Thursday, August 07, 2008

Congratulations SIU - A suit they are going to lose

Cal Meyers sues SIU from the SI

A little analysis on the case

You were wondering how any organization could look worse than the Green Bay Packers? SIU, come on down.

Bush Administration counts to one and statistical stupidity

Recently saw a story in the paper about a salmon return. After having a hatchery release millions of salmon, the scientists prepared to count the returning numbers. As the spawning season arrived only ten fish returned. They were big and healthy fish, but the numbers were much smaller than expected. The Bush administration published a report, "Returning Salmon, Larger Than Normal." I made this up, to show that when you start talking about large systems, you can't take the few successful instances and claim success. You have to look at the larger system and the failures as well.

The reason I bring this up is that I got a comment from a person who claimed to be a recent SIU graduate. They claimed to have a degree in some kind of science, and further claimed that they got a great education at SIU. They went further and told me that SIU was a great place and any criticism I have of it, must be misplaced. There are a couple of sampling problems with this, for example, how does a 22 year old, who has a sample size of one, judge how good their education is? Of course, there are successful grads from SIU, maybe they are one? If you have an undergraduate in science, shouldn't you understand the statistical problems from using such a small sample? What I know is that graduates of better schools, are better able to be successful in their first five years out of college. A whole lot of that post graduation success is because the better schools attract better students.

If you use me as a one person sample for SIU grads, everyone would have a liberal arts degree, everyone would work in computers, everyone would have a blog, everyone would start companies, everyone would live in Oregon, etc, etc. You can easily draw conclusions, based on small sample sizes. What is difficult, is to draw conclusions (or the truth), without a bigger picture. This was the power of this blog, access to a bigger picture about SIU and Carbondale, by accessing the information that is easily available in town, assuming you talk to both the business people and the university people (which no one really does).

My father doesn't understand how you can be an engineer, without being able to do math. I don't understand how you can be a science grad and not understand statistics. I do understand how you can draw conclusions based on a very small sample and have no idea if you are right.

Friday, July 11, 2008

John Simon - is it possible my last entry was too weak?

I have had a couple of emails, pointing out that I didn't go far enough on this topic.

Here is the NYT's writeup of John Simon. Worth your time to read it. Looks like the US Grant people were in the middle of firing SIU over their treatment of Dr. Simon. Nothing like a great man being brought down by petty SIU politicians.

Turns out that there was a second emeritus professor hit with the same charges, in the same way as Dr. Simon. More to come on that situation.

I'm guessing we will see no local newspaper coverage on this, but the Chronicle of Higher Education seems to be on the case.

Seems like there is something going really wrong here. Maybe it is time for the good people of Carbondale to take a stand, before there is no one to defend you, when you get screwed. I have written to Poshard and a few others. You should do the same.

End of the Gas Car. A Business Case.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Did the SIU administration kill John Simon?

I hear that sad news that Professor John Simon has died. A long time senior professor, head of the US Grant work at SIU and a neighbor of mine in Carbondale. It is rumored that Dr. Simon was "fired" and "escorted off campus" for some unnamed transgression, against some unnamed accuser, without a hearing, without any process. Word on the street is that the stress of this event, caused him to have a major stress related collapse and he spent the rest of his life in the ICU and died yesterday. Because he was a member of the Faculty Association, he had people go fight for him and he was "reinstated," after he fell ill. Should make great reading at his widows lawsuit against SIU.

You have to wonder who is running the circus at SIU and why anyone would go after a 70-some year old professor this way? Word on the street is that Simon wouldn't play ball with his US Grant endowment and he was being pushed aside so the administration could get control of that money. Don't know if that is true, but why fire him, without a hearing and without any process, unless you are after money and/or power?

Should be interesting to see who decided to drop a 10 ton block on the head of a loyal and longtime employee. If these rumors are true, I'm hoping the widows sues and shines light under every rock, just to see the administration cockroaches run. If you can't be enraged about this, what will wake you from your stupor?

RIP Dr. Simon, you deserved better.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Recent graduates give high marks to alma mater?

I'm just hanging out in my new pad in Oregon, but was sent a link to that DE story and commented on it.  Next, I check Dave's blog and looked at his Shawnee News aggregator, (which is very cool, good work Dave) and caught this link from the SIU News Service.

Here is what is interesting about the News Service press release, SIU sent out a survey to recent graduates, asking them about SIU.  OK, fair enough.  The problem is, they are now trumpeting the survey results, like they mean something.  Clearly, the responses are going to be self selecting, people who are doing well respond, everyone else pitches it.  They trumpet starting salaries, but we all know that everyone lies about their salaries in surveys.  This is like doing a vote for band of the year, on MySpace, doesn't mean much.  We all know that you can tilt surveys to the response you want, and dollars to donuts, that is what happened here. 

The truth is out there, but I'm afraid, this isn't a good way to find it.  In order to find out what recent grads really think, you would have to go and ask a random sample, of the total number.  Then ask the right questions.  I realize, this isn't likely to generate a self serving press release, but there you go.

Interesting comments on DE webpage

Here is the article link and here are the comments.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A better way to view the oil crisis

Wanted to introduce you to Mark Anderson.  I have been reading his technology newsletter for years, it is very good.  He has put out a video blog on solving America's oil crisis.  Worth your time to consider.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Book about SIU? How did I miss this before?

My Mother passed me a book that is about SIUC's English department, "Straight Man" by Richard Russo.  Russo, a former SIU English professor, has got the whole thing down cold.  I have been laughing out loud, as I read it.  Wish I had read it, before I wasted anytime dealing with SIU.


Monday, February 11, 2008

6 or the mobbed 30 from SIU? Wow!

I was sent this and thought it was worthy of your attention. Enjoy - Peterg

Thirty academic mobbing cases since 2005
Below, in alphabetical order, are 30 academics whose troubles, as reported in the press or on the web, appear to fit the definition of workplace mobbing. Reviewing these cases is useful for understanding the variety of origins of the phenomenon and the different ways cases play out.

1. Jury refuses to convict Sami Al-Arian (University of South Florida); he is eliminated anyway
2. Jonathan Bean on guard, surviving at Southern Illinois (Carbondale)
3. Jerry Becker and Elisabeth Reichert in board presentation at SIUC
4. Stephen Berman is ousted from University of Saskatchewan
5. At Sheffield, Aubrey Blumsohn is forced out, starts blog
6. Student Seung-Hui Cho goes postal at Virginia Tech, 33 dead
7. Firestorm over Ward Churchil at University of Colorado
8. Suicide of David Clarke at Southern Illinois (Carbondale)
9. At last, Jean Cobbs vindicated at Virginia State
10. Dramatist George Cron is ousted from Missouri State
11. Shiraz Dossa goes to conference, is mobbed, keeps job (St. Francis Xavier University)
12. Christopher Dussold's resistance at Southern Illinois (Edwardsville)
13. Mohammed Elmasry retires at Waterloo - mobbing aborted
14. Jews mob a Jew: Norman Finkelstein gone from DePaul
15. Redress for Joan Friedenberg at Southern Illinois (Carbondale)
16. Ouster of Frank Glamser and Gary Stringer at Southern Mississippi
17. Biswanath Halder cybermobbed at Case Western Reserve, goes postal
18. Hector Hammerly (Simon Fraser University) is dead
19. Filmmakers John Hookham and Gary MacLennan suspended from QUT for newspaper article
20. Harassment of Gabrielle Horne continues at Dalhousie
21. K C Johnson alive and kicking at Brooklyn College
22. Biology professor Robert J. Klebe files suit (UTHSC San Antonio)
23. David Mullen suspended for words at Cape Breton University
24. Physician Nancy Olivieri still battling in court (University of Toronto)
25. Lethbridge administrators attack Tom Robinson for his website
26. John Soloski fighting back at University of Georgia
27. Successful mobbing of Harvard President Lawrence Summers
28. Medaille College settles with Therese Warden & Uhuru Watson
29. James D. Watson broken for breaking a taboo (Cold Spring Harbor Lab)
30. Supreme Court victory for Wanda Young (Memorial of Newfoundland)

Posted by Louise Michel @ 11:02 AM 2 Comments Links to this post


At 12:09 PM , Anonymous said...
I believe that my mobbing comes from a local coalition at the university. I believe that their actions have been supported by senior management at the university. They have wrecked my academic career. I remain... stressed...ill ... fighting ... and in post. Aphra Behn

At 4:17 PM , Roger said...
Wow-- 6 out of 30 at Southern Illinois; quite a place; seems they never learn.