I finally figured it out…

This morning I showed up at the Board of Trustees meeting and made comments (in quotes below).  I’m not an entirely trusting person, but I have a really good feeling about Dr. Dietz.  I think he gets it.  It was hard for me today.  I wanted to cry and I was so afraid.  I sat in a room with people I used to work with, people I respected and I couldn’t look them in the eye and  they couldn’t look  me in the eye.  I get it.  I was pretty brutal on this blog.  I was angry. I was hurt  I was trying to reclaim my voice which I felt had been taken from me, but I realized today it can’t  be  taken away, I made choices.   Today I walked through a whole lot of fear and I spoke my truth and I spoke the truth for a few of my friends and former colleagues who have not yet found their voices.  I have no regrets about anything that I said.  I only pray that somehow, someway I made a small difference.  I pray that truth and compassion will become part of education.  I talk about my family in the first part of this speech.  Illinois State taught me a lot of things…but it was my family…that grounded me in truth and compassion and maybe I didn’t get a degree today, but I got something better.   Today I found out I am still here and that my truth is nothing to be ashamed of.

“Good Morning Illinois State University Board of Trustees, Leadership, and guests.  My name is Angela Scott.  I am a citizen of the State of Illinois.

  • I want to start by thanking Illinois State University.   I was a third-generation ISU employee.  My grandmothers retired from ISU – one a janitor and one a cook.  My parents retired from ISU, both building service workers.  ISU has truly provided work to my family for three generations.  I was the first to earn an informal education.
  • At Illinois State University I learned about computer software, budgeting, organizational skills, politics, writing, and the importance of critical thinking and transferrable skills. I gained an appreciation for music and musicians.  I learned about the difficulties of poverty through student theatre, composition papers and the homeless student who worked in and was let go from the Provost office.
  • I learned to finesse words and numbers to say things that sounded good yet lacked enough detail to ever hold anyone accountable for the half-truths and ultimately lies that they are. I learned to hide millions of dollars from students, employees and the general public while pretending there was nothing.
  • I learned to be quiet or lose my job as after witnessing an administrator tell a student reporting sexual victimization by a faculty member that if she pursued the filing her life would be difficult and I saw first-hand that the administrator was correct as a positive recommendation for that faculty member was sent on to another university.
  • I learned to say key phrases to impress donors and leadership. I learned that it is ok to be racist or homophobic if you do it in private with people who you think, because of their race or religion or sexual orientation, are like minded.  I learned that laws do not apply to important people.
  • But the biggest, most horrifying lesson I learned was that an individual unable to pay for a 4 year degree in a system rigged to perpetuate inequality and oppress anyone who questioned it, does not have the same freedom as an individual who could pay for that 4 year degree. If you don’t believe me check out the well written guest commentaries in the Pantagraph written by ISU leadership.  Somehow by the benefit of Tenure they not only receive funding from tax payers (educated or not), they are uninhibited by fear of losing a job, and they get to be heard.  Which, until today, was not an option at an Illinois State University Board of Trustees meeting.
  • The Board of Trustees and Leadership have power. You have the resources and ability to change higher education.  You can begin to remove the hurdles of oppression and deceit that are part of the fiber at Illinois State University and within higher education.
  • Listen to individuals who are different. Instead of convening a meeting of well paid professional individuals with PhD’s to figure out why enrollment is down, convene focus groups of individuals who came and did not finish.  Listen to the reason why the task was insurmountable.
  • Listen to individuals who want to come, but because of financial hardships or lack of family support will not be attending ISU.
  • Instead of hiring the administrator’s children to work in leadership offices, hire them to work in kitchens with students receiving work study allowing them to become aware of the struggles of their fellow students. Instead of hiring students who are friends and family of the administrators for the easy office jobs, intentionally hire students that are at the most risk of not making it through their first year of college so that the members in leadership begin to see first-hand the very real struggles of students who are not like them.
  • Do not allow faculty members who scream about their expertise in the study of sociology to take up residence in your mind and ignore the experience and expertise of students, faculty and staff who have studied, up close and personal, poverty and hardship for their entire lives.
  • Do not brag about diversity, yet fail to provide it to our students, faculty and staff.
  • When underrepresented students, faculty or staff report racism, sexism, sexual assault, illegal treatment, unethical behavior or express to you their very real fears – listen to them, do not marginalize them.
  • Use the resources at your disposal to meet these challenges rather than hide them. You are powerful.
  • You have a freedom with that power, a freedom that I and many others do not know and I am here today asking you to share that freedom with everyone in this community.”

Thank you.

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Honesty and Change

I’ve written about taking on an abuser and my belief that Illinois State University has some abuse going on.  This article is not just about Illinois State University, but it applies to some of the practices there.  I DO NOT LIKE DONALD TRUMP.  He is racist, sexist, abusive, and dishonest.  I do not understand how he was elected, but he was.  People voted, our electoral colleges did what they were supposed to do, and congress confirmed him.  Am I happy about it?  Not at all.

Somehow, as citizens and non-citizens, who live in the country we have allowed dishonesty.  We, as a People, do not hold leaders accountable for dishonesty.  In fact I am finding that the higher up in leadership someone goes, the more likely they are to have been dishonest and broken some rules to get there.  These same people, who have been dishonest and broken rules, set up rules for the rest of us that in many ways hold the rest of us hostage.

I am all  for marching and big political movements.  We should speak out and yell if we have too.   Sometimes we have to demand accountability of our leadership.  We have to speak up for change and just because we demand it does not mean it is going to happen in leadership.  I don’t think change starts with the President of the United States.  It starts in our homes, our schools, and our communities.

I do not know what the answer is. In America those in leadership are supposed to be serving the People.  Taking on abusers isn’t easy.  It is horrible.  It is exhausting.  It is infuriating.  It affects every aspect of your life when you decide to fight against injustice and fight for what is right.  But living with and settling for abuse is not acceptable and goes against everything the American Spirit is and strives to be.

I do know this, being kind is the most effective thing you can do right now.  Be kind to someone in need.  Be kind to someone who is in a state of despair.  Spend a few minutes talking to someone who is lonely.  Encourage someone one who distraught.  Love someone who is different than you.  Be HONEST with one another and Be Kind to someone.

That is the only real way to make change and conquer abuse.

 

 

Board of Trustees Decision

The BOT tuition increase decision was based on two presentations according to the FOIA OFFICER AT ISU.

The FOIA request:

Request 1: Any and all documents, presentations and reports submitted to the Illinois State University Board of Trustee Members for the purpose of impacting their decision to increase or not increase tuition at Illinois State University.

The Response:
Response: Attached are two PDF documents (a presentation and resolution) provided to the Board of Trustees on April 30, 2016.

Since I am still working from my I-phone you will need to trust me when I tell you the Provost Office Secret Savings Account (SBC) is not mentioned in the presentations sent to me.  In addition ISU did not send all the information presented to the Board during the Special Meetings on April 2 and April 30, 2016.  I know because I was working at ISU on April 2 and helped prepare some of the documents.

So Board of Trustee Members, do you feel that perhaps you have been duped?  As a citizen of Illinois I certainly do.  As a former ISU employee I am not surprised at all.

In another note. ISU is now reviewing SBC requests and approvals as I have busted them.  They tell me final decisions are not made until September.  Another Half Truth.  We’ll be able to prove this based on transfers and approvals from previous years.  Unless, of course, those are inadvertently deleted.

Now, really, I have got to pack!

UPDATE:  I sent the link to my blog to ISU Trustees at 10:58 a.m.  The Chief of Staff, as the listed Board contact per the  ISU  Website, was cc’d.  He responded (11:34 a.m.) and I have offered him the opportunity to make a statement or to inform me of any inaccurate information and assured him I would correct the article.   If I receive a statement or information about inaccurracies in this article I will post as soon as possible.  It is currently 10:15 p.m. And I’ve got a plane to catch soon.

 

Sexual Assault Article

Today in the Pantgraph (www.pantagraph.com) has an article by Edith Brady-Lunny.  An interesting read.   “”We’ve got this epidemic out there that we can’t address because we don’t have the reporting,” said Bleichner, noting the number of Normal Police Department reports for criminal sexual assaults doubled in 2015 to 51 – the majority of them involving ISU students living off campus.”

The majority would be 27.  27 if it is the minimal majority.  So ISU, pay attention.  You are required,  by law, to report the sexual assault reports in the Anuual Clery Report.  Are you doing that?  Are you numbers correct?  Am I missing something.  Oh, yes I am, I’m missing the Clery Report for 2015…because it’s not due until October.

I’ve got an e-mail into the FOIA officer at ISU.  We’ll see when I get an answer, but just so my readers know, I am asking the questions.

“Dr. Groves,
I find it very concerning that the amount of details as to the state of the alleged victims is not fully redacted in these reports and I am copying them to Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights for further review of the attached documents.  Furthermore, can you inform me, or forward this email to someone who can inform me, if it is ISU policy to charge victims who come forward with drinking and/or drug use violations or if those students are referred to student affairs for discipline?  I note that several of the reports ended in no arrest, but were not completely redacted.
Finally, the police report related to the ISU HR employee that was filed on November 3, 2014 is completely redacted.  I am very confused by the amount of information not redacted from the sexual assault reports and the complete redaction of the report that I requested for an alleged assault on November 3, 2014.  I am not asking for names or identifying information, just the report including the events that transpired AND what was reported.

Sincerely,

Angie Scott”

I find it suspicious the information ISU decides to put out there and not put out there.
Stay tuned.

 

Standing Up

Last May, I was driving down Main Street in Normal.  Right across from Hancock Stadium.  It was graduation weekend.  I cannot now remember where I was going or what I was doing.  There was a beautiful, young woman standing on the corner holding a sign.  I can’t remember what it said exactly, but it started with “I was raped” and then it basically stated  ISU tried to make it go away.  I felt bad for her.  I, on a gut level, believed her.  I remember thinking, she is brave, but I also knew the power of ISU and I feared losing my job!  I should have stopped.

BUT I did not stop.  I did not get out of my car and stand with her.  I just kept going.  I don’t remember what I did that day, but I will never forget that girl.  I did not stand with her then, but I will do my best to make sure this does not happen again.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry it took me so long to stand on the corner with her.  But I’m here now.

Don’t just drive by, because it will haunt you in your dreams.

Tuition, SBC, and Fun with Math

 

Remember the Strategic Budgeted Carryover post?  Ok, remember this number:  $  15,946,996.15.

Now let’s look at Tuition at ISU.  For FY 16 it’s $6832.95 for undergraduate students based on a student taking 15 hours (that would be five 3-credit hour classes, yo!).  3% of $6832.95 is $204.9885 (we’ll just round up to $205).  This increase is only for new incoming freshman, transfer students, and graduate students.  Stay with me here.

Let’s say that ISU has a good enrollment year and gets 3,650 new incoming freshman.  That would be an additional $748,250 in revenue.

Let’s say that ISU has a good enrollment year for transfers as well and enrolls 2,000 students.  That would be an additional $410,000 in  revenue.

Finally let’s do the Graduate Student Enrollment Math.  And this might be sketchy, because, well Graduate numbers fluctuate and the press releases don’t really give Grad numbers.  But I’m going to be overly generous and say New Graduate Enrollment  is 900 students.  ISU’s current cost for 14 hours is $6,597.44.  3% of that is 197.9232 (we’re rounding up to $198).  So that would be an additional $178,200.

Stay with me.

So total additional revenue: $748,250+$410,000+$178,200=$1,336,450. 

That is tiny right?  I mean it is only 8.3% of what Academic Affairs rolled over from 2015 to 2016.  Additional Revenue Generated $1,336,450/SBC amount of $15,946,996.15=.0838…

Now some of you are thinking Angie what’s the big deal?  It is only $205 a year for undergraduate students and  $198 a year for a graduate student.

Well, let me tell you what that difference looks like.  There are families right now in Illinois that are having to choose whether to buy a gallon of milk or put gas in their car to get to work.  And some of these families want to send their children to college, in hopes that maybe they are going to have more opportunity than their parents did.  As citizens of Illinois we are already being taxed to death. Let’s say you have a household income of $72,000 You can immediately throw $15,000 out the window for taxes (and it’s likely more than that, think income tax, sales tax, property tax, license plate registration, city fees). Then let’s take Social Security out at  $5,000.  Then let’s say you have a modest house in a modest neighborhood and your house payment runs at $700.00 a month x 12=$8,400.  Let’s assume this is a family of 3 with 2 adults and a child ready to go off to college.  Let’s also add gas, utilities, groceries, a little credit card debt, a car payment, car insurance, a phone, etc.  that’s another $15,000 a year.  And yes, you are going to have to pay for health insurance at a rate of $400 a month x 12=$4,800.  Pat yourself on the back.  You’ve been good.  You’ve worked hard. You’ve been frugal. You have $23,596 left and you send your student off to University at the low, low cost of $7037.95.  Oh wait, that does not include books, or housing, or clothes and GOD Forbid you have any kind of medical bills.   In the meantime you can’t afford a movie or that home improvement because you know deep in your heart that you’re going to need to save $10,000 a year so you can retire at 65.  So the Movie Theater cuts employee hours and Lowe’s doesn’t fill positions and the economy gets worse, but Illinois State University still has it’s secret savings account.

If you are still here…God Bless You!  Seriously because this is a lot of truth all at once.  And someone needs to say it and someone needs to hear it.

So a non-profit State School is possible.  It’s possible.  Maybe you can get a second job at Wal-mart or Target or McDonalds to make the ends meet.   While the wheelers and dealers at Illinois State University and the State of Illinois pass go and collect your money.

By God, the Rabbit Hole is deep and $205 might not seem like much to some people, but is sure as hell is a lot when you look at it from this angle.

Someone double check my math.

The Clery Report

A current ISU employee who wishes to remain nameless expressed concern that ISU was under-reporting sexual assaults.  I asked him if he had any type of documentation and he said that he didn’t.  He said it was just a really strong feeling that he had.  I felt compelled to follow up so I went looking for the Clery report, which is a federally mandated report for all Universities.  Now University of Illinois (a much larger campus) has their 2015 report up on the website, but not Illinois State University.   Pay attention to this Post it’s going to be important later.
EMAIL SENT TO ISU PD on April 22, 2016
“To Whom it May Concern:
I was trying to access the clergy report for 2015.   I cannot find it on ISU’s website and the following link is broken.
If you could send that report to me via email that would be most helpful.
Thank you,
Angie Scott”
EMAIL Recieved from ISU PD on April 25, 2016

“Good Morning, Angie,

The Clery Report for 2015 is due out in October per federal regulations.  The report from 2014 is located at the bottom of the page to the right (security.illinoisstate.edu).

If I can be of further assistance please don’t hesitate to call or email.”

So you can just read it:  http://security.illinoisstate.edu/downloads/2014_ASR.pdf

EMAIL I SENT TO Jay Groves as FOIA Officer on April 29, 2016

Dear Mr. Groves:

In addition to the job descriptions that were mailed to me I am in receipt of several sexual assault reports and an email from Edith Brady-Lunny that you forwarded to Teri Hammer, REDACTED, and Patricia McGrath-Rodriguiz, along with some hand written notes.  These were in the same envelope as the job descriptions.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me in writing.

Sincerely,

Angie Scott

Jay’s almost immediate response:
Angie,
That is apparently some Foia material that the compiler inadvertently included in your material. I’m sorry for the mix up, but inasmuch as it is all public record, the is no Foia exemption issue that I know of.
Thanks for the note.
J
This might not be anything but a simple mistake, but these reports sent to the Pantagraph reporter were detailed.  So detailed that I’ve e-mailed the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights to express my concerns AND the original PD reports are on the way the DC Office.
There is so much more to this story, but I’m waiting for further information.  I wanted to get this out there for you to digest.