WATCHING ADAMS COMMENTARY – 8/21/17
The Higher Learning Commission has called for all Adams State University stakeholders – not just employees and students but also the broader Alamosa community – to make submissions about ASU’s performance.
No doubt HLC will ask itself a simple question: Even if ASU retains accreditation, with its current administrative dysfunction and the board’s decade-long reluctance to demand better performance (problems exacerbated by high turnover), does ASU have the human capabilities within to survive? Does it have a viable future? Does it deserve a second shot?
The answer is a resounding YES! In fact, it can prosper. BUT only if the talent that is currently submerged by fear is allowed to flourish. We have to prove to the HLC that we do have the talent within to raise ASU from the ashes.
ADAMS STATE’S FAILED LEADERSHIP NEEDS CHANGING
This, of course, was instigated after an investigation into corrupt practices within Extended Studies. The HLC is also concerned about many other aspects of ASU’s performance that call into question ASU’s future viability; it has received the Chronology of Decline.
If the HLC revokes ASU’s accreditation, the most likely consequence is that ASU will close its doors, though some are hopeful that another university might step in and turn it into a satellite campus. Even with this latter scenario, we can expect its programs cut back to bare bones resulting in a massive loss of jobs, devastating the local economy.
The most unfortunate results of President McClure’s repressive style of leadership is that employees with good ideas have either departed for more successful universities, or have simply reverted to survival mode, keeping their heads down and their good ideas to themselves. Some have been constructively dismissed and others have been straight-out fired for disagreeing with President McClure’s methods.
The flight of employees this year has been unprecedented, with at least 47 people moving on for greener fields.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
We implore the people of the San Luis Valley to tender submissions to the HLC that reveal all the great ideas we have had but which have been sat on for years by a few fearful incompetent administrators. Instead of simply criticizing ASU’s performance (HLC already knows the problems), make yours a declaration of innovation. Dust off those good ideas, the grand schemes and the modest improvements, the big-sky thinking and the administrative adjustments that would make the university run more smoothly.
What ideas do you think would improve enrollment? Retention rates for students and employees? Graduation rates? Any thoughts on how we improve alliances with alumni? Or about how we improve ASU’s reputation? Or about how we can attract more students from out of state? Or how to raise money for a better gym? Or how to get better child care facilities for our young student-parents?
We have heard ideas addressing all of these issues, all from our own employees, but they have never seen the light of day. Now is our chance to prove that we have the capacity to create an ‘SLV Spring’ in which ASU grows and becomes an academic institution to which students and staff would want to flock.
– Don’t complain! Tell HLC how we can fix ASU.
– This is an opportunity to showcase our talents.
YOUR IDENTITY CAN REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL
When filling out the online form, just choose “Yes” when asked “Would you like HLC to remove your identifying information before sharing your comment with the evaluation team and institution?”
And as always, you may also share your feedback anonymously with Watching Adams by submitting it as a comment.