UI senate unanimous in criticism of Hogan

UI senate unanimous in criticism of Hogan

URBANA — Ramping up criticism of University of Illinois President Michael Hogan, the campus senate Monday unanimously passed a resolution citing a "failure of leadership" in the events surrounding anonymous emails linked to his former chief of staff.

The resolution says the emails were not an isolated event, but just one piece of "a broad pattern of surveillance and intrusion into legitimate faculty governance deliberations."

"As elected faculty, staff, and student leaders, we believe that there must be accountability for this broader failure of leadership," it says, citing other efforts by Hogan and board of trustees Chairman Chris Kennedy to push the enrollment management plan.

The campus governance group also endorsed a letter delivered to the UI Board of Trustees by University Senates Conference chair Don Chambers in which he said that leaders must accept responsibility for what happens on their watch even if they may not have personally directed or approved it.

Also on Monday, Urbana Professor Joyce Tolliver delivered a statement harshly critical of Hogan, saying he pressured faculty, made misleading statements and sought a tenured position for Lisa Troyer, the former chief of staff. Her remarks were greeted by sustained applause.

Earlier this month an ethics investigation concluded that Troyer had posed as a faculty senator in anonymous emails to try to influence a faculty senate report critical of Hogan's enrollment management plan. Troyer, resigned her position but denied authoring the Dec. 12 emails, which investigators traced to her laptop computer.

Senate chair Matt Wheeler told the group Monday that Troyer contacted him regarding the resolution and reiterated, "I neither wrote nor sent the anonymous emails and I will continue to assert this."


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Sid Saltfork wrote on January 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Does tenure protect wrong doer's?  Seems that it does.  Do contracts in academia over rule employer work rules?  Seems that they do.  At a time when state services to the disabled, the elderly, the poor, the public schools, etc... are being cut; should a group of wrongdoers continue to be paid huge salaries because of tenure, and contracts?  While I applaud the U of I Senate for it's stand, will anything change?  I am curious what opinions on this recent U of I scandal our local legislators hold.  It is an election year.  Dr. Ting will continue to hold her job.  Dr. Troyer can dye her hair; and perhaps take a "sabbatical".  She could simply take a three week leave of absence.  No one will remember anything when she returns to "work".  Dr. Hogan can continue his job with his salary; and, maybe pick up a part time job selling used cars.  "Would you buy a used car from this man?"  The image of the U of I has transitioned from tarnished to a patina of cheap brass.  Yes, the defenders of tenure will cry out that tenure protects academic freedom.  It seems that it really protects the holders of it; not the students, employees, or taxpayers.      

Yatiri wrote on January 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Makes me want vomit food  I don't even remember eating.

An honorable man would have canned Ting and Troyer and then resigned.

asparagus wrote on January 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm

This entire scandal exposes behavior that is so tawdry and so far beneath the expectations of what we, as citizens, expect from these officials that it demands our outrage and action.



Jam wrote on January 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm

This is Liberalism at its best or maybe worst.

kiel wrote on January 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Has nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism. If you think it does, you've missed the point (and let's hope you didn't go to UIUC).

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I realize that some of the colleges on campus have a course in Ethics.  Would it not be better if an introductory course in Ethics be included in the General Education Requirements the same as Rhetoric?  This would insure that all U of I graduates have a grasp of ethical behavior.  It would be one small step toward changing the university's image.  It would, at least, assure potential employers that U of I graduates have an understanding of ethical behavior regardless of the university's image.  My intent is not sarcasm; but only a suggestion for change.

vcponsardin wrote on January 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

While the behavior of these U of I employees is indeed reprehensible, and while I applaud the faculty senate for their gesture (let's face it, the faculty have no real voice in the running of the university--the faculty senate is only an "advisory" body after all), the public must recognize that the state of Illinois funds less than 18% of the U of I's annual budget.  That means that the U of I is barely a state university anymore.  It now operates mostly as a private university.  So the public may complain about such unethical behavior and rattle the cages about wasted tax dollars, but in truth the U of I doesn't really care.  At some point, not too far in the future, the U of I realizes it will lose all state funding and be a completely private university; and at that point it won't have to answer to state taxpayers or anyone in the state legislature.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Well; the buildings, and inventory still belongs to the State of Illinois, and it's citizens.  Why not lease the campus to a private university?  The jobs would still be there.  The state, and it's citizens would still have some money coming in from the lease.  It probably would save money in the long run.  It would not matter if it were the University of Phoenix East Campus, or the Bob Jones University West Campus.  Until that time, it is still a State of Illinois university; and the citizens of the state still have the right to an opinion on the wasteful spending, and unethical behavior.    

vcponsardin wrote on January 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I'd say the citizens and the state have only about an 18% right to an opinion...



Sid Saltfork wrote on January 31, 2012 at 8:01 am

Thank you.  I sincerely mean it.  Thank you for saying it.  It clearly demonstrates the elitist, tenured attitude.  I only wish that the State Journal Register, and the Chicago Tribune would carry this thread of comments.  Thanks again.

vcponsardin wrote on January 31, 2012 at 9:01 am

It is amusing that so many in the state hate supporting the university with their tax dollars yet insist on having an absolute say in how the university operates.  Too many want to have it both ways--they don't want to pay for the university but they most definitely want to tell it how to conduct its business.  If you want to have a real voice in how the university operates, insist that the state increase its funding to the traditional levels from 30 years when the taxpayers covered nearly 80% of the school's operating budget.  Then you might have a stronger case.  As it is, the university isn't very likely to listen to anything you might have to say on an anonymous online comment board.  The university doesn't even listen to its own faculty--they're certainly not going to pay attention to a mere 18 percenter...

Squirrel wrote on January 31, 2012 at 8:01 am

"The public must recognize that the state of Illinois funds less than 18% of the U of I's annual budget"

So who funds the retirements of the UI employees? Are you saying that money comes from the private sector somehow? Seems to me that money comes out of Joe Taxpayer's pocket. If the proposition is that the University should privatize I think the State of illinois would avoid having to fund bloated pensions and would stand to gain some serious dollars by taxing the newly-created private enterprise.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 31, 2012 at 8:01 am

@Squirrel;  While I share your anger; I want to defend the civil service employees on campus.  They have to act like servants sometimes to the "Tenured Class".  They are not the ones who messed up campus.  They are not the ones that waste money on campus.  They are only employees like every working person in the state.  The ones who waste your taxpayer money; and trash the public institution's image are the academics.  I agree with you about the academics having their "bloated pensions" being funded.  They are the ones who hold their goose and fish soirees; and expect the clerical staff to clean up after them.  They are the ones who "work from home".   They are the ones who use state monies for their unneccessary travel.  They can pontilficate, and pose; but they are the ones that keep the scandals happening.  Some can do complex math; but cannot pour water out of a boot with the instructions on the heel.  Those are the ones who want, and waste without a thought about the taxpayer.  Their lofty self opinions allow their massive salaries to continue while "Joe Taxpayer" suffers.

vcponsardin wrote on January 31, 2012 at 9:01 am

Actually, the pension system is funded by the employees themselves.  Always has been.  Every month, the state takes out a percentage from every university employee's paycheck that is "invested" in SURS.  So, no, taxpayers do not fund the state university retirement system.  Look it up.  The information is online.

peabody wrote on January 31, 2012 at 9:01 am

In response to griping taxpayers who evidently don't use roads or public schools or fire departments or have state employees/retirees as customers, meaning that all their tax payments are the same as flushing it all down the toilet, the state already makes "serious dollars" by underfunding the constitutionally supported pension system and then looting what's already there, including the money from employee contributions which often exceeds what the state contributes. So don't make pensions out to be the big bugaboo on your tax bill. The legislature has been slowly killing that system for years.  

moltar wrote on January 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Some key new information seems to have come out at today's meeting - if somewhat vague. According to Chancellor Wise, the University Statutes prevent censure of Troyer since she has resigned her staff position, and now only holds a "zero-time" (no salary or duties) appointment as faculty. Apparently, a job offer has been made to Troyer which, if accepted, would indeed give her a paid, tenured faculty position. However, Wise seemed to imply that once Troyer is paid faculty member, she would THEN be subject to censure for her actions, up to and including revoking tenure. According to Wise, Troyer has not yet responded to the offer extended, and has even let the deadline for acceptance pass. If this is all true, I predict we won't be seeing Troyer on the campus again.

I may have misunderstood all this, but in the best case scenario (and we sure need some of those), it seems that the University didn't so much fail to prosecute Troyer so much as it missed a chance to do so before she resigned. (Perhaps she was coached to do just that.) The pattern here is one of executives escaping the consequences of ethics violations. Something we've seen a great deal of nationally...


Local Yocal wrote on January 31, 2012 at 7:01 am
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Looking at the U of I for the last ten years, we see the debacles of the Banner computer system that doesn't work; the virtual degree program that no one enrolled in; the downsizing of faculty, sections, curricullum, staff, and research; Catagory I clout scandal, U of I Law School fibbing it's LSAT scores, and now King Hogan seeks ultimate control of everything for he and his cronies- meanwhile-... tuition has gone up $4000 the last 5 years; financial aid is less available; fired (resigned) administration is allowed to hang around to collect 6-figure salaries; the 18% part of the budget provided by the state's donation is usually past due; UnOfficial St. Patrick's Day has garnered the U of I a party school reputation; and binge drinking, crime, and sexual assault continues to be the quiet epidemic on campus.

Even so, the citizens are more concerned about who the new 1.6 million dollar football coach will recruit, or whether the 1.4 million dollar basketball coach should be run off. Hogan can assure his friend Troyer that in a couple of weeks this will all blow over and she will be in that fat $200,000 salary shortly, so she should keep her cakehole shut about his involvement in micro-managing how faculty reacts to his consolidation of power.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 06, 2012 at 10:02 am

@Local Yocal;  Seems that your right about it all blowing over.  It has been one week now since your comment; and nothing transparently has been done.  What is Dr. Troyer's status on campus?  There was a deadline for her to respond to the job offer.  Maybe, we are getting only 18% of the story though?