Faculty to trustees: Ask Hogan to resign

Faculty to trustees: Ask Hogan to resign

For the first time, some faculty at the University of Illinois are saying they have no confidence in President Michael Hogan and have called for his presidency to end.

But a UI spokesman said Hogan has the "unwavering support" of UI trustees and has no intention of resigning.

Fourteen senior faculty members are circulating a letter they plan to send next week to UI trustees, urging them to ask for Hogan's resignation.

As of noon Friday, 95 faculty had added their names to the list, according to one of the authors, Michael Moore, Walgreen University Chair and professor of law and philosophy.

The letter cites 10 different reasons for their lack of confidence, including Hogan's actions during the recent enrollment management controversy and the resignation of his former chief of staff, Lisa Troyer, and his "extraordinary bullying" of Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise after just months on the job.

"In our view he lacks the values, commitments, management style, ethics, and even manners, needed to lead this University, and his Presidency should be ended at the earliest opportunity," the letter said.

"We reach this conclusion reluctantly and do not take the implications of it at all lightly. We recognize that there are real costs to ending another presidency so soon after the premature ending of that of Hogan's predecessor. But we, as well as many others at our institution, find the situation with Hogan as President to be so intolerable that rectifying this mistake would be worth the admittedly serious costs."

More than 200 professors with prestigious endowed chairs are being asked to sign the letter.

The signatories include three Swanlund Chairs and five faculty from the Center for Advanced Study, among them music Professor Ian Hobson and Susan Kieffer, professor of geology and physics. Also signing was former Law Dean Heidi Hurd.

The letter follows six others sent by faculty in recent weeks raising concerns about Hogan's leadership, including one signed by 126 named professors on Jan. 12.

The latest version focuses less on the merits of the enrollment management plan and more on Hogan's style of leadership, citing emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The emails were first disclosed by The News-Gazette.

UI spokesman Thomas Hardy said the letter perpetuates inaccuracies in an earlier letter sent by Moore to the trustees on Feb. 8.

"It's unfortunate that something fraught with inaccuracies and insinuation would have support at any level," Hardy said.

Hardy said the board, and Chairman Christopher Kennedy, have reiterated their support for Hogan in recent weeks and throughout his presidency. He also said the number of faculty represented by the letter is small compared to the UI's 40,000-plus employees.

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GeneralLeePeeved wrote on February 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

So, what faculty position will they create for him?

animal lover wrote on February 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

In light of this repeating scenario, is anyone looking at the WAY these people are hired so that partial responsibility might be assigned to the actual process used to bring these upper level administrators with serious ethics issues to Champaign-Urbana?

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome; looks like a tangible picture of insanity might be describe at U of I, unfortunately.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

What happens if the Board of Trustees (Chris Kennedy) does not agree; or simply ignores the faculty with no response?  Will the faculty members resign in protest?  Will they protest in public for news coverage?  The students do not seem to care either way.  Hogan needs to be removed; but will that change the way the Board of Trustees operates under Kennedy's leadership?  Animal lover has a point regarding the way administrators are hired.  The way Board of Trustee members obtain office should be questioned also.  The basic issue is Ethics in higher education.  Hogan has proven himself to be unethical.  Now; Chris Kennedy must prove himself one way, or the other.

coffeenomnom wrote on February 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Actually Sid, the students do care and are frustrated. They may not be as vocal as others (and you have made it clear that you wish everyone were more vocal across the board) but they have expressed opinions on what is happening at their school. If you read the Daily Illini, you'll see there have been frequent articles covering this issue and the elected student senate made a public statement basically saying that they are sick of the constant ethics scandals at the University. Just because they aren't as vocal as you might like doesn't mean that they don't care one way or the other.

EL YATIRI wrote on February 25, 2012 at 3:02 am
Profile Picture

Good point

ronaldo wrote on February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

We understand your point, but Einstein never uttered those words.

jthartke wrote on February 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I agree.  The problem is that the presidencies of major universities has become a huge salary chase, rather than a search for someone with any committment to a community, an organization, or even education and research for that matter.  It has almsot become a for profit, self-glorification scheme -- not a university presidency.

ronaldo wrote on February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Oops. Replied to wrong post.

Mike wrote on February 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm

You have hit the nail on the head.

"We have to do a HUGE national search (at hundreds of thousands of dollars) and offer our new President as much money as (insert other B16 school here) makes."

The amount of money is ridiculous.

We need to STOP hiring Presidents from Michigan, or Connecticut, or Syracuse or WHEREVER.

We need to STOP paying them more than the President of the United States.

We need to promote from within. Everyone at all three Universities understands that UIUC and UIC and UIS are three completely different entities, that serve different groups of students, and have three separate missions. Why keep hiring knuckleheads from out of state that think they have this great new idea that will fix everything?

I'm not suggesting we try to hire someone at $50,000 a year. But let's let the FACULTY (I am not one of them BTW) nominate a half dozen individuals. Have a search committee that might even include people from out of state (we might find THAT sort of out-of-state input to be beneficial, but the new President should be more familiar with the situation than someone from Idaho might be). 

And make it a good pay increase, but not a bajillion dollars. I realize it is a lot more work to be President than to be a (ahem) member of the Psychology faculty, for example. But $680,000 or whatever it is, plus a free mansion, etc., etc., is too much. Who cares what is going on at Michigan. Or Iowa. Or Wisconsin.

We've PROVEN that the model of "paying the most money" doesn't get the best person. Twice now in about five years.  


SoggyBottom wrote on February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

How can faculty add their names to the list ... a lot more will sign if they know where or how.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm

At the bottom of the petition; with a signature, or a mark.  Seriously, it is being circulated on campus.  The NG has a PDF version of it.  Check with your Faculty Senator.  Regarding the students concern, why not serenade the President on the Unofficial?

coffeenomnom wrote on February 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm

ha! That'd be awesome.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm

@Mike;  You make a very good point.  Your right.  Why not hire someone who knows the university past, and present?  There are competent, and experienced faculty members who are ethical also.

Jam wrote on February 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm

So is it worth the cost?  Exactly who will pay the cost of this suggestion of having President Hogan resign?   Will the faculty open an account and deposit there own dollars into it?  After all it was reported the other day that two former administrators are earning $400,000 plus dollars each for doing nothing.  I can only imagine how many others on faculty and staff  are receiving checks while doing nothing. So where does this money come from?   In the conflict between the Administration and the faculuty it appears that the faculty have apparently won.  Now they are going for the juglar.  Again is this the state university or a private faculty university?    The faculty should really stand down at this point and find ways to work with the Administration for the good of the people, for the good of the students, and for the good of the state of Illinois..  It may not be all good in total for the faculty, but at this point it would be good for the PEOPLE OF THIS STATE. 

sgraham48 wrote on February 25, 2012 at 6:02 am

The debate here is one that's embedded in the history of higher education, faculty versus administrative control.  There's nothing new under the sun (thank you Solomon).   As more regulations and government control are imposed on higher education, a natural tension has been created.  Faculty want to do what faculty are good at, teaching and research.  They do NOT want to deal with administration.  Unfortunately, there's so much paper shuffling, only those who don't want to teach or research are willing to fill those positions.  And, honestly, most faculty aren't talented administrators (not should they be).  I point this out because promoting from within, although a lofty goal, puts those who don't want to or those who are incompetent into positions that sets them up to fail.

This event highlights serious ethics issues by those recently hired.  The U of IL needs to deal with this in a way that discourages future similar behavior and sends a clear message.  Right now, there is a loss of confidence in the process and in the commitment. 

The three campuses are about as different a three "children" could be.  How these children fit into the "family" and how they're nurtured as individuals is challenging.  My experience is that each campus reflects their local politics.   And, if I were carry the analogy, the children are "step-children."  Actually, some may feel they are "bastards" at times. 

Bottom line, the three campuses need to find ways to agree on what's common and allow change/consolidation and have autonomy on what's not.  The Board needs to establish a framework where both can occur.  As long as politics is involved, nothing will be perfect.  And, finally, don't force U of IL employees to take an ethics exam each year, if it's just lip service and a response to past bad behavior.

asparagus wrote on February 25, 2012 at 7:02 am

As long as Troyer and Hogan remain employed at U of I university employees should refuse to take the annual ethics training!

This debacle is not about Faculty vs. Administration. It is about the failing ethical conduct of our leaders. It is about abuse of power and an abuse of trust.


downstater wrote on February 25, 2012 at 7:02 am

It is easier to understand the problem when one reads Tom Hardy's comments.  He seems to lack any understanding of what a UNIVERSITY is all about.  That there are 'thousands of employees' and only a 'handful of faculty' is completely irrelevant.  it is not the 'thousands of employees' wjho make a university but the 'handful' of faculty do.  The issue of course is whether Chris Kennedy shares this point of view about a university.

The University of Illinois is an amalgam of campuses, each with its own identity and character.  It is an administrative unit of State governance and management.  The soul of this University is its Urbana campus with its 100 plus years of history of research, scholarship and teaching.  It is, or at least was, one of the 'crown jewels' in American higher education.  Hogan seems to think it's a manufacturing orgabnization of some sort with three plant locations. 

How perfectly ludicrous it is to require ell ';employees' to swear fealty and take an ethics examination, when the senior management of the insititution seems not to know what 'ethics' means.  Not only must Hogan go, so must Hardy. 

Trustees need to step up to their fundamental responsibility for nurturing a quality university, and admit they have made a mistake with Michael Hogan (and Troyer).



SwirlingVortexOfDoom wrote on February 25, 2012 at 8:02 am

Great letter! I see a comparison has been made to Louis XIV, although the authors seem to be hinting at Charles I

"You can manage the procurement of supplies, but you must lead soldiers into battle"

Jam wrote on February 25, 2012 at 9:02 am

So if President Hogan resigns, ask the new UIUC Chancellor to take over, or perhaps someone like Govenor Jim Edgar might want the plum job (integrity not a problem and he knows politics and Illnois better than most).

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 25, 2012 at 11:02 am

Coincidently, Jim Edgar made news also.  He is back in the public eye.  He sure does know politics, and Illinois better than most.

pattsi wrote on February 25, 2012 at 10:02 am

The fun and irony of this situation is included in the full blown article in today's N-G. Based on the article contents, May Berenbaum, who co- chaired the search committee that selected Hogan, has signed the letter. Now if there ever was a potential news article is to find out how and why this committee could have such apparently poor decision-making skills.


Lostinspace wrote on February 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I wonder if any members of the search committee went to Connecticut to talk to colleagues -- or asked faculty members to give a call to colleagues there -- before an offer was made.  For a position as important as this, that would seem to be the obvious thing to do.  I am always surprised when that is not done, even at the level of a faculty hire.

If they *did* do that, then one wonders what they discovered.  It is hard to believe that the tactics the faculty finds so objectionable were practiced for the first time at the U of I.