Friday, December 08, 2006

Interesting comment about - Most effective Administrator at SIUC? I would fire him for this.

From an old entry of mine, got this late reply - Most effective Administrator at SIUC? I would fire him for this. was my original post.

Here is the reply received today -
Anonymous said…

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.

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.

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.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"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."

Never conceding success and setting unrealistic expectations* IS Bryson's job as the chief "race man" (Head Negro in Charge is the term used in a popular book). He sure has given the university a lot of bad press -- giving SIUC a "F" for diversity efforts. Please. The university is so diversity-obsessed they broke the law (IMHO) and had to sign a consent decree even though I doubt things will change.

*Unrealistic objective: minority (read: black) faculty shall equal their proportion of the Illinois population. Now, why this should be true of any and all professions is a question to debate but if you run an AA/EEO office you know the REAL standard of EEO:

"labor force availability"

If blacks are 12% of the population and 4% of the Ph.D.'s (concentrated in the "softer" fields), then the basic yardstick is the 4%.

Strangely enough, Asians count as "traditionally underrepresented" minorities even though they are TRIPLY overrepresented on the faculty and doubly overrepresented in the student body (as proportion of state population).

Bottom line: B. doesn't seem to concern himself with EEO, sets ridiculous objectives, and had a major federal agency embarrass the university on his watch. Need I say more?

And, yes, disagreeing with fellow administrators -- particularly higher-ups is a cardinal sin if you do it loudly and publicly.

Anonymous said...

Bryson doesn't do a thing for the LGBT community. His office does little for the Hispanic community. His committment to diversity is (to this eye) not very diverse.

Anonymous said...

First, here is an article on the role of diversity officers.

From the issue dated September 29, 2006
The Rise of the Chief Diversity Officer
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v53/i06/06b00101.htm

I agree with the commentor that B should not be fired for speaking his mind. I do not always agree with B, in fact I often do not, but there are real problems with racism and prejedice on campus and anyone should be free to bring up a concern. (Racial tentions are less of a problem at SIUC than at other campuses I where have taught.)

The commentor said B has been at SIUC for about 40 years. That is a problem. No administrator should be around that long. The danagers are that he or she will build a bureaucratic fiefdom and then his or her ideas and programs will not be subjected objective critique. I feel this is big problem with B.

PS: In critizing B or anyone else it never helpful to attack them because of what you think they would have done. It is best to stick to what they have done or said. Hypothetical Example: Of course B would not have defended white students because his is a racist. But, how do you know he is a racist? Because he would not have defended white students. It is called circlular reasoning. Let go of it.

Peter in Carbondale said...

>> In critizing B or anyone else it never helpful to attack them because of what you think they would have done. It is best to stick to what they have done or said. Hypothetical Example: Of course B would not have defended white students because his is a racist. But, how do you know he is a racist? Because he would not have defended white students. It is called circlular reasoning. Let go of it.

I objected to the comment that said if the students were white they wouldn't be suspended, so I suspect I agree with you to some extent. But, blogs are one of the correct places to speculate in our society. It is powerful to write about what is hypothetically wrong and get feedback about it.

Hypothetical speculation is actually the way we prove racism in most cases. IBM has so many employees and so many are minorities and of those only so many are in management. Of all the positions hired in the Federal Government last year, 56% of the hires were black. Some minority group has some sickness more then other groups. The police stop so many people and one minority is over represented. Then you pull a hypothetical idea out of your butt about how the police must be stopping minorities because of racism (or doctors don't give that group good care, have proven to be better government workers or IBM systematically discriminates). Another hypothetical idea is that certain minority groups don't follow the driving rules as well (or eat the wrong things, laws give black workers a huge leg up getting federal government jobs or minorities don't work as hard). So which is it? Almost impossible to prove in the general case, so we make things up and comment on limited data.

I don't know if Dr. Bryson is a racist, I suspect he isn't. We can tell from his actions (as tracked in the local papers of the last 5 years) he is much more likely to support a black person associated with SIU then a person who isn't black. I would guess he feels that he is doing his job when he does. Isn't it cool, now we are talking about facts, not speculation.

When Dr. Bryson was a child, I'm certain that he was discriminated against. I'm certain that it was worse for his parents and grandparents. I'm also certain it is much better for his children (yes, I knew his son very well when we were kids). I suspect that his world view and his fight for equal rights allows him to go way over the line to make up for past wrongs. I have no problem with that. That still doesn't excuse his poor execution doing his job and his creation of poor PR that reflects poorly on his employer. If he worked in industry, he would have been fired. But at SIU, maybe this is good behavior?

Anonymous said...

>>We can tell from his actions (as tracked in the local papers of the last 5 years) he is much more likely to support a black person associated with SIU then a person who isn't black. I would guess he feels that he is doing his job when he does. Isn't it cool, now we are talking about facts, not speculation.

If you do a statistical analysis of who B has "supported" as reported over the last five years, let us know what you find. Until then you are speculating. (Why not do a study of whether the Student Affairs disciplinary system is biased while you are at it?)

Clear thinking is just as important in the Blog Sphere as any where else.

On free speech: Academics have more leeway then people in industry. I hope someday all employees are free to publicly criticize their employer's actions. Be great for the environment!

PS: Most of the students in B first year program are white. I think it is a flawed program, but not because there are too many blacks in it.

Peter in Carbondale said...

When did it become my job to do statistical analysis of things that were completely obvious? Next thing you will ask me to do is figure out how many cars have tires. I can draw an obvious conclusion based on overwhelming evidence is a skill I enjoy, you should think about if you can develop it yourself.

Most of the student in Illinois are white, because most of the students in Illinois are white. I think Bryson's first year program is exactly what a majority of SIU students need if it was run correctly. Engineering is trying something like it by taking over a dorm next year. Athletics does something like it. SIU students don't have the skills for college by and large, they need a year of boot camp and continued support if you want them to go through the system easily. I see that Bryson's program's students has a higher graduation rate over 6 years then the general population. Think about that one for a while.

I'll start a new thread about SIU people being outspoken vs. industry. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

I have a file on race and SIUC over the years -- including articles and statements by the diversocrats. While the "statistical analysis" would not be comprehensive, it would reveal the obvious.

Think of this: As the head of nondiscrimination policy on campus, B. is responsible for making sure there is no discrimination not only on race but religion. Where was he when the Christian Legal Society complained that it was banned from RSO registry? They took their case to court -- all the way to appeals court, I believe -- and won. Another suppression of research by grad students on peer-reviewed research on faith-based approaches to pressing social problems. The student lost employment. Where was B?

My file on race is consistent for talk of "minorities" and then references to blacks only (by B. and the other diversocrats).

So, I guess the university lost two legal battles in his domain in the past two years. Pretty good track record. His job is to avoid legal trouble.