Inside Higher Ed spent about 500 words today on former Chicago State University President Frank Pogue, who held the position in an interim role for a year. The section about Pogue is part of a longer article about roving college presidents who come in to help turn schools around or pull them back from the brink.
Pogue gives a candid assessment of CSU when he arrived: “loose budgeting” across the campus and a lack of an athletics budget meant that department ran up $3 million in charges in one year with no way to cover those costs. That won’t come as a surprise if you’ve followed CSU’s problems with audits.
Pogue also shares some insights into faculty-administration relations:
“My position is anybody can clean house. Anybody can walk in off the street without an ounce of education and fire everybody. My job was to empower people to do their jobs.”
Instead of cleaning house, Pogue reached out to faculty and administrators -- and quickly signaled a greater emphasis on transparency.
That’s noteworthy because one of the big concerns for faculty during the presidential selection process this spring was the notion of “shared governance,” and specifically, how much CSU’s next president would listen to what faculty have to say.
Wayne Watson, who starts as CSU’s president on Monday, was clear when I interviewed him in May that he wouldn’t hesitate to fire people who didn’t shape up, faculty included. “You’ve go to change people’s behavior or you’ve got to fire them,” Watson said at the time.