News

NewsThis page provides ongoing coverage of critical news and information about Adams State University, a public institution of higher education in southern Colorado.


NOVEMBER 28, 2016

Adams State Nursing Exam Pass Rate Drops to 40.7% – A Record Low for Colorado

The Adams State University (ASU) Nursing program appears to be on life support. For four years, ASU has struggled to improve the pass rate of its nursing students on the state exam. Thus far in 2016, only 40.74% of the ASU Nursing program’s 27 students have passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). This is the lowest pass rate ever recorded of 165 classes for Colorado nursing programs since 2000. The previous record for the lowest NCLEX pass rate in Colorado was also from ASU in 2013, with 50% of 18 students passing. Without passing this exam, graduates are prohibited from working as nurses.  READ MORE…


Watching Adams reaches 125,000 page views:

wa125k


NOVEMBER 21, 2016

President McClure Attempts to Justify Salazar Ranch Payment

In response to Watching Adams publishing ASU Paid Its Own Board Chair Over $12,000 for Conference Services, Adams State University (ASU) President Beverlee McClure issued a memo on October 24th to the Board of Trustees defending the university’s decision to use the property of Board Chair Arnold Salazar for university functions and to pay for these services using the university’s Title V grant funding. READ MORE…


NOVEMBER 7, 2016

Valley Courier Refused to Publish Critical Op-Ed, Other Publications Did

On Friday, October 28th, former Adams State University (ASU faculty) and lifelong Alamosa community member Danny Ledonne submitted an op-ed to the Valley Courier entitled “Field Notes from the Valley of Fear,” now published on Watching Adams. Within a few hours, Valley Courier publisher Keith Cerny replied directly to Ledonne, refusing to run the editorial.  READ MORE…


OCTOBER 24, 2016

ASU Paid Its Own Board Chair Over $12,000 for Conference Services

Adams State University (ASU) recently held a campus equity retreat on the property of Board of Trustees Chair Arnold Salazar and paid his private company $12,700 to do so. In a signed agreement between Salazar and ASU Vice President of Administration and Finance Kurt Cary, ASU agreed to pay for the use of Salazar’s Jack Farms Event Center (doing business as La Manzanilla Farm).  READ MORE…


OCTOBER 17, 2016

Despite Guaranteed Tuition, ASU Enrollment Continues to Decline

After a month-long bureaucratic delay from Adams State University (ASU) Human Resources, Watching Adams obtained the university’s fall 2016 undergraduate enrollment statistics from their census date, September 7th, 2016. In comparison to fall 2015, total undergraduate enrollment at ASU has dropped by 60 students to 1861 students, a 3.1% decline from the 1921 students previously on campus. READ MORE…


SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

Watching Adams reaches 100,000 page views:

wa-100k

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

External Audit Finds Major Problems, Recommends Shutting Down ASU Extended Studies

A recent investigation found the Adams State University (ASU) Extended Studies program to be “largely dysfunctional” with “very serious deficiencies” and “a culture of questionable academic practice that appears to have been in place for many years.” The report, conducted between August 8-11th, 2016 by Dr. David Mathieu found major academic compliance problems and organizational failures at many levels as well as “often greater interest in remuneration rather than quality teaching and the maintenance of academic standards among many of the faculty teaching online courses.” It describes faculty members personally enriching themselves in excess of $150,000 annually for many years in a row while overlooking major aspects of academic integrity. The investigation also found ASU awarding many interdisciplinary studies degrees in areas which ASU does not offer coursework. The report, recently published on the ASU website, concluded by recommending that the Office of Extended Studies (OES) be closed down entirely and replaced with an Office of Continuing Education.  READ MORE…


ASU Faculty Senate Raises Pay Inequities with President McClure

After years of compensation committee work and salary comparisons with other universities, Adams State University (ASU) Faculty Senate has submitted a letter of concern to President McClure regarding several persisting faculty salary issues. This letter was presented to the Board of Trustees at their August 25-26th meeting.

The main problems identified in the two page document are significant ongoing pay disparities between faculty making less than 80% of their peers at other institutions and administration/athletics positions at over 100% of their peers at other institutions and also the practice of former administrators returning to faculty at 90% of their administrative salaries. Faculty Senate concludes that these requests are in the interest of retention and long term stability.  READ MORE…


AUGUST 22, 2016

At Least 17 Faculty Departed ASU in 2015-2016

While high employee turnover has been a significant challenge for Adams State University (ASU) in the past, the 2015-2016 academic year saw an unprecedented number of faculty members leave the institution. Along with the predictable retirement of one and the unexpected loss of another, ASU lost at least 17 full time professors or instructors this past year. ASU is estimated to have around 96 full time faculty members, so this latest round of faculty departures represents about 18% of all full time faculty. READ MORE…


ASU Nursing Program has the 2nd Lowest Exam Pass Rates in Colorado

According to data on pass rates for the Colorado nursing exam, Adams State University (ASU) is the second-lowest performing nursing school in the state. With an average pass rate of 68.3% between the years 2012 and 2015, Adams State University ranks behind all other schools in Colorado other than the University of Phoenix, with an average pass rate of 64.2%. READ MORE…


Guaranteed Tuition is a Guaranteed Fraction of a Student’s Bill

Now that Adams State University (ASU) is implementing its Guaranteed Tuition policy, we decided to look  at how these numbers actually affect a student’s overall bill. While Guaranteed Tuition has been marketed “to help make the costs of a college education more predictable for undergraduate students and their families,” our analysis concluded that this policy only controls about one third of the total cost for an on-campus student to attend ASU. READ MORE…


ASU Performance Review Could Chill Free Speech

The revised Adams State University (ASU) Exempt Employee Performance Review includes numerous “behavior examples” that function as speech codes in the workplace. There are many obvious criteria that would strike one as reasonable, however there are directives that some ASU employees characterize as pernicious intrusions on individual speech and could chill free expression. Given ASU’s purported commitment to “robust academic discourse,” these restrictions on free expression call into question the conflict between employee conduct and academic freedom. READ MORE…


AUGUST 18, 2016

ASU Police Chief Paul Grohowski Resigns

An email sent to all faculty and staff today confirmed that Adams State University (ASU) Police Chief Paul Grohowski resigned.  Grohowski began serving with ASU PD in the spring of 2015.  ASU has named Interim Chief Derouin-Greene to serve in this position.  Grohowski’s resignation had long been anticipated by many in the Alamosa community as his house was for sale and many sources confirmed that Grohowski felt the Alamosa area was not a good fit.

In addition to several illegal drug seizures and arrests as well as a fleet upgrade, Grohowski was notable at ASU for serving former faculty member Danny Ledonne a No Trespass Order and later writing an open letter explaining why Ledonne was banned from campus, repeatedly invoking high profile school shootings such as Columbine and Sandy Hook in his explanations to the campus – verbally and in writing.  In campus meetings on this topic, Grohowski never denied the existence of a “police watch list” naming Ledonne, as repeatedly claimed by ASU President Beverlee McClure.  No such police watch list exists.

At this time, speculation still circulates as to whether Grohowski was designated as the “fall guy” for the lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of Ledonne, later resulting in a settlement for $100,000 to Ledonne and having the campus ban lifted.  Watching Adams will continue to follow this story.


AUGUST 9, 2016

ASU issues statement regarding employees on administrative leave

ASU has released a statement addressing the three employees placed on administrative leave.  Details about these actions are located in the sixth paragraph of the article:

Three employees of the university have been placed on administrative leave with pay for a one-week period while the audit is conducted. Their salaries and benefits are not impacted, and this action does not presuppose any wrongdoing on the part of these employees. The institution is committed to a thorough and independent audit, and must, therefore, remove any possible appearance of influencing the outcome, both for the protection of the university and these employees. They remain in good standing with the university, and their names are not being released by the university to protect their privacy. The university waited to issue this statement until the last of the third employees had been notified.   – Adams State University, 8/9/16

One Watching Adams commentator described the statement as: “a masterpiece of PR puffery. Paragraphs of boilerplate up front, then the real news – that three senior people have been suspended – is buried half way down. Lots of bullshit about their suspension not really meaning anything about their performance to date.  Then, as if you haven’t had enough of platitudes, another dose of fluff and bumphery.  How can the Valley Courier call itself a newspaper of record? It’s an organ of the establishment, apologists for the elite.”


AUGUST 8, 2016

Two ASU Extended Studies employees, former ASU Vice President placed on administrative leave

Multiple sources within Adams State University have now confirmed that former Vice President of Academic Affairs Frank Novotny, Assistant Vice President of Extended Studies-Academics Walter Roybal, and Assistant Vice President for Extended Studies-Operations Judy Phillips were placed on administrative leave this morning.

In 2014, the Chronicle for Higher Education broke the story, “Confessions of a Fixer” about the lax security verification of Adams State University’s Extended Studies program.  In 2015, this triggered an investigation by the university’s accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission.  In 2016, the HLC determined that Adams State University was out of compliance with Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components, placing ASU on a two year academic probation.  ASU President Beverlee McClure strongly contested these actions in her response letter and more recently in a petition letter.

Watching Adams will continue to follow this story as it develops.


JULY 25, 2016

ACLU Wins $100K Settlement for Ledonne

Adams State University has agreed to rescind a “No Trespass Order” banning Danny Ledonne, a former professor who publicly criticized administration practices, from its Alamosa, CO campus and to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Colorado based on claims that the university violated Ledonne’s free speech and due process rights. READ MORE…


Watching Adams reaches 75,000 page views:

WA75k


MAY 9, 2016

ASU Audits Reveal Deteriorating Financial Conditions

A recent 2014-2015 financial compliance audit of Adams State University (ASU) has triggered a broader performance audit by the Colorado Office of the State Auditor. After the accounting firm Wall, Smith, & Bateman (WSB) concluded that the university has suffered four years of consecutive operating losses, the State Auditor has now issued a request for proposals (RFP) to more fully review the performance of ASU. READ MORE…


Double Department Chair also Incoming Faculty Senate President

On Monday, March 28th 2016, the Adams State University (ASU) Faculty Senate convened to elect the next Faculty Senate President (FSP), a three year term according to the Senate Constitution. Running unopposed, Dr. Ed Crowther secured the nomination for FSP, while also serving as Department Chair for History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Political Science, Spanish (HAPPSS) and also Department Chair for Teacher Education. This has caused some to question the apparent conflict of interest and consolidation of influence in shared governance. READ MORE…


ASU Athletics Struggles to Recruit with Fewer Scholarships

In addition to the declining enrollment at Adams State University (ASU) in 2015-2016, the athletics program is struggling to attract new recruits for the 2016-2017 academic year due to a lack of academic scholarships. This is because ASU is attempting to attract athletes already offered academic scholarships at other universities, supplementing the athletic scholarships offered at both schools. READ MORE…


“Threats to Shared Governance” Languishes in Faculty Senate

As a matter of concern, the Faculty Senate for years has been discussing an agenda item called “Threats to Shared Governance.” Watching Adams reported on this in November 2015 with Faculty Senate Challenges Threats to Shared Governance. However, this issue appears to have languished in the Faculty Senate. READ MORE…


Proposed ASU Logo Change Emphasizes Athletics

As part of ongoing efforts to re-brand and market Adams State University (ASU), the Executive Council is considering changing the official Adams State logo from the green mountain range to the grizzly paw, such as the current logo for the ASU Grizzlies, the official mascot for ASU Athletics. READ MORE…


APRIL 25, 2016

Adams State University Students Interviewed about Recent Campus Controversies

Watching Adams reached out to three undergraduate seniors at Adams State University (ASU) across multiple degree programs to interview them about the Higher Learning Commission’s recent sanction of Adams State University, the Standing Strong for Adams State parade, and other recent controversies on campus. READ MORE…


Reactions to Dr. McClure’s Video Message Regarding Probation Status

On April 14th, 2016, Adams State University (ASU) published a video by President Beverlee McClure in response to the recent sanction of ASU by its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC placed ASU on academic probation in February 2016 after finding multiple compliance violations in the Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct of the university’s online coursework. READ MORE…


ASU Students Discuss Academic Probation on Yik Yak

Amidst the efforts for Adams State University (ASU) to address being placed on academic probation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), students on campus have taken to the regional social networking app Yik Yak to discuss their questions and concerns amongst one another. READ MORE…


ASU Conducts Food Insecurity Survey

On February 29th, Watching Adams published a commentary titled “Food Insecurity at Adams?” that discussed a recent practice by Adams State University (ASU) to block current students from using their cafeteria meal tickets until their tuition and fee payments have been made in full. On March 28th, Adams State University sent out a campus-wide email to a survey entitled “Feeding ASU” via the platform Survey Monkey. As of this publication, the survey can still be found online here. READ MORE…


Mass Communication Program Fading

Once with two full-time tenured faculty and one adjunct instructor from 2011-2013, Adam State University’s Mass Communication program is now being reduced to a single full-time faculty with a small course load taught by other English professors. The fall of 2016 will feature the fewest number of courses offered in Mass Communication since 2011. READ MORE…


AAUP Investigates Title IX Abuses on College Campuses

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has released the draft of an upcoming report titled, “The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX.” Written by a joint sub-committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the Committee on Women in the Academic Profession, the 2016 AAUP report finds “significant problems with the interpretation and enforcement of Title IX by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Education and by university administrators.” READ MORE…


MARCH 14, 2016

HLC Places ASU on Academic Probation

On Monday, March 7th, Adams State University (ASU) President Beverlee McClure emailed faculty and staff. She wrote, “as many of you are aware, Adams State University’s online courses in Extended Studies were mentioned in a December 30, 2014 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. That article led to a series of actions on the part of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). While all of our programs are still accredited, HLC has placed all of our academic programs on probation. We believe this action to be a far-reaching action in order to make a political statement.” READ MORE…


ASU Named as Campus with Threats to Free Speech, Individual Rights

A recent article in The Atlantic titled “The Glaring Evidence That Free Speech Is Threatened on Campus” lists Adams State University (ASU) as a campus on which individual rights are in danger. Citing policy data provided by The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), The Atlantic article describes nation-wide trends in academia that curtail the free exchange of ideas in favor of policies purportedly designed to ensure safety, civility, and curtailing offensive speech. READ MORE…


Other Universities Abandoned Guaranteed Tuition – Here’s Why

Though Adams State University (ASU) has touted itself as being the first in Colorado to offer Guaranteed Tuition, many other campuses have tried this program with lackluster results. While universities claim these programs may boost enrollment, retention and graduation, longitudinal data suggests otherwise. In addition, such programs have led to ballooning revenue shortages and other financial problems. Consequently, several universities have abandoned their guaranteed tuition programs. READ MORE…


Adams State University Faculty and Staff Form Campus AAUP Chapter

On Saturday, March 5th, a group of interested faculty and staff gathered in McDaniel Hall to learn about the work of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and how to found a campus chapter at Adams State University (ASU). AAUP’s mission is to advance academic freedom and shared governance, to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, to promote the economic security of faculty and academic professionals, and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good.  READ MORE…


ASU Administration Denies AS&F Resolution to Prioritize Library

As previously reported in AS&F Prioritizes ASU Library, the Associated Students and Faculty (AS&F) government unanimously passed a resolution on February 15th to prioritize funding for the Adams State University (ASU) Nielsen Library. Sources report that AS&F presented to the Executive Team on March 7th to bring the resolution before ASU upper administration. However, reports indicate that “there was no room in the budget for the position, for at least the next budgetary period.” READ MORE…


President McClure Cites 2008 as ASU Enrollment Target

In a presentation made by President Beverlee McClure at the February 29th Faculty Senate meeting at Adams State University (ASU), McClure described spring 2016 enrollment declines. For more on this, see ASU Enrollment in Decline. “What we are doing now is not working” McClure explained. She went on to discuss marketing plan initiatives such as Guaranteed Tuition in order to raise enrollment. She also made repeated mention of ASU’s 2008 fall semester enrollment as being the target for filling the budget shortfall. READ MORE…


Watching Adams reaches 50,000 page views:

WA-50k

 FEBRUARY 29, 2016

ASU Enrollment in Decline

Based on figures obtained through Quick Facts, an online database of student enrollment, annual enrollment at Adams State University (ASU) dropped by 78 students, or 4.4% from spring 2015 to spring 2016. The largest class drop was among ASU Seniors – from 531 to 466 students, 65 students or 12.2%. One source familiar with revenue at ASU stated, “every 2% drop is about a $1 million loss to the university.” This means ASU’s recent loss in enrollment has cost the university approximately $2.2 million. READ MORE…


AS&F Prioritizes ASU Library

On February 15th, the Associated Students and Faculty (AS&F) government at Adams State University (ASU) passed a resolution to prioritize funding for the ASU Nielsen Library. The resolution, which passed unanimously with a vote of 38-0, upholds that the library plays a central role in the academic success of ASU students. This resolution was drafted after Library Director Carol Smith had previously presented to AS&F on historically unprecedented short staffing and an increased demand on librarians leading to cutting library hours. READ MORE…


Anonymous Donor to ASU Athletics Travel

On February 25th, ASU’s News page reported that an anonymous donation for $5,060 was made at the February 24th ASU Foundation luncheon. The article goes on to encourage further donations to the ASU Foundation for “making a gift to assist student athletics with travel expenses.” The anonymous donation certainly invites speculation giving the timing of the Watching Adams article on ASU football travel ten days earlier.  READ MORE…


FEBRUARY 15, 2016

ASU Football Spent nearly $72,000 on Travel in Fall 2015

According to travel request documents obtained by Watching Adams, Adams State University (ASU) spent $64,861 on five away games for the ASU football team and an additional $7,122 on recruiting for ASU football, totaling $71,983.  READ MORE…


The Hiring Freeze is Now a Puddle

With the recent posting of 12 administrative position openings on the ASU Human Resources website, it is clear that the rumored “hiring freeze” has thawed into a puddle. From academic administration to finance and computing services to counseling services, ASU is hiring in many positions.  READ MORE…


 FEBRUARY 10, 2016

ACLU sues Adams State

On February 10th, 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed suit against Adams State University over the banning of former professor Danny Ledonne from the university campus.  READ MORE…


 FEBRUARY 1, 2016

Moody’s Downgrades ASU’s Credit Rating

On January 26th, the leading investment firm Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Adams State University’s (ASU) credit rating. Moody’s lowered ASU’s rating to A3 with an underlying rating of negative. Moody’s had previously revised ASU’s credit rating to outlook negative, A2 underlying in August 2014, citing “ongoing operating deficits and thin debt service coverage with limited ability to grow revenue and contain expenses.”  READ MORE…


Ledonne still banned from Adams State, guest speaker at Emerson College

Though Watching Adams publisher and former faculty member Danny Ledonne is still banned from Adams State University (ASU), he recently spoke as an invited guest at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts about his documentary “Playing Columbine” and issues of academic freedom and free speech. This event was part of Emerson’s Bright Lights film series with notable Emerson alumni. Ledonne earned his undergraduate degree in Visual Media Arts in 2004.  READ MORE…


 JANUARY 19, 2016

Guaranteed Tuition a Guaranteed Distraction

Many staff members affected stated that they were not asked for input prior to the announcement of this policy. One said, “had we been asked, ASU administration may have been able to perform a more thorough cost/benefit analysis to this proposed guaranteed tuition policy.”  This failure to be transparent and thoughtful to staff members is reminiscent of the proposed mandatory 15 credit hour policy in the spring of 2015 that was eventually rescinded by President Svaldi after overwhelming student, faculty, and staff opposition in the final weeks of the semester. READ MORE…


ASU Caught Up on Meeting Minutes

After Watching Adams filed a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request, Adams State University (ASU) has now updated its administrative meeting minutes from 2015. As reported in ASU Administration Behind the Times on Meeting Minutes, Executive Council has not posted meeting minutes since January 19, 2015 and President’s Cabinet had not posted meeting minutes since February 12, 2015. READ MORE…


ASU Lowest Graduation Rate Among Top 10 Affordable CO Schools

ASU ranked as having the lowest four year graduation rate among these ten schools, with a rate of 21%. The most affordable school, Colorado Heights University in Denver, graduated 59% of its students within four years.  READ MORE…


  DECEMBER 7, 2015 

Watching Adams reaches 25,000 page views:

WA-25K


 Ledonne Requests Allegations, ASU Provides Hearsay

As reported previously, Watching Adams publisher and former faculty Danny Ledonne responded to Adams State University (ASU) banning him from campus without due process on October 14th.  Beginning on October 23rd, Ledonne wrote to request that the “alleged behaviors” mentioned in President McClure’s letter banning him from campus be made known to him. Ledonne first wrote Assistant Attorney General Jessica Salazar, who informed him via phone on October 27th that the letter banning him from campus incorrectly identified her office for the appeal. Ledonne was re-directed to ASU interim Vice President Kurt Cary, to which Ledonne directed a series of letters requesting that the allegations be made known to him.  READ MORE…


Negotiations with ASU Broke Down Before They Began

During the week of November 16th – what would be the final correspondence concerning the appeals process proposed by Adams State University (ASU) upon banning Danny Ledonne from campus – at President McClure’s request, several concerned faculty repeatedly met with McClure and Interim Vice President Kurt Cary to explore a possible path to negotiate an amicable resolution.  READ MORE…


The Truth about the Colorado State Police Watchlist

McClure’s watchlist claim is damaging not only to Ledonne, but also to the public reputation of the Colorado State Police.  A sergeant and two captains were quick to respond to these allegations, one went as far as to visit campus in person to clarify the situation by speaking to an ASU faculty senator. Chief Grohowski accompanied the state patrolman. In that conversation, the officer made it extremely clear that a watchlist does not exist and went as far as to point out that such a list would be “irresponsible” and “illegal.” READ MORE…


 NOVEMBER 24, 2015 

The Myth of the Colorado State Police Watchlist

In an “emergency” Faculty Senate meeting on November 18th, President McClure made a variety of new claims including that Ledonne is on a “Colorado state police watchlist.” Watching Adams investigated this claim in a variety of ways and could not find a single member of law enforcement within the Colorado State Patrol, Alamosa Police Department, or Colorado Department of Public Safety who could confirm the existence of a “watch list” let alone Ledonne being named on such a list. READ MORE…


“Playing Columbine” Q&A with Danny Ledonne

Students for Action at Adams sponsored a screening of the documentary “Playing Columbine” at Adams State University after former faculty member Danny Ledonne was banned from campus over concerns for campus safety.  Ledonne was asked about why he was banned from campus, the threats to academic freedom and due process inherent to the proposed Persona Non Grata policy, and the need for students, faculty and staff at ASU to organize around common interests and concerns.  About 75 people were in attendance. READ MORE…


NOVEMBER 17, 2015 

President McClure emails Students, Student Responds

In anticipation of screening Playing Columbine at Adams State University, President McClure again repeated her assertions that Watching Adams publisher Danny Ledonne is a threat to campus safety and had to be banned from campus.  READ MORE…


 NOVEMBER 16, 2015 

“Playing Columbine” Screening at ASU

On Wednesday, November 18th, the Students for Action at Adams will be hosting a screening of the documentary “Playing Columbine” by Danny Ledonne.  This event is free and open to the public and will be held in McDaniel Hall room 101 on the Adams State University campus.  READ MORE…


NOVEMBER 10, 2015

Colorado AAUP Opposes ASU’s Treatment of Ledonne, PNG policy

The following letter was sent by the Co-Presidents of the Colorado Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) to Adams State University (ASU) President Beverlee McClure. The letter was sent on November 9th, 2015 in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding Watching Adams publisher Danny Ledonne being banned from the ASU campus. READ MORE…


Ledonne responds to the Board of Trustees and ASU Administration

Watching Adams publisher Danny Ledonne has issued a statement in response to the ongoing controversy surrounding being banned from the Adams State University (ASU) campus.  READ MORE…


 NOVEMBER 9, 2015

ASU Violates Employee Confidentiality Again… and Again…

One of the core foundations of institutional credibility is trust. When that trust is violated, not once but over and over, employees are right to develop a sense of skepticism. So when Adams State University (ASU) administration repeatedly violates employee privacy – and often with retaliatory motives – it is entirely justified for employees to lose trust in the institution’s commitment to their confidentiality. READ MORE…


Faculty Senate Challenges Threats to Shared Governance

The November 4th Adams State University (ASU) Faculty Senate meeting proved to be an important one with approximately a dozen members in the audience, one of the largest turn-outs of the year. And two themes certainly dominated the conversation, regardless of the agenda item: lack of shared governance and frustration from unilateral, sometimes unaccountable administrative action. READ MORE…


ASU Administration Behind the Times on Meeting Minutes

Administrative governing committees have been over nine months late on posting meeting minutes – and still counting. Executive Council has not posted meeting minutes since January 19, 2015 and President’s Cabinet has not posted meeting minutes since February 12, 2015. Why not? Who is responsible for posting these minutes and why haven’t they been held accountable for an ongoing dereliction of duties? READ MORE…


A Very Slushy Hiring Freeze

Often times, Adams State University (ASU) employees are told that a “hiring freeze” currently in effect prevents a position from being re-hired or is justification for denying the creation of a new position to serve a need the university might have. This is understandable, if only it were applied evenly. But too often, this “hiring freeze” is a very slushy policy in which certain positions will be re-hired while others are not. READ MORE…


ASU has a Social Media Problem

As with any organization, Adams State University (ASU) uses social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to promote itself. This is understandable, however social media can sometimes allow for some unvarnished honesty to make its way into the public discourse. This report chronicles a few notable examples of uncomfortable truths slipping out on social media despite an unwavering parade of manufactured cheer. READ MORE…


ASU HR Charging Taxpayers for Information… Twice

The request is for public information about the expenditure of public funds on students at a public university – which is paid for by state tax payers. Now ASU HR wants to charge the taxpayer twice – once to charge individual tax payers for information they have a right to see, and again for the “research and retrieval” of data that should already be readily-available. READ MORE…


OCTOBER 30, 2015

ASU Police Chief Emails Campus, Ledonne Responds

On October 28th, ASU Chief of Police Paul Grohowski sent an open letter addressed to the staff, faculty and students of Adams State University.  The only contents of the email were justification for banning Watching Adams publisher Danny Ledonne from campus (see McClure Bans Ledonne from Campus, Ledonne Responds).  Ledonne has published his response to this letter here.  READ MORE…


 OCTOBER 26, 2015

CUPA Data Reveals Longstanding Pay Inequities at Adams State

Faculty and staff all appreciated the lift in pay towards 72.5% of CUPA – which is the national peer group average of their position. What has raised eyebrows is that some staff already above this target received further boosts in pay. READ MORE…


President McClure is Misinformed on CUPA Evaluations

Why would President McClure email the campus with statements that are provably false? Does she believe something is true simply because the president says it is so? It is entirely likely that she is relaying the best information she believes she has available, which means that she is being misinformed by her sources. READ MORE…


McClure Bans Ledonne from Campus, Ledonne Responds

Watching Adams publisher Danny Ledonne issued a response to President McClure’s decree banning him from campus. Ledonne argued that there has been no due process, no citation of policy violation, the appeals process presents a fundamental conflict of interest in that the university’s own attorney is also serving as the appellate judge, and that the issuance of the proposed PNG policy as justification for the ban would be ex post facto. READ MORE…


ASU Throws Its Own People Down the Memory Hole

In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the citizens of Oceania are obligated to throw any information or ideas critical of Big Brother into a chute that leads to an incinerator – called “the Memory Hole.” For too long now, Adams State University (ASU) has been throwing its own people down the Memory Hole, as well. By not interviewing employees as they leave the institution, ASU is missing out on a vital opportunity for self-reflection and even self-correction. READ MORE…


An Act of God? Why Did Accessing Public CUPA Data Demand Your ID?

President McClure fails to explain why, of all the material stashed on the university’s website, it seems that only this public information requires ID for entry. Was it an accident? An act of God? Or was it a zealous administrator trying to track those who might be charged with the unforgivable act of “negativity?” Without an explanation, it is hard to not to remain at least a little skeptical. READ MORE…


 OCTOBER 12, 2015

ASU Sets Privacy Trap for Employees Wanting Public Information

Is it legal to insist employees relinquish their right to privacy in order to access public information? And even if it is, is it ethical given the institutional mission and values that ASU administration claims to uphold? READ MORE…


ASU HR Violates Colorado Open Records Act

When a student turns in a paper late, they will likely receive reduced credit – if the paper is accepted at all. Yet for Adams State University (ASU) Human Resources, a legal filing for public documents was delivered approximately 40 business days late.  READ MORE…


ASU Violates Colorado Wage Act Again… and Again…

Many adjunct instructors are receiving their first pay checks – the lucky ones, anyway. This delay in payment may violate the Colorado Wage Act, which stipulates that state employees must be paid within 10 days of their last defined 30-day pay period. READ MORE…



EDITORS NOTE:
Due to the nature of "small town politics" on the ASU campus and greater Alamosa community, we maintain a policy of not naming journalistic sources who may, as a result, face retribution in the workplace. While we recognize this poses challenges for journalistic integrity, we believe the sensitive nature of our work and often-expressed fears of employer retaliation merit the ongoing protection of our sources. Without being able to guarantee anonymity, it would be highly unlikely that many of our articles could be written. Thus, we believe a compelling public interest for information on a taxpayer-funded institution is of primary importance in our reporting. If you wish to raise a question or concern, you may contact us for further information.