Maybe it is time for SIU to stop attempting to be a socialist institution and start performing? I guess it is time to stop slamming on the administrators at SIU (who are truly bad) for a while and move on to the professors who are truly clueless? Stay tuned.