Thursday, November 02, 2006

My biggest disappointment with SIUC

I'm a SIUC alumni with a BA in CS and my Father is a math professor. I have been trying to be involved with SIUC for the last 5 years. Really put some effort into it and tried all sorts of activities. I did the business plan contest for 3 years, worked with all sorts of people at the business incubator, started a business located at Dunn-Richman for a while, joined some advisory boards, ran the politics to start that Partnership for Innovation Center in CoBA and gave guest lectures whenever I was asked. As you have seen in my little blog entries, I know something about management and spend most every waking hour looking at how things are managed and how I might do it better or differently. I have ripped administration, faculty and students here in a somewhat factual way.

My biggest complaint about SIUC is that the administrators perform so poorly and are so damn arrogant. I have never seen so many managers who are only interested in having their rings kissed and with no interested in winning. So many administrators are terrible performers, but aren't fired for cause. I have certainly never seen so many people hiding behind layers of secretaries and doing no real work. If you want the big job, then work hard, 40 hours a week doesn't cut it.

The quality of the professors is pretty darn good. The results could be better, but better leadership would have to arrive before that happens. The students suck and are going to get worse unless the boat is righted.

SIUC will never do better until the management/administrator deadwood has been replaced and real leadership comes back. I don't expect this to happen, it isn't the way that Illinois conducts business.

I expect SIUC to have a long, slow and painful slide down from here. Yes, I know it has already slid down a whole bunch for the glory days. The administrators aren't worried though, they will all be gone or dead by the time the real crisis hits.

Sometimes you have to wonder who is in charge. Have you noticed that no one owns that Southern at 150 failure yet? It seems that Wendler is man enough to still be associated with it, but since I could tell it could never have worked, why didn't the administration pros? We know that Saluki Way isn't going to fix what ails this university too, why isn't the administration smart enough to leave themselves an out?

Your comments are welcome.


bill stevens said...

I do not believe we will slide down much further before a rebound, but we must endure a cultural change at SIUC and there are too many people who will resist it.

In a way, I don't blame them - they arrived having agreed to certain game rules. To change the rules from "bring in the maximum number of grant dollars" to "produce successful, happy students who will recommend us to well-prepared high school seniors" is more of a change than many will assent to.

And, as I've written innumerable times before, rewards for that behavior have to be implemented.

That said, I am convinced that Glenn Poshard wants to pick up the ball where Delyte Morris left it and I am unwilling to give up on the vision until he does.

Peter, thanks for giving Carbondale and SIUC a chance. I'm sorry we didn't work out.

Fraydog said...

What Bill Stevens said.