Three resolutions put Hogan in crosshairs

Three resolutions put Hogan in crosshairs

URBANA — Faculty and student senators challenged President Michael Hogan with a trio of strongly worded resolutions Monday, citing a "failure of leadership" in the events surrounding anonymous emails linked to his former chief of staff.

One also urges UI trustees to hold off on many aspects of a contentious enrollment-management plan pushed by Hogan, including the hiring of a central enrollment management director, until they can be explored further by faculty and campus leaders.

Ramping up criticism of Hogan, the campus senate unanimously approved a resolution on ethical leadership and shared governance that said the emails sent from Lisa Troyer's computer 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," the resolution said, citing efforts by Hogan and board of trustees Chairman Chris Kennedy to push the enrollment-management plan with faculty and the three campus chancellors.

The campus governance group also endorsed a letter delivered to the UI Board of Trustees by University Senates Conference Chairman 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.

Earlier this month, an ethics investigation concluded Troyer had posed as a faculty senator in anonymous emails to try to influence a University Senates Conference report on Hogan's plan, which covers admissions, financial aid and related issues.

Troyer resigned her position but denied authoring the Dec. 12 emails, which investigators traced to her laptop computer.

On Monday, Urbana Professor Joyce Tolliver delivered a statement harshly critical of Hogan, saying he pressured senate conference members with an irate phone call and "leaked" information to prevent them from issuing a report that criticized the proposals; made "false or misleading" statements about the Troyer investigation and mischaractized faculty from the three campuses as "hopelessly divided" on enrollment management; issued an apology that did not admit personal responsibility for the incident; and "led the effort to secure a campus position for his disgraced chief of staff."

"The fact that he sees no conflict of interest in pursuing a faculty position for the one person whose silence protects him from any further disclosures suggests an ethical standard far below what common sense would dictate," she said.

"All of these actions fall far short of our ideal of ethical leadership, and violate both the spirit and the letter of shared governance," she said.

Her remarks were greeted by sustained applause.

Senate Chairman Matthew Wheeler said the resolution on ethical leadership doesn't seek any particular action.

"This is a statement of our values," he said, citing a line that reads, "This is not the Illinois way."

Wheeler told the group that Troyer had contacted him about the resolution and reiterated, "I neither wrote nor sent the anonymous emails, and I will continue to assert this."

The resolution was amended after a complaint from Professor Tih-Fen Ting, who stepped down Friday as chair of the UI Springfield senate after a vote of no-confidence from senators there. The resolution originally said Ting had "leaked" with Troyer a draft report that senates conference members had agreed not to share publicly, but Wheeler said a review of minutes showed that only a subcommittee had discussed keeping it confidential.

Investigators found that Ting had sent three dozen anonymous emails to Troyer about the senates conference deliberations.

After Monday's meeting, UI spokesman Tom Hardy reiterated that Hogan had already apologized and said the anonymous emails were "regrettable."

"Certainly, this is an emotional issue for the senate, for a lot of people in the institution," Hardy said.

He noted that Tolliver and others had touted the importance of a thorough, independent investigation, "yet they don't want to accept the finding that a single person was responsible for this, and nobody else, including the president, had any involvement in it."

Hardy also said Troyer was given her zero-time tenured appointment when she was hired in 2010, "and it was vetted by the campus at the time and approved by trustees."

She is now transitioning to a paid appointment, and "the campus can take whatever it deems the appropriate action by the statutes."

The resolution on enrollment management, diversity and shared governance calls for postponing any recommendations other than those implementing campus-level enrollment plans and collaboration, as a senate task force had recommended.

It also calls for campus-level programs to promote student diversity and urges Hogan and UI trustees to affirm "a commitment to genuine shared governance where the advice of the faculty is not only encouraged but seriously considered."

The three resolutions can be found at the senate's website.

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myattitude wrote on January 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

It appears time for the state to revert to an elected Board of Trustees and clean house again.

read the DI wrote on January 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

While it's not possible to expect a "zero scandal" tenure, Hogan has hardly acquitted himself well these past months. Especially in the wake of several high-profile failures of leadership at other Big Ten schools (Ohio State, Penn State, and of course, Illinois) of late, it's hard to see how he escapes this. What's clear is Troyer needs to step down immediately. Her presence -- and it's hard to see why she is at Illinois to begin with without assuming some level of ongoing indiscretion between her and Hogan -- is at best an unneeded distraction and at worst a horrible daily reminder of a massive breach in ethics.


GeneralLeePeeved wrote on January 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

At this point, it's hard to imagine anything coming of this other than the local uproar that's well underway.  The BOT appear to be in Hogan's corner (at least so far), particularly since it's starting to look as if Hogan was Kennedy's personal choice for the job.  Absent any action taken by the state's legislators, the BOT have little incentive to take any action.  To date, I've read or heard nothing regarding anyone associated with the Governor's office, the State House or Senate taking issue with this latest debacle.  More to the point, where are our local legislators on this issue, as this has reached the point where they can no longer stick their head in the sand and hope it goes away.

vcponsardin wrote on January 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

I commend the Faculty Senate for their forceful and sustained responses to this sad series of events.  But once again, this story merely points out just how utterly powerless the U of I faculty really are.  The administration will continue to function as always and will continue to make superficial gestures of contrition toward the faculty for their endless ethical lapses while offering disengenuous praise for how hard the faculty work for so little reward.  But in truth, the faculty and their concerns are largerly and systematically ignored by the overpaid puffs who sit in the offices of the U of I adminstration completely cut-off from the actual life of the institution.

fuddrules wrote on January 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

LOL -  I see you're not only a professor but a comedian.  The U of I faculty are paid very generously.  Look up your cohorts salaries and you’ll see that their compensation and benefit package are top notch.  How many days do you want off, couple hundred maybe?  Start at noon? End at 3?

The UI faculty simply isn’t used to being challenged and they don’t like it.

Lostinspace wrote on January 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

My sense is that the faculty long ago abdicated its responsibilities, leaving this (and other) universities in the hands of non-academic managers, only too happy to go forth and multiply, creating tasks that don't need doing.  In my experience, they have precious little understanding of what a university should be.  They harbor considerable contempt for the faculty, and it is not difficult to understand why.  Faculty members can take back the university any time they want to.  Why don't they want to?  The managers pay them well enough and leave them alone for the most part.  No boat rockers, they.


We all need a bit of bubbly, Click-o.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

@fuddrules, and Lostinspace;  Thank you for speaking up.  I am a citizen; but I have been told that I can only speak up 18% of the time since the state now only pays for 18% of the university's budget.  I can holler: "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" when I see Dr. Hogan, or Dr. Troyer in public; but only 18% of the time.

vcponsardin wrote on January 31, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Excellent.  You're finally beginning to learn your proper place...

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Oh my......"my proper place"?  Thank you, Master.....  Please continue with your comments.  It helps to define you, and your attitudes toward those of us who are not the Tenured Class.  May I clean up your table, Master?  May I get you another glass of sherry, Master?  Please carry on...... 

UIUCHoopFan wrote on January 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm

You struck a nerve, Sid!  Welcome to the way the Lower Level Functionaries are treated at the Mother U by those in the ivory towers, replete with tenure, golden parachutes, and a whole host of other accoutrements accorded to those worthy of such money, power, and influence.  We're to know our place and stay in it, humbled and thankful for the crumbs left behind.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 31, 2012 at 5:01 pm

@UIUCHoopFan;  You are so right.  I dealt with them for 20 plus years of my 40 plus years in state employment.  To be honest, there were some good ones.  One earned his GED in the United States Marine Corp, earned his degree on the GI Bill; and never forgot his roots.  Another grew up on a farm, and still drove a pickup truck to work.  Another worked in the steel mills while attending school.  I worked two part time jobs (40 hours/week), and earned my degree; not a Ph.D., so I am not smart.  The majority did not serve in the military, or work part time jobs.  They borrowed the money with Daddy paying for the rest, and the loans.  By the time they earned their Ph.D.s, they had little real life experience.  I lived in a neighborhood with Ph.D.s on each side of me, behind me, and across the street from me (Urbana).  Two ran their new lawnmowers without putting in the oil that came with the mowers.  Yeah, I struck a nerve; and I feel terrible about it. :)  Thanks UIUCHoopFan. 

Jam wrote on January 31, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I am wondering if the issue at hand is all the money that may be missed at UIUC if the admissions changes would cause the international population to lesson.  They would take in less money at UIUC. This may mean that more Illinois students could go to UIUC.  Maybe more students from south of I80 could get in. 

Yatiri wrote on February 01, 2012 at 2:02 am

Have any of the U of I student associations weighed in on this disgraceful conduct by the top people running their university?  What are the students saying?

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 01, 2012 at 8:02 am

I read one comment in the Daily Illini.  There maybe more today; but I doubt it.  It is a different student population now.  I don't know if ethics is a big thing with them now, or not.  They have grown up in a different time.  Yes, they have grown up with two wars, a recession, and increasing inequity; but most have been comfortably insulated from all of that.  I would be curious to know their economic background compared to students in the past.  I suppose the tuition rates, and additional costs have influenced that.  Gee, I miss Nixon.  Now there was someone who could create a stir.  Sort of reminds you of ......  well, I better not go there.

read the DI wrote on February 01, 2012 at 9:02 pm

We never think young people are engaged or care.

And yet they helped elect a black man president, beating an establishment Navy veteran in the process.

Perhaps they simply are waiting for the right time to influence the process.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 06, 2012 at 7:02 pm

What about the deadline for Dr. Troyer to respond to the job offer?  What has happened during the last week?  The matter seems to have blown over.  Is it "business as usual" at the U. of I.?  Will there be transparency, or a quiet cover up?  How about a General Education Requirement in Ethics for students?  At least, it would assure future employers that U of I graduates have exposure to Ethics in the classroom even if it is lacking in the U of I administration.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 06, 2012 at 7:02 pm

The Psychology Department does show Dr. Lisa Troyer as an Excutive Assistant to the University President, AND a "professor" in the department.  Maybe, this was an appointment prior to the Ethics Violation?  What is Dr. Troyer's current status with the university?

read the DI wrote on February 07, 2012 at 9:02 pm

It's not unusual to hold a professorial appointment and another "real" job. Much of the med school faculty have such arrangements.