Reader comments submitted to Watching Adams will be shared anonymously here.
Looking for older comments? An archival of reader comments is preserved here.
PRESS: ASU financials cause concern – Valley Courier, 10/21/17
October 22, 2017 at 6:44pm Whether they are faculty, staff, or administration, offing some employees so the remaining ones receive higher salaries is a disaster for morale and institutional cohesion. Think about it: people no longer want to work together for mutual success and shared rewards but instead compete to make others look bad so they will be fired and the remaining employees take home a part of their fallen co-worker's paycheck. What could possibly go wrong? This is corporate cannibalism and just the kind of “leadership” a shill like McClure would introduce. Sounds like the Adams State Hunger Games to me! May the odds be ever in your favor.
October 22, 2017 at 6:25pm From the Courier article: "If the plan means faculty are let go then the remaining employees could theoretically receive a higher salary. 'This is one of the top priorities of this reallocation plan,' said McClure." McClure mentions letting go of faculty first? Is she out of her tiny little mind? Why does she think students come here, to see her? She should quit and take Novotny, Rogers, Crowther, and most of the athletics program with her. That would be a significant cost savings and no students would miss any of them.
October 22, 2017 at 1:15pm Larry Mortensen and his “great leadership” of his highly successful athletic department will be coming to an end this year due to his self announced retirement. His teams compete to hopefully reach “the playoffs” which in reality they are talking about the RMAC playoffs for many sports. Is this how high the bar is set for success in his athletic department? Or is it simply an enrollment quota for participant sports? The is not how ASC competed in the past, on and off the field. The ASC historic Wrestling program is at an all time low with zero accountability. Football is getting embarrassed constantly. Women’s Basketball is sad at best. Most teams strive to reach the coveted RMAC playoffs. Seriously? Thank God the dynasty that Coach Vigil built is on auto pilot still with strong coaching and scholarship funding. Svaldi gave Mortensen a $30,000 per year pay raise before his retirement. For what? For a padded false 3-4 year average to raise retirement income per PERA calculation methods. Mortensen knew this. He truly is a deceptive person. Mortensen deserves to be on this list and an AD to be remembered for his failures, not a few successes that were in place before he arrived.
October 22, 2017 at 11:46am I am wondering why there is a need for a "Director of Clery compliance"? In the DOE audit, there were issues with Clery compliance specifically called out. This was pointed out in McClure's letter to campus about the DOE findings. Considering many other, much larger institutions, do not staff a position like this, is this just another case of fluff at ASU? I am pretty sure that up until a couple years ago that position did not even exist at ASU. Was ASU ever called out on Cleary issues before?
October 22, 2017 at 8:29am @ October 21, 2017 at 4:28pm - Please do not forget Armando Valdez.
October 22, 2017 at 6:18am Re: the academic identity survey. If I had a dollar for every time a survey like this was sent out, I'd be rich. These surveys are sent out by our leaders under the pretense of gathering input but it's really to get others to do their job! Are we really going to base our optimal enrollment numbers off of an alum or community members perception of what they think is an optimal number? What are the trends, folks? What are best practices being developed all over the country? What are you getting paid to do?!
October 21, 2017 at 9:45pm I came across this comic from 2005 and it reminded me too much of Adams State not to share it here...
October 21, 2017 at 4:28pm Right-sizing the institution, huh? Allow me to make the following recommendations based on incompetence, culpability or both: Beverlee McClure Frank Novotny Ellen Novotny Ed Crowther Margaret Doell Elizabeth Thomas Hensley Tracy Rogers Karla Hardesty Kurt Cary Ana Guevara Larry Mortensen Dianne Lee Anthony Romero Judy Phillips Ken Marquez Lori Laske Gaylene Horning Richard Loosbrock Lisa Marie Centeno Elaine Trujillo Wenta Zena Buser Sammie Thomas Trabert Mark Schoenecker Julie Waechter Michael Henderson Berna Hostetter Aaron Miltenberger Lisa Clements Beneranda Chacon I'm sure there are others deserving of the unemployment line, but this would be a good start.
October 21, 2017 at 2:41pm So Bev stated we need to find new revenue streams. Isn't that why the stupid drunk was hired? Wasn't she hired to lobby and do fundraising? Oh yeah, she's been too busy dismantling our institution, firing competent people, and ensuring a Balkanized campus. Seems like Danny was speaking truth to power all along. But the power (the board) was too arrogant and up Bev's skirt to listen. And yes, we will "right size". Great plan, dozens of hardworking people, who truly care about this institution will be in the unemployment line. And our leader probably won't even know their names. Nice work Bev! You earned that evaluation and quarter of a million dollar salary.
October 21, 2017 at 11:36am Welp, even the Valley Courier is sounding the alarms about ASU’s poor finances, low enrollment, and high turnover. This reads like an article from Watching Adams over the last two years!
October 20, 2017 at 7:46am Again, where is the Board of Trustees? They remain silent, presumably transfixed by McClure's stunning "performance". Why doesn't the BoT make a public announcement about what it intends to do to save ASU? Or don't they have any idea?
October 20, 2017 at 7:11am If well-known, well-liked figures of other universities like Joe Paterno, Rick Pitino, etc. can get caught, be held accountable and suffer the consequences then why not the repeat offenders of ASU?
October 19, 2017 at 11:11pm Looking at these enrollment trends, we should just tell HLC to never mind and throw ourselves at the mercy of the state. Any of the systems, including the community college one, would be a lifesaver. Nice work Bev. Enrollment has dropped since you took the helm by a number larger than you indicated we needed to grow to make guaranteed tuition work. You truly don't know ANYTHING about higher education. AND, you've gotten rid of anyone who does and surrounded yourself with idiots dumber than you! Time to brush up the CV--as if we could be that lucky now. Holy sh*t!
October 16, 2017 at 10:28pm So what do people think about this ASU Academic Identity Survey? Is it the pretext for starting to cut programs and departments? A meaningless showpiece to pretend to care about public input? An administration completely out of ideas?
October 16, 2017 at 12:40pm What a great comment, Danny. I don't know how you were able to describe ASU so succinctly, but it's dead on!
October 12, 2017 at 8:55pm I have submitted my comment to the HLC. I saw no point in having my information remain confidential, though I understand why others might. It was challenging to condense my observations to under 250 words, but here's what I wrote: As a faculty member at Adams State University between 2011-2015, I found many of the institution's structures to be highly dysfunctional. Worse still, a hostile campus culture protects various types of corruption, fraud and ineptitude from meaningful internal reform. I joined multiple committees to address issues of salary inequality, lack of shared governance, deliberate lapses of academic integrity, violations of labor law and handbook codes, and low campus morale. Many employees on these committees subsequently encountered retaliation up to and including termination, workplace hostility to the point of attrition or constructive dismissal. In the years since, I have published WatchingAdams.org – an accountability website with over 100 news and commentary articles, public documents, external press, podcast interviews, and reader comments regarding Adams State. With the assistance of current and former employees, the site highlights various institutional problems primarily rooted in the policies and practices of the ASU administration. The institution's response was to ban me from campus without due process for false allegations of “campus safety”, culminating in the university being sued by the ACLU. The university settled out of court, paying $100,000 and lifting the campus ban. Multiple settlements with other former ASU employees have occurred before and since. After conducting dozens of anonymous and on-record interviews, I have concluded that the nature of ASU's problems are deeply entrenched and not merely regulatory or compliance issues. High employee turnover, declining student enrollment, and a retaliatory work environment warrant serious and sustained intervention to repair a fundamentally broken university. - Danny Ledonne
October 12, 2017 at 5:49pm Most of the people at One Stop need to work out of Richardson Hall anyway. It's not efficient for the department when the supervisor has to walk all the way across campus multiple times a day to check on things. Use the Community Outreach building to house people like Ken Marquez, Karla Hardesty, Margo & Mark and send the back part of One Stop to the 2nd floor of Richardson Hall. That should make things more efficient and improve accountability in that department.
October 12, 2017 at 4:32pm From the Valley Courier: Carpio is History Colorado philanthropy officer "The Community Museum Division of History Colorado recently added a new philanthropy officer as part of the recent expansion of Community Museum programming and services. Eric Carpio joins History Colorado as philanthropy officer for Community Museums. He brings with him more than 20 years higher education experience, most recently as Assistant Vice President of Student Services at Adams State University in Alamosa. At Adams State, Carpio and his team received more than $2.5 million dollars in different grants for several different programs. In his new position, he will design and implement fundraising strategies across the state to support Community Museum initiatives."
October 12, 2017 at 10:45am @9:18pm: One Stop is just as grueling. Come and go as you please and answer only to self. How can one be of service to the students when the office door is always closed even when they do decide to show up?
October 11, 2017 at 9:18pm Admissions is the place to be for those who want to collect a check. If streaming Netflix, ESPN or Fox News sounds like a rough day at the office, they have it the worst. I can't understand why enrollment is down!
October 10, 2017 at 6:40pm All comments to the HLC regarding ASU's accreditation are due by this Friday. The form asks, "Would you like HLC to remove your identifying information before sharing your comment with the evaluation team and institution?" and you may choose "Yes". If you have anything to say about ASU to its accreditor, this is the time to do so.
October 9, 2017 at 10:18am I think the comment about bumping rights is incorrect. The "talent agenda" part of HB 12-1321 eliminates bumping for all state employees except those within five years of retirement. Is this not the case?
October 8, 2017 at 2:43pm Classified will have bumping rights for those with seniority. Classified employees with less than 5 years will be let go. Exempt employment will be let go as they are at will. Classified employees who will retire in the next year won’t be paid out for early retirement.
October 7, 2017 at 4:01pm Does anyone know if there is a plan B in the event Adams does lose its accreditation? What will happen to classified and exempt employees?
October 7, 2017 at 3:27pm "The duty of citizens in a democracy is to be skeptical -- not to worship our leaders, who have always been fallible, but to question their decisions, challenge their policies, and hold them accountable for their failures." Ken Burns & Lynn Novick Same should be true regarding the duties of University employees.
October 6, 2017 at 9:43pm Is anyone really surprised by the Board's evaluation of McClure? This strikes me as precisely the kind of review that a lackadaisical, out of touch, asleep at the wheel board might give of a divisive, unhinged, vindictive president.
October 6, 2017 at 9:20pm "People skills exemplary with those not working under her." ...Wow, lots to unpack with this criticism tucked into a positive wrapper. I'm sorry, but this just cannot be the true or complete evaluation. Comments are far too sparse and generic and pointless for a position of this importance.
October 6, 2017 at 4:40pm What any wise, dedicated employee should do when receiving their evaluation is to start with the lowest numbers because they point to where they need to improve. * "Works effectively to maintain high morale among subordinates and between herself, her staff, and others within the University. = 3.1" I've heard so many people say morale at ASU has never been lower. * "Based upon the President's leadership, faculty and staff have confidence in the future of the institution. = 3.25" The Board pegged this one, but should have given her a 2.0. None of us have confidence we'll still be open next year or the year after. * "The President's leadership has a positive influence on employee morale and performance. = 3.25" Her influence is most definitely negative overall. She has created a divided campus which is becoming less divided as people realize just how bad she is. Sounds like Trump. * "The President is effective in resolving significant problems. = 3.37" Hahahahaha! Look at how she dealt with Ledonne, HLC, enrollment, etc. * "Reacts too quickly without thought at times." Understatement to be sure. * "Looks at problems with clarity, logic, and coolness, and makes decisions based on facts. = 3.4" Yeah, not so much. Coolness? Hardly. Board suggests faculty may be able to assess some of these more accurately. I should say so. The Board picked up on many disturbing shortcomings, but they definitely did not realize or care to admit just how bad these things really are. McClure is no leader. She isn't and never was presidential material. The sooner she goes, the better ASU will be.
October 5, 2017 at 11:54pm President evaluation is a bunch of horse crap! I work at ASU and she has yet to speak or acknowledge me. She’s an arrogant arse! What’s it going to take for others to see her true colors? Get her the hell out of here!
October 5, 2017 at 8:13pm Evaluations completed at Adams State are unprofessional done by unprofessional people or those placed in “puppet power” (Board members) and acknowledged by those they evaluate (McClure) as being of high esteem, character, and servitude. In Arnold Toynbee’s writings Theory of Civilizations, he argues that the breakdown of civilizations begins from decay within by the actions of the dominant minority that forces the majority to obey without meriting obedience. The Dominant Minority then forms a “Universal State” which stifles political creativity. This process leads to the fall of civilizations. History shows this time and time again. Just some thought and parallel to the Rise and Fall of Adams State.
October 5, 2017 at 1:06am I'm not sure what to make of McClure's evaluation. Has the board truly lost touch? Or are they giving her an "out"? Let's review. On a 5 point scale--with 5 being the highest mark, below are her overall marks on each dimension and my thoughts related to each. Commitment to Institutional/System Mission = 4.7 (A-): Ok, perhaps she is committed to institutional mission. How has she proven that through her actions in the past 2 years of her tenure? Part of our mission is that of an HSI...has anyone counted, lately, how many Hispanic employees she has either fired or run off? Leadership Ability = 3.9 (B+): Seriously? McClure couldn't lead her way out of a paper bag. Other than a handful (literally 4-5 individuals) believe in her leadership. The rest of us are waiting with baited breath for her to leave. She is NOT able to "resolve significant problems" any more than she "has a positive influence on employee morale and performance". I could go on, but, space is limited. Management Effectiveness = 4.0 (B): She displays none of these characteristics. Let's just talk about "appropriate judgment in the appointment and retention of senior institutional personnel". From Margo to Kurt to Karla to Scott to Liz, her "administration" is full of incompetent buffoons! And, the most competent can't wait to get the hell out. Fiscal Management = 4.2 (A-/B+): Seriously? BUDGET CRISIS! Need we say more? Daily Decision Making/Problem Solving = 3.9 (B+): "Identifies problem areas before they escalate into crisis". Well, the majority of us know she is the crisis. And we know she loves to escalate things. Human Relations/Communications Skills = 4.5 (A-): HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Fundraising = 4.15 (A-/B+): How much has she brought in over the last two years? Academic Quality/Accountability = 4.7 (A-): Three letters: HLC What a bunch of bullshit!
October 4, 2017 at 3:59pm: ---- Editor's Note: We have received and published President McClure's 2017 evaluations.
October 2, 2017 at 2:36pm: New email that came out 10/2/17: Office of the President Dear Campus Community: Last week two staff members from the Department of Education were on campus conducting a Program Review of Adams State University. The team met with a number of Adams State University staff and among other things they reviewed student files associated with Federal Financial Aid, conducted an analysis of our compliance with the Clery Act, and explored some distance education courses. On Thursday evening the DoE site review team provided an exit interview with the Administration during which they described a handful of findings as well as outlining next steps in the process and the time frame until the final report is complete. Some issues flagged for attention by ASU included a couple of items under Clery; a policy for how many semesters of developmental education any given student can complete; evaluation of our procedures related to conditionally admitted students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; and an institutional policy for how we make referrals to the Office of the Inspector General. The Department of Education will complete a preliminary program review report in 60-75 days (end of November or early December). Adams State University will have 30-60 days to respond to this preliminary report and the Department of Education will then issue their final report some 90 days later. I will keep the campus community informed as we receive more information and as results from the Program Review become available. Thank you. Sincerely, President McClure
October 1, 2017 at 12:18pm I didn’t realize there was an administrative person in the athletic department (a bit of sarcasm). Dianne Lee is hardly ever in the office. She’s either out taking care of her grown up kids, out to conferences, sitting at games, golfing with Margo and our glorious President McClure. She’s one of the President minions kissing ass and making a huge salary. Have you noted her title? Dianne Lee, Associate Athletic Director/Senior Women Administrator. No college degree nor does she represent any of our students' demographics and she’s as rude as she comes just like her President! If I was not a single parent, relying on my income and insurance for my young children, I’d be gone. I work three jobs to keep afloat. I have a masters degree and I’m still one of the lowest paid employees. People like Dianne Lee infuriate me to no end. There is no transparency, no equity or equality. It’s just a big black dark deep hole. It won’t get better, HLC will dismiss the probation, jobs will be cut (including mine), continue to be in debt. It’s her way or the Highway. And Crowther, Novotny, Nehring, McClure, Doell, Hardesty will continue to reign and look down us with smirks and arrogance because they won the fight! People will continue to resign... and we’ll be back in the same situation in 4 years. It’s a damned cycle. Signed, Feeling Hopeless and Beaten
Looking for older comments? An archival of reader comments is preserved here.