I am writing to express my opinion concerning the state of Emporia State University. I do so as a two - time ESU graduate with five other family members who graduated from Emporia. My mother graduated from the Emporia “Normal School” and began her teaching career in a rural Kansas one room schoolhouse.
While the ESU administration and Board of Regents will dispute this, my main concerns are the lack of public information and transparency. I have followed since the fall all of the news reports and announcements from ESU. Public news conferences and public sessions have been lacking. It is interesting how many have done by email and electronic delivery. While this may be the way private business works in Wichita, KS, it is not the way tax supported public universities operate.
I have no doubt that the ESU President and administration will say that the steps have been necessary to move ESU forward into the future. Perhaps that is so and perhaps it is not. So far, outside of the Board of Regents, public boards and university association investigations have said ESU has errored. Time will tell.
I find it interesting that not one of the other Kansas Regents universities have taken the path that ESU has done in such a short time period even though they had the option to do so. Why is this? Why is ESU different?
I have provided contributions each year to ESU for going on 15 or more years. I have made the decision to discontinue this practice until the jury rules on what is going at ESU.
Tenure: We are talking about the constitutional right to freedom of speech. That is what tenure is all about. Without the guarantee of tenure any institution of learning ignores tenure at their peril! Iin what appears to be a deliberately unethical and malicious act 30 tenured and tenure-track professors were fired. Without hearings, without input, without the slightest regard for their well-being or future: Isn't a university supposed to teach ethics by example if nothing else? Every academic discipline involves ethics --in the classroom as well as in the world.
Tenure is earned not some title someone thought up. Hard work, extensive research, publication., acknowledgement of peers -- all must be there to gain tenure.
But, tenure is there (or was there) to protect the students as well as the tenured and tenure-track staff. Tenure is the ONLY guarantee that a student has that their instructor is well-versed in what they are teaching, and will work with them to gain proficiency, And --most important -- is never subject to the interference or "guidance" -- personal, political, monetary, or academic control of the university staff or anyone else up the chain including the state level.
We are talking about the constitutional right to freedom of speech. Why is it that some administrator can just throw that out the window without explanation or due process of law?
I literally, grew up on this campus when it was KSTC. In the Laboratory School.
I loved the campus and the students and the many professors who took the time to teach us K-8 (in my case) something new.
Potential students -- parents, take note. There is much good about ESU but with no apparent ethical foundation on the part of administration -- do you really want to spend the money here when there are many other -- possibly better - alternatives?
I say that with sorrow and the wish that ESU's current administrators will do whatever they can to restore those most damaged.
Well let’s burn 🔥 it down ,, is that what your saying ,,, well I’m sure your 25 dollars will be missed ,,, revenge is so ugly when spoken by vengeful people .
No one wants to burn anything down. But unfortunately, money speaks and cutting donations off is just another form of protest. Not vengeance -- justice, perhaps?
I am very sad about what happened to ESU this year. In my family three of us graduated from ESU. I will not be donating to ESU. I would encourage you all to read the April 29 on-line edition of The Bulletin. Read the article by Jami Morain. It's entitled Emporia State claims to prioritize students. So why do I feel so abandoned? She had to witness and report on 33 faculty members being fired and her program being cut. I found these 2 paragraphs especially sad: "So I ask you ESU admin, how is this 'students, students, students?' Because I feel alone, I feel burnt out, I feel devastated about the amount of heat The Bulletin has received and how my coworkers were treated during this time. WE ARE STUDENTS. WE ARE YOUR STUDENTS. We came here to learn and you can't even give us an interview to explain what's going on, the same way you couldn't explain to the professors why they were specifically chosen to be fired, with or without tenure. They were YOUR faculty and you couldn't even give them the respect of knowing why they were the ones being forced to leave after years of service to you." What an insightful article.
Thanks for this letter, Brian. I too have stopped making my yearly contribution to ESU. I wonder how many other alumni have done the same?
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