Hogan apologizes to faculty for email scandal

Hogan apologizes to faculty for email scandal

URBANA — University of Illinois President Michael Hogan told campus leaders Monday that he was sorry about the recent scandal involving anonymous emails sent to faculty members from his former chief of staff and he accepted responsibility for what happened.

"I sincerely regret the incident, the personal hardship it has caused to our senators and others, and the embarrassment it has brought to the university. As president, of course, I accept full responsibility for this and for any other such incident that occurs," Hogan told members of the Urbana-Champaign Senate Executive Committee on Monday afternoon.

Hogan made the remarks in a crowded room of faculty, student and academic staff leaders, at a regularly scheduled meeting during which he delivered a state of the university speech. It was the first time senate leaders had met with Hogan since the university released the findings of an external investigation that concluded Lisa Troyer, Hogan's chief of staff at the time, was behind the anonymous emails sent to faculty leaders. She resigned amid the investigation but has denied sending the messages, which focused on the University Senates Conference's debate on enrollment management and attempted to persuade faculty from coming to a consensus on the issue.

"It is my responsibility not only to articulate high standards, but also to act swiftly when those standards have been violated," Hogan told those attending Monday's meeting.

Hogan said he did so in this case, referring to the initial internal review conducted at the UI and the subsequent hiring of two external firms to conduct an investigation.

"What can be done is to assure our colleagues and our public that the board and I will continue to uphold the highest standards and will act swiftly like we did in this case when abuses occur," Hogan said.

When asked by UI Professor Nicholas Burbules if there were any ethical lapses in Hogan's behavior, the president replied that he would let the investigative report speak for itself. Investigators found no evidence that Hogan or anyone else knew that Troyer had sent the emails.

Joyce Tolliver, professor and vice chair of the committee, said she wished Hogan had concluded his statement before continuing on to say the university employs more than 100,000 faculty, staff and students "and even the most stringent oversight will not prevent abuses from time to time."

"Lisa Troyer was not just another employee," Tolliver said after the meeting. "She was his chief of staff. ... She came here with President Hogan (from the University of Connecticut). She was the enabler of his vision. She was not one of 100,000 employees," Tolliver said.

Hogan's comments were delivered at a time in which more and more faculty leaders, including groups not related to the campus senate, were increasing pressure on Hogan to reconsider efforts to centralize the university's three campuses and proposals aimed at changing enrollment management, the issue that prompted the anonymous emails sent on Dec. 12. In recent weeks, chair professors and faculty leaders of several colleges on campuses outlined their concerns to Hogan on these topics.

On Monday, Hogan said he was in the process of reviewing those letters and he considered them to be part of the ongoing, 16- to 18-month discussion on enrollment management.

In the latest development, he said he was willing to "take off the table" the proposal having to do with "rebranding" the university. Among the recommendations two external consultants made to Hogan on enrollment management was the proposal to emphasize the University of Illinois as a whole when marketing to prospective students. Faculty have raised concerns and questions about that and other recommendations.

The issue "has not been properly understood by both sides," Hogan said, and he plans to refer the rebranding matter to a council of academic leaders from the three campuses.

Meanwhile, after meeting with Hogan on Monday, members of the Senate Executive Committee decided to move forward with their plan to present a statement on leadership to the full senate next week.

The group did not vote to endorse the statement but voted to place it on the agenda for the full senate to consider on Jan. 30, senate Chair Matt Wheeler said.

The student senate will consider a similar resolution on ethical leadership at its meeting Wednesday.

Titled a "statement of ethical leadership and shared governance," the senate document first includes a definition of what is ethical leadership and then responds to the findings of the investigative report.

Tolliver said the committee described ethical leadership as "patiently building consensus for reform, not mandating it as an act of command, respectfully engaging in honest disagreements, not trying to eliminate them, working with campus leaders and faculty as partners in governance, not as subordinates to be ordered to action."

The report and its appendices "outlined a pattern of behavior that falls short of this ideal and does not represent us," she said.

The report revealed a culture in which the administration attempted to intervene in the work of faculty leaders while they were discussing the issue of enrollment management and committee members wanted to make the statement that such action "is not the Illinois way," Tolliver said.

Comments

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Sid Saltfork wrote on January 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

He said he was sorry.  The scandal comes to an end.  Dr. Troyer retains her tenure; and her salary.  She said that she did not send the e-mails even though they were sent on her laptop while it was in her possession.  The scandal comes to an end.  The faculty are appeased.  The scandal comes to an end.   This does prove one thing following a long line of other scandals.  What it proves very clearly is that the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS HAS NO ETHICS!!!  No alumni, no students, no faculty members have done anything except write long letters objecting to the lack of ethics.  The matter should be turned over to the State Inspector General's Office since both Dr. Hogan, and Dr. Troyer are state employees.  That will not happen though.   At least; this scandal easily proves that ethics only apply to everyone except the politicians, and the academics.   Shame, shame, shame..... on the flagship state institution of higher education!!!

ClearVision wrote on January 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

What do you expect faculty, staff, and students to do except write letters and let their representatives handle the matter? If you're in one of those groups or are a taxpayer what have you done except rant in an obscure forum? Put the blame where it lies. Going off on people who aren't the problem makes it seem like you have some sort of personnel agenda.

readone wrote on January 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

"It is my responsibility not only to articulate high standards, but also to act swiftly when those standards have been violated," Hogan told those attending Monday's meeting.


Hogan said he did so in this case, referring to the initial internal review conducted at the UI and the subsequent hiring of two external firms to conduct an investigation


 


So he hired two outside consulting firms to confirm what he had already been told.  And since the findings have come back What has he done?  He allowed Troyer to resign her cheif of staff position?  And allowed her to take a position in Psychoogy.  Where at this point there is nothing for her to do except collect her salary.  Well, yeah that will teach her!  Everyone will be sure to learn a lesson from that.

Yatiri wrote on January 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Sad;  unethical University of Illinois President.

Fedupwithstatereps wrote on January 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

"Lisa Troyer was not just another employee," Tolliver said after the meeting. "She was his chief of staff. ... She came here with President Hogan (from the University of Connecticut). She was the enabler of his vision. She was not one of 100,000 employees," Tolliver said.

This is the nail on the head. Troyer was part of Hogan's contract to come to the UI.  He IS responsible for bringing her and more shame on the UI.  If he was really taking responsibility, he'd resign as well.

bstrau598 wrote on January 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Another glaring lapse in good judgment and accountability from UI leadership. The message has been heard loud and clear: "Do as I say, not as I do." Is it my imagination or are university presidents about as morally evolved as career politicians?

Local Yocal wrote on January 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm
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Every academic department that has had to "tighten its budgetary belt" per Hogan's orders; that is fire faculty and staff, reduce cirricullum, cut sections, increase class sizes, increase workloads, stop research projects, ect. because they were required to make do with less....should organize one-day boycotts of classes or boycotts period,.....until Troyer and Hogan are fired and removed from the campus. U of Conn is laughing at us with a hearty, "We told you so...!" Who are on these search committees anyway who find these egomaniacal aristocrats that pretend to be academic professionals? "My computer was hacked."? Yeah, right, ....our university was hacked.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm

@Local Yocal;  Well said!  Sadly, they will not boycott.  The faculty, and the students sent letters.  The students are not the students of the past.  More of them are planning their Spring Break at an exotic destination on daddy's money than standing up for ethics.  The faculty does not want to deal with the issue of recinding of tenure.  I am sure that many are privately angry, and perhaps ashamed.  However; the faculty, and the students will do nothing more now.  At least; most of the people following this shameful incident see the truth.  Ethics violations do not apply to politicians, and academics.  Shame, shame, shame on the u. of i.     

Local Yocal wrote on January 25, 2012 at 6:01 am
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@Sid Saltfork: Must we have an angry disagreement again? "...Spring Break at an exotic destination on daddy's money..."? Are you kidding? Today's students planning that far ahead? The students are focused on UnOfficial St. Patrick's Day party plans. I would expect you to have your facts in better order, Sid.

But seriously folks, this student body is impotent toward what goes on at their university. We note their "ho-hum-we-sort-of-like-protest" the recent tuition raises (again) and non-refundable fees that were jammed down their throats during the middle of this scandal. Like the voters in local elections, not much concerns the public at-large, and is why Illinois suffers corruption at every level of government, and deceit and elitist cronyism are routine at its state college. The only way to arouse the licentious student body is for Mayor Gerard to suggest Champaign raise the bar-entry age to 21. Then we'd see an angry mob. Meanwhile, how would you like to be the staff member at the Psychology department who must give up their office to make room for "Professor" Troyer?

STM wrote on January 25, 2012 at 6:01 am

Great!  That should simplify things.  If Hogan is "taking responsibility" for this serious breach of ethics, he should be fired.  Immediately. Anyone have a copy of his contract?  C'mon UI, get on this!

BTW, just go ahead and fire Troyer while you're at it.

STM wrote on January 25, 2012 at 6:01 am

Great!  That should simplify things.  If Hogan is "taking responsibility" for this serious breach of ethics, he should be fired.  Immediately. Anyone have a copy of his contract?  C'mon UI, get on this! Hiring Hogan and our newest football coach at considerably increased salaries over their predecessors, shows just how tone-deaf the UofI Board of Trustees must be.  Local unemployment is higher than ever. Many people with jobs have been getting by with little or no salary increases since 2008. I'm sure we can do better.

BTW, just go ahead and fire Troyer while you're at it.

A few contract highlights:

http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2010/06/hoganrsquos_contract_includes_tenure_country_clubs_condo_in_chicago

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 25, 2012 at 10:01 am

Don't hold your breath on the mayor/liquor commissioner of Champaign doing anything about the "Unofficial".   Back to this story; you see this morning that the story has faded to the back pages even with all of the comments.  No media in Illinois are pursuing it.  The governor will do nothing about it after talking to Trustee (ironic word) Chris Kennedy.   Trustee Kennedy has faith in Dr. Hogan.  Dr. Hogan has faith in Dr. Troyer.  The faculty, and students have a jaded, self interest attitude toward ethics.  The story is dead.  It will not be pursued.  It is "business as usual" in Illinois.  I would imagine that people with memories will mock Dr. Hogan, and the u. of i. In future news releases.  He has no creditability after this.  Anything connected with the u. of i. will be suspect in the future.  Morale on campus will sink lower.  Of course; the lofty faculty will continue to preach ethical behavior while privately disregarding it.  Dr. Troyer will remain with her tenure, and salary.  She will continue to be at Dr. Hogan's side.   

jwr12 wrote on January 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

Actually, the Faculty Senate's January 30th agenda has not one but three separate resolutions -- one on ethics, one on leadership, one  on enrollment management -- that have directly to do with this issue.  All three are highly critical of the tactics and standards of Hogan's office.  It is true that the faculty, itself, cannot force Hogan to change his tactics, and that the ethical investigations and the question of Troyer's tenure have to be reviewed according to the terms of her contract (i.e. due process).  But it's hardly fair to keep accusing the faculty of lazily dropping the issue.  I don't know a single one who isn't absolutely committed to achieving more accountability on it.  The Trustees have ultimate power; but the faculty have certainly done what they could on this question, and are continuing to do it. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Oh my.... "Resolutions" will do it.  How about mass e-mails from the public/taxpayer, state employees, university state employees, faculty, students, and alumni sent to UIBOT@uillinois.edu to all trustees with copies to the Governor's Office, and the legislators in your areas?  How about logging in on newspapers comments all over Illinois, and the country that are carrying this story?  The Springfield, State Journal Register, is carrying the story right now.  The local U-Conn newspaper is carrying it also.  The Chicago-Tribune has carried it.  What about public protests to get more media coverage?  This is pure nepotism; or a cover up by Dr. Hogan, the u of i president.  If ethics do not matter; there is no sense in requiring staff  to take the Ethics Test.  There is no sense teaching ethics to students.  There is no sense for taxpayers to fund such an unethical university.   Her contract is invalid if she violated state ethics as it appears she did.  This will end with nothing being done; another academic maintaining a massive salary; and the u of i having been shamed again.  Just don't refer to it as the Flagship of Higher Learning because everyone of us know better after this.  

Denny wrote on January 25, 2012 at 11:01 am

How many other scandals involving admissions, book-cooking, email fraud and forgery are the Board of Trustees and its lawyers hiding under "attorney-client privilege?"


The Troyer-Hogan email hoax isn't U of I's first scandal involving senior administrators creating fake emails and documents to influence a situation and engineer a cover-up.  And the perpetrators continue to earn $300,000 per year in salary. 


When will the Board of Trustees stop hiding behind its lawyers and be honest about other units on campus which have committed even more heinous acts of acacademic fraud and dishonesty?  It's time for big shots to stop protecting big shots and return to the values that made this university great.

printstickers wrote on March 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Good move Hogan. We couldn't really control everything. But I'm sure this isse will soon be put to rest, let's just hope this incident will not happen again.