Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Letter From One of Our Colleagues

I have been waiting for a response from president Watson's camp or the Board of Trustees regarding these new allegations of misconduct....and now it's more than 3 days after it was filed and there's still nothing. Do they think the faculty, staff and students of CSU are unaware? If they ignore it, these allegations will go away?
However, as a new faculty (un-tenured, on track), seeing the behavior that led to these allegations makes me very cautious of speaking up and advocating for better facilities and management for our students.
Now that I've been here for a couple semesters, I have seen the general lack of facilities upkeep and maintenance. There is intermittent wi-fi, electrical outages and surges that have damaged expensive research equipment, floods from burst pipes, potholed and cracked walkways, muddy ruts and pooling water over sidewalks, and don't even get me started about the lack of childcare on campus when half of our students are women with children! I also get the feeling when attending university and departmental meetings that a lot of committee work feels like a waste of time because recommendations and decisions get reversed or altered by the time they are finalized.
When I go back and review that list, it sounds like I'm working in a poor, developing, corrupt country - but I take the Red Line home each day and remember that we live in a vibrant, modern American city that should be providing a quality education and experience for our students who work so hard to attend. We should be an example of progress and upward mobility for the community that we serve, not an embarrassment that continues to fulfill stereotypes and further marginalizes our students.
I can only hope that the board of trustees and /or the governor will take our student's side for once and advocate for what's right by removing incompetent, unqualified persons who behave immorally. Someone needs to reach out to honest, hard-working experienced administrators who could lead our university back in the right direction. By removing Watson and his unqualified insiders, the board of trustees would also be taking the side of the faculty so that we might one day be led by a peer who understands and respects the academic structure and process. Removing those who have sullied our reputation would also be taking the side of our staff and administration and show them they respect the work they do and shouldn't be afraid to report wrongdoing for fear of losing their jobs.
It is unconscionable to me that the ruling bodies would allow taxpayer dollars to be wasted on more legal proceedings and lawyer fees when we could be providing better facilities and programs for our students!
I was very happy to accept this position and was hoping to stay for at least a few years until I was (hopefully) granted tenure, and I have really loved teaching and interacting with our CSU students and the other faculty. However, the upper administration's actions make me very worried for the integrity of CSU, and, therefore my professional reputation. I have been starting to look for other positions already this next academic cycle, and the thought of going through that again churns my stomach....
~An uncomfortable, worried new faculty


  1. I have reached the unfortunate conclusion that YES! The administration, BOT, and Watson defenders "think" that as long as they ignore the many problems they'll go away, or worse, simply don't exist.

  2. Thank you for taking the time and for having the courage to write here as an untenured person. Some of the realizations you have come to in a relatively short amount of time took me several years to achieve--in particular that "shared participation" model of governance which the administration prefers so much and which you rightly portray as meaningless: "I also get the feeling when attending university and departmental meetings that a lot of committee work feels like a waste of time because recommendations and decisions get reversed or altered by the time they are finalized." On many levels CSU has a lot of heart, but its soul has been under the control of local politicians and we will never be more than mediocre until we are liberated from that. Best of luck whether you stay or go.