WATCHING ADAMS COMMENTARY – 10/12/15
By now, many of you have already heard of or read the “Safety and Fairness at ASU: A Study” by Judge O. John Kuenhold. This report was requested by the Board of Trustees and then-President David Svaldi in the fall of 2014 in response to allegations that Adams State University (ASU) was compromising safety and ignoring equity issues across campus. The study was published in August 2015. Watching Adams has made this and related documents available on our website.
In order to obtain all the data and qualitative information within this report, Kuenhold was able to provide an objective, safe space for the Adams State University community to express their thoughts and experiences as they pertain to fairness and safety – something that the existing ASU campus culture and administrative substructure often does not provide for its campus.
While Watching Adams was not created in direct response to the Kuenhold report, it has provided inspiration and opportunity within a safe space for a similar brand of active discourse.
As such, the identity of Watching Adams sources are of the utmost importance and will remain confidential in all instances. Many people on campus are like-minded regarding not only the recommendations presented by Kuenhold but on so many campus issues.
However, because of fear of retaliation (real or imagined – the result is the same), many have not voiced their concerns publicly due to their belief that the university lacks a truly retaliation-free environment in which to do so. This elevated concern perpetuates a lack of “strength in numbers” and serves to maintain the problematic aspects of the status quo. Wherever these fears may stem from, it is clear that the “proper channels” and “professional avenues” for discourse and grievances at ASU have been exhausted and extinguished for too many by the current administration.
Watching Adams strives to make this publication a safe space to gather, as indeed many already have. Watching Adams is not just about “watching” Adams; it is about putting the institution’s top decision-makers on notice that their policies and procedures are being carefully scrutinized by the broader community. We believe ASU administration is paid to serve the Colorado public interest and not the other way around. We are taking action for Adams, taking action for administrative change, taking action on behalf of faculty and staff who feel they are without a voice, and thereby taking action in the interest of Adams State University’s students, employees, mission, and institutional legacy.