Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Postcard from the Kremlin

This is my 101st post, which has taken about 18 months to achieve. There are those that make a hundred posts a day; such is the fecundity of their brains, the nimbleness of their fingers, and the unlimited availability of their time. Despite my being a "teacher;" reviled the length and breadth of DuPage county by the likes of "Head of the Family," occasional contributor to the lavatory wall that is the comments section in the Daily Herald; for working as little as possible, the time afforded to me for gifting to the world my genius with the pen is limited. Or perhaps I am as idle and lazy as Head of the Family believes. As I pen these immortal words I am still in my pajamas, or what passes for them these days (don't imagine too deeply), knowing that I must to the COD shortly. Damn! I must do the washing up too before Dulcie returns to find it strewn about the kitchen like the remnants of Hurricane Gustav.

Life at the COD is taking on some of the elements of one of those C.P. Snow novels in a university setting full of Machiavellian plots and internecine goings on. Who would have thought the same possible at the linoleum floor educational level. As I think I have commented previously, time was I knew not the BOT, its members, when they met or what they did, if anything. Times have changed. Over my morning Go Lean (but not lightly), I read the Herald article in which one BOT member publicly attacked another one for allegedly master-minding "protests" against the BOT actions. This same BOT in the course of the past few months assassinated the president, swiftly replacing him with a stand-in puppet. In recent weeks, the Vice-President for Academic Affairs was similarly gunned down in the car park (behind one of the new weed-strewn bioswales - so that's what they are for); and, just for completeness, the Associate Dean of Natural Science has also been offered cyanide pills. Given that the Dean is on a year's sabbatical, my entire management line has been removed in less time than it normally takes to convene a committee meeting. All this is supposedly done with the interest of the tax-payer at heart, but the costs are not inconsequential: paying for two presidents as we are now, with money being spent trying to find a third.

The Gang of Four is unhappy. It doesn't like having to pay attention to the views of others, particularly those that have any experience or interest in education. It appears hostile to education and those that actually do it. To placate one anti-tax activist, the salaries are all going to be posted. For what? To denigrate the employees. It attacks the student newspaper because the latter actually has the bollocks to write about what is going on and questioning the wisdom of recent decisions. It tries to eliminate public comment at its meetings and bristles when anyone approaches the microphone. Board procedures are invoked to discourage the emergence of opinion. It has foisted upon the college a "revised" policy manual that weighs twice as much as the previous one, and wants to force it through the process avoiding any form of due process in so doing.

And I want to know why? What motivates these people? They have no interest in education, no background in it, no vision, no mission, no desire to promote it. Why has the once peaceful little COD been turned into some sort of politically motivated circus that successfully generates masses of bad press.

There is an election in April.

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