Here is the reply received today -
Anonymous said…Bryson decided to hold a meeting and complain is no problem, but he did such a bad job organizing it. He didn't secure the commitment of people who he wanted to be there and then called them names in the paper. If they accepted his invitation to come to the meeting and didn't show, that would be different. Are they supposed to cancel the classes they teach and abandon longstanding commitments at the drop of a hat? They sent people from their organizations because they couldn't be there. Bottom line, Bryson did a bad job organizing that meeting and tried to cover his bad job by calling innocent people names in the press.
So what I hear everyone on here saying is that if you work at SIU you are not allowed to disagree with ANY decision that is made by other administrators. That being an employee strips you of your personal and professional opinions? The statement, "Ask yourself: if the kids who got suspended were white, would Bryson have even cared, much less made a public stink?" just proves my point. If the kids would have been white, they WOULDN'T have been suspended. But to answer your question, YES he would have spoken up. The policy IS flawed and any self-respecting person, employee, community member, etc. would recognize that and speak up even if they are disagreeing with an institution that you have been deeply involved in for nearly 40 years. Did you hear me? 40 years this man has given to this University and if you think that he doesn't deserve a 24% or 50% or 100% raise, I would like to see you do a fraction of his job for one day. Diversity is not a black and white issue it is a human nature issue and the comments posted on here just prove why a position like Dr. B's is needed at this university and every university across the nation.
I was thinking about how it would have gone down if the assaulted student was black and attacked by three white guys and witnessed by 9 other white guys who did nothing. You are looking at a lead story on CNN aren't you? It would have been selling paper coast to coast. You are thinking those students wouldn't have been suspended? Bryson would have held a meeting, but not to support the suspended people's rights. Think about this before you write crap?
The biggest shame of being black in the USA today is the feeling that everything that doesn't go your way is because of racism. When you are white and fail, you assume you have to work harder. Let me tell you, everyone is failing from 15 to 30 because they are inexperienced, that is the circle of life. Let me suggest that if you are black that you get the heck out of Illinois and move West. My experience on the West Coast is they people are judged by merit instead of skin color.
Now about getting a 24% pay raise. If SIU granted huge pay raises to everyone who deserved them and worked hard for many years, who were underpaid, and were about to retire, they would be looking at paying off many, many people. Good for Dr. Bryson, he got his. To bad everyone who deserves a raise just as much doesn't get one. Never hurts to be an administrator at SIU (best paid in their class) instead of a professor (worst paid of any research university).
I think I will stick to my original writings, if Bryson was in the real world, he would be fired for this. Period. Has Bryson done good things at SIU, yes. Would he be fired if he wasn't in a privileged position? I'm not sure, this is SIU. Applying real world ideas to SIU or any state of Illinois employee doesn't work. Should he retire and let someone else have the job? Most likely his time is almost done. Should he have been fired over the DOJ mess and ignoring the SIU Legal Team's advice, most likely, that was a bad deal for SIU's PR.
Let me give our commenter a little homework problem. Has Bryson publicly supported a non-black student in the last 20 years? How many times has he supported a black student publicly? Has he supported any other protected class beside black in public (For example, gay, Hispanic, woman, etc.)? For example, the students who wrote nasty anti-gay stuff in one of the dorms this year. Did Bryson protest publicly about their suspension and the attack on their rights by the SIU's stupid rules?
I think my job performance might measure and exceed Bryson's for any job, under any conditions (but maybe this commenter wasn't attacking me? SIU administrators are the worst people managers and I'm a good one, it is almost impossible not to do better.). I agree that compared to most SIU administrators he does a better job accomplishing his objectives. I'm not certain that his objectives are good for SIU though. As I wrote in the original title, "Most effective Administrator at SIUC?...". You noticed that SIU isn't really doing well, so this might be damning him with faint praise.
I write this blog is pointing out how poorly managed SIU has become. SIU is very inefficient compared to a company. Dr. Bryson as a major power broker at SIU shouldn't be excused from SIU's poor performance. If I was in charge I would be firing administrators until things turned around. I have called for a majority of the chairmen to be fired. The whole place is a bunch of bad managers in a unmanaged bureaucracy, heads should be rolling.