Monday, February 12, 2007

One of the problems with SIU having an politician president

This is the pubic letter that the president of ISU sent to the state about ISU employees taking the ethics test to quickly. This is what the "leaders" of SIU should have done, but this kind of letter requires real backbone and not just political mind games.

The new goal of the SIU administrators should be to understand why writing letters like this is an important skill for a true leader and start doing it.

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Dear Executive Inspector General Wright:

Recently, hundreds of Illinois State University employees received a letter from your office notifying them that their governmental ethics training certificates of completion were invalidated on the grounds that they completed the training in an inappropriately fast period of time.

As a result, my staff and I have received numerous complaints from university personnel regarding the tone of the notice as well as the poorly communicated provision that the testing time was monitored. I, along with employees of this academic community, am offended that one would be penalized for the ability to read and comprehend information quickly when these same skills are a necessity to succeed in an environment of higher learning.

The only failure is that the Inspector General's office exhibited an alarming lack of judgment and common sense. In my 28 years as a professor, I have never given a failing grade to a student for taking an exam too quickly. It is groundless and insulting to accuse employees of cheating simply because they finished the exam in less than 10 minutes.

Please note that while disappointed in how some aspects of this training have been administered, I recognize the importance of the training and appreciate all good-faith efforts to educate the Illinois State University community on the provisions of the State Employees Ethics Act. As a University, we will continue our work to ensure compliance with the Act.

Sincerely,
Al Bowman
President

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is the key difference:

"In my 28 years as a professor, ..."

Al Bowman was a professor and knows what professors do.

Saluki87 said...

There is an editorial in the DE today about this. Do you think they read your blog and then penned the editorial? :)

I guess the trade off is that the political connections should yield financial dividends. However, if you lose faculty respect you have bigger problems. Maybe it's appropriate for the campus chancellors to respond instead of the system president.

Anonymous said...

87,

Do you really think the campus Chancellors are going to be empowered to respond to this? I'd love to see it but it won't happen.

Saluki87 said...

No, anon, I don't think the chancellors will be empowered to react or would react in any case given the campus climate.