Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dark days on Fawell

And not just because the long days of summer have been hurtling towards those dark mornings of winter; even now, when I rise from my bed of pain of a morning, the sun is barely visible, poking reluctantly above the trees on Raintree. No, the darkness on Fawell is emanating from the boardroom: for the second time in little over a week, my breakfast's Go Lean-inspired equilibrium was disturbed by the newspaper.

Last week, the disturbance was caused by one trustee, new boy on the block Atkinson (not elected by the way, but selected by other BOT members to replace one of the two resigned trustees), engaging in a crude, pre-meditated and thoroughly classless ambush on a fellow trustee at the board meeting. It was all recounted in the Herald: Atkinson spending nearly nine minutes of the board's time revealing (shock, horror!!) Trustee Wessel's well-known connections with a group called DuPage United.

This time the story was in the Tribune .

Read it yourself if you wish; I do not intend to discuss the tawdry issues at hand here. For one thing, I know very little about the individuals involved. What clutched at my colon and impelled me to the heights of unquenchable fury was the fact that the BOT chairman's attorney, a certain Chuck Roberts, has attempted to drag the SSCP into the mess by insinuating that the allegations in question are motivated by faculty members objecting to the new policy of wide-open public accessibility of the college's financial records.

Quoting from the article, "He's basically opened the checkbook for review by everybody," Roberts said Thursday ... "If I was a highly paid faculty member, that may make me a little nervous. There's been a little bit of a tussle over that kind of stuff."

Note yet again the qualifier "highly paid" applied to faculty member. As Dulcie rather acerbically observed, "Have they seen where you live?" Whether or not we are or are not "highly paid," as Mr. Roberts implies, (there's irony, a lawyer implying a college professor is "highly paid." Just so you know, I don't bill people for every phone call I make, or every time I use the lavatory), it is all beside the point. As countless people observed in comments on the column, the suggestion is as dumb as it is erroneous. The "transparency" policy adopted to humour Mr. GoodforIllinois occurred just a few weeks ago, at least a year after the original allegations arose. Mr. Roberts, for your client's sake, I hope you make better arguments in court.

There is an election in April 2009 for four of the BOT seats. It would be nice in future to read articles about the COD that involve student success and achievement, rather than the machinations of BOT members.

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