More of the Same at UAS
By Robert D. Warner
November 14, 2005
It looks like more of the same
at University of Alaska Southeast. According to a recent
article published in the Juneau Empire, about 100 students at
the Juneau campus have signed a petition in support of a popular
English instructor who had not been retained. The petition
voiced concern about many good teachers that leave UAS after
speaking out on important issues facing the campus or
community. It asserts that there is too much apathy when
it comes to speaking out because of a "fear of retaliation."
Based on my years of experience at UAS, I agree with this petition.
I believe that unhealthy "fears of retaliation" dominate
UAS. There is little tolerance for differing
points of view. These conditions have very negative impacts
on educational programs at UAS. Why has this happened?
Since its controversial inception in 1987 as a replacement for
popular and successful community colleges, UAS has never held
a nation wide search to hire a Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, and
Provost. The current troika of administrators that rules
UAS was appointed without such a search. This
troika has little tolerance for freedom of expression essential
to successful universities in my opinion. It was
largely responsible for terminating many highly respected community
college faculty and classified staff on Ketchikan Campus between
1990 and 1997.
Students at UAS deserve better! The University's Board
of Regents needs to wake up! A nationwide search
is needed to hire new leadership. Until the Board makes
major changes at the top of the UAS administration, we can expect
more of the same. Without change, popular and outspoken
faculty will continue to be non retained or compelled to move
on to other institutions that appreciate free speech and differing
points of view.
Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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