Mascot advocates for better communication on campus

posted in: Opinion | 0
This is Boxer the mascot. It has been a while since I have written an opinion article for The Pacific Index (October 2013). However, what I read in the latest edition of The Pacific Index was appalling. In this edition, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Lisa Carstens, wrote an email to the advisor of the paper.
The first statement, “The Pacific Index does not have a strong reputation,” is a statement made devoid of any evidence. What concrete evidence does the dean have to support such an opinion? One of the more interesting statements in the dean’s email is “Please explain your plan for raising the quality of the Index.” Maybe the dean can explain how she is measuring the “quality” of The Pacific Index and what is acceptable for the hard working students who pour their hearts and souls into the paper. Of course we know the answer. There are no quantitative data to support her opinion.
A disturbing pattern of behavior is showing its ugly head at Pacific University. We have an administration that is woefully out of touch with the students, faculty and staff, which is the life blood of Pacific. Communication is one way, top down and heavy-handed. This heavy-handed form of communication and lack of professionalism must change if the college is to survive both current and future challenges.
I have enjoyed reading The Pacific Index for years, typos and all. I find the paper very informative and I must say that the paper has taken it quite easy on the various administrations over the years. Personally, I would like to see The Pacific Index work on the following stories such as: compensation packages for the last two presidents, negotiated by the trustees, have been outrageously high. How can this be when our overall endowment is one of the lowest when compared to our sister institutions? How much money is spent annually on University Advancement and for every dollar spent, how many dollars are brought in?

Let’s see the last 10 years of data. The university has grown substantially over the last decade in terms of students. How has the university grown over the last decade in terms of administrators, full-time permanent faculty and staff?  Is the rate proportional to the student growth rate? Include financial and personnel information by business unit. What are the spending priorities (new projects such as new buildings and renovations) and how are they determined? Communication between the university community and the trustees is tightly controlled by the president who personally selects the student and faculty representatives to the board. Does this exclusion of multiple campus voices provide enough widespread feedback from faculty, staff and students? If The Pacific Index can do these five stories justice, I would venture to guess that The Pacific Index will have a “strong reputation” in the eyes of those that matter. The time to push back and report is now.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *