Strange doings at the University of Illinois (updated)

The Chicago Tribune reports:

U. of I. released 1,100 pages of emails Friday on three hot-button issues, some of which would have been responsive to previous open records requests. The documents are related to Steven Salaita, the professor whose job offer was withdrawn last year; the hiring of felon James Kilgore; and the proposal to open a new engineering-based medical school on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

The University of Illinois said it was going to release the emails related to these three topics.  “[Chancellor Phyllis] Wise cited “external issues” as the reason, saying they were distracting the university from achieving its goals.”

The university withdrew a job offer to Salaita weeks before he was scheduled to start teaching. The job was rescinded after Salaita made a series of critical and sometimes profane comments on social media about Israel and its military policies.

A free speech issue and a faculty control issue, topics for another time.

Now the story begins.

Wise, chancellor and vice president of the Urbana-Champaign campus since 2011, will step down Wednesday and will receive $400,000 as part of her resignation agreement. She would have been eligible for a $500,000 retention bonus if she had stayed through the length of her contract next year, or if the board of trustees had decided to end her contract sooner, according to her employment agreement.

Wise, 70, is expected to join the faculty after her resignation is effective next week — though, according to her contract, she is first eligible for a one-year sabbatical. Her salary is $549,069 this year, and her new faculty salary is expected to be about $300,000.

 

University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise

Her job pays well.  Bonus for staying ($500,000), or bonus for leaving ($400,000).  $549,000 for a sabbatical, if I read that right; at worst, $300,000.  And finally back-up employment with a pay of around $300,000 a year. 

Last year, I wrote a piece for American Thinker, “Are You Losing Your State University?”  In this article I questioned the exorbitant costs for education and questioned why the dispensing of knowledge, much of which is static from decade to decade, as crept so high.  (Sitting at the feet of Socrates was free, wasn’t it?)

Why does college cost so much?  Why does a professor who gave a lecture to a 200 seat hall ten years ago cost so much more to dispense the same knowledge today?  Most of college-dispensed knowledge is static.  Math, language, economics, literature, etc change little from decade to decade.  Except for the sciences, essentially the base product remains the same.

I think we begin to arrive at the answer with the reading of Ms. Wise’s compensation.  From the previously referenced article,

Diversity and internationalism are fuzzy and good, especially when they double the tuition revenue stream to meet the overpromised and exorbitant pension promises passed quietly in dark rooms by nameless people years ago.

As to the diversity issue mentioned,

In May of 2006, “the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, pulled the plug on plans to increase its proportion of out-of-state enrollment from the (then) current 10% to 15% of the freshman class because the reaction was so negative.”  But today (2014), 27% of the graduates are out of state or out of country and 10% of the incoming class is from China alone! “

Children in Illinois have been denied admission to their own state university with ACT scores as high as 34.  That is a near perfect score.  Yet the promotion of out of state and out of country enrollment marches on and results in displacing and supplanting extremely qualified in-state candidates.  One might suggest the people of Illinois have lost control of their university.  They certainly seem to have lost control of the payroll and compensation of their administrators and faculty, directly connected to the ramping up of tuition.

“America for Americans” is such a politically incorrect notion.  Is the idea that the University of Illinois is for Illinoisans now an offensive notion?  What’s next?

Update. Financial enrichment of top administrators is not limited to the University of Illinois. AT contributor Velma Montoya writes about the lucrative package offered to outgoing Univeristy of California head Mark Yudoff in the Sacramento Bee:

It likely was inappropriate for University of California Board of Regents to have granted Yudof, UC’s first lawyer-president, a $591,000 post-presidency sabbatical year.

It is not the case that a full year of sabbatical pay at the administrator’s salary level is a general perquisite for high-ranking U.S. college and university administrators.

Many U.S. colleges and universities allow for six-month sabbaticals before professors return to the classrooms, often at the professor’s nine-month – not the administrator’s 12-month – salary level.

Indeed, it was only during University of California President Richard Atkinson’s administration that the regents, informed of differing campus practices for professors returning to teaching, voted to allow a full year of sabbatical pay at the administrator’s level. (snip)

The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board was right to raise the issue of whether UC President Janet Napolitano, a lawyer with no academic background, should have been granted the same sabbatical deal, currently valued at $570,000. (“Yudof’s joke is on us; we’re not amused,” Editorials, Aug. 2).

When selected, Napolitano announced she was a new kind of administrator who would coordinate university activities from the UC Office of the President while remaining above the 10-campus academic fray.

Yet Napolitano recently secured tenure at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, providing the opportunity to “return to teaching” for someone with no teaching background.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

U. of I. released 1,100 pages of emails Friday on three hot-button issues, some of which would have been responsive to previous open records requests. The documents are related to Steven Salaita, the professor whose job offer was withdrawn last year; the hiring of felon James Kilgore; and the proposal to open a new engineering-based medical school on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

The University of Illinois said it was going to release the emails related to these three topics.  “[Chancellor Phyllis] Wise cited “external issues” as the reason, saying they were distracting the university from achieving its goals.”

The university withdrew a job offer to Salaita weeks before he was scheduled to start teaching. The job was rescinded after Salaita made a series of critical and sometimes profane comments on social media about Israel and its military policies.

A free speech issue and a faculty control issue, topics for another time.

Now the story begins.

Wise, chancellor and vice president of the Urbana-Champaign campus since 2011, will step down Wednesday and will receive $400,000 as part of her resignation agreement. She would have been eligible for a $500,000 retention bonus if she had stayed through the length of her contract next year, or if the board of trustees had decided to end her contract sooner, according to her employment agreement.

Wise, 70, is expected to join the faculty after her resignation is effective next week — though, according to her contract, she is first eligible for a one-year sabbatical. Her salary is $549,069 this year, and her new faculty salary is expected to be about $300,000.

 

University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise

Her job pays well.  Bonus for staying ($500,000), or bonus for leaving ($400,000).  $549,000 for a sabbatical, if I read that right; at worst, $300,000.  And finally back-up employment with a pay of around $300,000 a year. 

Last year, I wrote a piece for American Thinker, “Are You Losing Your State University?”  In this article I questioned the exorbitant costs for education and questioned why the dispensing of knowledge, much of which is static from decade to decade, as crept so high.  (Sitting at the feet of Socrates was free, wasn’t it?)

Why does college cost so much?  Why does a professor who gave a lecture to a 200 seat hall ten years ago cost so much more to dispense the same knowledge today?  Most of college-dispensed knowledge is static.  Math, language, economics, literature, etc change little from decade to decade.  Except for the sciences, essentially the base product remains the same.

I think we begin to arrive at the answer with the reading of Ms. Wise’s compensation.  From the previously referenced article,

Diversity and internationalism are fuzzy and good, especially when they double the tuition revenue stream to meet the overpromised and exorbitant pension promises passed quietly in dark rooms by nameless people years ago.

As to the diversity issue mentioned,

In May of 2006, “the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, pulled the plug on plans to increase its proportion of out-of-state enrollment from the (then) current 10% to 15% of the freshman class because the reaction was so negative.”  But today (2014), 27% of the graduates are out of state or out of country and 10% of the incoming class is from China alone! “

Children in Illinois have been denied admission to their own state university with ACT scores as high as 34.  That is a near perfect score.  Yet the promotion of out of state and out of country enrollment marches on and results in displacing and supplanting extremely qualified in-state candidates.  One might suggest the people of Illinois have lost control of their university.  They certainly seem to have lost control of the payroll and compensation of their administrators and faculty, directly connected to the ramping up of tuition.

“America for Americans” is such a politically incorrect notion.  Is the idea that the University of Illinois is for Illinoisans now an offensive notion?  What’s next?

Update. Financial enrichment of top administrators is not limited to the University of Illinois. AT contributor Velma Montoya writes about the lucrative package offered to outgoing Univeristy of California head Mark Yudoff in the Sacramento Bee:

It likely was inappropriate for University of California Board of Regents to have granted Yudof, UC’s first lawyer-president, a $591,000 post-presidency sabbatical year.

It is not the case that a full year of sabbatical pay at the administrator’s salary level is a general perquisite for high-ranking U.S. college and university administrators.

Many U.S. colleges and universities allow for six-month sabbaticals before professors return to the classrooms, often at the professor’s nine-month – not the administrator’s 12-month – salary level.

Indeed, it was only during University of California President Richard Atkinson’s administration that the regents, informed of differing campus practices for professors returning to teaching, voted to allow a full year of sabbatical pay at the administrator’s level. (snip)

The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board was right to raise the issue of whether UC President Janet Napolitano, a lawyer with no academic background, should have been granted the same sabbatical deal, currently valued at $570,000. (“Yudof’s joke is on us; we’re not amused,” Editorials, Aug. 2).

When selected, Napolitano announced she was a new kind of administrator who would coordinate university activities from the UC Office of the President while remaining above the 10-campus academic fray.

Yet Napolitano recently secured tenure at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, providing the opportunity to “return to teaching” for someone with no teaching background.