An archival of reader comments submitted to Watching Adams is stored here. The most recent comments are online here.
November 30, 2016 at 10:32pm Aaron Miltenberger is throwing a Trumpesque tantrum. He's made a mistake but instead of apologizing, he's beating up someone else for it. Apparently he has lodged a personal grievance complaint, not against one of his bosses, but against one of his own subordinates. Aaron had recently made an ass of himself by inviting people "who identify as white" to a meeting of like-minded people under the guise of "inclusive excellence", thereby outraging a swathe of staff and students. One of his own staff pointed out his email to others, but instead of saying, "Oops, I boobooed", or, "Sorry about that, I made a mistake", he's doubling down. He's not denying the contents. No. Instead, he's on a mission to whack a person who simply passed on his already-widely distributed email to others. A for Aaron, B for Bully, C for CIELO, D for..... DOH!!
November 30, 2016 at 7:36am Ben Waddell accepted a position in Nicaragua. Not sure who else.
November 30, 2016 at 6:37am When it comes to more employees leaving, as usual, there will be some quiet discussion, people find out through social media, passing comments in the hallways, or just the realization that someone else isn't around at the beginning of next semester. It has always been curious to me that there is such fanfare about new hires... but when people leave, it's like some private family dysfunction that nobody talks about - especially if they left because the culture at ASU is so hostile and repressive. Most people just want to move on and try not to think about what it was like at ASU.
November 29, 2016 at 5:58pm RE: November 28 10:15pm. Who is leaving now?
November 28, 2016 at 10:15pm It appears that more good employees are leaving Adams State soon. President McClure recently tried to assure the campus that it was a "safe space" but it certainly doesn't feel that way to many people who work there.
November 28, 2016 at 9:52am New ASU press release suggestion: "ASU Nursing Program in great position to improve, going nowhere but up!"
November 27, 2016 at 10:47pm Just because you make things seem like a secret doesn't mean they are, and just because you think your exposing people, you are not. ----Editor's Reply: This is actually a worthwhile distinction to be made. In a free society, there is a great amount of information that is hidden in plain sight - not because the data is necessarily secret but that it is never retrieved, made publicly available, distributed or analyzed. Many Watching Adams stories aren't about "exposing" secrets or people but simply connecting the dots and raising buried information for public review. And while much is known internally in the halls of Richardson, local press outlets have generally demonstrated no interest or ability in delivering such information to the broader public. So our work is as much a matter of audience as of content.
November 27, 2016 at 8:23pm Now, now, let's be civil. I too am thankful. I'm thankful that Mike is thankful. He shows such grace in dealing with the adversity of being paid $90,000 for several years before being demoted to merely $80,616 and 87.4% of CUPA. I'm sure that makes many of us who get paid about half that, earning 72.5% of CUPA, feel even more grateful. And like Mike: "A little pay raise every few years is appreciated." However, some of us have been here a lot longer and went years being below 72.5% of CUPA and seeing very few "little pay raises" in that entire time. Those facts point to the weakness of Mike's "how can you whine when you signed a contract" argument. Most of us expected our salaries to keep up with inflation, not fall farther and farther behind. We made a commitment when we accepted our positions here, while at the same time expecting a commitment from ASU - reasonable concern about retention. Almost all of us had other expectations, like a competent and ethical administration, not one that would run ASU into dire financial straits while running our reputation into the ground with its OES practices. Yes I'm grateful, grateful my spouse has a job that pays better than mine.
November 27, 2016 at 7:48pm Sure Tomlin you are thankful for being an embarrassment to humanity. This is why you lack the ability to get hired anywhere else but ASU! And for that I am thankful because your corrupt behavior would infect other institutions of higher learning. Go lick yourself for being a good dog!
November 27, 2016 at 11:57am Dear "I've been at this hell hole for 25 years," (Nov. 22, at 11:24 pm). I appreciate your persistence. Keep studying and you may yet graduate! ***** Our National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving has passed and as I review this site not many prayerful or thankful messages have been posted. I will offer one. Of course I am thankful to be born in a great country and for my family and many friends. I have been blessed. But beyond that I am thankful to work at a cool university in a great location and within a great community. I am not certain how some of you arrived at ASU but I actually sought my employment here. I applied and interviewed twice and then moved 1,100 miles to be a part of this unique school in the San Luis Valley. I am thankful to have my little office in the School of Business and colleagues who everyday we discuss the price of oil and gold, the workings of Bitcoin, and the influences on the stock market of our current election. I get paid to discuss that which I really enjoy and I am thankful for that. Then - I get to do the same with college students, I teach nearly 200 every week in my four classes this semester, helping prepare and motivate them for careers in business. I am thankful for such an opportunity and responsibility. Additionally I am trusted to serve the university with committee work and represent it with local government and the business community. I'm not certain how my work world could be better and I am thankful daily for that . I have great colleagues, faculty and staff in every building on campus and I enjoy and appreciate them greatly and for that I am thankful. And every month the university pays me a salary, actually more than what I agreed to when I came here. How sweet is that! A little pay raise every few years is appreciated. In addition to that they contribute money to a retirement fund and buy health insurance for me. I am thankful for all of these things. Life at Adams is good and for that I am thankful. Michael Tomlin Professor of Management School of Business
November 26, 2016 at 8:04am Someone wrote: "Would these nursing percentages be passing grades in ANY course?" No, absolutely not. Think about what this means for these students. They've paid for 4+ years of college, done a ton of work over 4 years, earned their Nursing degrees, but can't get jobs as real nurses because they aren't real nurses until they pass the NCLEX. When you have 5-10% of your students who can't pass, that's probably their fault; if 90% passed why didn't they? But ASU's is a completely different story. When 40%, 50%, 60% fail, you have to ask what's wrong with the program. It's about like Trump University; sure we'll take your money in return for something sub-par. When you take money from so many students, you have an ethical obligation to offer a program of reasonable quality, allowing a reasonable expectation that they'll be able to pass the NCLEX and qualify for jobs.
November 25, 2016 at 5:13pm I really doubt Shawn jumped, more like she had to walk the plank. She had no idea how to run that program. I doubt anyone at ASU will have the resources to recruit a sufficient number of sufficiently qualified nursing faculty.
November 25, 2016 at 12:45pm Would these nursing percentages be passing grades in ANY course?
November 25, 2016 at 11:45am The NCLEX pass rates are horrifying. They are the lowest in the state for both the current year and the aggregate pass rate. I feel so bad for these students who attended, hoping to get a quality nursing education. I feel bad for their patients (assuming they ever pass their exams). What is likely to happen now? Aren't they already on probation status? Looks like Shawn Elliot jumped ship in time to save herself. No doubt she's sleeping well--no conscience to bother her.
November 24, 2016 at 11:38pm Take a look at the 2016 NCLEX pass rate for Adams State on the Colorado Nursing Board website, ASU's pass rate is 40.7%, 11 of 27 students passed the licensing exam.
November 24, 2016 at 2:48pm Danny, you are absolutely correct. My reference was for the commentor who suggested "mind your own business". And that's why I love this website because of it's clarity and authentic nature.
November 23, 2016 at 12:30pm I didn't post the "defensive" response and I'm not being defensive now. I have plenty of issues with administration and I've had dirt tossed my direction, but I truly believe there is no "dirt" in Kim's case. My brother is in the same line of work as Kim's husband, working for the same folks, and my brother's reaction was: "good for him, great gig, beautiful place to work." Kim and her husband were both very excited about his opportunity and the chance to move back to California. - Jeff Elison ----Editor's Reply: To my observation, the accusation of being "defensive" was directed at the 11/22 at 1:24pm comment about "mind your own business", referencing the 11/20 at 11:03pm inquiry into the circumstances of Dr. Kelso's departure. I don't believe the 11/22 at 11:24pm comment asking "why are you so defensive?" was in reference to Jeff Elison's 11/21 at 9:32pm comment.
November 22, 2016 at 11:24pm Why are you so defensive about the question raised regarding Kim Kelso??? Kelso is my business and will continue to inquire about the real reason she left no matter how it makes you feel. Obviously there must be "dirt" surrounding her departure given your apparent paranoid response. I've been at this hell hole for 25 years and have directly witnessed "dirt" being thrown at talented faculty and staff who ultimately leave the institution or forced out!
November 22, 2016 at 1:24pm This is what I hate most about this site, from the comment on Nov 20th, asking if Kim Kelso resigned or was forced out. Mind your own business! You comment seems to want to spark another attack against ASU that is unfounded. I am glad that Jeff cleared this up, but her leaving is no one's business. If she was forced out, then it would have been known, but she left because a wonderful opportunity came up. Kim Kelso has always been a wonderful professor and a great colleague and department chair. If she was forced out, there would have been some noise on campus. Being there there was no noise, just mind your own business and stop trying to build a straw man just to knock it down with attacking ASU. And don't act like you wouldn't have done this; you were fishing for dirt to say how many more people have left this place. And on a related note about minding your own business. Danny, Carol, and others: Why do you even care still? You don't live here anymore? Isn't it time to move and and stop being a nuisance to ASU? ----Editor's Reply: Posing a question and receiving a response with more information is exactly what an open forum is for - for those who choose to use it. And the simplest solution to websites one doesn't like is not to visit them. ASU is a public university whose role in the San Luis Valley is of considerable importance. It is also one example in a larger story about the future of higher education in the United States. There are many reasons one should care about the policies and practices of a school such as Adams State, particularly given the lack of critical journalistic analysis that would otherwise exist in the town of Alamosa. To give one recent example, if not for Watching Adams, it is highly unlikely that the story of the Salazar ranch payment would have been made public. Public education and its transparent governance are of broader interest.
November 21, 2016 at 9:32pm I want to dispel any rumors: Dr. Kim Kelso was a wonderful chair. She was not forced out. Her husband found a fantastic career opportunity. I know she felt mixed emotions about leaving ASU, but my impression is that the decision was clear for Kim. I believe her last day was somewhere around August 1st, not May. - Jeff Elison
November 20, 2016 at 11:40pm I'm not sure about this, if you can prove it, or if you want to publish, and you may already possibly know information about it but in reference to the Valley Courier not wanting to print your op ed. I think when your case first came out there was a newly hired reporter for the Courier. That reporter wrote the story in a way that wasn't biased against you or in favor of ASU. He quickly disappeared from being the staff writer very shortly thereafter. That might be something else for you to try to look into. These small town papers, and I would argue around here specifically and possibly only the Courier need to be held accountable. I don't know who wrote the "rag" comment but if it was a reader and not you then just show's an appalling misunderstanding by the Courier publisher, or an excuse. ----Editor's Reply: This is in reference to Valley Courier Refused to Publish Critical Op-Ed, Other Publications Did and three articles written by David Gilbert, former staff writer at the Valley Courier, in November 2015 (found on the Press page). To the best of our knowledge, Gilbert left the Valley Courier to pursue better-paying endeavors with another employer in the Denver area. The October 18, 2016 "rag" comment was not written by Watching Adams publisher Danny Ledonne; those are signed with "Editor's Reply" or "Editor's Note." Given that the Valley Courier has close financial ties with Adams State University, it is not particularly surprising that its coverage of the university has been largely uncritical and often dutifully reprints ASU press releases, even with serious errors, without due diligence in journalism. Disappointing but not surprising.
November 20, 2016 at 11:03pm Is the data accurate on Kim Kelso leaving ASU in May? There appears to be some confusion on whether she resigned or was forced out??? ----Editor's Reply: Dr. Kelso is no longer listed in the ASU employee directory and isn't listed as teaching any courses at ASU in the fall 2016 course catalog. However, she is still listed on the Psychology department's faculty page, likely because that page is infrequently updated. Anyone with more information on this topic is encouraged to post a comment here. For a tenured faculty member to be "forced out" would require a formalized process of being stripped of tenure, which also includes an appeals process. This would be highly unlikely in Dr. Kelso's case.
November 20, 2016 at 4:23pm Mike Tomlin's parents taught him, "don't speak ill of people you take money from." Presumably that is why he refuses to be critical of an administration that is by all metrics stuck in quick sand. The lesson seems to be that if you are critical of your employer, you should leave in silence rather than tell them what is wrong. That seems to be a pretty poor character lesson. Does that mean you can only morally justify criticizing an organization once you have left it? Conversely, if you are unable to leave because of financial or family commitments but you think the organization is being run into the ground, it seems Mike's parents would advocate remaining silent even as ASU sinks up to its neck. What a good little loyalist, going down without a murmur. It is clear that Mike's views neatly fit the administration's policy of " shut up and conform, or out yourself so that we may hound you."
November 20, 2016 at 10:31am November 17, 2016 at 6:40pm What is a "twit"? In reference to Tomlin's post about twitter. Genius! Answer: Among those who do not tweet we jokingly use other words to describe the act. Chirp and twit are among the most popular, twerp and tweak are also sometimes used. It is simply just fun. Twitter deniers, as if we don’t really believe it’s there. A non-tweeter conversation might look like this: Did you see the chirp Trump sent out? Chirp? What’s a chirp? You know, from Twitter, that messaging thing with the hashbrown? Those are potatoes! You mean hashtack. It’s called a hashtack because it generally is an attack. Oh, okay. Anyway, it’s a twerp not a chirp when you’re using Twitter. Then what’s a twit? A twit is an anonymous, humorless person who insults people online. Yeah, they could be a twerp too. Michael Tomlin
November 17, 2016 at 6:40pm What is a "twit"? In reference to Tomlin's post about twitter. Genius!
November 17, 2016 at 4:35pm The 3:45 comment from November 13 requires one rebuttal - speaking or writing openly in our country, under the First Amendment is neither heroic, nor an act of valor. If you want to see or hear about those things join us for our annual Veterans Day luncheon hosted each year by the ASU Veterans student organization. Last Friday was a nice luncheon, great sharing of comments and experiences and rubbing of common elbows with those who know valor and heroism. Free speech on the other hand is like a muscle, if you don't use it you will find that it atrophies. It was certainly heroic when Dr. Martin Luther King marched and spoke, and he paid the ultimate price. But his acts made it easier for the next and the next. I was 18 when he was killed, and remain inspired by his words and actions, along with those of Robert F. Kennedy. I saw them both on TV every night and then they were gone. Regarding the recent election few honestly predicted the result. I am a political junkie and campaign consultant and I didn't call it. Some interesting statistics are that Mr. Trump out-flew, out-rallied, out-crowd-sized, out-speeched, and out-evented Ms. Clinton. The media ignored that. He also under-spent her by 50%. The day of the election and election night Twitter broke in his favor 51-49%. The Twitter chatter is interesting since many older Americans don't twit (me for instance), and many blue collar workers don't either. There was his margin, on top of the 51-49 which lead to 35 states for him and 15 states for Ms. Clinton. An Electoral rout. It is also interesting the choices rank and file voters made in the "rust belt" states. Blue collar working class people had to choose between a union friendly pro-labor Democrat, and a NYC Billionaire...and they chose Mr. Trump. I believe that two campaign statements made the ultimate difference: HRC: "Every morning I will wake up in the White House and try to figure out how to make your lives better." DJT: "I will bring jobs back and make America great again." Those were the issues many people voted, which brings us back to the comments on this site from 3:45 on November 13th - yes we should listen and care about those we disagree with. I'm not sure however that Trustee Salazar, President McClure and I are exactly in the same "echo chamber" and I am pretty sure we split our votes in at least two directions. And my comments do reflect my view of the world, a view taught to me by my parents and my public school teachers, and learned over 66 years. One view - don't speak ill of people you take money from. That is a matter of character. If you can no longer work for them then so bet it. But to take their money and trash them anonymously is lower than whatever you might think them guilty of. That view is not designed to gain me favor with Richardson Hall. There is no favor I want or need, and none they will offer. It is simply a guiding principle for maintaining satisfaction and fulfillment in my employment. If doing the opposite of that is working for you and you are content with your position in your life and employment, then good for you. But somehow it seems on this site that such is not the case. Michael Tomlin Professor of Management
November 13, 2016 at 3:45pm I care what Mike Tomlin thinks, and so should you. There is almost nothing Mike says that I agree with, but I applaud his valor in speaking his mind and putting his name to his WA contributions (thought that's not so heroic given that his views no doubt endear him to McClure.) I think he is genuine in what he believes. If we have learned anything from this abysmal election, it surely is to listen to those whose views are different to our own. If we had done so, instead of insulating ourselves in echo chambers with the like-minded, we might have seen Trump's victory coming. Mike's comments are instructive. They tell us how he - and I am sure many of his colleagues in ASU's upper reaches - view the world, and shows why they can't possibly understand opposition to McClure's regime. Yes, he and McClure and Salazar are in their own echo chamber, unable to really hear what we are saying, perplexed by the hubbub. And that may ultimately lead to their downfall.
November 11, 2016 at 6:37pm While everyone understands Tomlin's narcissistic fascination of fancying himself a "king”, we also recognize that he has far too many warts to be the institution's "knight in shining armor”. Of course, Dr. McClure sees this as well--hence his being sent back to the faculty. And, frankly, none of the rest of us care what he thinks, either.
November 10, 2016 at 11:24am Historically, the university was run by the faculty…” Yes, it is a spot-on statement and post from November 8, at 2:28pm. Professors used to rule, and full professors were kings. We can argue if that was good or not, but the evolution of society has majorly changed our universities and with it the professorate. And one by one we have shot ourselves in the foot one toe at a time I first entered academic life as a university instructor in 1983 and have witnessed much of the change as I have been in and out of the “Academy” since. I will offer a few observations that I believe have led to faculty’s reduced role and influence on campuses. These will be brief so understand each point could benefit from a more thorough fleshing out. • The tech explosion – professional workers stopped wearing neckties, and Bill Gates famously told Microsoft employees to “call me Bill.” The familiarization movement invaded much of the professional workplace. • University professors began to call each other by their first names. This especially changed the classics – Literature, Philosophy, etc., as rather than “Dr. Poobah” it became Jane or Jim to other faculty. • Familiarization in language lead to the decline of importance of faculty rank. Today promotions in rank are mostly about a pay raise. Lecturers, instructors and assistant professors would never have challenged full professors in years back, nor called them Jane or Jim. Deans were cautious about challenging full professors. • The internet – what professors once uniquely and solely knew is now available online. Assuredly the “understanding” of the material still lies with faculty, but content that was once mysterious is now there for all. We lost our mystique. • Social justice – Faculty once concerned themselves with Shakespeare, physics experiments, economic theories and historical interpretations. Today faculty invest their time in gender issues, salary disparities, and race. Understand these issues have long been engaged by faculty in their corresponding academic departments – economists would study salary but accountants would not spend their time in gender issues, while sociology and psychology might. • Faculty were fiercely protective of their academic content, and out of respect never challenged that of other departments. • Faculty would never question their own faculty governance, or allow challenges to questions such as retention decisions. • Faculty were especially protective of their faculty line spots and rank, and guarded them closely. Today, much of the above has simply evolved past us. Some of it is probably good. The professorate was historically male dominated and sexist. Some strides have been made. But some of our declining influence is our fault. We don’t make rank important or special, and thus it is neither. We don’t guard our faculty line spots to those of us who are most special but rather look to broaden the base of faculty to masters degreed staff professionals. We don’t respect our own self-government such as our colleagues’ retention decisions, nor guard their academic areas as our own. Rather, we challenge and insult other department’s curriculum or practices not understanding that by doing so we hurt our own. The part of the university we used to run was the academic part. We owned curriculum and programs, and Academy-wide we have lost much of that to “so-called” accrediting agencies and “rubrics.” We probably didn’t have much choice. But it was never the role of faculty to “reform” or (actually) run the institution, that was the work of “clerks” and administrative functionaries. Faculty operated at a far higher level and ruled their unique and special roost. It is today less unique, and we have made it less special. We have “taught” administration to view us more as a “teachers’ union.” We challenge them on things that are beneath us. We give them lists of “concerns” like we are children and it is our Christmas wish list. The professorate seldom (historically) involved itself with central administrative policies because they didn’t matter to us. The university president went to the state capitol to get the money, and we controlled academics. Today, we want to use faculty senate to address every social ill and to micromanage policy and in return have lost control of academics. When and where do we meet regularly as faculty for the purpose of intellectual academic discussion? We have faculty lectures and noon lectures and those are good and important. But in days of old after a faculty lecture those of us there would have opened wine and discussed the issue into the wee hours of the morning. We have time-slotted and “corporatized” those events today and not to our betterment. It is unlikely we will gain much back, but a start would be to govern closely that which is by right ours – academics. We could climb back up on our academic roost and work to regain mutual respect, and rebuild the value of rank and titles and re-strengthen what it means to be a professor. That is there for us. But is not if we use our time and effort trying to broaden our influence domain and continue to lose it as we do. The United States’ foreign policy is a good (bad) example. I hope the reader(s) find these comments useful. Michael Tomlin Professor of Business
November 8, 2016 at 2:28pm Historically, the university was run by the faculty and thus all such reforms came from within the professoriate. Only in recent decades has an increasingly bloated class of administrators abrogated, sometimes forcefully, the responsibilities of faculty to manage the institution. The current role that faculty play in the governance of Adams State is mere tokenism and increasingly timid suggestions about reform. It has also become apparent that faculty who wish to have a significant role in university governance must speak and behave like the very administrators against whom they are supposed to be providing a check. Those who have the most influence tend to support administrative positions much more often than the faculty they are supposed to represent. We already know who comes to mind here...
November 7, 2016 at 5:02pm I see that there is going to be a town hall on November 15th at ASU. This would certainly be a good time to ask about any number of major problems at Adams State that are being created or overseen by the current administration and board of trustees. These include: unconscionable ongoing salary inequities, wasteful spending of grant monies, disregard for free speech and due process, high levels of employee turnover, declining enrollment, financial mismanagement, academic probation due to violations of online coursework standards, the fiscally-unwise decision to choose Guaranteed Tuition, inadequate performance of accredited programs such as Nursing, abuses of authority and retaliatory workplace conduct, unethical transactions and nepotism... just to name a few.
November 7, 2016 at 1:15pm Actually there are many ways to get paid more at ASU, as an earlier comment mentioned: "special project payments, fee-for-service arrangements, and of course the dozens of fly-by-night online courses." Of course, many of these have been exercised in ethically dubious or academically compromised ways, but that hasn't seemed to bother the administration or board whatsoever, even when outside accreditors and audits indicate otherwise.
November 7, 2016 at 11:11am Mike Tomlin hits the nail on the head: “Add value to your work with someone who can pay more for it. My bet…. It won’t be here, ever, for any of us.” Yes, that’s right folks. Add value to your work here, but you won’t get paid for it, so go somewhere else. If he represents how our leadership truly thinks, then no wonder so much talent has left, and will continue to leave. And no wonder we are left with the rest, Mike Tomlin included.
November 7, 2016 at 7:20am There was talk on this website last week about CIELO and whiteness. Then, as if to assure us that white male privilege is still alive and well, Mike Tomlin saunters in and demonstrates exactly what it looks like. Surely it is easy to decry anonymity when you are a tenured full professor spouting congratulatory, establishment views. Notice also how convinced he is that his perception of the on-campus reality must be the only valid one. Speaking of which, Tomlin is either unaware or unwilling to admit that many good faculty and staff have left ASU in recent years – either being forced out, pressured to resign, or simply because they see the sordid state of financial and academic affairs and recognize their careers are better spent elsewhere. Many disillusioned students are leaving for similar reasons. Respectfully, I have no interest in having coffee with such a person - particularly after how the Judge Kuenhold report describes the Business Department as a "good old boys network" while he was chair. That he is no longer chair and instead insists on posting here in such a manner strongly suggests that he may be compensating for previous transgressions.
November 6, 2016 at 11:39am Oh my! My comments must have caused a panic meeting of the Suckers Anonymous executive team... I know it's a fool's errand but it amuses me so I will respond to a couple of your comments. Be advised that you are not required to read what follows. Don't get suckered into it and regret it later. This is on you. Hmmm, I see I am "a disciple of neoliberalism, an economic ideology that insists you are worth the money your boss pays you, and that’s all. He believes that the market’s “invisible hand” infallibly determines your value. " Then the anonymous writer continues with a Wikipedia lecture on economics. Too funny. I am not an economist, not a neoliberalist, and I don't even play one on TV. But I did get a good nights sleep in a Holiday Inn Express...LOL It is like accusing me of being Lutheran (I am not), or a Libertarian (I am not), and then writing Wikipedia lectures about Lutherans or Libertarians. Who suckered you into doing that? I do have two basic laws of economics that I believe in and practice. 1) Do not spend more than you have. 2) If you desire more income then provide more value to someone who can pay more for it. I do not believe that the market determines "your value." The market does set some basic values - engineers earn more than teachers - but my bedrock belief is that YOU determine your value, and then you employ your ambition and talent (and a little luck) to close the gap between your earnings and your self-ascribed value. Then one of you wrote: "Many have resigned themselves to focus on their own career goals rather than trying to reform the institution." That is very good news. Many of us came into the professorate with career goals of being good teachers, able scholars, and engaging communities with service. Actually that is likely what our/your job descriptions call for. So it is what we should be doing. What we get paid to do. Where on your job description does it tell you to "reform the institution?" Who suckered you into that role? Is your name Beverlee McClure? She was hired to reform the institution and is working to do that. She's done some well and made some mistakes. Okay. But if you want to "reform" then lead the movement. Calling people neoliberals hardly reforms. Hiding behind your pathetic anonymity hardly reforms. But I know, you are fearful, in a climate of fear and some of you are "victims" and I recall reading that some of you are grieving. Then you don't have the grit to be reformers. Give it up. Go home and hide and cry. Leave it to men and women who show up for demonstrations, rallies or walks, who sign their names. Or of course you could do the work you get paid for, the work you were hired for, the work your hiring committee believed you could do. That's a thought. And I saw your comments of "see what happens to people who speak out at ASU." Yes, generally nothing. I can list faculty member after faculty member who I have seen take a stand on one position or another, and they are still happily in their jobs and doing their work. Myself included. You write how slow universities move, and I agree. I could not believe how long it took to get the ill-conceived faculty status issue for librarians off the board. We wasted so much time and effort and a decision should have been made immediately - no, we don't have a library science degree or academic department so we're not going to grant faculty status to staff professionals and lower the average salaries of all faculty, dilute the strength or our doctoral core, or otherwise be suckered into a plain bad decision. Yes we moved too slow, and it will likely raise its head again. But the Academy moves slow. And you wrote: "Yes, we are “suckers”, Mike, because we were suckered. And we have every right to be pissed off." I agree with you there. Poor backwoods hill folk suckered and slickered by fast talking Richardson Hall elites with college degrees. Oh, wait. Some of you have college degrees too. You were suckered? Then suck it up and accept it. It happens. Be pissed off at yourself. Want to make up for lost ground? Add value to your work with someone who can pay more for it. My bet...it won't be here, ever, for any of us. If you are still grieving, I recently read that the University of Florida is offering free counseling for students who could not handle the messages of many Halloween costumes. Maybe our counseling professionals will hold some de-suckering therapy sessions for you. Maybe help you recover some of your self-respect, so that you can stand on your own comments, use your name when you write and show the courage to help ASU move forward, not just call names and insult people on this site. My offer still stands on the coffee. We can visit and I'll buy. Michael Tomlin Professor of Management (not an economist, not a neoliberal, not grieving, and not been suckered)
November 5, 2016 at 5:36pm "Many have resigned themselves to focus on their own career goals rather than trying to reform the institution." Truth. Many have also just resigned, period. Both are tragic.
November 5, 2016 at 4:48pm I think the point that Three Reasons Why Service at Adams State is for Suckers makes is a much more narrow one. Dr. Tomlin defends university service in a broad way that almost everyone would agree with, at least in spirit. Yes, there are important aspects to the professoriate supporting their communities and that's fantastic. But what the commentary article argues is that ASU's campus culture is hostile towards anyone who – even in the sincere effort for university service – tries to think outside the box, bring a critical lens to their committee work, or offer up ideas that make administrators or the Board of Trustees uncomfortable. Most people are cautious enough to see what happens to people who speak out at ASU and many have resigned themselves to focus on their own career goals rather than trying to reform the institution – whose problems are now being made obvious and apparently intractable from the mandate to Drink the ASU Kool Aid. That's the issue I see as being problematic at ASU, not the notion of service generally.
November 5, 2016 at 11:11am Mike Tomlin is a disciple of neoliberalism, an economic ideology that insists you are worth the money your boss pays you, and that’s all. He believes that the market’s “invisible hand” infallibly determines your value. The invisible hand metaphor arises from a fleeting mention of it by Adam Smith in “The Wealth of Nations” published in 1776, and it is clear that most enthusiasts for this ectoplasmic appendage have not actually read the thing themselves. If they had, they would also note that the hand is not entirely independent, but relies on the periodic guidance of men of high standing with a sense of altruism and community benevolence. Indeed, the invisible hand has been working its magic at ASU, guided by our administrators sans altruism to pickpocket faculty and staff. They get more, we get less. Part of the neoliberal agenda is to screw down wages while at the same time demand productivity. We see this theme nakedly in Mike’s plea to be happy. You deserve what we pay you (because that’s all you are worth), you can make more money only if you work longer hours, and we want you to do a whole lot of service work for free. He lists seven things that will prove to him that you are sufficiently supplicant. Of course, to follow his prescription for being a good little professor is that you will have no time to yourself, no time for your family, no time for your own intellectual pursuits, no time for research and professional development, no time to really bond with students and to be a great teacher, and most importantly, no time to cause problems for the administration. Yes the perfect neoliberal panacea, right here at ASU. Ironically, the real “Road to Serfdom.”
November 5, 2016 at 9:52am Dear Mike Tomlin, A respectful response to your respectful response: Yours is a beautifully crafted excuse for the con job that was visited upon us by stealth, but now having been revealed, has rightly outraged its victims. After the 2008 crash and the subsequent cut in education funding, ASU’s fortunes slipped, like so many other institutions. We rallied to the call that we should pull together, make sacrifices for the greater good, for the benefit of our students and the sustainability of our venerable institution. Professors and staff were told for years that the university was virtually destitute and could not even afford cost of living adjustments let alone raises even for outstanding performance. And we went along with it passively because we didn’t know better. That’s because ASU’s state of affairs has been hidden from view. Unbeknownst to us, those very administrators who pleaded ASU’s penury were packing their pockets with more and more money. Salary hikes, special project payments, fee-for-service arrangements, and of course the dozens of fly-by-night online courses they taught - a travesty that brought down the wrath of the HLC and plunged ASU into existential peril. We thought we were helping the university when our leaders were helping themselves. Yes, we are “suckers”, Mike, because we were suckered. And we have every right to be pissed off.
November 4, 2016 at 3:54pm A respectful response to Three Reasons Why Service at Adams State is for Suckers Dear faculty colleague(s), Thank you for a well written column on service and your disillusionment with it. I will accept your perceptions and experiences as you wrote them, and write this response to hopefully bring some different perspectives and opportunities to you and other colleagues. Yes, teaching, research and service are indeed the pillars of the Academy that makes up higher education around the world. We are a unique fraternity (no sexism intended) as professors and it is one of the best professions in the world. I have taught in public schools, worked in and out of private industry, owned my own business, and earned my tenure and rank at a research (R1) institution, the University of Idaho. My experiences there, eight years at the University of Wyoming, and now five years at Adams are markedly different than yours with regard to service. Service at Adams State University is not for “suckers” but rather is part and parcel of our professorship and helps define us as professionals. Before I explain, let me address your concerns over “bureaucracy, low pay, and negative office politics.” First, when you join a bureaucracy it should not surprise you to find it as such. I served years in the Army…believe me, Adams is not a bureaucracy. I have served at two larger universities and in a state system of K-12 education….Adams is not a bureaucracy. We could be better, leaner, faster, as can most institutions, but please don’t fret that it takes time to accomplish things. The Academy is not a tech start-up, it is a glacier and its administration tend to be glacier pilots. Don’t let this spoil your great gig as a professor here or anywhere else. Regarding “low pay,” if it is lower than the contract you agreed to and that you signed then I suggest you see a labor attorney. If they are paying you what you agreed to in the contract that you signed…then by definition your pay is fine. However, if you desire more pay then generate it. We have unique jobs where we can write books, give speeches, consult, create inventions and patents, with no limit on our income potential and do it all as a faculty member. Wow! It is a great gig, unlike most others. Be appreciative and if you have talent and ambition then generate the income you wish for yourself and your family. You mentioned “negative office politics.” I understand, and with some humor note that no one ever complains about positive office politics. Go figure. The key to office politics is to accept that it occurs whenever more than one employee is assigned to an office. The key to your sanity is to offer the solutions you can, appropriately respectful to your academic rank and that of others, and don’t participate nor contribute to the negativity. Be too busy providing good teaching and advisement to your students, conducting your research, providing good service, and enhancing your income. Now, regarding service. You seem to have intertwined service with shared governance and committee work. These are not one and the same. I will agree that at a small school with small departments and sometimes short on senior faculty the committee needs and assignments can be substantial. On the other hand, our research requirements are not as hefty as they might be at a larger or R1 institution so those balance. I have been at both. But true service is so much larger than campus committee assignments. Yes, you need to establish yourself on those and hopefully provide leadership. And of course all service begins with excellent student advisement. But just as an example, in the School of Business, our “Service” rubric for retention and evaluation lists the following as some of the ways to accomplish the service requirement: (In no particular order) • Significant work on departmental and university committees. • Coordination, advisement and/or supervision of student organizations, clubs, or student activities. • Significant participation and/or leadership in institutionally sponsored student support activities. • Contributions as an officer of local, regional, national, or international professional organizations. • Development and organization of special projects, including academic institutes or workshops related to the discipline. • Discipline related service to P-12 education. • Service on boards, commissions, councils, or other similar groups. Those are some, not all, in our rubric. These are accomplished with participation and leadership in Student Scholar Days, our free income tax service to the community, representing the university and School of Business with Chamber of Commerce, SLV marketing boards and organizations, economic development groups, Valley Initiative Partners, serving on school boards, credit union boards, rec boards, etc. For each discipline there are community, regional and state groups where your service is needed and for which should be counted on your CV and in consideration of retention, tenure, and promotion. A faculty member can easily immerse themselves in their students, scholarship, and service and never notice the bureaucracy. Never notice the politics because they do their work, contribute where they can, and enjoy a great job in a great career in a great region and at a really good little school. How cool is that? It is unfortunate that you were not (with respect) mentored better into your professorship. I am thankful every day for the senior faculty member who helped ease me through my “baby assistant professor” years at UI. Understand that at many larger universities senior faculty don’t want to hear much from assistant professors… But we are (mostly) not that way. So my offer is that I will meet with anyone, help discuss or provide ideas on quality service, the service of professional academics (not suckers) and help you gain a good grasp on this all important pillar of your job. I will buy the coffee. Just call me, stop by my office, or send me an email. Service at Adams is not for suckers, it is what productive, committed, professional academics engage in every day – not as an extension of their work but as part and parcel of the work itself. I wish for you better days ahead in your professorship! Michael Tomlin Professor of Management School of Business
November 4, 2016 at 1:14pm "Boards of directors are like subatomic particles - they behave differently when they're observed." - Nell Minow
November 3, 2016 at 10:45pm Yesterday, the editor mentioned that Arnold Salazar's ranch "has applied for a Special Use Permit that would allow them to permanently operate as a "Private Recreation Club or Lodge" . Their first hearing will be before the Alamosa Planning Commission on November 9, 2016. Their second hearing is before the Board of County Commissioners on December 14, 2016. The hearings are open to the public if you are interested in attending." If people are upset about this, we should consider attending these hearings and should also contact these representatives to voice our concerns about Arnold Salazar's ethical violations by profiting from property for an ASU event while serving as Board Chair (and with his sister managing the Title V funds). Tell them you want your concerns to be treated confidentially. Alamosa Planning Commission: http://cityofalamosa.org/departments/boards-commissions/planning-commission-board/ Alamosa County Commissioners: http://www.alamosacounty.org/commissioner-home/8-departments/commissioners/22-commissioners
November 3, 2016 at 8:29pm So many issues have come to light that the majority of the community would be woefully unaware were it not for Watching Adams. Some issues would likely be in the light but one has to wonder the level of awareness that would exist if not for WA. And one must applaud WA's attempt at helping ASU achieve true transparency. One must also applaud Dr. Gilmer's (futile?) attempts to investigate and bring to light the obvious corrupt practices by Svaldi, Novotnys, Roybal, Phillips and others through OES and off the backs of legitimate employees. So one MUST pose the question AGAIN---when will anyone be held accountable? Interesting question considering something I heard the other day... that Mr. Roybal is "not worried.” “He has enough dirt on others that is he is fired others will go down as well...and the administration doesn't want that." Gossip? Probably...but again one has to wonder why nobody has been accountable... The truth? Likely!
November 3, 2016 at 2:31pm People in positions of power, like BOT Chair Salazar, are only held accountable if they are made to - it doesn't happen on its own. Here are some resources for anyone to petition their grievances, which should be treated confidentially. So if you are unhappy with how public officials are behaving, file a complaint: Colorado Governor’s Office: https://www.colorado.gov/governor/contact Colorado Dept. of Higher Education: http://highered.colorado.gov/dhe/contact.html Higher Learning Commission: https://www.hlcommission.org/HLC-Institutions/complaints.html US Dept. of Education, Title V: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/idueshsi/contacts.html Salazar says this website is just to "blab and blog" and that "he doesn't care." He has even characterized these comments as "cyberbullying." So no more whining. If you remain silent about something you believe is wrong, you are complicit in it. If you want things to change, it's time to file a complaint and tell your colleagues to do the same.
November 3, 2016 at 7:42am Now with 32 votes, 91% think Salazar acted unethically and it's clear from ASU's guidelines that he did. So what will happen? Nothing. This is ASU; this is the SLV. Another problem swept under the rug. That's the great thing about power, you are rarely held accountable. The same standards just do not apply. Sickening. Hey Arnold, why don't you donate your $12,700 to students?
November 2, 2016 at 6:53pm "You have declared all beardless white heterosexual males as being misogynistic-racists-homophobes by birth. Thanks!" Ummmm...Matt Nehring doesn't have a beard...nor does Robert Kirk, Kevin Daniel, Chris Olance, Ben Waddell, Jeremy Yeats, Brian Zulegar, Bill Lipke, James Doyle, shall we go on? No. Not all white men fit this description. But if you're feeling guilty then perhaps a little self reflection is in order. Shall we reserve a spot for you at this year's Equity Institute?
November 2, 2016 at 11:40am ----Editor's Note: A comment posted on November 1, 2016 at 4:00am asked about the zoning of the Salazar ranch, so we inquired with Alamosa County's Land Use Administrator. Here is the response we received: The property in question is allowed to conduct special events with a Temporary Use Permit which has been obtained for all events meeting the threshold requirements for a "special event". Furthermore, the facility has applied for a Special Use Permit that would allow them to permanently operate as a "Private Recreation Club or Lodge" . Their first hearing will be before the Alamosa Planning Commission on November 9, 2016. Their second hearing is before the Board of County Commissioners on December 14, 2016. The hearings are open to the public if you are interested in attending. Sincerely, Rachel Baird, Land Use Administrator
November 2, 2016 at 11:03am It appears that Adams State “University” (a dubious distinction) is more engaged in social programming than it is interested in engaging in academic programming. The social justice warriors have staged a successful coup in enforcing anti white male heterosexual culture. You have declared all beardless white heterosexual males as being misogynistic-racists-homophobes by birth. Thanks! Cielo is Adams’ “Ministry of Love”. Where anyone who “…identifies as white and is interested in understanding privilege and bias” can be “cured” of their thought-crime. Aaron you have successfully embodied Orwell’s O’Brien as chief deprogrammer. Carol Guerro Murphy you should be ashamed of yourself for entertaining this decidedly fascistic behavioral adjustment programming session. Adams would do better to focus on academics instead of social programming. I wish to attend a university and not a center of deprogramming.
November 2, 2016 at 10:22am Aaron, if you really want to challenge your notion of your whiteness and your privilege, then you need to invite a few more people than just “anyone who identifies as white.” Instead of cloistering yourself with a bunch of other Aarons, how about getting together with a few people of color to tell you what it is like to be on the receiving end of white privilege? Or would that be too uncomfortable for you?
November 1, 2016 at 8:07pm Two annotations to my 10/23 comment: 1. My comment was a very heartfelt reaction to someone else's post, based on my professional history. My experience at huge, successful companies (Intel, Hewlett-Packard) has been very different from my experience at small regional universities. Nevertheless, it would be remiss of me not to mention the great work Chris Gilmer is doing. I've been thoroughly impressed. I think his attitude exemplifies the type of culture described in the original post: "build trust and eliminate fear" and "problems can be lifted up, discussed and fixed to drive real improvement". I really hope that's our future. 2. I certainly did not have in mind the fact that the very next day WatchingAdams would report on ASU paying Arnold Salazar for use of his facilities. So, I was not referring to that particular bit of news, no matter how disturbing it may or may not be. - Jeff Elison
November 1, 2016 at 7:53pm I see in the current poll there are currently 26 people who say Salazar certainly violated ethical guidelines and 2 who say possibly. That's over 90%. But there are no "real" problems at ASU; it's just 5 or 6 complainers. Right, back to work, insert head in... sand or wherever. ----Editor's Reply: We only allow one vote per IP address to try and limit repeat voting as much as possible for an anonymous online poll. The results aren't intended to be scientifically valid but at least generate discussion and reflection as well as encourage reader participation in our publications.
November 1, 2016 at 4:19pm “This group is open to anyone who identifies as white and is interested in understanding privilege and bias." Holy crap Batman. Anyone who is white or has the balls to identify as white would be stupid and on a death wish to enter that den of witches. It would be like the German Nazi concentration camp guard saying "Come over here, come over here to this house that is warm. Come inside, see it is nice and warm. You stay here where it is warm and I will go." Snowflakes are bullies when they are in packs.
November 1, 2016 at 3:46pm Mr Miltenberger, what about the rest of us? Or is Cielo now practicing Exclusive Excellence? Only the right kind of people need apply, right?
November 1, 2016 at 8:43am From Three Reasons Why Service at Adams State is for Suckers: "doing so at ASU raises institutional alarms and instantly subjects any faculty or staff member to ongoing harassment, shunning, bullying, and a generally hostile workplace. " This hits very hard because I have had the privilege of going through this for years now. Mcclure recently said in a staff meeting that the campus does, "arbitrary things to weed people out", which is probably a big part for her plan to "not" fire people. It'll be through attrition. Make them miserable until they quit. Of course I'm staying anonymous because of the university's track record of blatant retaliation and the common practice of sweeping it under the rug while covering for eachother. Remember to document.
November 1, 2016 at 7:39am Aaron Miltenberger just sent out an invitation for “anyone who identifies as white” to attend a Cielo session. In full, he says: “This group is open to anyone who identifies as white and is interested in understanding privilege and bias.” Look in mirror, dude, and think before you hit Send.
November 1, 2016 at 4:00am Just wondering... Arnold Salazar's land is zoned rural, not commercial. Despite being unethical, I wonder if he is flaunting the county land use/zoning regulations? Does anyone know? Also, with an expenditure of that size, is there no requirement to put it out to bid? As this a recurring event, there should have been ample time to get competitive bids. Surely one of the hotel venues in town could have charged much less.
October 31, 2016 at 9:35am Larga vida a las hembras de la familia e Chicanas en el poder! (Long live the women of Chicano families in power!) - rough translation ----Editor's Reply: Watching Adams believes that everyone should be held to high ethical standards regardless of gender, ethnicity, or other demographic factors. Power should only be long lived if it is used responsibly.
October 31, 2016 at 7:43am Did Arnold Salazar violate ethics? Huh? How is this even a question. It's black and white: ASU Purchasing Manual, under Code of Ethics: "Refrain from any private or professional activity that would create a conflict between personal interests and the interests of Adams State University." End of story. Period. I hope this gets investigated at appropriate levels, state, federal, Title V.
October 28, 2016 at 7:08am Like Jeff, the John Dyer quote resonates. Unlike Jeff, I and other individuals don’t have the courage to identify ourselves. This in itself speaks to which of the two described cultures currently prevails at Adams State. “Trust, leadership, and teamwork” - it’s not rocket science, right? But the culture has to be genuine to its core, not just a gauzy veneer. Many seem to be placing their faith in the new VPAA to introduce a new era of trust, caring, and collective action. But ask yourself a few questions: 1. Who does the new VPAA hang out with? The exclusive clubbiness of ASU’s administrative “elite” continues unabated. How can our culture change if the power structure hasn’t? 2. Why do these same clubby individuals continue to enjoy fancy multiday off-site retreats to talk and eat and talk endlessly in an exclusive environment about - of all things - inclusivity and diversity? 3. Why has there been no removal of program heads yet following the Mathieu report? The scathing report came out over a month ago. At what other organization would administrators not be held immediately, individually accountable for the “egregious, diverse, and arguably unethical nature of the findings”? Is the answer possibly that those administrators know too much about unethical practices of other administrators, so the system just protects and preserves itself as systems tend to do? Some found the Mathieu report admirable for its unvarnished candor. But perhaps Gilmer is simply astute enough to know that getting off probation cannot happen without at least a solid appearance of a mea culpa. 4. Why do good people continue to flee? Who’s next to leave? Who will be left in another year or two but the clubhouse members? So discouraging. Higher education should foster diversity of opinion, but ASU forces out all independent thought. 5. Why is Adams State being discussed in an upcoming 60 Minutes piece? I am guessing it’s probably not a fluff piece? There are plenty more questions to pose. Some may say these questions are part of the problem (“complainers”) rather than the solution, but as Jeff notes from his corporate experience, “hiding problems was unproductive and completely counter to our mission.” To requote the John Dyer quote: "In a culture built on trust, problems can be lifted up, discussed and fixed to drive real improvement." The “complainers” are only trying to identify and discuss problems; the fact that they pay a heavy price for it is proof of which culture is in solid control at ASU. When you’ve spent years building up an institutional culture of fear that is “all about fire-fighting, back stabbing and finger pointing”, you can’t begin to even think about constructing a new culture of “trust, leadership and teamwork” until you first expose the current culture for what it is and identify its maintainers for who they are. I for one don’t yet see anyone with the character and will to stand up and do so for the rest of us who can’t.
October 27, 2016 at 11:49am The Salazar ranch scandal confirms what many of us have long suspected: Title V and similar monies are treated as "slush funds" to be burned through in capricious, even unethical ways. After all, nobody has gotten caught before. The standard operating procedure at Adams State is mutually-assured corruption - with everyone in on the take or intimidated into silence. Sometimes, it's hard to know which whistle to blow first around here.
October 27, 2016 at 7:11am Looking at the list of 10 names in the last message is eye-opening, enough for a chain gang. Arnold may be the leader of the chain gang, but please don't forget the biggest criminal of them all: Bill Mansheim. Oh to see this bunch breaking rocks in the hot sun in their orange jumpsuits! ASU: Great Corruption Begins Here.
October 26, 2016 at 7:32pm The more watchingadams digs the more corruption that seems to be found. And, yet, nobody has ever been held accountable--Frank Novotny, Ellen Novotny, Dave Svaldi, Walter Ruybal, Judy Phillips, Ed Crowther, Liz Thomas, Linda Reed, Bill Schlaufman, etc. And NOW Board Chair Salazar. Can this place become anymore laughable, unbelievable, sickening?
October 25, 2016 at 6:02pm Not to worry. I'm sure Arnold Salazar will announce that "not one dime" of the Title V Funds went to him. Remember, people can "blab and blog," he doesn't care!
October 25, 2016 at 3:35pm I just don't know why anyone would be the least suspicious about having the retreat at Arnold's place for a mere 2k a day. After all Arnold is Lillian's brother, might as well keep this shit in the family. Hell, I have a barn, kitties, dogs, horses and I'd even turn the garden hose on so there is plenty to drink. I'd do all that for a cool 1k a day and save Adams a bunch of money.
October 25, 2016 at 2:47pm Hats off to Mr. Ledonne for exposing the University leadership for what it truly is. Salazar should be ashamed of himself and resign immediately.
October 24, 2016 at 10:16pm So let me get this straight: ASU Board President Arnold Salazar is lining his pockets with Title V funds? Is there no other SLV ranch available for a retreat at two grand per day? Any hotels with conference centers around Alamosa? Sounds like business as usual at ASU. I wonder if the Feds know how these funds are being spent. Paying off your own Board president probably isn't what they meant by "Hispanic Serving Institution" - more like "Self-Serving Institution."
October 23, 2016 at 8:03pm That last comment certainly hits home. "In a culture built on trust, problems can be lifted up, discussed and fixed to drive real improvement." I worked as a software engineer at Intel and Hewlett-Packard for 16 years. The focus of our jobs was to find problems and fix them before they went out the door. Having customers or outsiders find your problems was a disaster. So, hiding problems was unproductive and completely counter to our mission. The real tension was with schedules (time-to-market), not stepping on people's toes. Everything was discussed by the team. In fact, larger projects consisted of two teams: those writing the software and those trying their hardest to break it every single day. Can you imagine that level of scrutiny in higher education? And we pulled it off without animosity, nothing more than a little friendly competitiveness. Different worlds. -Jeff Elison
October 23, 2016 at 2:34am "Business leaders must constantly look for ways to build trust and eliminate fear if they want to see improvement and teamwork thrive. In a culture built on fear, employees will try to interpret every comment and gesture in order to guess what the leaders really want. In a culture built on trust, problems can be lifted up, discussed and fixed to drive real improvement. I have worked in both environments, and the ones built on fear were all about fire-fighting, back stabbing and finger pointing. The ones built on trust, leadership and teamwork not only accomplished significant improvement and customer satisfaction (with revenues and profits far greater than any cost-cutting initiative) but were also great places to thrive as an employee." - John Dyer, Industry Week
October 20, 2016 at 8:47pm I believe, the “Valley Courier Headline: ASU Financials Looking Positive” is appropriately called, putting lipstick on a pig. Perhaps instead of the grizzly bear being the ASU mascot, it should be replaced with Porky Pig. Go Pigglies! “In their styes with all their backing They don't care what goes on around In their eyes there's something lacking What they need's a damn good whacking”, George Harrison
October 18, 2016 at 8:23pm Valley Courier Headline: ASU Financials Looking Positive Reality Headline: Valley Courier a joke, a rag, run by editors devoid of ethics Reality Headline: True journalism is dead Byline: Julie Waechter Taxpayers already pay Julie to write this crap. I'm not about to buy the Valley Courier and pay Julie twice. Financials must be just great when enrollment is down for the fifth straight year. Who needs students when you can market your land? And "rightsize" your way out of failure.
October 18, 2016 at 1:48pm ASU will be on 60 Minutes? Excellent. I can already imagine how that will go... Steve Kroft: So according to multiple investigations, Adams State was engaging in egregious practices with its online program. The Office of Extended Studies allowed hundreds of students to be taught in online courses – even by faculty already teaching full time on campus. There were minimal instructor interactions as required by the US Department of Education and these courses were treated as open enrollment even though they were semester based. About 72% of students were allowed to take an Incomplete. And this was known and approved by the administration for years and years. So you've now been placed on academic probation by your accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission. How do you respond? President McClure: That sanction was politically motivated because Adams State has been targeted as the HLC's the whipping boy. Those problems had already been addressed and it was only a few sections online. Steve Kroft: But according to this investigation by Dr. Mathieu, many courses he randomly audited failed to meet the standards necessary for semester-based courses and it became clear that the OES was focused on the remuneration of faculty and the university over delivering quality education online. President McClure: See, that's just more “negativity” at ASU from a few unhappy people who are holding us back. We are an excellent university and if people would just stop harassing and terrorizing me, we could focus on being even better. This is only happening because I'm the first female president and there are so many sexist male colleagues out there trying to bring down this institution, which serves so many first generation and Hispanic students. Also, we recently won a case against the ACLU in which the judge ruled in favor of Adams State. Steve Kroft: Uh, thank you for your time today. President McClure: Nailed it! Go Grizzlies!
October 18, 2016 at 10:52am Adams State will be on 60 Minutes regarding the issues with Extended Studies. Not sure when. ----Editor's Reply: This comment has been verified as coming from a source with firsthand knowledge of this information.
October 17, 2016 at 8:16am Okay Arnold, time for some backbone and some tough decisions. Despite McClure’s promises to turn ASU around, we now find that things are actually getting worse every semester. Latest figures show that 60 fewer students will “Begin Great Stories” at ASU. That’s a 3.1 per cent decline. That’s a loss of about $1.6 million in revenue. That’s a disaster! And where are you and McClure? You are wrapped in each other’s arms at the bow of the Titanic, as McClure coos, “I’m flying” while you nibble her ear. No Arnold, you’re falling. Are you waiting until we hit the ocean floor before you do anything? Do you have some romantic notion of going down with your ship? Wake up, Arnold!! This is not a movie! Please, do us a favor. Jump ship now. And take your captain with you.
October 12, 2016 at 5:56pm I went to see Danny's presentation about Peru and photographing landscapes last night. It was excellent! Thanks to the Art Department for hosting. It was great to see Danny back on ASU's campus doing what he loves to do, helping and teaching others. However, it was depressing when it made me think how ASU likes to chase away talent. And I never felt threatened, except for that photo of the crazy monkey. I'm guessing others felt safe judging by the good attendance. Props to faculty for showing up. Thanks Danny! You will be missed around here.
October 9, 2016 at 1:34pm I voted for Liz Hensley for city council, but I certainly won't do it again. Given her lack of professional ethics in teaching outrageous loads and showing favoritism to athletes, I don't want her representing my interests in Alamosa. Yes Liz, athletes SHOULD attend classes - and earn their grades just like everyone else.
October 7, 2016 at 11:14am Dr. Gilmer is the best thing that has ever happened to Adams State University! He is a visionary who inspires us as students. I passed him in the halls yesterday and he didn't nod or simply address me vaguely with a hurried greeting, no, instead he stopped, asked my name, my major, and genuinely expressed concern for my day. Others can learn a thing or two from the kindness Dr. Gilmer shows to staff, faculty, and especially the students. He doesn't just wear the ASU sweatshirt, he doesn't just sit above us all in an office in Richardson Hall, and he doesn't just walk past us on campus. He wears the hopes, dreams, and future of each student in his heart. His door is always open. He is not just our VP, he is our best advocate, who just happens to know who I am, and for that I am proud to be an Adams State University student. - Angela
October 7, 2016 at 7:28am Want to understand why there’s been such a flight of faculty at Adams? This article has a few suggestions: “The factors that Maslach and Leiter say cause burnout — an overloaded schedule, lack of control, insufficient reward, breakdown of community, absence of fairness, and conflicting values — are characteristics of workplaces, not individuals. Some of those factors certainly shaped my experience. Academic culture fosters burnout when it encourages overwork, promotes a model of professors as isolated entrepreneurs, and offers little recognition for good teaching or mentoring. The persistent financial stress on colleges and universities only exacerbates the problem, because, as Maslach and Leiter put it, "individual employees become the ‘shock absorbers’ for organizational strains," including financial ones. The response to faculty burnout should, therefore, not be to shrug and say that academic work is a labor of love, and some people just aren’t cut out for it. Instead, the response should be to find ways to give these highly skilled workers the rest, respect, and reward they need to stay healthy and effective. Institutions cause burnout, and only a whole effort of an institution can deal with it. A good start would be for colleges and universities to support and reward the things they say they value — like, for example, teaching. That would be more useful than drafting another strategic plan that will be ignored a year later.” There you have it - institutions cause burnout, not individuals. Until ASU recognizes and abandons the "If you don't like it, leave" mentality, the gushing drain of talent will only continue. Anyone else out there feeling like an ASU “shock absorber”?
October 2, 2016 at 8:39pm Mike Tomlin speaks both anonymously and not. Be very careful of this chameleon. He has an agenda and is not to be trusted. Tomlin is the very epitome of everything wrong at ASU. He is anonymous in his posts when the administration would not like what he has to say and yet signs his name when he thinks it will behoove him. He is a snake. A worthless fence sitter. And he is a man with an agenda that would be far more harmful to ASU than anything McClure or Salazar could ever do. That is the simple truth.
October 2, 2016 at 6:55pm And also like Donald Trump, I think McClure should be "graded on a curve" as a leader; she should be praised for showing "restraint" in not immediately condemning Dr. Mathieu for issuing the OES report as a "political statement" and using ASU as his "whipping boy" as she did with the HLC. Recall that McClure also proclaimed that ASU would prevail in the ACLU lawsuit just hours after being sued and before her lawyers even looked at the case. That didn't go so well for her, either. So perhaps silence from Richardson Hall is a good sign for a change given that their usual response is an impulsive, embarrassing blunder.
October 2, 2016 at 6:34pm Just like Donald Trump, it seems that Beverly McClure and Arnold Salazar are using a surrogate to do their talking. Both have been conspicuously silent since the damning OES report, and instead, the demoted former chair of the Business School is mansplaining in their stead. Mike Tomlin speaks because his leaders are conspicuously silent; he shows courage when his bosses show appalling pusillanimity, blatant dereliction of responsibility, a total failure of leadership.
October 1, 2016 at 10:49am A comment on September 29, 2016 at 7:54pm was left by someone claiming to be from a former employee of Extended Studies. This reminded me that what ASU needs in order to be truly reformed are people on the inside with information about institutional wrong-doing. Here is a good article about the importance of whistleblowers in the banking industry, not unlike higher education: Policing the Banks Is an Inside Job "Studies like the National Business Ethics Survey consistently show that a significant percentage of employees are aware of wrongdoing in the workplace. In the case of Wells Fargo, several employees raised concerns about these troubling practices within the bank and suffered retaliation for doing so. Unfortunately, these employees had little incentive and no way of safely alerting regulators without risking their careers. Unlike other financial police, banking regulators either have no whistle-blower programs that provide incentives and protections for individuals to break their silence about wrongdoing they witness, or these regulators have little-known programs with comically small awards."
October 1, 2016 at 10:01am I for one am not so sanguine with the notion of Gilmer being the white knight on horseback saving ASU from those misguided evildoers intent on dismembering our fine upstanding institution. Gilmer preempted more bad news by delivering it himself. That was a very smart move. It pre desensitizes negative revelations from other outside sources yet to be revealed. In spite of Gilmer’s wise actions, is clear to me, and others, he has entered the inner circle of the cabal and will protect all of those in that circle. McClure will never bear any guilt or be challenged in any way for her misdeeds and ineptitudes. Neither will Margaret have to fall on her sword for her abuses or others also ensconced within that upper echelon. Instead, the whistleblowers will consistently bear the brunt of blame and ridicule for pointing out that their house is on fire. The rot and stench comes from the very top. This includes the BOT as MANY, MANY others have remarked in this forum previously. But in spite of outside institutional authorities levying sanctions and penalties you will have deniers such as Tomlin declaring that the assessments made by the HLC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the AAUP, the ACLU, the Colorado Office of the State Auditor, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), etc, et al., are utterly baseless and ultimately unfair. These denials and actions or rather inactions will not save the institution from its systemic rot.
October 1, 2016 at 8:15am I don't mind stealing bread From the mouths of decadence But I can't feed on the powerless When my cup's already overfilled, yeah But it's on the table, the fire's cooking And they're farming babies while slaves are all working Blood is on the table and their mouths are choking But I'm going hungry - Chris Cornell
September 30, 2016 at 9:38pm From Tomlin's link: “it became painfully evident with the recent closure of Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech, which were both still accredited at bankruptcy, that the failure of our quality assurance system hurts students and costs the government billions of dollars.” And where is ASU headed if the school doesn't get its shit together? ASU students should be thankful for what the HLC and Gilmer are doing.
September 30, 2016 at 10:50am The HLC should also consider that ASU was recently sued by the ACLU and is being reviewed by the CO State Auditor for many years of operating losses. The latter is of particular significance given the profit-driven excesses of its Extended Studies program.
September 30, 2016 at 10:17am Good find, Dr. Tomlin! The Washington Monthly article referenced in the previous link discusses efforts to reform accreditation for universities by strengthening the expectations involved and holding institutions accountable: "Accrediting agencies are supposed to make sure students get a good education and ensure colleges aren’t cheating students while sucking down taxpayer money,” Warren said in a statement to Politico. “But right now the accreditation system is broken.” The Accreditation Reform and Enhanced Accountability Act (AREAA) would address some of those issues by strengthening accreditation standards, and requiring accrediting agencies to be more responsive to allegations of wrongdoing. Under the act, the Department of Education would be empowered to require that accreditors to consider a variety of student success metrics — including “retention rate, graduation and payment rate, transfer rate, student earnings after graduation, and job placement rates” — when determining eligibility. The Department is currently prohibited from setting such standards. Accreditors would also be required to more quickly respond when colleges they’ve certified come under federal or state investigation or face lawsuits of “fraud or abuse, deceptive practices, or material harm to students enrolled.” ... This all sounds very good! Imagine if the HLC also reviewed ASU's 21% graduation rate (which is among the lowest nationally) as well as the abnormally high number of students who drop out or transfer, there might be some accountability around ASU. And "allegations of wrongdoing?" There are certainly many of those at ASU... but according to the administration, they never do anything wrong! But it certainly seems like Adams State is too often "cheating students while sucking down taxpayer money."
September 30, 2016 at 8:40am To the editor, This link regards current efforts for national accreditation reform. Offered without comment or opinion. Thank you. Dr. Michael Tomlin Professor of Business
September 29, 2016 at 7:54pm As a former employee of ES, the independent investigator's findings come as no surprise. The grade mill practice has been occurring since the mid-nineties, at least. One of the biggest culprits was Dr. Koos (Jacoba) Daley. I see she is still at it. I encourage the HLC to do further investigation, which will reveal further damning information.
September 29, 2016 at 4:45pm Write to the HLC or Dr. Mathieu and ask your hypothetical "if" because I think many people would want to know. In talking to faculty who have taught online at ASU and other institutions, they have told me that ASU's interface and interactive components are minimal to non-existent. I've also talked with faculty who acknowledge that their online teaching isn't nearly as engaging or high quality as their on-campus teaching. I think that online environments can instill false confidence - in an instructor and in an institution - about how well they are able to teach. That's why external evaluation is valuable and necessary, not "bullying" or unwarranted. ----Editor's Note: in the interest of moving this topic along, we are going to limit further discussion on "online classroom sizes vs. quality" unless commentators introduce new information about the data, not analogies, hypothetical or rhetorical questions.
September 29, 2016 at 4:24pm Oh, oh, you may not have noticed it was meant as a hypothetical, hence the "if." I apologize for interrupting your grieving cycle.
September 29, 2016 at 3:58pm If I taught 1,000,000 students online, earned $225,000,000, and assured the institution that the rigor, engagement, and standards were high and assured the HLC that by all metrics quality was high and the HLC should accept that, would you believe me? For those of us who teach, there is a point at which we know within our profession what realistic limits are. At some point, surely everyone has a bullshit detector. For many, reviewing those course overloads - like teaching 15 courses at once or teaching 615 students at a time - raised serious alarms. This isn't X-Men and we aren't superhuman. Higher education is a bit of an honor system. We hire some of the most specialized and advance labor force with extensive credentials. As such, we expect them to comport themselves with the utmost academic integrity. That didn't happen with ASU Extended Studies, according to interviews, random audits and detailed quantitative and qualitative data. Faculty have been misrepresenting or outright violating US Dept. of Education standards for online accreditation, most notably financial aid and instructor contact criteria. ASU as an institution has been clearly dishonored in the public eye as a result. Remember, this was only flagged as an issue because "Mr. White" had been perpetrating academic fraud for student athletes by taking advantage of ASU's lax security and totally unacceptable open enrollment policies. Then the investigations began, now the results are coming out, and they aren't pretty. Moreover, an independent expert looked at the same situation in more detail and reached identical - if not more severe - conclusions about ASU's "egregious" and "dysfunctional" Extended Studies program. This isn't some abstraction about the human limits of mass-producing individualized education. This is a set of circumstances in which ASU was cleary in the wrong in flagrant, knowing, ongoing ways. "Fraud" is a word that easily applies.
September 29, 2016 at 3:19pm Some agreement. I had heard we are 1-18 faculty/student ratio, but no quibble there. We still have faculty teaching 50's in a room but if the quality is there that may not be a problem. So there is no number, fair enough. Let's all agree that quality is paramount and if quality was lacking then shame on us and let's fix it. However, "if" one faculty taught 1,000 students online, earned $225,000, and rigor was high, engagement was high, standards were high, and by all metrics quality was high, then HLC was accept that, and we would applaud our colleague rather than tearing them down. Right?
September 29, 2016 at 1:58pm The Mathieu report makes any number of recommendations to improve ASU's online program and related departments in preparation for the HLC's comprehensive review. Not overloading faculty with hundreds of students at a university that advertises small class size would be a worthwhile practice for individualized education and branding consistency. ASU's average on-campus student – teacher ratio is 15:1 according to National Center for Education Statistics.
September 29, 2016 at 1:32pm The question of class sizes alone is too simple for the complex situation it seeks to answer. When a driver is drunk, they perform poorly behind the wheel. They are a bad driver not because of the specific number of drinks that they had – which has many variables - but because they are drunk. Asking the officer how many beers they are allowed to have before they drive fails to recognize what the real problem is. When ASU was put on probation, it was because their online program failed to deliver quality standards in education. Standards were violated not because of the specific number of students in online coursework – which has many variables – but because quality standards were not met. Asking the HLC how many students they are allowed to have in one class fails to recognize what the real problem is. Please read the multiple reports available, contact the HLC with further questions or request that Dr. Gilmer do so on your behalf.
September 29, 2016 at 12:45pm Watching this is becoming funny. Someones asks for the current temperature and they get a lecture on the history and philosophy of climatology. The questions seem fairly simple. Shouldn't we have the same online course and student limits as CSU Pueblo, Mesa, or Western? What is the HLC limit? How does HLC view on-campus class sizes for a 4 x 4 faculty of 200 students per year, 400 students per year (we have those), or 600 students per year (we may not have those?)? Is there a limit, or not? Of course we want to be in financial aid compliance. Let's do it today. Not even a question. Someone needs to publish the limits so people who organize and plan those classes know them. And the limits should be the same as other similar colleges. Or, are we on "holistic" probation rather than "By God" probation? Will we lose our "holistic" accreditation or will we lose our "By God" accreditation? I believe the answer is clear. Please don't give another grievous lecture on grieving or quote the report which we've read. Numbers please. They either exist or they do not, for both on-campus and online. And if nobody knows that is fine too. I sure don't.
September 29, 2016 at 10:12am Large class size is only one of the issues with Extended Studies, and probably not the most egregious one. ASU has allowed open enrollment while other universities do not, making it an easy mark for anyone wanting to abuse the system. From the OES audit report: "The continued use of Open Enrollment courses has additionally encouraged abuse of academic integrity, student engagement, and the maintenance of academic standards. OES staff and the Registrar frequently noted the ability of students to enroll in an independent study course very close to the end of the semester in order to meet athletic eligibility requirements and other needs. ASU staff reported that ASU’s open enrollment policies have attracted students from other institutions who need the open enrollment access to credit-bearing, degree program eligible courses for similar reasons, but academic policy at their own home institution prevented such abuse. It is clear that the academic reputation of ASU among peer institutions has been compromised via open enrollment." This practice has also violated federal financial aid requirements: "since the introduction of online courses and the regulatory changes to financial aid-relevant fixed- term starts and endings as well as the need to track and report federal Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria has occurred. Additionally, fixed term starts are necessary to report Last Day of Attendance of aid-receiving students in order for the institution to avoid having to pay back distributed federal grant aid awarded to students who did not complete one or more courses where aid has been applied. At ASU, the continued use of Open Enrollment courses has frustrated attempts to remain in compliance with federal financial aid regulations."
September 29, 2016 at 9:31am The HLC investigators and Dr. Mathieu evaluated how the university was handling these class sizes and student interactions and found them lacking in significant ways, numerically and qualitatively. If you haven't yet, I would encourage you to read the report and share your thoughts or questions with Dr. Gilmer as he has requested. Large research institutions generally supplement lecture hall coursework with smaller break-out sections supported by graduate assistants, who are also paid. The same is true for grading since one faculty member cannot effectively grade hundreds of essays or research papers in a few days time. This is not the practice at Adams State, on campus or online. Given that anyone can openly enroll in a Massive Open Online Course for free, what student pay for in an online course for credit is the instructor's individualized attention. HLC investigators who reviewed ASU's online coursework found that these interactions were insufficient for US Department of Education guidelines. The design for good education generally influences the design of an educational space and not the other way around. Course caps are not set by room size because ASU was incapable of designing larger rooms but rather the design of ASU's educational model influenced the size of the rooms in which classes are taught. If the intent was simply to have the most students in one place, ASU could hold all classes at Rex Stadium.
September 29, 2016 at 7:52am Thanks for the long lecture at 9:53 pm. It didn't answer any of the questions many of us have. Of course quality and numbers can be related. While small classes can be badly taught and large classes can be well-taught I will still bet on smaller. And yes, Adams of course needs to be accredited. Some of you continue to lecture on non-issues that none are disputing, but then I guess you are professors... What about campus professors who teach 4 sections of 50 students each semester? That is 400 students per year, compared to some who teach 200 (or less) per year? The question remains: What are the allowable numbers from HLC? Not what our classrooms will seat - 24, 36, etc. And should our numbers be different than those of CSU Pueblo? Has HLC ever noticed that large universities often teach 300-500 in lecture halls and the students never meet the professor? Just wondering.
September 28, 2016 at 9:53pm Quality and numbers are related. Many students are attracted to colleges with smaller class sizes, including Adams, because it gives them individualized attention. This is especially true for students who require more personalized instruction because they have remedial educational needs, are first generation, or are non-traditional – all of which are more common at Adams State than the national norm. When faculty can teach smaller class sizes, each student gets more overall attention. It's axiomatic that a professor can be more detail-oriented with the needs of a dozen students than a hundred students or five hundred students. This is true in-person and online. This is true around the world. Studies of best practices in educational outcomes show what most of us already sense is true: for every level of education, a small student-teacher ratio means more engagement, retention, and higher performance. The HLC likely knows this and recognizes that for schools to retain quality, they also need to be mindful of class sizes. ASU hasn't been doing this very well, evidently, and probation is the result. Here's the bigger problem. A monetizing of higher education means that quality is always the first to go in favor of profit margins, particularly by those who never really understood what quality education looked like to begin with. It's not a coincidence that with large online class sizes, more students have complained in evaluations about limited contact with their instructors and that instructors often haven't structured courses with firm due dates and sufficient contact hours. These factors create a feedback loop that certainly increases institutional revenue in the short term but at the expense of quality pedagogy overall. If there is truly such skepticism of the notion that quality education means being held to national standards of academic excellence, why hasn't a group of faculty and administrators publicly made a case for why accreditation isn't necessary for ASU? If there is such a predominant mentality that this remote university has a monopoly on best practices for higher education and requires no outside supervision, why not go in alone in the “free market” of for-profit education? Surely most faculty in the School of Business thinks this approach is superior, anyway.
September 28, 2016 at 9:52pm You people are pathetic. You heard two people say they were bullied by Ed? I hope you laughed at them. Ed's old and has a bad back. However he is a stellar academic and a campus leader. Maybe these people feel bullied by others who do the work and are successful. Quick, someone get them into one of the grieving stages... Really, were these adults?
September 28, 2016 at 9:29pm Quality is one thing and numbers are something else. Aren't enrollment caps on Banner often set based upon room size? If you have 24 seat classrooms you enter 24 as the cap. How many faculty get to cap at 24 in a 50 seat classroom? That would break the budget hiring all of the adjuncts needed to reduce by half so many classes. Is that the new rule for face-to-face? I don't believe it. And please don't tell us that HLC reached an absolute number for online enrollment caps based upon our campus classroom seat availability. That would not be holistic study but rather half-ass-tic. Nor should HLC be determining class size for Adams. A good online class is a good online at CU, Adams, or Stanford. What is the HLC numbers they want us to meet? That should not be a hard question and should not be a different number than for any other college.
September 28, 2016 at 9:09pm I will second that comment about Crowther and the esteem he holds for himself. I've heard several of his colleagues refer to him as a bully. That certainly fits what I've seen. I don't think there needs to be a lot of tension between administration and faculty (for example Dr. Gilmer's fine approach), but Crowther maintains and creates it by being "the least faculty-oriented faculty member," always willing to defend administration's poorest decisions.
September 28, 2016 at 5:46pm The comment today at 4:52 refers to Ed Crowther as an "esteemed colleague." They must be a very talented creative writing professor. I had regard for the man once, until I experienced firsthand how he treats colleagues, particularly those who are vulnerable and need help. I have since talked to many faculty and staff on campus who view Crowther as the least faculty-oriented faculty member, quick to throw any fellow professor under the bus to impress administration or just make himself feel better. The only esteem I sense around Crowther is self-esteem, not the esteem of his colleagues.
September 28, 2016 at 5:15pm The question has been asked, "What specific number, quota, limit, amount, count (etc.) did our faculty violate?" Turns out that there is a specific number. Did anyone here bother to actually read the HLC Advisory report? It clearly states on page 9-10 exactly what people have been asking here. I strongly suspect that the person who asked this doesn't actually want the answer though, they just want to continue to play the victim for ASU. But anyway, here it is: "Given this information, the Team attempted to contrast full-time and adjunct on-campus vs. Extended Studies adjunct teaching workloads. A regular FT campus-based faculty teaching load is 12 cr. hrs. for the fall and spring semesters. Review of Fall 2015 courses listed in the Banner enrollment system showed enrollment caps of 24 students in all lower level English courses and caps of 36 for Math 104 and 42 for Math 106. Thus, full-time on-campus English faculty could teach approximately 192 students per year, and math faculty could teach a maximum of either 288 (Math 104) or 336 (Math106) students per year in these lower level courses. These numbers contrast sharply with the much larger volumes seen in Extended Studies open enrollment sections." And more on page 11 that speaks to the poor quality of these Extended Studies courses: "Team reviews of over 60 Extended Studies courses found that some OSB (online semester-based) courses had no set due dates for assignments and allowed or encouraged students to treat the semester based courses as self-paced courses. This finding was substantiated by instructors and students during on-site interviews, and Team members found instructor comments to this effect within the reviewed courses including but not limited to the quote below in which an instructor explicitly states the self-paced nature of the semester-based course in the syllabus: “Essentially, though, this is a self-paced course which you may complete in as few as six weeks from your date of registration.” Coupled with the above observations, the Team noted no visible student-instructor interaction in numerous semester-based courses. This finding calls the classification of these courses into question in relation to the ASU and federal policy definitions. Similarly, the lack of any noticeable instructional or interactional differences between several courses taught both as OE (open enrollment) and OSB courses suggests that instructors are likely using the same instructional methods and materials for both courses with no discernible modifications evident that allow for interaction in the semester-based course sections." There you have it from the HLC. Their investigation, just like Dr. Mathieu's found Extended Studies is VIOLATING ASU'S OWN ENROLLMENT CAPS and also VIOLATING FEDERAL POLICY DEFINITIONS for student-instructor interactions in online coursework. Before you accuse the HLC of "bullying," you might want to do some research and get your facts straight. That's something they must not teach very often at Adams State.
September 28, 2016 at 4:52pm There's no denial of anyone I know that we are on probation and that it is a serious situation that will require serious leadership. Okay. We all knew that on day one of probation. We knew that before we knew we were supposed to be grieving about something. We knew that before people insulted thematic cross walks. We knew that before people used "rat assed bastard" insults to esteemed colleagues. But the question was asked: "What specific number, quota, limit, amount, count (etc.) did our faculty violate? " And the answer that was given is: "...there is no specific number..." Does that not worry some of you academics? It should scare the hell out of you that no number exists and yet we accept punishment for violating a standard that was not there. Given the same (OES, classes, credits, loads, etc.) situation at Michigan or Ohio State this would never happen. I support OES changes and reforms, limits, etc., but HLC clearly did use us as their whipping boy. I appreciate President McClure making that clear to them. The adults among us who are not grieving will do the clean-up, but we will also make our feelings very clear to HLC, and to our "colleagues" on campus who insult those who did the work they were asked to do.
September 28, 2016 at 3:47pm Someone is a little thick in failing to understand the stages of grieving analogy. I think the point is that many academic offenders (and their defenders) appear to be drowning in denial.
September 28, 2016 at 2:25pm To use that sports analogy: how many times can a player fumble before they are pulled from the game? What about personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct? What about when the coach is caught running illegal plays or making illegal substitutions? What about when the team owners ignore and even endorse these practices? Does anyone ever get pulled from the game around ASU? Or just the referrees who blow the whistle?
September 28, 2016 at 2:03pm Oh, there's definitely grief here..." I guess that is good to know, along with the rest, but it is sad. I am not certain how we would know someone is grieving or is angry or is depressed because their employer got sanctioned. This is certainly not something you would tell coworkers. And if you did they would likely look at you with less respect and wonder if you are up to the task. We have indeed become very weak and weak-kneed people. It is why we cannot control our city streets and why we cannot defeat ISIS. A five-step grieving plan? What did people do before the plan? Was there no grieving? No. Better men and better women grieved and then moved on. Grieving because your organization got sanctioned? However do you deal with the pain? Wah, wah, wah! Some of you are wanted back in middle school for an appointment with your counselor. When you are prepared to become men and women come back and join us at Adams. I don't teach OES classes so I didn't create the problem. Neither did many of you. But one player fumbles and the whole team can lose. That is life in the adult lane, although many learn of it in little league. Clearly some of you have not. I guess you can move to step one, it awaits you. But ultimately we will not grieve our way to recovery and out of HLC sanctions. We will not anger our way out. We will not depression our way out. We will not five-step our way out. We simply do the work, and it is better if we stick tight together while doing it. Pointing fingers at coaches who made bad calls or players who fumbled has not been shown to work. Pointing at crosswalks and others' salaries does not keep us tight together. The president we have is the president we will have next year. The faculty who some believe "fumbled" are the same faculty we will have next year. You and they will serve on committees and/or senate together. I am in about half of our buildings everyday and I have not met the grievers and criers so I am confident we have enough people committed to ASU to do the work and move us forward. The rest of you, step one or your middle school counselor awaits.
September 28, 2016 at 1:30pm Yeah, but that's the problem, isn't it? McClure doesn't lean in. She leans ON.
September 28, 2016 at 11:29am Oh, there's definitely grief here because ASU lost something important as an institution, called "credibility," when it was put on probation. The responses are on full display here and on campus - some anger, some denial, some depression, a bit of bargaining, and hopefully also acceptance. Your analogy is broken so let me fix it or you. ASU Extended Studies is initially stopped for stolen vehicle registration (Confessions of a Fixer), then the officer (HLC) concludes that the vehicle is found to be out of compliance for safe operations due to multiple design failures and operator errors, the driver (McClure) yells at the officer for being singled out for profiling but the officer rolls their eyes and writes the driver a warning, so the irate driver's spouse (Gilmer) gets a mechanic's second opinion (Mathieu) who concludes the vehicle is totally dangerous to drive and wonders why the driver kept it on the road with motor oil gushing across the highway, steam rising from under the hood, and the "check engine" light blinking for the past several years. Yet the driver insisted on telling the entire family (ASU community) that the vehicle was fine and it's perfectly normal for all those things to be happening! A warning from the HLC officer was awfully generous given that the driver and car manufacturer should be in jail.
September 28, 2016 at 5:59am Good God we are doomed. Not Adams but America. Five stages of grief? Thanks for the introductory lesson but who's grieving? What a bunch of sissypants, male and female. Grieving over a sanction? They happen, you fix them and move on. We used to be a stronger people, now we are lectured about how to grieve because the inspectors came to town. Here is a more apt analogy than those offered: You are stopped for speeding. You ask the officer what the speed limit is and she says it's not that easy. There is no posted speed limit. They use a holistic study approach to determine speed. But you were traveling with the traffic. It doesn't matter, you should have known and although you were driving safely they will take away your license. So speed limits are not like some Excel Spreadsheet number that can simply be posted on highway signs, but dealing with grief is, in five easy steps. What is this country coming to? No one denies we need to reform OES. No one is complaining about posting speed (course/student) limits. We simply support Adams first and want our leaders, President McClure to "lean in" and not bend over throughout this process. A little bit of support for her and her team would help rather than the constant "we suck" hater approach that has been employed so far.
September 27, 2016 at 9:45pm In this OES controversy, there's plenty of accountability to be shared by faculty, staff, administrators and board members alike who knew about and abused online coursework for institutional and personal profits. College professors and administrators are supposed to be role models for students and experts in their field. The multiple findings of compliance violations by many people within ASU demonstrates that this isn't about any one person's wrong-doing but a workplace that permitted academic fraud. So who is going to be held accountable and when? ASU put three people on administrative leave during the investigation but assured everyone that they did nothing wrong. So now we see that there was broad and systemic wrong-doing, yet Novotny, Roybal, and Phillips still have their jobs. McClure is still president, Salazar is still board chair. How is it possible for this much dysfunction to exist and yet no one is responsible for it? It's awfully convenient to blame people like Svaldi and Mansheim who skipped town before the proverbial shit hit the fan.
September 27, 2016 at 8:17pm Those arguing that someone can teach 7 on-campus courses plus hundreds of online students in a semester and do it well are delusional, as is their claim: "Only a bullying agency like accreditors could get away with this." It's like saying "I'm fine to drive when my blood-alcohol is .15." You may think so, but you are wrong. Just as your blood-alcohol induced impairments put others at risk, your outrageous load negatively affects students. Dr. Mathieu documented this by sampling live classes and witnessing minimal interaction, as well as complaints about minimal interaction in evaluations, and outrageous incomplete rates. To refer to accreditors, who are looking out for students, as bullies is like calling the cop who pulls you over a bully. The analogy continues: you pulling this crap is like driving a huge bus full of people. You are putting all of us sober passengers at risk. When the bus crashes and we lose accreditation, ASU closes. So get over yourself and think about something other than your bank account for a change, like your students and colleagues and quality and ethics.
September 27, 2016 at 3:59pm Keep kicking sand in the face of the HLC. That's a winning strategy. It seems to be working really well for Adams at the moment.
September 27, 2016 at 2:55pm Right. So the honest truth is that our faculty violated no rule, exceeded no limit, broke no regulation and yet they are called out and blamed here for events. Walter Roybal is not a faculty member, he is a bureaucrat who manages work flow. There are only two names that should appear on these pages, Svaldi and Novotny. They could/should have kept the university in compliance. It was their jobs to monitor and understand the non-published holistic criteria of HLC, which is not something to be understood or overseen by every adjunct instructor or professor. ----Editor's Reply: The Higher Learning Commission found that “the University is out of compliance with Criterion Two, Core Component 2.A, 'the institution operates with integrity in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; it establishes and follows policies and processes for fair and ethical behavior on the part of its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff.'” The HLC's purpose is not to assign wrongdoing to individual employees of the university as its role as an accrediting body reviews compliance on an institution-wide basis. As the Mathieu report confirms, the university administration knowingly allowed these online course overloads and insufficient student contact activities to take place. They did so until the Chronicle article “Confessions of a Fixer” brought attention to security verification issues, prompting an HLC review, subsequent sanction, and further findings of compliance violations by an independent audit. According to the metadata on the file, the hr-report.pdf "Extended Studies Faculty Enrollment 2013-2015" was prepared by Judy Philips, Assistant VP for OES Operations on January 21st 2016. We have presented this file for a broader understanding of the HLC's findings and the OES audit with regard to course overloads. If you believe names or information herein appear to be in error, you should contact Judy Philips. However, violations of compliance include many individuals involved and the findings available reflect that. Individuals such as Walter Roybal and William Schlaufman appear here because they taught coursework for Extended Studies, which is the scope and purpose of this document. One can observe an ongoing theme of “it's not my fault” at ASU even as a variety of fiscal, academic, legal and public relations problems plague the university and negatively affect the experience of students, staff, faculty, and administrators. Further, efforts to blame someone else do not exactly persuade accreditors, auditors, or ratings boards. The claim that “our faculty violated no rule, exceeded no limit, broke no regulation and yet they are called out and blamed here for events” is certainly a view you are entitled to hold. Others clearly disagree and this forum is available for everyone's consideration. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross proposed the now widely-accepted theory that grief is processed in five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We imagine that many ASU employees are in various stages at this point and your ongoing commentary today exemplifies the stage of denial. We hope that the institution as a whole moves into the stage of acceptance in order to improve the university's standing and academic performance.
September 27, 2016 at 2:25pm I guess I'll ask again. What specific number, quota, limit, amount, count (etc.) did our faculty violate? How did they get overrides or otherwise ignore the HLC or ASU course, section or student count limits? How many students are our faculty allowed to have in a face-to-face class on campus? ----Editor's Reply: You may wish to contact the HLC directly using this link or consult with Dr. Chris Gilmer, Vice President of Academic Affairs. The short answer is that there is no specific number because accreditation is not a linear equation that can fit onto an Excel spreadheet. It is a comprehensive and qualitative assessment of a university's adherence to academic standards in delivering education.
September 27, 2016 at 1:46pm Right. So they took a hocus pocus approach and our faculty violated nothing. Only a bullying agency like accreditors could get away with this. It is time to expose them. ----Editor's Reply: Right. So then ASU sought out a second opinion with an external auditor having extensive credentials in distance education. Dr. Mathieu's report reached similar findings, though even more critical of ASU given increased attention to detail: "The investigation revealed a great deal of information, practices, and anomalies in the administration of the OES that, together, indicated very serious deficiencies and behaviors that more than verified the findings of the HLC Advisory Team visit in 2015. The egregious, diverse, and arguably unethical nature of many of the findings run counter to HLC criteria for reaffirmation of accreditation to the degree that the accreditor felt it was necessary to move directly to an institutional status of probation. Due to the seriousness of the original findings, particularly in a state higher education institution that is part of a state higher education system, it was apparently felt by HLC that violations warranted a very stern warning. From what was learned in the current investigation, the sanction imposed seems justified." There will always be a psychology of denial to protect a culture of corruption, particularly among the most guilty parties involved. If you consider a comprehensive evaluation standard as a "hocus pocus" approach and that imposing consequences for violations to be "a bullying agency," you are free to make such an effort to, um, "expose" the Higher Learning Commission. You may not want to identify your affiliations with ASU while the university is being reviewed for accreditation, unless you also believe that ASU would be better off without accreditation. The HLC should be informed of this conspiratorial attitude during its comprehensive visit to evaluate the university's accreditation in April 2017. In your zealous crusade against academic standard-bearers that impede profiteering off college students, you may also consider that the U.S. Department of Education is also actively conspiring against Adams State University and "exposing" them, as well.
September 27, 2016 at 12:33pm What is the exact limit HLC had imposed that these faculty violated? ----Editor's Reply: The HLC took a holistic approach in their assessment. They considered class sizes, amount of faculty-student interactions, due dates, online credit hour assignments, course sequencing, standards for full time teaching loads, and ASU’s own Hybrid and Online Course Credit Hour Assignment for Undergraduate Courses policy. The HLC concluded, "there is not sufficient faculty-staff interaction for these courses to be classified as distance education courses under the U.S. Department of Education’s Electronic Code of Federal Regulations."
September 27, 2016 at 11:42am "Teaching an online course the first time can take up to 40 percent more time than teaching a face-to-face course. Subsequent offerings take less time, but on average teaching a course online will take as much time as teaching face-to-face." - Source: "Myths and Realities of Teaching Online" - U. Illinois - Urbana/Champaign
September 27, 2016 at 11:26am This is not about jealousy. This is about favoritism, nepotism and fraud.
September 27, 2016 at 11:25am The OES audit noted major pay disparities between online and on-campus faculty. When a workplace is filled with pay inequality and institutional privilege, calling for equity means that some people will perceive it as "jealousy." At ASU, the people who benefit from unfair systems want to maintain them and discredit those who call for fairness. Improving quality education online means being able to focus individual attention on students, which is simply not possible with huge class sizes. It is ironic because ASU advertises a personal connection with professors in small classes on campus yet does the complete opposite online. If we know that individual attention is what produces quality education on campus, why would the institution allow for a completely different set of values in Extended Studies? Oh wait, we already know the answer and it is painted on the new crosswalk to the School of Business.
September 27, 2016 at 11:11am Then let's focus on improving the quality and not who made how much money or who taught how many sections. If they taught for free 90% of the comments on these pages would not apply - the trolls have made it about their jealously, other people's money, and dislike for productive people. Improve quality checks and standards and let that determine who can teach what and how many. If it is determined that a particular professor can meet high quality standards and effectively teach 60, 600 or 1,600 students why would we care? What is the exact limit HLC had imposed that these faculty violated?
September 27, 2016 at 10:56am Ellen Novotny for 2013-2014 had 303 Extended Studies online students. If you multiply 250, the fee OES instructors receive per ES student, by 303 (the number of students), the result is 75,750. This is the total fee that Ms. Novotny should have received for her “service” to Adams. INSTEAD, she received $141,750. For 2014-2015 she had 180 students. She should have made $45,000. INSTEAD, she raked in $127,575. Shouldn’t the fact that Ms. Novotny is the wife of former VPAA for Adams? Why else would she receive such a sweet heart deal while the majority of the faculty at Adams are so far under CUPA standards?
September 27, 2016 at 10:36am Yes, it is possible to mass produce the minimal level of instruction for an online course to 600 students with enough keyboard and mouse clicks. But this does not make a quality educational experience and the HLC knows it, even if some in the ASU School of Business don't. The purpose of an accrediting body is to ensure that academic standards are maintained and quality assurance is provided to students enrolling in coursework at that institution. ASU has failed to maintain those standards in the Office of Extended Studies as faculty disregarded quality instruction in exchange for higher pay while the administration managed and oversaw the entire operation, attempting to assure everyone that nothing was wrong. Yet indeed many people knew or should have known that Extended Studies was engaging in blatant wrongdoing. Imagine if this practice were allowed to continue unchecked and Adams State persisted in cutting corners for higher revenue. There is apparently no end to greed at the expense of a quality education for students. "Great swindles begin here." It is a very good thing that the Chronicle of Higher Education uncovered the abuse that the HLC investigated and sanctioned ASU when it did!
September 27, 2016 at 7:37am It is my suspicion that the picture is not an ASU professor teaching hundreds of online students. Somebody lied. If it is, much of the technology is wasted and one good motivated professor with a computer could do it. It is interesting how many of you are sounding like a cross between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton - very low energy, not the stamina to get real work done. The Bistro Rialto has one location, Buffalo Wild Wings has 800. The difference is one person and their motivation. The car will never replace the horse. ATM's will never be more reliable than a vending machine and people will not use them. Denver won't be 3-0 with a baby quarterback. One professor cannot teach 600 students. We hear it all the time. Jeb or Hillary cannot, and I believe that those of you who say it cannot be done can't do it. Fair enough, people should know their limitations.
September 26, 2016 at 9:40pm
September 26, 2016 at 9:32pm This weekend I had the unpleasant experience of having a long talk with two professors, one from an exclusive private college and one from a for-profit online "university." Both ends of the spectrum, right? By the end of the conversation, it was clear that Adams represented the low end when it came to our OES. Of course the prof from the rich private school was appalled by the whole conversation. Much more hurtful was the perspective from the for-profit prof. She expressed doubts about what she was doing and the quality of the education they were providing. She justified it by saying she needed to feed her kids. However, it became clear that their academic, professional, and ethical standards were well above what has been going on in OES. It was one thing for the CC prof to be appalled by ASU, but it really hit home when the for-profit prof was appalled. Corruption is the only word to describe the status quo at ASU.
September 26, 2016 at 8:26pm I checked in to see what was new on WA and to let recent writers know they should save their neoliberal bullshit arguments for the HLC. It's not us you need to convince. HLC holds the cards. And then I read this hilarious statement "Maybe it's time to ask President McClure to stand up for us and push back against the bullying of our "accrediting" agency." How ironic. Made my night. Still can't stop laughing. Yeah, sic McClure on them. After all, she told everyone (including parents) that we had no problems. Unfortunately, HLC, Mathieu, and Gilmer aren't stupid enough to believe that. There's a difference between being a "business person" and an "academic." A few people here may be both, but the folks rationalizing low academic quality are neither in the long run. Just deluded.
September 26, 2016 at 6:41pm To the person who made the comment on 9/26/16 at 9:37 a.m. You simply don’t get it. Please, I IMPLORE YOU, do the math. It’s simply NOT HUMANLY POSSIBLE to teach the sections (at least not effectively) that some of these professors received compensation for. PERIOD. Even working 16 hours a day for 6-7 days a week. It. Is. Not. Possible. Add to that outside commitments (City Council, attending most sporting events) and the possibility of providing quality COLLEGE-LEVEL education to over 600 students is unattainable. THAT IS AN ISSUE. Students receive poor instruction, which they pay for AGAIN later when they take a class from someone who is not teaching 600 STUDENTS! If all they take are classes from these instructors, the degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and they find that out very quickly when they try to get a job with their unaccredited online degree from ASU. But maybe that’s all part of the plan. They can re-take classes they failed after getting inadequate instruction the first time around (cha-ching), they are unemployable because ASU is unaccredited so we admit them into the MBA program (cha-ching-cha-ching) and when it’s all said and done – we’ve taken a student for over $50,000 with nothing to show for it! Makes you proud to be a GRIZZLY! This isn’t about additional income from the sale of books, completing taxes, or other NON-ASU related supplemental income. This is about lining your pockets with ASU money for work that isn’t humanly possible to complete – no matter how productive you are. This is about greed and fraud. This is about answering to students that paid for access to an instructor and did not receive what they paid for. We are an institution of higher education and we are held to higher standards than most – as well we should be. The Office of Extended Studies is the equivalent of a sweatshop. One professor teaching over 600 students! Don’t wash that garment! It’s going to fall apart – just like your online ASU degree.
September 26, 2016 at 6:22pm "Sissified tenureland"...well there's a real intellectual talking. Listen, Mr. Hensley, there aren't enough hours in the week for your wifey to get everything done that she's paid (or volunteers)to do. She reads her council packets when? 8-5 Monday thru Friday--when she's being paid by the state? Guess what? That's falsification of time records--or--FRAUD! She teaches her overloads when? 8-5 Monday thru Friday? Guess what? FRAUD!! Overload means after regular hours. And with all of her overloads and extracurricular activities, there is NO WAY IN HELL that Liz Thomas Hensley is putting in the time required to meet the FTE much less do it effectively. It is physically impossible! And the OES investigation report SAYS SO. Liz is directly responsible--along with a few others--for our probation. And yet the business faculty and their spouses are just too ignorant to get it! Wow! What ARE those students learning?
September 26, 2016 at 4:34pm And that rat-ass bastard Crowther is allowed to teach online courses and yet he criticized my colleague over there in the music department for wanting to teach "online". No wonder Crowther cannot be trusted. Hell, he too busy stabbing faculty in the back! Shame, shame, shame.
September 26, 2016 at 1:35pm If I told you that my factory could build a car in 2 hours while most factories took 18 hours, would you really want to buy it and drive it off the lot? And when regulators found major problems in the manufacturing process, would you call their findings “bullying?” If an online course is designed and monitored correctly, it wouldn't be possible to teach hundreds of students on top of a full time course load because it would require contact hours and interactions sufficient to satisfy academic standards. ASU's online program does not do that. That's why it's on academic probation – shoddy work that is misleading students and employers into believing an online degree from ASU is worth something when it's probably no longer worth the paper it's printed on after this whole scandal. The suggestion that President McClure “push back against the bullying of our "accrediting" agency” was on full display in her March 2016 response, claiming victimhood for the university as a “whipping boy” who has “obviously been chosen by the HLC to make some sort of political statement.” How has that worked out? The university is still on probation and has become the laughing stock of academic press. And now McClure looks completely out of her depth since the OES audit revealed severe dysfunction. But maybe this whole accreditation thing isn't necessary. Maybe ASU should just forego federal financial aid eligibility and try to run as an unaccredited, for-profit institution like Trump University.
September 26, 2016 at 1:06pm How do you intend to police faculty who teach similar amounts for other universities? So I can teach online for CU, CSU, BYU, and UP, but not for Adams? Seems like a double standard. Maybe it's time to ask President McClure to stand up for us and push back against the bullying of our "accrediting" agency. These should be decisions we make as faculty, not that bureaucrats make.
September 26, 2016 at 12:42pm There is no question that the ASU administration designed and oversaw the systemic abuses in Extended Studies and the OES report confirms this. But no on-campus employee was forced to teach online coursework; they did so to supplement their incomes and the administration had no problem taking two-thirds of the revenue for the institution - even when full-time faculty "taught" hundreds more students online. The administration doesn't even seem to understand or acknowledge that this was wrong.
September 26, 2016 at 10:10am If management abused the overtime policy don't blame the employees who did the work they were asked to do.
September 26, 2016 at 10:03am To the people defending these egregious course overload practices, particularly in the School of Business, does the HLC sanction or OES audit report give you any pause whatsoever? Have you so internalized this culture of corruption that you cannot even recognize it as being wrong? Has your self-serving economic philosophy clouded your sense of ethical responsibility? This rationalization of clear wrongdoing is the pathology of someone who believes in a "me" society rather than a "we" society. There are many people at Adams State and in the broader community who see the practices of Extended Studies and shake their head in disgust. Yet what is remarkable are those who not only defend but actively embrace the notion that education should be mass-produced for the highest profit even at the expense of academic integrity. Ironically, in the quest for being "the most productive," those who have abused Extended Studies are now placing everyone's productivity and livelihood at ASU in harm's way. That is not a fringe view but the factual findings of the HLC and Mathieu report.
September 26, 2016 at 9:37am So now the least productive employees of Adams are picking a fight with the most productive. Only in your sissified tenureland could this happen. Want to know how "Liz" is serving as a City Council member? Go to a meeting. See if she attends (yes she does). See if she has read her packet and is knowledgeable on the issues (she is). The same is true for the other boards and commissions she serves on. Linda Reid? This year she won a national teaching award, co-chaired the department without a reduced teaching load, and continued to provide services to the incarcerated to help them better themselves. Some of you complainers who call these professors out and "expose" their good work and contributions could not carry their bags. To paraphrase, people who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of people doing it. Some people work 16 hours a day 6-7 days a week and some people teach their 12 hours and go play in the outdoors or chase around with another man's wife. Or both. It's all about choices. What should be investigated is those of you who do the least and want the most. You make the loudest case to the Board of Trustees against pay raises. They all work for a living and know the difference between those who produce and those who complain and call out their "colleagues" for their superb efforts. On the other hand it is probably better that some of you work your twelve hour weeks and let others shoulder the load. You simply don't have what it takes to understand or do a real job of work.
September 26, 2016 at 7:52am This post from last night embodies irony: "I am reading comments posted here for the first time today. I hope if those participating in commentary are faculty, that you are putting as much effort into preparing for class and educating our students as you are in preparing your posts and researching matters." The people who are pissed aren't the ones teaching 500 students or 12 courses in a single semester. I'm guessing most faculty who are concerned about these unethical practices are the ones who don't want to lose their jobs. And the ones who teach something like a standard 4-4 load, so they can have time to interact with students 1-on-1, do research (their own and with students), publish (their own and with students), serve on committees (within ASU and beyond), review peer manuscripts for journals, sit on editorial boards, organize conferences, take students to conferences, and on and on. In other words, things academics are supposed to do, many of them with no additional compensation. So, it they take a little time to wake the &*$% up and try to improve things at ASU, I think you should excuse them.
September 26, 2016 at 7:46am To whoever is defending the pay of the scoundrels who taught unrealistic loads, get real. And read this: "Evidence of the negative impact of extreme course load to the quality of online teaching was found through random investigator access to “live” and recently completed online courses of faculty with the largest course load and consequent compensation. In the majority of observations, these was virtually no evidence of student engagement by the faculty in terms of student discussions, regular course announcements, assignment feedback, or answering student email. The majority of courses appeared to be virtually self-taught although this was not the intention when the courses were designed and likely did not match the expectations of students given the information they received in OES promotional materials. Some random checks on student evaluations of faculty in this category confirmed these observations in many cases as they noted the lack of access or availability of their instructor. They also often noted the low degree of difficulty in the course" - OES Audit Report Maybe those issues of poor quality aren't taken seriously in the Business building, but they are by HLC.
September 25, 2016 at 11:42pm As if Liz Hensley weren't busy enough teaching 615 students in 31 courses in a single year, she also had free time left over to run for office and serve as member of Alamosa's City Council. Given her highly questionable academic practices at ASU, one can only wonder how well she is serving the city of Alamosa.
September 25, 2016 at 11:29pm Elizabeth Thomas Hensley: Fall 2015: 218 students, 10 sections, 10 courses Spring 2016: 207 students, 8 sections, 8 courses Summer 2016: 39 students, 5 sections, 5 courses Online: 151 students, 35 sections, 8 courses Total: 615 students, 58 sections, 31 courses This crap just boggles the mind. Ten courses in a single semester, plus 8 online courses is just like the OES audit says, some profs are teaching 4X a normal load. Gosh, they sure do deserve all that money for working so hard! Isn't she the professor referred to in the Kuenhold report for giving away grades to athletes? Clearly, there is nothing unethical going on in the School of Business. Just a whole bunch of really hardworking professors dedicated to the best interests of their students / their own bank accounts.
September 25, 2016 at 10:50pm Let me get this right. Ed Crowther chairs two departments, is a faculty senator, and spends countless hours sucking up to administration. Therefore, he gets course releases and only teaches a very small number of students in one course per semester, one night a week. That enables him to deliver quality online education to: 182 students, in 49 sections, of 8 courses for something like an additional $41,000 per year (assuming he doesn't get the special Ellen Novotny rate). Maybe he doesn't need those course releases. Or maybe he's just a thief.
September 25, 2016 at 10:49pm I am reading comments posted here for the first time today. I hope if those participating in commentary are faculty, that you are putting as much effort into preparing for class and educating our students as you are in preparing your posts and researching matters. Let's get back to the reason we are at Adams State University, to provide a quality educational experience for our students. ----Editor's Reply: The entire point of this discussion is the obvious and urgent conclusion that ASU is very often not providing quality educational experiences to its Extended Studies students. That's not our opinion, that's the HLC's evaluation and confirmed by the Mathieu audit. This comment is a variation of the "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" command by the Wizard of Oz. Clearly, shared governance at ASU is either non-existent or so dysfunctional that it failed to address this calamity before it got so out of hand that the university ended up on academic probation and sustained negative press, further devaluing academic credibility of the institution. Perhaps it's time that ASU employees, students, and regulators pay more attention to the functions of the university, not less.
September 25, 2016 at 10:46pm Yes, some ASU Faculty are teaching on campus full-time and another full-time equivalent (or more) online. But it's not just faculty in on this "egregious" Extended Studies operation. Here's another example. Bill Schlaufman, ASU's Controller in Accounting, is a full time administrator making $85,008. Yet in 2014-2015, he also taught 35 Sections of 5 Courses with a total of 329 students. Assuming the $225/student rate mentioned previously, that's an additional $74,025 for $chlaufman, totaling $159,033! So are these people double-dipping during their day jobs, cutting corners to teach huge student loads on nights and weekends, or both? This kind of behavior casts doubts on academic integrity and performing the basic functions of administrators during their regular duties.
September 25, 2016 at 10:38pm I haven't had time to study the Extended Studies Enrollment file posted here, but let's not forget that many of these folks are supposed to be teaching a full load on campus IN ADDITION to these outrageous numbers of students/sections/courses. For example, someone posted: "Linda Reid: 259 students in 53 sections of an astounding 15 courses!" But she is full-time on-campus, so add in more students, more sections: Fall, 2015: 163 students, 7 sections, 6 courses! Spring, 2016: 154 students, 6 sections, 6 courses! Summer, 2016: 24 students, 3 sections, 3 courses in 3 weeks! Total: 600 students, 69 sections, 30 courses in one year! Super-woman. Students should start a class-action lawsuit. Hey Linda & Frank & Others, thanks for putting all our jobs at risk, as well as the reputation of ASU and our students' degrees.
September 25, 2016 at 8:46am "Uniformed" vs "uninformed" - let's not quibble about an obvious typo, likely due to autocorrect.
September 24, 2016 at 10:30pm As I recall from any number of campus-wide conversations, presentations and Faculty Senate meetings, the issue of faculty status for librarians has much more to do with bringing ASU into academic norms ("uniformed" standards, if you like) for the state of Colorado than related to issues of faculty salaries. But on that matter, according to the 2015 compensation committee's findings, the CUPA data shows that most faculty are underpaid at ASU and that librarians and other staff positions are, also. Well, except for all those administrative positions over 100% of CUPA and the former administrators now making way more than anyone else in their departments, including their own chairs. But sure, restoring faculty status for librarians at ASU (as was the case until the late 1980's), being a strongly-endorsed practice by the American Association of University Professors, would bring more tenured faculty back onto a campus amidst the "adjunctification" of higher education.
September 24, 2016 at 8:27pm A strange day on these pages. Why a commenter would call out someone for being "uniformed" is very strange. Some of us value our police and our military. But how would you tell simply by a comment if a person is uniformed or not? Must be some psycho-socio analysis. Then the apple and orange comment. Of course different retirement and investment plans operate under different rules with different payouts. All the more important to ensure you take maximum advantage of the one you are in. Who is going to call PERA on Monday and inform them that some ASU employees are trying to improve their benefit by working more? And aren't you the same crowd that supported lowering the average faculty salaries by bringing librarians into the faculty fold? Maybe you wanted the librarians to be "uniformed," or something, but somehow we missed your point on that.
September 24, 2016 at 7:07pm Re: the difference between defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans. The scariest part is that it's likely a business faculty member as ASU who doesn't know the difference. I'm curious...would our business grads be able to pass a graduation exam if one were required? Probably not.
September 24, 2016 at 4:20pm Apparently the author of the September 24, 2016 at 12:17pm post is “uniformed.” PERA is a defined benefit plan whereas Fidelity, TIAA-CREF and VALIC are defined contribution plans. Apples and oranges.
September 24, 2016 at 3:53pm Re: Scooby Doo, it's unfortunate, but until the administration actually does something, they have gotten away with it. Fraud, deceit, theft and all. It's so sad for the rest of us who work diligently to make this a great campus to have a few undermine our work so badly.
September 24, 2016 at 3:36pm No wonder there has been such antagonism and hostility to this website. It's like an episode of Scooby-Doo: "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for Watching Adams!"
September 24, 2016 at 3:01pm According to the September 24, 2016 at 12:17pm post “Whose profit do we all work for? Generally it is our own. We work for personal profit.” Of course we all work for personal profit. This is not in dispute, notwithstanding the invective “It was a stupid comment from an uninformed person who resents those who work to improve their lives.” This same post asserts “If the people who taught the classes did the work then they did not exploit anything.” This is true - IF and only IF “the people who taught the classes did the work.” The “work” requires providing a legitimate educational experience that does not compromise academic or institutional integrity. Conversely, instructors having outrageous enrollments that clearly preclude academic integrity, simply because it was permitted (or even encouraged) by the administration, certainly constitutes exploitation of an unsavory opportunity to maximize personal profit at the expense of the institution. Dr. Mathieu’s audit of Extended Studies clearly indicated that the enrollment numbers in courses of some instructors has been at the expense of institutional integrity/accreditation, stating: “The leadership of the OES and the Office of the former VPAA did little to correct what should have been obvious issues and problems that would soon seriously impact the University’s reputation and led to an HLC sanction of probation that threatens the accreditation of the University by the regional accreditor.” Dr. Mathieu’s report continues: “The ability of individual faculty to take advantage of additional compensation activities through OES appears egregious” and “The conclusion drawn from these observations is that there was often greater interest in remuneration rather than quality teaching and the maintenance of academic standards among many of the faculty teaching online courses.”
September 24, 2016 at 2:51pm According to someone here, online faculty get paid $225 / student, meaning the person who made over $176K in one year taught 784 students. Now we see that was Jill Coddington teaching Math and Business courses. Great work, good calculations! For actual numbers for all instructors, see: http://adams.edu/extended_studies/img/hr-report.pdf Looks like it was merely 703 students that year. Quality education delivered to 703 students - online - in 21 sections of 4 courses. The next year, Jill taught only 489 students in 30 sections of 6 courses. Linda Reid: 259 students in 53 sections of an astounding 15 courses! Benjamin Longfellow: 569 and 606 students in 21 and 23 sections Kristen Scott: 531 and 542 students. Ellen Novotny "only" taught 303, so why did she make the big bucks of $141,750? That works out to $467 / student. Must be the benefits of being married to the VPAA. Transparency does indeed start at Watching Adams!
September 24, 2016 at 2:17pm I suspect Tomlin was aware and understood the ramifications of the OES audit when he wrote his silly post, which included: "Your fixation on others people's earnings exposes your character more than it exposes anything wrong. It looks like some people did a lot of work and for that they were paid a modest amount of money. So what? The only potential scandal is if Svaldi and Novotny conspired to feather their nests through their spouses work. But those who did the work should not be vilified by you losers who do not. Salary is always determined at the intersection of talent and ambition." "So what?!" This is just a smokescreen to cover up the unethical practices of the School of Business. Don't look at what they've been doing when you should focus on Svaldi and Novotny... Sure. Someone posted here that a Business prof was teaching 9 credits in this year's 3-week May session, equivalent to a 45-credit semester load! And that was after McClure assured us "everything was fixed." Right, no reason to look at Business. They just ignored probation. Other people have addressed the ridiculous nature of Tomlin's post, so I'll just add this point. Salary is NOT "always determined at the intersection of talent and ambition"; sometimes it is determined by who you know and unethical practices. Some of those unethical practices were identified in the report: "The ability of individual faculty to take advantage of additional compensation activities through OES appears egregious and to have been facilitated by “rolling over” course teaching and other activities to the same individuals year after year within OES as the list of names of faculty at the top of the highest levels of compensation appears to be relatively stable year to year." "Review of the Human Resources area of the University website appears to reveal a lack of complete information regarding faculty and staff positions available at the University, particularly regarding adjunct faculty openings." "Solicitation of candidate information contributing to a perpetually robust pool of available adjunct faculty has apparently not been done in recent memory. Human Resources and the OES reported a dwindling pool of adjunct faculty as a partial explanation for faculty course overloads." Their greed went beyond teaching too many students to be able to deliver quality education; their greed extended to unethical hiring practices. The rich get richer and the poor get... to teach ethically. "So what?" So, we lose our accreditation and gain a whole lot of deserved bad press. Deserved by the bad apples, not the rest of us. We don't deserve to lose our jobs due to the greed of a few (few dozen?). Then again, maybe Tomlin didn't understand the ramifications of the OES audit report. With all its talk about ethics and academic standards, it must have been outside his experience.
HSeptember 24, 2016 at 2:01pm You know, if Adams State were a private, for-profit institution these disparities in pay may not matter so much. But Adams State is a public institution, entrusted by the taxpayers to fulfill a common good: the education of students. These business school economic arguments about maximizing personal profits are part of what is ruining education in the United States. ASU has been behaving like a corporate degree mill, intent on maximizing private revenue and compromising on quality education. And if Adams State weren't on academic probation for violations of compliance with common standards of online class size, contact hours, and degree qualifications, the quality of ASU's online instruction may not be such an issue. But it clearly IS an issue which has now jeopardized ASU's accreditation and diminished value of a degree from the institution. Every hard-working student and professor on campus has it worse off because the online program was designed and exploited for private profits. So imputing false motives of "resentment" or "inadequacy" upon those who bring this matter up simply distracts from the real issue. I highly doubt Dr. Mathieu cited structural problems so deep that he recommended closing down Extended Studies because he has resentment or feels inadequate toward ASU online instructors making triple what faculty make on campus. Get real.
September 24, 2016 at 12:17pm The 10:32 poster keeps referring to greedy exploiting for personal profit. That defines their views but not those who did the work. Whose profit do we all work for? Generally it is our own. We work for personal profit. If the people who taught the classes did the work then they did not exploit anything. They simply did more work for more pay. Regarding PERA, the point was made that if you earn more money and pay more into PERA then you will get more back from your investment. Duh... That's not just PERA. Would the commentor be equally unhappy if these "greedy exploiters" were not in PERA, but rather Fidelity, or TIAA-CREF, or VALIC? It was a stupid comment from an uninformed person who resents those who work to improve their lives. If these people did something wrong then report them to PERA, and get laughed at. Or just keep calling them out, insulting them here, to make up for your own inadequacies.
September 24, 2016 at 10:32am It is worth pointing out that for some of the most egregious exploiters of Extended Studies income, shameless profiteering in the short term is not their primary, and most offensive, motivation. For those individuals identified in the September 23, 2016 at 11:34pm post (E. Novotny, L. Reid, E. Crowther, V. Svaldi) who are vested in the public retirement system (PERA) their greed extends into the indefinite future by maximizing Extended Studies income to grossly increase their highest average salary (HAS) that, in turn, determines the annual benefit paid to them upon their retirement. Thus, their greatest and greediest motivation is to grossly inflate the PERA retirement income they will receive - for the rest of their lives! Obviously, paying grossly inflated benefits will ultimately have an adverse effect on the ability of PERA to remain solvent, and therefore potentially on the benefits paid to other PERA members. However, it is doubtful that this is of any concern to these individuals. As observed in a previous post (September 24, 2016 at 7:30am) “The only potential scandal is if Svaldi and Novotny conspired to feather their nests through their spouses work.” Given that the approval of both the former VPAA and former President were required, this clearly applies in both cases. As argued in this same post, “It looks like some people did a lot of work and for that they were paid a modest amount of money. So what?” Indeed, income generated by extracurricular professional activity should be applauded and not vilified - so long as the activity in question is neutral with respect to any potential effect on the institution. However, the concerns being expressed here are in the specific context of greedily exploiting Extended Studies at ASU for personal profit at the obvious expense of academic/institutional integrity and, as it turns out, institutional credibility/accreditation.
September 24, 2016 at 10:16am The previous comment fails to understand or simply isn't aware of the recent Office of Extended Studies audit. This is a major scandal which goes way beyond individual salaries. The OES audit cares about major pay equity issues between some online instructors and standard $50k faculty contracts on campus, noting "there was often greater interest in remuneration rather than quality teaching and the maintenance of academic standards among many of the faculty teaching online courses for OES.” The HLC cares about complying with academic standards such as reasonable class sizes and teaching loads that demonstrate sufficient student contact for accredited programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education cares about a president who goes around saying nothing is wrong and the university is being unfairly targeted as a "whipping boy" when documented evidence of widespread and systemic problems exists to the contrary. And everyone who teaches or is enrolled at Adams State should care about an "egregious" and "dysfunctional" Extended Studies program whose longstanding abuse was designed and officiated at the highest levels of administration and now jeopardizes the university's accreditation while damaging its credibility. Some people care about quality higher education, academic integrity, and accountability from public officials. But some people only care about money and the pure fantasy that it necessarily flows to the most noble and gifted individuals. Maybe they should apply to be the new CEO of Wells Fargo.
September 24, 2016 at 7:30am Wow, this really is a witch hunt. Why do you care how much money other people make if they did the work? Your loser envy is shouting loud. It's a good thing Adams does not have an Engineering or Law school or some of you would be suicidal. Their salaries would be higher than any of yours and they often double or triple their salaries with professional work outside the university. Do you care if a professor owns a farm or ranch and makes $100K there? Do you care if an English prof writes a best selling novel and earns a $100K? Do you care if a science professor registers patents and sells them to ag or pharm companies for $100K? Do you care if an accounting professor picks up a $100K for tax, trust or estate work? Do you care if a counseling professor develops a self-help program and sells a $100K in dvds? Do you care if a political science professor earns $100K advising campaigns during an election year? Do you care if a computer science faculty sells a software program they wrote for $5mil? God help you if you ever take a job at a large university where these things are commonplace and in fact small change. Of course you will never get that job... Your fixation on others people's earnings exposes your character more than it exposes anything wrong. It looks like some people did a lot of work and for that they were paid a modest amount of money. So what? The only potential scandal is if Svaldi and Novotny conspired to feather their nests through their spouses work. But those who did the work should not be vilified by you losers who do not. Salary is always determined at the intersection of talent and ambition. If you want more money simply look internally at those two things, not externally at those who have both.
September 23, 2016 at 11:34pm Very interesting data. Excellent work Danny on finally getting it and sharing--cause ya know--it is public record. What I now would like to see are salary data in the 50k-99k range--not just for adjuncts but also tenure/tenure-track ASU faculty. Yes 100k+ is egregious...but think about the potential for a FT faculty member earning more though OES and overloads than their base. Perhaps another open records request is actual annual earnings of the worst alleged culprits--Linda Reed, Liz Thomas, Ed Crowther, Ellen Novotny, Virginia Svaldi, others ("super-human business faculty" as outlined by a previous commentator). Oh! And let's request those salary data not just from OES but from all university coffers. Let's get a holistic look at the accused, campus-wide. I suspect, there's more eye opening information that would make one absolutely nauseous! One question for Ellen Novotny: how do you show your face on campus without being absolutely embarrassed? What a worthless piece of work you are. Tsk tsk!
September 23, 2016 at 3:53pm Are these culprits E. Novotny, Aldrich, etc. going to be held accountable for their greed and corruption?
September 23, 2016 at 2:55pm ----Editor's Note: The names of faculty making over $100,000 annually through Extended Studies has now been published here.
September 23, 2016 at 9:38am Follow the money trail and you will find the corruption. As tacky as the dollar sign crosswalks are, they certainly are fitting.
September 23, 2016 at 9:28am Under the leadership of Svaldi, McClure and Salazar, Adams State University has been failing the taxpayers of Colorado for years, putting everyone's job at risk and taking advantage of distance education students. People should contact the Colorado Governor's Office and Higher Learning Commission directly. McClure and Salazar should be compelled to testify under oath before the State Legislature about knowingly egregious practices and subsequent efforts to cover up institutional dysfunction with a culture of intimidation at Adams State.
September 23, 2016 at 9:05am Looks like the Assistant Vice Presidents of Extended Studies were rewarded well for being really bad at their jobs and putting the University at risk: Year VP Academics VP Operations Raise 14-15 $66,636 $78,204 0% 15-16 $75,360 $83,148 13.1% and 6.0% 16-17 $76,872 $84,816 2% It looks like Walter got a 13% raise in the year following the Confessions of a Fixer article. Great work team. Rather than fix things, ASU just rewards those who maintain the broken status quo. It is sickening to go to the Extended Studies page and see a link for "Academic Integrity at ASU": "1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty." That certainly describes Roybal, Novotny, Doell, McClure, and Salazar.
September 23, 2016 at 9:02am The School of Business needs to be independently investigated.
September 23, 2016 at 8:41am Per a previous post: "...half the School of Business..." A quick review of Extended Studies web page reveals no less than 44 Business courses offered, the majority of which are either print-based or open enrollment. Business faculty must be superhuman instructors!
September 23, 2016 at 12:49am "Mumper, Crowther, Timothy Goddard and a host..." Wow! What an uninformed individual you are! One for certain has never taught through OES, a second highly unlikely given what he does and what he teaches. The third probably belongs in this basket. But I think my biggest concern is your righteousness that is sooooo uninformed and frankly distracting for those who ARE guilty of theft--Novotnys, Svaldis, half the school of business. Do us all a favor and actually do an open records request. Maybe you will learn something. SMH!
September 22, 2016 at 10:31pm Mumper, Crowther, Timothy Goddard, and a host of other faculty are part of the "8" OES. If not, further probing shoud be conducted to uncover just who are these "8" robbers that got away with a massive "burglary" Madoff scheme. Madoff was convicted and found guilty of intentionally swindling millions of dolloars from investors, especially the most vulnerable population, senior citizens. And why should ASU blink to such criminal behavior without any punishment handed down? Jail time is appropriate!
September 22, 2016 at 8:43pm STOP THE BUS!!! If you look at the "Extended Studies Faculty Making Over $100K" file, notice that the Position number is identical for all entries / all years (OFNC01). Unless I'm mistaken, that means these all refer to one person! I just looked at the salary data for past years and the position numbers appear to be unique. I looked at my own contract, and again, it is unique within those files each year. So, it appears that ONE PERSON made: 2013: $266,175 2014: $303,975 2015: $395,550 Either I'm correct or OES was making up their own procedures. Either way, Administration has some explaining to do. Some folks need to be fired. Some folks should probably go to jail.
September 22, 2016 at 5:43pm Previous post: "Dr. Novotny and ultimately by former President Svaldi (the buck stops here)." I thought Sheila Trice Bell, the consultant that was brought in to talk about shared governance, said the buck ultimately stops with the Board. Salazar and his gang are culpable. Get rid of all of them, McClure first.
September 22, 2016 at 3:16pm At $225 per student (for 3.0 credit hours) the individual who was paid $176,400 would have to have a whopping 784 students!
September 22, 2016 at 2:13pm One can calculate how many students ES instructors were teaching per year by dividing by $225, which is what instructors receive as remuneration per student. For example, in order to earn $100,000 teaching online at ASU one would need to teach 444 students in an academic year. Now, any full-time instructor at ASU would tell you that it is impossible to provide 444 students with the same quality of instruction that is expected of teachers in the classroom. That aside, here’s an arguably more important question. Why didn’t ES farm out these high-enrolled classes to adjunct instructors like they do with so many others? Every time ES advertises an adjunct position for online classes they get several dozen applications back. So, they easily could have spread out these high student loads over several professors had they wanted to. But they didn’t, which reveals their real intent. They just wanted to take home bigger paychecks, and for many years, they did. In doing so they short changed students, many of whom likely went into debt to take their bogus classes, and just as importantly, they drew the university’s accreditation into question. If anyone is to blame for ASU’s current debacle it’s the individuals who supported ES’ diploma mill year after year without saying a word.
September 22, 2016 at 9:54am The report of the recent audit of Extended Studies by Dr. David Mathieu identified issues that cast serious adverse implications on academic, and by extension, institutional integrity stating that “often greater interest in remuneration rather than quality teaching and the maintenance of academic standards among many of the faculty teaching online courses.” The report continues “The ability of individual faculty to take advantage of additional compensation activities through OES appears egregious and to have been facilitated by “rolling over” course teaching and other activities to the same individuals year after year within OES as the list of names of faculty at the top of the highest levels of compensation appears to be relatively stable year to year.” According to salary documents posted on this site, four individuals were paid more than $100,00 per year by Extended Studies. These individuals, all part-time or adjunct instructors, were paid between $124,425 and $176,400, for an average of a whopping $142,537/year - or nominally three times the average starting salary of a full time Assistant Professor with a terminal degree! At $300/student this equates to nearly 500 students per year for each of these instructors. While there are many excellent faculty at Adams State, who among them would dare to suggest that they were able to insure any reasonable semblance of academic integrity with this enrollment in the distance delivery environment? A previous post (September 21, 2016 at 9:05pm) asks “Who are these people?” By their own unwise admission/gloating, one of these prime offenders is the former VPAA’s wife Ellen, who delivered labor-intensive English courses. And who, within the administration, would ultimately approve this blatant greed at the expense of institutional integrity and, as it turns out, institutional credibility/accreditation? The former VPAA, Mr. Big Shot himself, Frank Novotny. Beyond the obvious dereliction and self-serving corruption that this demonstrates, is this not the very definition of nepotism? All the while Novotny quietly, and with Svaldi’s acquiescence, engineered for himself a contract guarantee that insured an outrageous salary should he “decide” to “resign” his administrative position and return to faculty status. Clearly there are others, both regular faculty and adjunct instructors, who are equally culpable in having greedily exploited Extended Studies for personal profit at the ultimate expense of the institution. This shameful conduct was approved, in his capacity as senior academic officer, by Dr. Novotny and ultimately by former President Svaldi (the buck stops here). Some might consider this blatant and egregious compromise of academic and institutional integrity as an acceptable price in order to exploit a revenue stream as it would be known in the vernacular - whoring. Nevertheless, much like the CEOs on Wall Street that engineered through their own despicable greed the financial calamity of 2007/2008, rather than being prosecuted for his conduct Novotny was rewarded with an outrageous Golden Parachute. President McClure indeed deserves due credit for quickly recognizing the bullying incompetence and corruption of Dr. Novotny and the obvious administrative incompetence of Dr. Mumper and taking appropriate action. Similarly, Dr. Gilmer should be applauded for immediately recognizing the shocking abuses of Extended Studies and ordering an external audit by a nationally recognized expert in distance delivery. Nevertheless, let us not be too quick to condemn those who will criticize persistent aspects of the culture at ASU that have resulted from years of unacceptable conduct by the previous administration.
September 22, 2016 at 9:45am Why has our new president Beverlee McClure, a.k.a. Mother Theresa, been continuing and concealing these fraudulent online classes where a single instructor can have a class in excess of 400 to 600 students? It appears that the university has been using this cash cow to supplement the poor cash flow due to the persistent drop in enrollment and retention. It should be clear to most, there is no real learning or student/teacher interaction when the instructor has to administer to hundreds of students in a class. To describe this practice as amoral and unethical would be an understatement. The students who unknowingly signed up for these courses were cheated out of an education experience. They were sold a bill of goods, taken in by hucksters and were most certainly not being educated by educators. If our Mother Theresa, aka Berverlee McClure was aware of these practices, she would certainly be complicit in this fraud perpetrated on the students the university purports to “serve”. Last I checked fraud has a statute or two on the law books against this practice with significant penalties. After a year of her “leadership”, she no longer can use her standby argument of this was done well before she became president. I hope the university continues to pay it’s rising insurance premiums. I’m sure the premium rates have risen due to the Ledonne debacle. Mother Theresa and her gang will most likely need that costly insurance in the days to come.
September 21, 2016 at 9:05pm So now we see from salary documents that at least eight faculty, mostly part time and temporary, made over $100,000 "teaching" Extended Studies coursework in recent fiscal years. One made $176,400 - which would take most ASU full time faculty 3-4 years to make... and jeopardizing ASU's academic standing in the process. Who are these people? When will the full information behind the recent audit be made public? The administration has gone curiously silent lately.
September 21, 2016 at 12:02am Carol took the library to a higher level.
September 20, 2016 at 7:09pm It puzzles me that anyone would celebrate the recent absence of the Colorado Association of Libraries president as their Library Director, one who brought so much positive change and a commitment to ASU students above all. More turnover and bullying. It's telling of ASU's toxic culture that is openly hostile to anyone willing to stand up for what they believe in (Carol, Danny, Jeff, Ben, Meagan, etc.). What a miserable place to work or consider working.
September 20, 2016 at 2:20pm People should read the recent AlterNet article that mentions ASU and Ledonne's experiences. It makes a strong case for why the poor treatment of adjuncts harms academic freedom and the quality of education overall.
September 20, 2016 at 9:35am Apparently Ding Dong Dora hasn’t been in the Neilsen Library in the past 3 years to see the transformation from a plain vanilla collection of books to a vibrant center of student, faculty and community engagement. Perhaps you missed the Library hosting Wes Moore and the many other authors hosted at the library. You certainly missed when Dolores Huerta skyped in during the week long Caesar Chavez week celebration at the library. How about the seed library? You certainly were not present at all of the student outreach hosted at the library. I could go on but what’s the point? The Neilsen Library has never been better. It’s a shame and a loss for Adams. I feel sorry for you Ding Dong Dora that you can’t see the difference. I will certainly feel the difference.
September 20, 2016 at 9:09am The Groucho clip hits the nail on the head. I didn't post it, but I took it to mean defending the status quo and opposing anything that might rock the boat. Crowther's mission is to defend administration at all costs - even if it means letting the ship sink.
September 20, 2016 at 8:58am Ding, dong, the witch is dead! I wonder if Nielsen Library will ever be the same again, hopefully better. Perhaps, one of those ripples Mother Teresa mentioned? #standingstrongforchange
September 20, 2016 at 8:04am Groucho and company do a dramatization of Ed Crowther and the Faculty Senate at ASU. ----Editor's Reply: Always a comical clip - is this in reference to Faculty Senate opposing pay inequities or something else?
September 19, 2016 at 2:46pm Okay, Mother Teresa, here’s a simple game called Reality Check. Get a sheet of paper. Draw a line down the center. On top of the left column, write McClure’s Groundbreaking Changes. Above the right column, write McClure’s Teeth-breaking Changes. Now, the supplementary rule to this game is that entries into the Groundbreaking Changes column must have a positive outcome, because obviously there is no point in having groundbreaking change unless there is a positive outcome, right? Conversely, if changes have had a negative impact, then they must be recorded in the right column. So if you would be so kind, please fill out the columns and let's know how you get on. Oh, by the way, please don’t include the hiring of Gilmer in the Groundbreaking column. We’ve already covered that; McClure had virtually no choice. And don’t put down “initiating the OES inquiry” because Gilmer did that. And don’t bother putting down “Guaranteed Tuition” because if the intention was to boost enrollment, or to improve ASU’s financial position, or to return to our former credit rating, then it has been a flop. While unflagging belief in the Almighty may have qualified Mother Teresa for sainthood, we might need a little more than blind faith in McClure and her disciples for ASU’s transfiguration.
September 19, 2016 at 11:06am That's nice. But I don't share the same cheery-eyed optimism given the circumstances. Ask yourself: "if Beverlee McClure took office in July 2015, why was it over a year before an external audit of Extended Studies took place?" And why would she send a letter to the HLC in March 2016 claiming the issues have all been addressed and academic probation was an unwarranted political statement? How would she know this without a full review, which only took place five months later? Instead, her previous actions make everyone at ASU look foolish because she expressed totally counter-factual statements to ASU's own accreditor, and in a confrontational and brash manner. This is not leadership, this is bullying and ego. McClure shoots from the hip, then inserts ASU's wounded foot into her mouth. So yes, McClure has been "casting stones" alright, but the ripples haven't been very good for anyone at ASU. In one year, she managed to get ASU sued by the ACLU over "terrorism," "Colorado police watch list," and other lies, generated negative PR in academic and popular press outlets on multiple scandals, approved a poorly-considered Guaranteed Tuition plan that lowered ASU's credit rating with Moody's, presided over further salary inequities that have now prompted Faculty Senate to plead with the administration to change course, and tried to bluff her way with the HLC until it became clear she was making fraudulent claims about the Extended Studies office having no major problems. Instead of quoting Mother Teresa, it might be time to read "The Emperor's New Clothes."
September 19, 2016 at 9:33am "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." Mother Teresa Dr. Beverlee McClure and the administration at Adams State University should be commended, applauded, even celebrated, for the positive changes taking place under their watch. We are all "watching Adams". We are watching new leaders like Dr. McClure and Dr. Gilmer breathe life into an institution of higher learning with optimism, courage, integrity, and innovation. The old ideals of the university have held ASU back, and with change in many departments already ongoing, along with more and more groundbreaking change to come...these powerful, mindful leaders will continue to ensure that great stories begin here. Instead of focusing on what a few see as negative, I prefer to focus on the thrilling new future of my ASU! #standingstrong
September 19, 2016 at 9:22am No, the report is GOOD news. It clearly spells out what has been wrong with the place for a long time, and charts a way to fix those issues. That's a POSITIVE thing. Let's have the parade when the mess has been cleaned up.
September 18, 2016 at 10:45am More bad news. Time for another "Standing Strong and Proud" parade.
September 17, 2016 at 5:30pm Quoting large swaths of the audit with bolded typeface and no "emphasis added"? Rookie mistake... ----Editor's Reply: With such exacting taste in font formatting, you should be writing for us! We have revised the article to include "emphasis added" per your suggestion, thank you!
September 16, 2016 at 2:17pm Amen to that last "don't praise McClure" comment! Check out the Paw Print issues that are laying around. The whole story on p. 2 is about why students don't have to worry about accreditation. McClure and especially Margaret Doell go on and on minimizing the problems... just one little part of one little criterion. Just one more thin mint for a bloated administration! More lies and cover ups.
September 16, 2016 at 12:58pm McClure had virtually no choice but to hire Chris Gilmer, regardless of how she felt about him. Frank Novotny, as we all know, did not resign as VPAA for health reasons - after all, he is still working at ASU full time - but he leapt before being pushed. He was facing a vote of no-confidence by the Faculty Senate, and McClure knew that if he remained, she would lose more support among professors. The finalists for Frank’s replacement were Chris Gilmer and Margaret Doell. During the candidate meetings, Gilmer shone. Not one of my colleagues had a negative thing to say about him. Everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - I spoke to after his presentations thought he was by far the best candidate. Margaret, having stood alongside Frank and assumed - rightly or wrongly - to be party to his nefarious ways, was tarred with the same brush. She never in the running. There was near-universal suspicion that she would simply follow in Frank’s cloddish footsteps. If Margaret was hired over Chris, McClure would have faced a faculty uprising. And she knew it. Having been ignominiously faced down Le Donne, she could not afford another confrontation. So, McClure indeed does not deserve praise for hiring Gilmer. If the Board of Trustees had any sense, it would fire McClure and replace her with Gilmer.
September 16, 2016 at 10:02am Oh, I wouldn't give McClure any praise for the OES audit, though I'm sure she will claim it was her great leadership. Recall that for six months now, she's been telling the campus, community, and HLC that academic probation was unwarranted, that ASU was a political target and a whipping boy, and demanding ASU be removed from probation. This OES investigation found the complete opposite. If you read the report, including faculty members making huge sums and outright ignoring academic standards as well as completely made up interdisciplinary degrees, probation seems too kind. The HLC could very well have revoked ASU's accreditation on the spot! Yet McClure released statements and even a video insisting that everything was fine and academic probation was no big deal. Credit where it is due - and Dr. Chris Gilmer deserves all of it.
September 16, 2016 at 9:39am Dr Beverly McClure should be commended for hiring Chris Gilmer. Without his insight, his without-fear-or-favor scrutiny, his loyalty to ASU rather than to the vested interests within, we would not have had such an honest and open report on our university's real situation. It is a breath of fresh air. Hopefully we can now start growing a culture of openness and honesty that will not only prevent corrupt practices in the future, but will stimulate a much more progressive, creative, inclusive and transparent institution that will attract more students and faculty, and encourage them to stay.
September 16, 2016 at 9:29am Speaking of the departed Bill Mansheim, I have heard a rumor that there is a financial audit taking place. Does anyone know anything about this? Is the rumor true? And if so, when do we hear the results? ----Editor's Reply: See ASU Audits Reveal Deteriorating Financial Conditions for more detail on this. The State Auditor's final report is due in January 2017 for presentation to the Colorado State Legislative Audit Committee hearing.
September 16, 2016 at 1:08am Adjuncts earning more than 150k per year. So WHO would Walter, Frank and Dave allow and look the other way to "earn" (more like steal) that much money per year...hmmm...Ellen Novotny? Virginia Svaldi? And HOW MUCH more than 150k per year did these anonymous adjuncts "earn/steal"? Was it 10k? 20k? More? Must have been quite a sum that the actual range wasn't even reported in the cleaned, public report. Regardless of who it was, a president and VPAA allowing anybody to profit like this and effectively hide it (by not requiring proper reporting via banner) should be indicted. It's sorta like racketeering...
September 16, 2016 at 12:10am And where was Adams State's chief money man, Bill Mansheim, during all this flagrant profiteering in Extended Studies? Repeatedly assuring everyone at campus roundtables that these parlor tricks were keeping the ASU coffers full and the payroll flush with funds. Recall that it was a "we know what's best, don't ask questions" tone after the Chronicle article. And much like Svaldi, Mansheim has fled the scene of the crime and left the rest of us to foot the bill instead of footing the Bill.
September 15, 2016 at 10:52pm Anyone: What are the yearly revenues, expenditures, profit pertaining to the Office of Extended Studies (OES)? What is the percentage of OES budget when compared to ASU's budget? What is the yearly total OES payroll cost?
September 15, 2016 at 10:42pm Seems like criminal behavior on the part of both Novotny's. Wasn't her name just listed among our new employees in the English Department? Oh great. They should both be fired for putting the entire university at risk.
September 15, 2016 at 10:40pm From the report: "The egregious, diverse, and arguably unethical nature of many of the findings run counter to HLC criteria for reaffirmation of accreditation to the degree that the accreditor felt it was necessary to move directly to an institutional status of probation. Due to the seriousness of the original findings, particularly in a state higher education institution that is part of a state higher education system, it was apparently felt by HLC that violations warranted a very stern warning. From what was learned in the current investigation, the sanction imposed seems justified." Contrast that to McClure's petulant response to the HLC. Now we have evidence she was out of line and digging us a deeper hole. Was she clueless or lying again? Either way, she is incompetent as a leader. She and so many others kept saying "we've fixed everything. Everything is fine now. Students don't worry." More bullshit. Thank god for Gilmer. Thank you for requesting this audit!
September 15, 2016 at 10:19pm ASU Admin: (courtesy of KC Green)
September 15, 2016 at 7:23pm The report is compelling. We knew Svaldi was incompetent. Few liked Novotny but I was convinced he was competent and keeping us in compliance academically. It is clear he was not. I never cared about his girlfriend, and I don't care how much money others make if they do the work. But he put us at risk and should have known better. Now Dr. McClure needs to move quickly and accept the findings of the report, fire Novotny and others and reorganize OES as recommended. She does get credit for demoting Novotny and hiring a new VPAA well, it seems. Admin also gets credit for commissioning the report. Now they can show some leadership with action.
September 15, 2016 at 4:05pm Well, well, well! Seems Frankie boy has finally been caught with his hand in the cookie jar! If I had three guesses and the first two didn't count, I'd say that one of those adjuncts making more than $150,000 per year is his wifey ELLEN! Shame on the two of you! I hope Ellen is immediately relieved of her duties and Frank is stripped of tenure and fired! Fitting for the years of nepotism, bullying, and general incompetence!
September 15, 2016 at 3:48pm I encourage everyone to read the 11 page report summarizing the external audit of ASU Extended Studies. It is blistering and reveals just how badly the entire Office of Extended Studies has been managed for years and recommends shutting it down entirely because it is apparently beyond saving. The report found broad organizational dysfunction, a blatant disregard for academic integrity, egregious uses of incomplete grades, the obscene personal enrichment of faculty teaching in OES over the quality of the programs, a lack of understanding or oversight of these courses, incomplete position data on the HR website, and graduate programs that are running without proper institutional certification. This has been going on for many years under the Svaldi administration and it's clear that many, many people knew what was going on and did nothing to fix it, all while collecting paychecks and telling everyone that things at ASU were fantastic. The report concludes: "The investigation revealed a great deal of information, practices, and anomalies in the administration of the OES that, together, indicated very serious deficiencies and behaviors that more than verified the findings of the HLC Advisory Team visit in 2015. The egregious, diverse, and arguably unethical nature of many of the findings run counter to HLC criteria for reaffirmation of accreditation to the degree that the accreditor felt it was necessary to move directly to an institutional status of probation. Due to the seriousness of the original findings, particularly in a state higher education institution that is part of a state higher education system, it was apparently felt by HLC that violations warranted a very stern warning. From what was learned in the current investigation, the sanction imposed seems justified. Although the locus of concern was the OES and its leadership, it is clear that the questionable practices of the OES were directly and indirectly supported by the former senior University administration as well as a variety of organizationally questionable practices of many kinds in other academic areas of the campus. There is, indeed, a culture of questionable academic practice that appears to have been in place for many years; a culture that further compounded the actions of the OES such that, for many, it became standard operating procedure that was rarely questioned. The recommendations presented in this report are many and most amount to huge tasks that are much easier to suggest than they are to accomplish. This is understood and the size and nature of the tasks is appreciated. The recommendations themselves do not remedy all of the campus issues, but their launch will necessarily bring about changes in these other areas. It is strongly felt that the institutional and service area aspirations of the new executive, academic, and financial administration clearly require attention to the matters listed in the findings. Having met the new senior administration as well as experiencing the sincerity of their supporting staff, the institution is in very capable hands and prepared to bring about rapid positive change to the University, a situation that will also be appreciated by the HLC 2017 site visit team as well as the HLC leadership." I find the last sentence to be highly questionable given that President McClure has repeatedly insulted the HLC and told them that there's nothing wrong at ASU. This report clearly states otherwise.
September 15, 2016 at 1:56pm When I look at this website for acts of "bullying," what I see are people being verbally abusive and resorting to name-calling to those who maintain and publish on this website. If they don't like it so much, why do they keep coming here?
September 15, 2016 at 12:45pm The comment from September 14, 2016 at 2:39PM is laughable. It is apparent that you do not know Dr. Novotny very well. I worked with him for 9 years as the Administrative Assistant III/Program Assistant II in the Office of Academic Affairs and have great respect for Dr. Novotny. He would never "fire" someone because they hired me. The real people in the "know" know exactly why I left the Office of Academic Affairs and I left on good terms. - Dodie Day
September 15, 2016 at 12:36pm I have been recently informed of this website and I find it pretty unfair. First, Dr. Tomlin seems to be the only one who has written something of value and not attacked others. I don't know about his past jobs but we learn in class that if you go into management you will likely butt heads and probably be fired a time or two in your career. We learn that is leadership. Probably like this website, it is unfair but goes with the territory of those who lead the college. We recently learned in an ethics lesson from class and from our textbook the "Actions Associated with Bullies." Bullies spread rumors to damage others, they use emails and websites to demean others, they insult, they discredit others. Those are just a few but they seem to be a lot of what I read on this website. Many of you are the bullies. I would leave my name but i am truly afraid of my professor in McDaniel who will hurt my grade if I do. ----Editor's Reply: From the outset, the purpose of Watching Adams has been to highlight and examine many issues of inequity on the ASU campus – from the poor treatment of adjunct faculty, the low salaries for all faculty, the administration's disregard for due process and free speech, reckless financial mismanagement, violations of academic integrity, prioritization of athletics over academics, treating college students like children, and a campus culture of retaliation and intimidation. When a campus is run this way, even to call out such inequity can appear to be “bullying” when in fact it is a dis-empowered group's way of calling attention to the transgressions of authority figures. Many people writing anonymously here, who have also reached out to us personally with gratitude for maintaining this forum for discussion, do so because they have a very rational basis for not speaking out more publicly given their status as “at will” employees and the many previous ASU critics who have been censured or reprimanded for making their grievances public. The mere fact that the founder of this website was banned from campus without due process for almost a year over patently false claims, resulting in a lawsuit from the ACLU, is self-evident proof of the repressive campus culture at Adams State - officiated from the very top down.
September 15, 2016 at 7:33am "Most of us in the knowing circles on campus..." It sounds like you are either a pitifully misinformed Tomlin supporter or Tomlin himself trying to deflect the real reason for his termination as chair. It doesn't require a rocket scientist to go back to the judge's report and the excerpt re: good old boy mentality and treatment of women. Then all you have to do is watch his behavior.
September 14, 2016 at 5:05pm Certainly factual that Tomlin was fired from his position as superintendent of Garden Valley Schools in Idaho. Several of the newspaper reports mentioned bullying his employees. Thus, as he wrote here: his actions brought him to where he is today. I guess the hiring committee didn't care or saw bullying as an asset.
September 14, 2016 at 2:39pm Most of us in the knowing circles on campus know that Dr. Tomlin was fired as chair because he hired Dr. Novotny's secretary away from him. One came right after the other and there's been too much talk from people who might know, and it would be exactly like Novotny to do it. Another good reason he's gone.
September 14, 2016 at 1:26pm Dr. Tomlin did not mention or explain why he is no longer the Chair. Nor is he under any obligation to do so. Yes, it may have very well been as a result of the Kuenhold report or it may have been something totally unrelated. I do agree that there, and still is, a "good ole boy club" management style. In my opinion it was Horrible during the Svaldi era and Tomlin could have been part of or was instructed to give special treatment towards the student athletes. It's an obvious fact, per the Kuenhold Report, that the School of Business showed favoritism towards the student athletes. We all know for a fact that the Svaldi administration favored athletics. I don't even know Dr. Tomlin, wouldn't know him if I ran in to him, nor am I a fan of this Administration. Just saying that some of your comments are factual and some are pure speculation.
September 14, 2016 at 11:05am Speaking of censorship, who tore down all the posters for the Standing Strong March? No wonder students didn't show up - they were denied the opportunity to hear about it on campus. Yes, insults are petty. But notice how Dr. Tomlin did not explain why he is no longer chair of the School of Business? Could it have anything to do with the findings of the Kuenhold report from last year? From page 92: "The Business School was also mentioned to me by a number of people in both flattering and unflattering ways. Several members of the faculty suggested the Department caters to student athletes. A student suggested that student athletes were favored in class and given breaks, particularly by one professor... Finally, the Department was cited by a number of campus individuals as a bastion of a “good old boy” mentality with several thirdparty and one firstparty examples given to me... I recommend both internal discussions within the Business school around the allegations of perceived preferences and gender issues as well as continuing review of these by the administration.I did not interview or survey all the employees or students and so I look at what I was told and observed and conclude that more thorough review is prudent. Any department receiving the kind of criticisms voiced to me should take a hard look at how people perceive it and why, and act to change things that are causing these perceptions." Coming from a retired judge, this is hardly the endorsement of business ethics. Clearly the McClure administration did take a hard look at the School of Business and did something about Dr. Tomlin's leadership in the department.
September 14, 2016 at 11:47am I am glad that the editors of this site do not censor any comments that fall within the lawful guidelines. We are seeing way to many instances of that censorship in the media today, and it is done in the name of political correctness. It's quite alright to censor this person because "I" deem his speech to be hateful. Bull manure! I for one appreciated Mr. Tomlin's comments and clarification on the $$$ crosswalk. I also think the commentator about Mr. Tomlin's ethics does nothing to sustain good, constructive discussion on this site. Mr. Tomlin, you did the correct thing to come back on and refute the commentator's accusations.
September 14, 2016 at 10:12am To the Editor, The writer at 8:18pm makes my point about this site. I will agree that it is an unfortunate point, but the site will fail to become a vehicle for open dialogue for the obvious reason shown by this commentor. Anonymous attacks keep many people from making serious comments. I made such comments yesterday, providing good faith insight on a topic, and today you allow the posting of a simple insult. If the commentor was accurate then he or she violated both HR law and ethical standards by divulging my private HR packet contents. They are not correct so it becomes a discussion of libel, necessitating your decision (either way) to post or not. Regardless, shouts of "liar, " or "unethical" etc provide no thoughtful dialogue. And of course when it is anonymous it hits the lowest standard. Each such comment sets back other serious persons considering a contribution to the site. On another note, it is clear the commentor has no understanding of basic human psychology or self-determining behavior or they would know that no one "finds himself" somewhere. We are where we are due to decisions we have made in life. So it is with me and I am very comfortable with that. I am not insulted by the commentor since you can only be insulted by those you respect, others are just cowardly jerks shouting names. If they wish to discuss the issue with me my office and phone number are easily found. You may print this or not. You may remove the libelous assertion or not. Either way the hope for honest and open dialogue on the page is damaged. I wish your site could be more. Dr. Michael Tomlin Professor of Business Management ----Editor's Reply: Thank you for your response. As anyone who peruses these comments can see, insults are acceptable as long as they do not clearly violate libel laws. We may find such comments tasteless and a fair number of people have been repeatedly insulted on this site including Ledonne, who evidently has provided a platform for others to berate him over and over. Nonetheless, we maintain an absolute commitment to free expression whenever possible. We also and especially believe that when someone is insulted, they deserve an opportunity to respond. If President Beverlee McClure, Board Chair Arnold Salazar, or anyone else wishes to comment here and sign their name as such, they may do so. Similarly, whomever has criticized Dr. Michael Tomlin may choose to sign their name as such if they wish. Watching Adams isn't here to suppress speech nor to compel it. To those who “wish this site could be more,” we are always open for suggestions, for your own thoughts and ideas, and for the open discourse that we believe every university campus needs. Watching Adams exists outside the official purview or influence of Adams State University in an effort to provide independent coverage and conversations. Anyone is welcome to join in these conversations and the quality of their contributions is reflective of their own authorship.
September 13, 2016 at 8:18pm Dr. Tomlin has no business preaching about ethics. It's understood by many, that this very topic is the reason why he no longer finds himself as chair of the School of Business. The audacity of some people.
September 13, 2016 at 11:28am I like the $$$ crosswalk. I know lots of ASU students who have loads of student debt, sometimes with no degree, and ASU even sends their unpaid bills to collections agencies when they aren't able to pay. By overspending on capital construction projects and administrator salaries, ASU is showing how they believe in walking all over students tuition dollars.
September 13, 2016 at 9:53am I can answer your questions. 1) which faculty? The School of Business faculty. About a year ago the Alamosa City Public Works Director called me and pitched the idea. They were working with the Music Department about their crosswalk too. The dollar signs were discussed, as was stock ticker symbols. I took the idea to a School of Business faculty meeting and we discussed it. We considered international currency symbols - Euro, Yen, etc., but overall we all liked the idea and communicated that to the Public Works Director. 2) Which administrators? The School of Business department Chairs, and I believe it then went to VP Kurt Cary as he is VP of Administration. You don't recall discussion? It may be that you are not invited to all School of Business faculty meetings. Please contact our Chair and see if you can attend. It may be that you are not invited to all Alamosa Public Works staff meetings, again, contact the director if you want to attend. You may have overlooked City Council meetings where they are briefed on projects. It is "outmoded." No, it is increasingly contemporary and appearing in cities like Seattle and NYC. Kudo's to little Alamosa for having some fun. Regarding your lecture to us about business ethics, know that last Friday the School of Business faculty held a half-day work session and the teaching of ethics was reinforced. Our standard is that all business faculty infuse ethics into each and every business class. We also have several stand alone and content specific ethics classes. I regret that you were not invited to our work session, but we don't know who to invite since you hide behind your anonymity when you insult and criticize our department and faculty. I am proud of our crosswalks that lead into the School of Business and proud of our students, graduates, and alums as they head out into the world of business knowing that profit when ethically earned is the fuel that sustains our economy and secures our way of life. Dr. Michael Tomlin Professor of Business Management ----Editor's Reply: Though Dr. Tomlin had previously declared, "Just as Mark's site was not successful in generating ideas and good discussion, neither is this one nor will it be," we are pleased to see that he of all people is showing us that Watching Adams' comments page can be a useful way to discuss and clarify any number of issues for broader public consideration. For that we thank you!
September 13, 2016 at 8:52am Wow! "Yawn" is a genius. What wit! What repartee! Such incisive analysis. And moral courage too. Which elementary school do you go to, sonny?
September 13, 2016 at 8:02am Yesterday's comment about "weapons" and the ASU Student Handbook said: "Steppin on Peoples rights is what we do best!" Yes, it sure is. The same Handbook contains a revised Persona Non Grata policy. Unfortunately, administration didn't feel it was necessary to revise it to be in line with the U.S. Constitution. Just as they banned Ledonne without a hearing, the revised policy makes no mention of a hearing before imposition of a PNG. Wake up folks. This is asking for another lawsuit. McClure and Salazar already swamped us with bad press and wasted tons of money and hours on their anti-Danny crusade. Now they've reaffirmed their disregard for civil rights in writing. "Due process" has meant nothing at ASU for years and these two power-mongers continue that tradition of bullying.
September 13, 2016 at 12:40am A few pointers on awareness and self-awareness for the Yawner: • "Yawn": Your vitriol belies and nullifies your opening yawn. First they (pretend) to ignore you. • “Ledummy”: An infantile and pathetic case of attacking the messenger when the message cannot be addressed. Then they (try to) laugh at you. • “Move on down the road!”: Then they (try to) fight you. • “Nobody liked you”: The last time I checked, higher education wasn’t a popularity contest. “Always stand on principle….even if you stand alone.” – John Adams • The “dummies” you reference aren’t following the “narcissistic rhetoric” of any individual. They are upholding the Constitution of the United States of America. Read it. • You think you are defending ASU, but you are actually the one damaging it. Such immature rants reflect a complete lack of understanding of the value and purpose of higher education, and reflect poorly on the institution. “It is the education which gives a man a clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to disentangle a skein of thought, to detect what is sophistical, and to discard what is irrelevant.” – John Henry Newman
September 12, 2016 at 11:57pm The $$$ crosswalk is crass, reductionist, and outmoded. A wholesale focus on the almighty dollar is what led to the global financial crisis and economic meltdown. Progressive business programs today emphasize corporate ethics, environmental sustainability, and socially responsible leadership. There is no universally recognized symbol for these values, unfortunately. But it doesn’t mean we should splash the lowest common denominator in business all over the asphalt. “The City of Alamosa proposed the idea over a year ago and faculty and administration have worked to make it so. Many of us are proud of it.” Which faculty? Which administrators? I don’t recall any campus or community discussion.
September 12, 2016 at 4:35pm Bravo to the author of the 7:56am comment about Arnold Salazar's metamorphosis! When I noticed the posters for Moral Compass today, I wondered if it was starring Salazar and McClure. The poster asks: "Will they find the way back if theirs is broken?" The answer is obviously no. They learned nothing from the ACLU lawsuit. They couldn't even bring themselves to acknowledge a single mistake, much less apologize to students and employees. Instead, they issued more lies and expressed confusion at why people were upset. They are leaders without a moral compass, which makes them no leaders at all. Please replace these fakes with leaders that students can emulate (without violating others' civil rights).
September 12, 2016 at 4:08pm I have recently just reviewed the Adams State Student Handbook for 2016-2020 and came across the section addressing firearms, fireworks, sharp instruments etc. and have some real concerns about Adams Admin overstepping their authority once again. The section I'm referring to is on page 8, number 17 . I love how they contradict themselves within the same policy and then say they don't have a policy on concealed carry. That's because the State of Colorado already has a policy on concealed firearms ASU administration. It's called 100% legal on any State University or College. Being a new student, avid outdoors man and hunter I've read about the problems this school is going through and now I read this. Steppin on Peoples rights is what we do best!
September 12, 2016 at 12:26am Five years ago, when ASU had money, there were ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new facilities and renovations. Now that ASU is out of money and those construction bills are due, they throw marches for being put on academic probation and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for fancy crosswalks. Its a dog and pony show but only with enough money for mutts and runts.
September 12, 2016 at 10:15am Yawn. You getting tired yet, Ledummy, and all the dummies who follow your narcissistic rhetoric? You worked at ASU, nobody liked you, your contract was not renewed...move on down the road! You are brilliant, a brilliant disaster who thrives on negativity, pessimism, and selfish revenge. We are growing very tired of your arrogance, ridiculous claims, and repetitious child's play at unwarranted, invalid, asinine allegations towards ASU. I repeat, please go away now. We are so over your pompous ass. Bye, Felicia! ----Editor's Reply: Petulant invective would make anybody’s Monday! Takes me back to middle school. But the many problems ASU faces, as documented by any number of press outlets and public documents, are by no means a creation of any one individual. Notice how the responses to such criticism of a public institution are belligerent insults at anyone who would raise these issues, rather than the issues themselves? This is the hallmark of an organization in deep cultural trouble.
September 12, 2016 at 7:56am Arnold Salazar was once part of the local Chicano movement, Americans who in the ‘60s and ‘70s stood up against institutional racism, and for the right to free speech and the right to assemble. Many of his colleagues were arrested for protesting on campus against Adams State College administrative overreach and disregard for Hispanic students’ constitutional rights. Once a tough, vocal, dedicated advocate of American ideals, Arnold is no longer the defender of those ideals-as-practice. Now the stereotype of a small-town patriarch, he has become The Man, the very thing that he fought against in his youth. If, as a Chicano student, he could have peered through the looking glass to his future, what would he have thought of himself? Arnold has followed Winston Churchill’s prescribed arc to maturity: “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart; if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” He has position, power, property, and political prominence. He has used his brain - and family influence - to get all these things for his benefit. But Arnold seems to have interpreted Churchill’s adage to mean swapping one for the other - heart for brains - that you must lose your heart to gain a brain. He now supports a documented liar, Beverlee McClure, as ASU’s president. He himself now lies, insisting that LeDonne “didn’t get a dime” from the ACLU settlement. He stood by while McClure threw someone under the bus who he’d known and worked alongside in the community for years. And he says he “can’t understand” those outraged by these deceptions and betrayals. Of course, self-actualized adults don’t replace heart with brain but incorporate both. They don’t throw out altruism, empathy and moral principle for self-interest at the expense of others. But Arnold has. Prefiguring Lord Acton’s famous quote about absolute power corrupting absolutely, our second president, John Adams, said a century earlier: “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” While Arnold has indeed risen in station, his standards have not. Every morning as he stands in front of the mirror, as he stretches taut the folds of his face ready for the razor, does he meet the youthful eyes of his former self? Can he hold that gaze and say honestly that he has been true to himself?
September 11, 2016 at 9:48pm When it comes to parades and ribbon-cutting, Adams State certainly knows how to put on a show for the locals. So long as nobody looks at their declining financials, or their violations of academic compliance, or their low graduation rates, or their underpaid staff, or their students in debt and without degrees, or their low national rankings, or their high employee turnover, it's easy to see why ASU is a great place to be. Just don't discuss any of those things and there's high esteem and mutual respect. Simple as that. You know things are getting bad when there's so much empty fanfare for two cross walks. Maybe it's time to pay more attention to what's happening inside the buildings themselves.
September 11, 2016 at 9:24pm Dear "just saw the dollar signs." Did you also see the piano keys crosswalk to Leon Memorial and the Music Department? The dollar signs cross to the School of Business. The City of Alamosa proposed the idea over a year ago and faculty and administration have worked to make it so. Many of us are proud of it. Were you also "watching Adams" last Thursday for the ribbon cutting at 3rd and Richardson? Did you hear the Mayor and our President speak, the VP of our Trustees, our student body president? So many people there who support our city, our community, and our university. There is mutual respect among all, and Adams is held in very high esteem. This is really a good place to work and to be.
September 10, 2016 at 12:10pm I just saw the dollar signs painted on the street in the crosswalk on Richardson Ave! WTF? Trashy. Are they supposed to call attention to all the money that ASU has been bleeding the last few years? More great marketing.
September 9, 2016 at 10:24pm On average, how long does it take for Adams Admin to get the minutes for the Board of Trustees meeting posted? ----Editor's Reply: We have repeatedly had to remind ASU HR to update their meeting minutes for various organizational bodies. In general the BOT only updates their meeting minutes once approved at the following meeting. In this case, that is after October 28th, 2016. We find both speed and transparency lacking within ASU's administration.
September 9, 2016 at 8:12am "A deficiency of honesty and transparency," really? You don't need to post that here anonymously when Arnold Salazar, Mr. Truth and Transparency, complained about people using WatchingAdams rather than having open conversations. Gosh, I wonder why anyone would hesitate to talk to him or McClure directly? Arnold is so out of touch with reality. He needs a big mirror. And to be relieved of his "duties." I vote for CSU-Alamosa. Get rid of the bad apples: McClure and the BoT included.
September 8, 2016 at 8:36pm It's bad enough that ASU has been running a large debt for years and years while paying embarrassingly high salaries to the people chiefly responsible for doing so. It's worse still that these poor decisions have been largely kept out of the public eye for just as long. The students and taxpayers pay for this university and the administration has been far from honest with these stakeholders about the dire straights the institution is in. Trust and respect require honesty and transparency, ASU having a deficiency of both.
September 8, 2016 at 7:48am "For FY 2012-13, Adams reflects depreciation of $6.4 million and interest expense on its capital debt of $3.4 million. These two components represent about 18 percent of Adam’s total operating and non-operating expenditures of $54.1 million for the year." Eighteen percent! Severely over-leveraged! How could Salazar and the rest of the trustees let this happen, especially post-2008 housing crash? Did they learn nothing? Even the report says ASU should not have been allowed to continue borrowing money and issuing bonds. I'm sending another letter to the governor.
September 7, 2016 at 6:22pm I for one have no regard for all the minions and bureaucrats of this world who get up in the morning and spend the day compromising whatever conscience they might have for a paycheck. ASU has more than a few of these people, to be sure. How do people look themselves in the mirror when they dutifully serve known bullies, liars, and sycophants? How cheaply one's integrity can be purchased these days. And some people are so poor, all they have is money.
September 7, 2016 at 6:03pm I didn't attend the BoT meeting, so I have no idea what Beth Robison intended with her statements, beyond what has been reported. Nevertheless, the person who defended her got at least three things right: 1) Beth IS a nice, competent person. 2) The Constitution and freedom of speech should be taken seriously and defended, even -- or especially -- when that speech represents dissent. 3) "Beth’s comments ... proudly reported by Julie Waechter, President McClure’s official, state-paid press officer." Sure hit #3 on the nose: PAID, MCCLURE's state servant, PR. What do PR folks get PAID to do? Make shit smell pretty. I don't blame Julie, she's just doing her job and McClure hasn't given her much to work with, just lots of feces to deodorize. Just in the last 6 months, Julie has authored these gems: - "Bring it on! McClure is happy about the ACLU lawsuit because it will allow her to share all the dirt on Ledonne." What, there was no dirt, she was just bluffing? - "Moody's down-rating is really a good thing for ASU." Who are you kidding?! - "ASU won... judge decided in ASU's favor." Now Julie and Bev sound just plain insane, total break from reality. What next? "ASU closes its doors due to financial mismanagement. Entire SLV celebrates the BoT's latest success!"
September 7, 2016 at 2:39pm Having stood idly by while for years ASU’s financial wheels ground down to the axles, Arnold Salazar and his board of trustees then hired a new president with her own dubious record in money matters. No doubt the board, itself without business sense, was highly attracted to presidency-candidate Beverley McClure’s ambition to march on Denver and somehow shake the coinage out of state government pockets. But did they not research her background, to check her credibility? A quick web search finds Adjunct Nation journalist P. D. Lesko revealing that Dr McClure, while head of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI), lost money for the organization over several years. According to Lesko, “Between 2009 and 2012, under McClure’s leadership ACI’s revenue decreased from a high of $537,600 in 2010 to $485,945 in 2012. “Tax records also show that between 2009 and 2012, the ACI ran a negative fund balance: the association’s liabilities exceeded its available assets. “In 2009, when ACI brought in $515,121 in gross revenue, McClure’s organization lost money overall ($12,072), and the ACI’s liabilities exceeded its assets by $177,146.” These are not great amounts of money, but for ASU employees who assumed that her connections to a business advocacy organization and state purse-holders meant she was adept at raising money, Lesko’s revelations are disturbing. If the leader of a business lobby can’t demonstrate how to at least balance the books, why should we have faith that she can do any better in a much larger and more troubled organization? Lesko inadvertently exposes a spending trend we see recurring at ASU. “In 2012 the bulk ($304,633) of the member organization’s $485,945 in gross revenue went to pay salaries, including McClure’s $168,661 compensation package.” McClure is now on a package close to a quarter million dollars, her supporters in Administration have received significantly greater increases in salary than for other employee sectors, and the faithful like Frank Novotny get to keep grossly inflated incomes despite relegation to the ranks. But it is unreasonable to put the blame at McClure’s feet alone. Ultimately, this is another example of Arnold Salazar’s and the trustees’ ineptitude. If the market truly rewards talent and punishes the inept, they must go.
September 7, 2016 at 9:55pm From this week's Associated Press headlines: The for-profit college chain ITT Technical Institute is shutting down all 130 of its U.S. campuses, saying Tuesday it can't survive recent sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education... ITT Educational Services CEO Kevin Modany told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that ITT was the victim of a "regulatory assault" and never had the chance to defend itself. "For what appears to be political reasons, there seemed to be an outcome in mind that was going to be forced here," Modany said. From the March 2016 Chronicle of Higher Education: The president of Adams State University lashed out this week at the institution’s accrediting agency after the agency’s recent decision to put the university on probation. The president, Beverlee J. McClure, said in an open letter to the Higher Learning Commission that the Colorado institution was "left feeling like HLC’s whipping boy, with none of the benefits of HLC membership." ... But Ms. McClure, who began her tenure as president in July, said in her letter that the accreditor’s decision "seems like a calculated move to undermine the university." "We have obviously been chosen by the HLC to make some sort of political statement," Ms. McClure wrote. I see some similarities in how these two leaders respond to scrutiny for poor institutional performance: blame everyone else, play the victim, and hatch some conspiracy about why this is happening to them! McClure and Modany must come from the same school of whiny leadership, and that's not a good thing for ITT Tech or ASU.
September 7, 2016 at 9:41am Not sure how it is possible to “score below zero” , but according to the 2014 State of Colorado Joint Budget Committee, ASU (and Western State) did it. “A more in-depth analysis of these institutions for the period from FY 2008-09 to FY 2012-13 indicates that both institutions are highly leveraged and financially at risk.” Arnold Salazar was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2010, and then promoted to chairman of the board in 2013, his term expiring in 2017. He has participated in, then presided over, an extended period of financial mismanagement. He has been privvy to all the ledgers, all the strategic plans, all the discussions, and at no point did he raise the alarm. In the business world, shareholders would have dumped him and other long-standing members of the board long ago. But because ASU’s finances are opaque, because shareholders - tax payers - have been kept in the dark, this slow motion slide to “below zero” has remained hidden, and Salazar’s competency unchallenged. Now that we know, he must go!!
September 7, 2016 at 9:09am I know Beth Robison well, and I can tell you she is a smart, compassionate, articulate person and a dedicated and highly competent professor. So I want to put the record straight for those derisive of her comments recorded in “Adams State Trustees hears support for University mission 08-25-2016” (https://www.adams.edu/news/aug1614.php). She is quoted as saying; "It involves freedom of speech, and I feel strongly about that,” and then asks, “What are our options for rebutting and closing down this slander and cyberbullying.” ??? I am sure it was a simple slip of the tongue. We all make mistakes, especially under pressure in group situations. Of concern is that her slip was not challenged, but in fact supported, by other senior faculty members, administrators and trustees. Let’s be clear. The Constitution of the United States is not just a theory but a legally mandated practice. As citizens of the first modern democracy, we should be proud to support the notion AND THE PRACTICE of the First Amendment. We don’t have the right to pick and choose whether it applies to people we don’t like. That such highly educated adults - almost all state-paid employees - should even discuss gagging dissenters demonstrates a moral and intellectual failure, a tragedy for a university charged with educating our young folk about their roles and responsibilities as United States citizens. By the way, Beth’s comments weren’t recorded by some sly, anonymous, unauthorized phone recorder, but proudly reported by Julie Waechter, President McClure’s official, state-paid press officer.
September 6, 2016 at 10:36pm Nice list of schools that offer some sort of guaranteed tuition, thanks. But big deal. As a counterpoint, the editor also provided a nice list of references regarding problems with these plans. Look there for lists of schools that tried it and dropped it, or have it and regret it. Guaranteed tuition may indeed work for some schools / populations of students, but I highly doubt that will be the case at ASU. First, we are in a deep financial hole, so GT ties our hands, leaving us to dig our way out one-handed (Moody's concern). Second, I doubt GT rises to be a significant criterion for most of our students when choosing ASU. So, it won't affect recruitment much. Has anyone actually asked first-year students if GT was a major factor in choosing ASU? Oh wait, that would be data-driven decision making. Third, students don't drop out or take breaks lightly, so I doubt GT will affect retention much at all. Fourth, it costs money to implement due to all the tracking. Fifth, it appears to be poorly implemented here; most schools offer GT like insurance companies offer insurance, meaning you pay extra up front (10-15% hike) betting it will pay off over four years. McClure and the BoT didn't do that. Only time will tell, but it sounds like the enrollment numbers are not promising. My bet is with the commentator who characterized it as bone-headed, and their assessment that the BoT has not been doing their jobs. Whether or not GT is successful at ASU, you can't deny the more important point: ASU is hurting financially. Or maybe you can; I never cease to be amazed.
September 6, 2016 at 9:40pm I know many of the staff who directly interact with students and parents at ASU regarding Guaranteed Tuition. It is proving to be a major headache, a source of confusion, and a drain on the already limited resources of these offices. There are so many exceptions and loopholes that many students conclude the whole marketing scheme is more trouble than its worth.
September 6, 2016 at 8:59pm Here is a list of schools with guaranteed tuition that preceded McClure's "boneheaded" decision. As some of you are (thankfully) leaving our flock be sure to NOT apply at any of these schools, they too are lead by "boneheads" and you won't be happy there. Alaska Pacific University – Anchorage, AK The Guaranteed Consolidated Tuition Plan Angelo State University – San Angelo, TX Fixed Tuition Plan Andrews University – Berrien Springs, MI Tuition Guarantee Plan Austin State University – Austin, TX Fixed-Rate Tuition Plan Baylor University – Waco, TX Guaranteed Tuition Option Berkeley College – NY and NJ locations Tuition Freeze Policy Capitol Technology University – Laurel, MD Tuition Lock Chicago State University – Chicago, IL Four-Year Guaranteed Tuition Plan Clearwater Christian College – Clearwater, FL Cost Freeze Program Cleary University – Howell and Ann Arbor, MI Tuition Guarantee College of St. Joseph – Rutland, VT Provider Scholarship Columbia College – Columbia, MO Fixed Rate Tuition Program Eastern Illinois University – Charleston, IL Guaranteed Tuition Rate Plan George Washington University – Washington DC GW Fixed Tuition Governors State University – University Park, IL Tuition Guarantee Hardin-Simmons University – Abilene, TX Tuition Guarantee Hiram College – Hiram, OH The Hiram College Tuition Guarantee Huntingdon College – Montgomery, AL Fixed Tuition Illinois State University – Normal, IL Frozen Tuition Rates Immaculata University – Immaculata, PA Fixed Tuition Kettering University – Flint, MI Fixed-Tuition Guarantee Lamar University – Beaumont, TX Guaranteed Price Plan Midwestern State University – Wichita Falls, TX Fixed Rate Designated Tuition Plans New Saint Andrews College – Moscow, ID Tuition Lock Nordland College – Ashland, WI The Nordland Tuition Guarantee Northeastern Illinois University – Chicago, IL Tuition Guarantee Plan Northern Illinois University – DeKalb, IL Guaranteed Tuition Ohio University – Athens, OH Ohio Guarantee Oklahoma City University – Oklahoma City, OK Locked Rate Prairie View A&M University – Prairie View, TX Guaranteed Tuition Plan Sam Houston State University – Huntsville, TX Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan Sewanee – University of the South – Sewanee, TN Four-Year Tuition Guarantee Southern Illinois University Carbondale – Carbondale, IL Guaranteed Tuition Stabilization Plan Southern Illinois University Edwardsville – Edwardsville, IL Guaranteed Tuition Stephen F. Austin State University – Nacogdoches, TX Fixed Rate Tuition Plan St. Johns University – New York, NY Fixed Rate Tuition Plan Sull Ross State University – Eagle Pass, TX Guaranteed Price Plan Tarleton State University – Stephensville, TX Guaranteed Tuition Plan Texas A&M University – College Station, TX Locked-Rate Tuition Policy Texas A&M University, Central Texas – Killeen, TX Guaranteed Tuition and Fee Plan Texas A&M International University – Laredo, TX The Fixed Tuition and Fee Plan Texas A&M University, Commerce – Commerce, TX Guaranteed Tuition Cohort Plan Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi, TX Guarantee Tuition and Fee Plans Texas A&M University at Galveston – Galveston, TX Guaranteed Tuition Plan Texas A&M University, Kingsville – Kingsville, TX Guaranteed Tuition and Fees Texas A&M University, Texarkana – Texarkana, TX Guaranteed Tuition and Fee Program Texas Southern University – Houston, TX Fixed Rate Tuition Plan Texas State University – San Marcos, TX Guaranteed Price Plan Texas Tech University – Lubbock, TX Fixed Tuition Texas Women’s University – Denton, Dallas, and Houston, TX Fixed Tuition Price Plan Thomas College – Waterville, ME Guaranteed Tuition University of Colorado, Boulder – Boulder, CO Out-of-State Tuition Guarantee University of Dayton – Dayton, OH Four-Year Tuition Plan University of Houston – Houston and Victoria, TX Fixed Tuition Rate Plan University of Illinois at Chicago – Chicago, IL Guaranteed Tuition Plan University of Illinois at Springfield – Springfield, IL Guaranteed Tuition Program University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign – Champaign, IL Guaranteed Tuition Plan University of Kansas – Lawrence, KS Tuition Compact University of North Texas – Denton, TX Eagle Express Tuition Plan University of North Texas at Dallas – Dallas, TX “Focus” Fixed Tuition Plan University of Texas, Arlington – Arlington, TX Fixed Rate Tuition Plan University of Texas, Austin – Austin, TX Longhorn Fixed Tuition University of Texas, Dallas – Dallas, Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan University of Texas, El Paso – El Paso, TX Guaranteed Tuition Plan University of Texas at the Permian Basin – Odessa, TX Guaranteed Tuition Rate Plan University of Texas, San Antonio – San Antonio, TX Guaranteed Tuition Plan University of Texas, Tyler – Tyler, TX Guaranteed Tuition Rate Plan Western Illinois University – Macomb, IL Cost Guarantee West Texas A&M University – Canyon, TX Guaranteed Tuition & Fee Plan ----Editor's Reply: Listing other schools that engage in financially misleading, dubious, and risky guaranteed tuition policies doesn't do anything to defend ASU's own foray down this ill-advised path. Recall that this policy was designed to attract more students to ASU (preliminary enrollment data doesn't bear this out at all; more students dropped before the fall 2016 semester than in previous years), that it is supposed to help control the cost of college (when in fact tuition represents less than a third of costs for in state, on campus students) and that Moody's cited it as among the reasons for ASU's credit downgrade (because it inhibits the university's ability to offset its debt). We recommend reading recent case studies on how guaranteed tuition plans are harming higher education and the students they serve: “The state needs to kill its prepaid college tuition plan—now” - Chicago Business "Guaranteed-tuition laws inflating college costs, study finds" - Science Daily “Is your state prepaid tuition plan flawed?” - Bankrate "UA stable tuition plan doesn’t solve rising tuition problem" - Inside Tucson Business “Guaranteed Tuition Plans Pose Greater Risk Than Potential Benefit” - Pope Center for Higher Ed Policy
September 6, 2016 at 8:42pm I visit this comments page and see more “negativity” from a few unhappy people at ASU and more “blabbing and blogging” from cyberbullies on the Internet! Oh wait, these are data-driven reports condemning ASU's administration from the Colorado Joint Budget Committee, Moody's, Higher Learning Commission, and the Colorado State Auditor? They are sounding the alarms about ASU's financial mismanagement and violations of academic integrity? More faculty and staff keep leaving ASU every year and enrollment is declining? Well then, they must all be engaging in more “sexism” against ASU's first female president! Danny Ledonne must be manipulating all these agencies as among his cult of followers. Good thing there are professors like Dr. Beth Robison who call for “rebutting and shutting down” the “vitriol of the Watching Adams website.” After all, these deep structural and managerial problems are just “slander and ridiculous rebuttal" which nobody should really pay attention to because there are so many “great stories” at ASU. Here's a great story: some people are awake and some people are sleepwalking off the cliff.
September 6, 2016 at 8:21pm Lately people have been bitching about the Board of Trustees acting irresponsibly by covering McClure's lies, etc. Well the most recent post about the Colorado Joint Budget Committee report is just more evidence that the BoT needs to go. The report says: "Arguably, neither Western nor Adams should have become as leveraged as they currently are." So who is to blame? Sure Mansheim, Svaldi, and Novotny were culprits, but ultimately the BoT approved all the construction projects and associated bonds ASU issued. The report says: "both institutions are highly leveraged and financially at risk." Thanks BoT. ASU's survival is in question because you couldn't take the time to figure out Mansheim was digging us into a hole so deep that we'll probably never be able to dig ourselves out. And then you backed McClure's boneheaded guaranteed tuition scheme, a plan that the much-brighter-than-you folks at Moody's listed as one of the reasons for our most recent down-rating. I think the report is onto a good idea when it recommends investigating the possibility of merging ASU into larger institutions. Then we could get rid of the president and BoT in a single stroke.
September 6, 2016 at 11:35am Of course all is well at ASU, as long as you don't pull your head out of the sand (or wherever). From the 2014 State of Colorado Joint Budget Committee report: "Two small institutions—Adams State University and Western State Colorado University—had scores below 0, indicating a need to 'assess institutional viability to survive'. Both institutions are highly leveraged." "A more in-depth analysis of these institutions for the period from FY 2008-09 to FY 2012-13 indicates that both institutions are highly leveraged and financially at risk." "Both the executive and legislative branches should continue to carefully monitor the financial health of Adams State and Western State." "Both Western and Adams have spent aggressively on cash-funded new construction in recent years." "This represents about $30,000 per Adams State student." "Staff assumes that substantial new plant investments at both institutions were expected to stabilize or build enrollment, but do not appear to have had that effect to-date" "Some of the operating losses within the last few years have been planned. Faced with sharp declines in state support, both institutions recognized that they would rely more on tuition revenue in the future but could only increase tuition revenue so much in a particular year. " Just one more reason guaranteed tuition makes so much sense. Yeah, right! Recommendations: "Continue to Monitor. " "The General Assembly (and CCHE and the Governor) need to watch this situation carefully ... they both appear to be at significant risk." "The JBC Should Pay More Attention to Revenue Bond Intercept Program Requests" "Arguably, neither Western nor Adams should have become as leveraged as they currently are." "to qualify for the Revenue Bond Intercept Program, an institution must have: (1) A credit rating in one of the three highest categories from a nationally recognized statistical rating organization" So, it's no big deal that Moody's downrated ASU to A3, the NINTH highest category. Oh yeah, the PR folks and Valley Courier tell us that the downrating is really an "opportunity." "Explore Whether Small Institutions Can or Should Be Merged Back into Larger Systems" I like how administration shared all of this, so transparent.
September 5, 2016 at 11:02pm Nursing is far from the only program at ASU that is failing many of its students. What makes nursing somewhat unique is that it has a statewide exam to objectively measure the quality of the program. What about the many other degree programs at ASU with high faculty turnover and poor institutional support? What if state standards were applied to many other programs at ASU in which students are inadequately prepared? What if the nursing program is like a canary in a coal mine for ASU? I remember reading an article about Adams State being named one of the Ten Biggest Wastes of Money by tracking how well graduates perform in their field. It seems like ASU is in denial if they think there are only “a few unhappy people” who are ruining the school. Maybe they are unhappy because the school isn't living up to its mission for many of its students and employees.
September 5, 2016 at 9:06pm Is it possible that the employee turnover in the Nursing Department throughout the course of the BSN program be a crucial piece to understanding why Adams State University is ranked next to last in BSN pass rates for NCLEX in Colorado? It is absolutely horrific that Adams State University has allowed this travesty of passing students that are not properly prepared to take and pass the NCLEX test on the first attempt. What does this say about the preparation of the nursing student's in the clinical arena? Is ASU ethical in graduating nursing students that are not prepared and may very well responsible for the lives of those individuals we love? Has anyone looked at the number of students accepted into the program throughout it's course to evaluate the ability to adequately prepare each of these students? How is it possible that clinical requirements are being met? If there are 30 or more students admitted yearly does that not articulate to over 60 nursing students during any semester working to complete clinical requirements, sometimes these students are working to complete more than one clinical course each semester? Where are these practicum hours being completed? Are these students cramped into our local medical facilities, if so how much experience does this lend to the students? Furthermore, are the clinical instructors thoroughly prepared to instruct these courses? Does anyone even know who will be teaching courses more than a week prior to classes starting? It is a bit worriesome that there is only one faculty and one staff that have been a consistent part of the Nursing Department for more than two years. Has anyone looked into how this information adds into the equation of faculty/staff/ adjunct turnover? Does ASU only calculate increased tuition from the large number of nursing students admitted? What about the increased cost of adjunct/staff/faculty turnover, increased costs to nursing students for tuition, books, supplies... etc for a profession that they seem ill prepared for? How many ASU Nursing Graduates are working in their profession to pay back the costs of attending ASU, it seems that with the reported pass rates indicated there are not many. Nurses are important to the lives of so many individuals, will ASU step up and be ethical and address the real issues at hand?
September 4, 2016 at 3:10pm I have an idea for a TV show called "Whose Lie is It, Anyway?" It takes place at Adams State University: - Where the policies are made up and the facts don't matter - Where "school shootings" and "terrorism" can be casually thrown around to justify banning people without due process - Where people are placed on police watch lists that don't exist - Where "threats of violence" later becomes "cause for concern" once there is no evidence to substantiate this claim - Where press releases claim to "win" lawsuits by paying out settlements and undoing the previous actions that got them sued to begin with - Where free speech is acceptable unless you have something critical to say - Where administrators say the most ridiculous things yet recording them is an unforgivable act - Where "inclusive excellence" actually means a culture of bullying, shaming, retaliation, and deceit - Where there's always money for new athletics facilities and charter buses for away games, but students and faculty can't afford to attend conference - Where having your credit downgraded is actually a great opportunity to improve your credit - Where are you are reprimanded by your accreditor and investigated by the state auditor for absolutely, positively no reason at all - Where any other school pays more for the same job - Where any other in-state school has higher graduation rates - Where your students, faculty and staff keep leaving every year because things are just so fantastic I realize this sounds like a absurdist comedy, but sometimes there is nothing more hilarious than the truth.
September 1, 2016 at 8:25pm Three full time nursing faculty members in addition to Dr. Shawn Elliott have resigned their positions in the Spring or Summer of 2016. The newly hired RN to BSN coordinator (she only lasted a couple of months) and two other faculty members. ----Editor's Reply: Thank you, we've updated this article to include your comment.
September 1, 2016 at 8:03pm Wow! Almost 24 hours and the post "I have been working with adolescent children..."just brought this to a halt. Are those partaking in middle school behavior feeling a little uncomfortable??
August 31, 2016 at 9:14am I have been working with adolescent children, many with behavior problems my whole professional career. Some of these kids are bullies and some of them are bullied but these kids are trying to grow into functioning and kind adults. Most usually make it. After observing some behaviors and actions from some of the faculty at Adams State University, I must say the adolescent kids I counsel and work with behave better that some of the educated professors at the University. I have observed sneaky and subliminal bullying such as exclusion, ignoring behaviors (to the point where some people wont even say hello in the hallways) and ageism. Shame on all of you who are behaving worse than troubled children and shame on the administration for allowing this to happen - E. Parkins
August 30, 2016 at 9:19pm Following up on the excellent To Kill a Mockingbird Post, I recently heard that Beverlee McClure and Arnold Salazar are on the Colorado State Police Watchlist due to their acts of terrorism. Oh wait, Danny would never print such a thing unless I acknowledge this is a joke, otherwise it would be libel and defamation of character. He's not the one who resorts to such low blows, that's the game McClure and Salazar play. Just trying to help people walk around in someone else's skin. Pretty much sucks. Leaders? Integrity? Conscience? I think not!
August 29, 2016 at 7:39pm Have you seen the Ledonne call-in video about the "police watch list?" It's sad and hilarious at the same time. Why would Beverley McClure lie to the entire campus in such a blatant way? No wonder pro-administration people are upset that her idiotic statements are being recorded! She's off the rails.
August 29, 2016 at 6:45pm Megan, you shouldn't and don't have to defend your professional career to this racist asshat. If this person is the typical Adams State administration supporter then there is no longer a way to have any type of intelligent discussion with them. I am so glad, again, that commentators can be anonymous because after reading the original bigoted comment, and then later doubling down, I could have gone to a very angry place and engaged in a special dance with this asshat. Your classiness and intelligence must really intimidate this person!
August 29, 2016 at 5:23pm So three individuals (Walter, Frank and Judy) were placed on administrative leave for a week, while an external investigator looked over the HLC debacle. The investigator has come and gone more than two weeks ago. One question: Is anybody EVER going to be held accountable for the HLC problems?!? ----Editor's Reply: Thank you for your inquiry. We have filed an open records request for any and all documents relating to this external audit of the Office of Extended Studies and will publish any findings here as soon as they are available.
August 29, 2016 at 5:08pm Alright, let's be honest here. Adams State has been mistreating many employees for a long time and most of them just leave because it's the easiest thing to do. This website exists because ASU finally mistreated the wrong person, a communications professor, who decided to do something about it. Some of you don't like that, and it's obvious why, but ASU has made so many enemies over the years that it was bound to happen. Maybe if you treated people better, they wouldn't have so much to complain about.
August 29, 2016 at 1:55pm "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” - Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Try - however distasteful some of you may find it - to follow Harper Lee’s advice and place yourself in Danny Ledonne’s shoes for just a few minutes. Try to see the events of last year from his first-person perspective. You’ve been accused of some “crime” so great it warrants banning you from the Adams State campus. You are never informed of the crime you’ve been charged with, nor are you provided with any proper recourse to respond to the unspecified charges (impossible to do so). Is this feeling fair to you? It shouldn’t because it’s a constitutional violation that offends the rule of law. But the violation of your constitutional rights doesn’t end there. The “police” (Grohowski) and the “public prosecutor” (McClure) then go on a crazy spree smearing your reputation across the press and via campus email. As so many posters have stressed, they lied as they did so. So now we’re adding slander and libel on top of lack of due process. Starting to feel wronged yet? Feeling a bit indignant? You should but if not, stay with me a bit longer. After attacking you broadly in the press and via all-campus bulletins for some unspecified crime, McClure then decides to hold not one, but two broad campus forums to further defame you. In holding these meetings - “trials”, essentially - she acted as both prosecutor and judge, with your academic peers and students serving as your jury, all in absentia. You are now being tried, without your presence and without any opportunity to defend yourself. This is yet another violation of your right to due process: A criminal defendant’s right to appear in person at their trial is protected by multiple amendments of the U.S. Constitution (5th; 6th; 14th). Now imagine yourself sitting at home while these two trials in absentia are taking place. Imagine sitting on your couch at home trying to guess what is being said to your colleagues (and yes, they are still your professional colleagues, whether or not you still work at ASU) and your former students. Wouldn’t you want to know what was being said about you? More importantly, wouldn’t you deserve to know what was being said about you? “The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.” - Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird The individuals who recorded the Faculty Senate and AS&F meetings should be applauded for doing so. Gonna say that again, in caps: APPLAUDED. They were among the very few brave souls on this campus who recognized that a fellow citizen’s constitutional rights were being horribly violated. They recognized that if a fellow citizen was being denied the right to attend his own “trial”, he at least deserved to hear what was being said about him. The few brave souls who spoke out in Danny’s defense at those meetings were instantly labeled with their own “crimes”(sexism...seriously?!?). The individuals who sought to give Danny at least some semblance of an opportunity to be present at his own trial by recording it have also suffered slings and arrows. It’s never easy to do the right thing when you’re in the minority, to rise above the rabble (the true “cult”). But those who did know that Harper Lee was right: “…Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.” – To Kill a Mockingbird I hope you gained new perspective by adopting Danny’s perspective for a few minutes. But I’m not holding my breath that you did, because: “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” – - Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
August 29, 2016 at 11:42am Inclusive Excellence, huh? You're included if you are part of the McClure choir, or even if you just keep your mouth shut. But if you say anything critical, ASU practices Exclusion Excellently.
August 29, 2016 at 11:27am Just as an FYI I was appointed into the Finance position as well as the Admissions position by the higher administration. Oh and what makes me qualified to work in higher education is that my first six months working in finance I wrote the narrative for East campus which brought to school $5.8 million. - Meagan Smith
August 29, 2016 at 10:52am A simple question: do people who support McClure simply not care that there is no such thing as a "Colorado police watch list?" She told everybody about it, but it doesn't exist.
August 29, 2016 at 8:29am Interesting comment yesterday: "Wonder why the Trustees don't help? Because you work for them, not the other way around. " Yes, I do wonder why the trustees protect a liar, deny her mistakes, care so little about civil rights, and know so little about ASU employees and students that they are perplexed when people are upset about this mess. At first I assumed McClure lied to the trustees just like everyone else and they weren't responsible enough to check on her "evidence." However, it is becoming clearer that the trustees knew her hand was empty and she was lying. Arnold Salazar, in particular, knew she was lying about the State Police watchlist, terrorism, and direct threats of violence. Worse than remaining silent, he backed her. He was sure he knew how to handle these stupid locals that might object to the ban. That makes it very clear why the trustees now protect McClure; they have to in order to protect their own asses. They are as culpable as McClure. You are correct that you trustees don't work for ASU employees. You work for the public and the students you are supposed to serve, not lie to and use.
August 28, 2016 at 11:05pm I thought higher education was about diverse ideas, supporting arguments with evidence, and respect for process and procedure. Reading these comments, it seems like Adams State University is one big popularity contest. It doesn't matter how well you're evaluated on your work. All that matters is whether or not certain people like you. No wonder I see so many photos on Facebook of the same administrators at all the lavish parties together. Adams State isn't about scholarship, it's about sucking up to some people and kicking everyone else down. I wouldn't recommend anyone send their students to a university that is run like a middle school playground.
August 28, 2016 at 10:48pm Let me get this right. Ledonne was not wanted by his peers (in your words) or did you mean ONE peer? So, it obviously follows that president McClure should lie to students,violate his civil rights, defame his character to silence him, and make light of real school shootings and real terrorism. And the Board of Trustees, particularly Arnold Salazar should condone this, or should I say promote it. OK, got it. If a few people in power don't like you, then laws don't matter at ASU. You speak from the heart, not from the brain, or the Constitution.
August 28, 2016 at 9:55pm "you came here as a minority and from the east, yet this university welcomed you, accepted you... I think you need a class in character, or in thankfulness, or in class itself." Holy shit dude! Did you actually think before hitting send? "Yes sah, thank you sah, you so good to all us lesser folk." What message are you sending to us minority students and students from places other than the SLV? What message are you sending to minority employees? We will be tolerated as long as we don't speak up? I think I'm going to puke... and transfer... and tell all my friends to avoid this hell whole. What next, the KKK in Alamosa? You should be thankful WatchingAdams is anonymous because you should be fired.
August 28, 2016 at 4:58pm As suspected, the editor has now admitted to tracking the IP address of participants of this forum. No transparency or safety here. Part of his next lawsuit? He'll huff and puff and deny but his last post response is too revealing. Trust this site no longer! ----Editor's Reply: IP addresses are logged by all WordPress sites as a standard feature for the contact form. In the event that a commentator does engage in unlawful conduct, IP address tracking is a necessary tool for involving law enforcement as necessary. Basically every site one uses online, from Gmail to Facebook, eBay to Amazon, tracks IP addresses as a necessary function of resolving data packets between host and user computers and verifying location information. What is done with this data is entirely up to the site admin. Given that this commentator repeatedly refers to current ASU employees, it seemed relevant to verify that this user is on the ASU computer network to post this message. You are certainly welcome to choose not to visit or post, though I highly doubt your distrust for this website has anything to do with IP addresses. Every ASU computer logs IP addresses as necessary to detect illegal activity like file sharing, child pornography, etc. This is not a unique practice and is actually expected of website administrators, complying with law enforcement requests to prevent cyber crime.
August 28, 2016 at 3:19pm I'm not sure my previous comment was understood by viewers and supporters of Ledonne (not surprise, they don't have brains anyway). I'll make my criticisms direct to the point from what I wrote on August 27, 2016 at 1:58pm. The big question really is this: how does Ledonne and his followers have any credit? Look at the facts. Ledonne was not wanted by his peers. Doesn't matter he got letters of support or people signed that silly petition. Anyone can get letters of support. Fact is, Ledonne's services (teaching, if you want to call it that), was not wanted. The library director lost a lot of trust by the campus for secretly recording meetings and egging this ordeal on. Even in her own crusade of dual careers, her husband did not meet expectations. Although Megan was active as a student, none of that was impressive either. What did Megan really do as a student trustee, BSU member, and such? Along with that, she has been reassigned to how many positions already? She is incompetent, not fit to do anything here (evidence by being reassigned to different jobs), and has no business in higher education. If Megan Smith is really that good, why has she changed positions so much? I have no idea why she is even employed here, other than maybe she has something on someone, otherwise, she's become a waste of space, like many others. Others in the Ledonne camp are just as underwhelming with their slimy ways of not doing anything. The way I see it, with as much noise as Ledonne and his cult made about last Friday's march that didn't happen, and all the news sources that were supposed to cover it (yet, no news was even in sight), don't they all have strong records of being liars as well? Worst thing that they people can do is journey on their their fruitless crusade. You all proven yourself useless, unwanted, and unfit to be in higher ed. ----Editor's Reply: Ledonne was broadly recognized in four years of student evaluations, teaching evaluations, and classroom observations as being an effective and engaging educator. No official record at ASU or otherwise contradicts his teaching effectiveness. His faculty lectures were always well-attended and well-received. His longtime department chair, who best knew his work, has favorably recommended him and even provided testimony during the court hearing. These are the metrics available and utilized to evaluate teaching and these metrics reflect favorably on Ledonne's teaching career. From coast to coast, Ledonne has also taught at many other institutions and has developed and implemented coursework with acclaim for many programs from primary school youth to older adults. For someone in their early career, the record of publication and coursework on his CV is more than sufficient to demonstrate teaching effectiveness. It is because of these qualifications that Ledonne began to inquire into ASU's hiring practices to begin with. The ASU Mass Comm position continues to rotate in Ledonne's absence. Just an example: How many TV stations are in Alamosa? Are there usually TV trucks driving around town getting stories? To my reading, the march organizers contacted the press but aren't themselves responsible for hiring camera crews to drive from Colorado Springs or further to cover a story in Alamosa. Contacting the press to cover an event isn't “lying” simply because cash-strapped news outlets don't arrive at the scene. ASU has and will continue to receive news coverage on these issues, just check the Press Page for updates. This commentator persists in the kind of vitriol that is the hallmark of ASU – a university that smiles publicly while scowling and deriding anyone who is willing to speak up for their causes or concerns. An anonymous forum is a good way to illustrate just how much of this thinking exists – and all from an IP address on the Adams State ISP. Bonafide hostility towards divergent views exists at ASU and one needs to look no further to find it. This is what cyberbullying actually looks like – with an intellectual framework so limited that the subject matter is reduced to the petty insults of other people who hold a different perspective. What a curious way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Alamosa.
August 28, 2016 at 2:14pm The last comment is amusing but not very well informed. Here are a few points to consider: 1. ASU faculty almost all teach 4-5 classes per semester, much more than many universities in which 2-3 course loads are the norm. And all faculty do much more than teach the number of contact hours. They must prepare their coursework, grade student papers and projects, advise students, serve on committees, research, write and publish in their fields, and many are now being asked to do marketing and promotion of their university. Many faculty who have taught elsewhere say they have never worked harder, or been paid less, than at ASU. 2. Adjunct faculty, who now teach the majority of courses at universities, generally do not have health insurance provided by their employer and do not have any retirement plan. This has been widely reported and is known as the “Walmartization of Higher Education.” And even full time faculty often don't have it much better. At ASU, I've known many professors who, because of the student loans they took in order to earn their PhD, struggle to pay their bills. Many qualify for public assistance even as they are perceived as “college hot shots.” 3. According to compensation data from a nationwide analysis, faculty at ASU are paid around 75% of what their peers make in the same positions. However, there are many administrators at ASU who make 100% or more of their own peers at other schools. It's the Golden Rule – they who write the rules get the most gold. 4. Indeed, many ASU faculty are walking out and quitting – that's why we are trying to communicate why this keeps happening. There are many positions at ASU that they cannot keep filled. The cost of searching for and hiring new candidates is a highly inefficient process that costs the institution in many ways – most notably lower retention of students who no longer have the faculty they count on to teach them. 5. Higher wages, benefits, and improved working conditions are never given from on high by benevolent administrators or trustees. They are earned by workers who organize and demonstrate for improvements. This is the history of all labor movements in the USA and many more abroad. It's happening around the country and it should be happening at ASU. 6. Public education belongs to the people, not to the trustees. All ASU employees ultimately work for the taxpayers of Colorado and of the United States. No one at ASU is guaranteed their position – including the board of trustees.
August 28, 2016 at 11:18am You college hot shots are really something. Ever spend 12 hours on a tractor? You teach 12 hours a week and complain about overwork. The rest of the time you spend sitting in meetings in million dollar buildings. You have health insurance, retirement funds, and you're paid more than most of this valley. But you're victims? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww! Crybabies. You've been mistreated. Whaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwww. Grow some backbone. If people treat you "bad" walk out and quit and go somewhere else. Wonder why the Trustees don't help? Because you work for them, not the other way around. And most of them earn their living in jobs where they have to produce or be fired. Your little whiner group can keep up the unrest but many of us in the community will tell the trusties to take the college back from you and keep it in the hands of those who support it.
August 27, 2016 at 10:29pm "Danny lost a position that was basically his to have for a while. His peers did not want to continue to work with him." So why did so many people, including faculty and staff, write him letters of recommendation and sign his letter of support? He posted all that before and shared his teaching evaluations and student evaluations with the Board of Trustees. I notice that all the videos he made and the lectures he gave are still on the ASU website. Funny how people want to change history after-the-fact. Man, ASU sure knows how to throw people under the bus and then try to sell you a ticket.
August 27, 2016 at 9:24pm Let me be more than clear that I appreciate every opportunity that Adams State is giving me and the San Luis Valley community. Adams State has taught me that when you make an argument you support it with research and evidence. We responded to Danny situation with no evidence boo-boo. Which made us as University and this community look crazy. My mission is to protect what this university is truly about and not be involved in petty drama. I have my evidence of what I brought to this institution and I hope everybody else has theirs. let's go grizzlies. - Meagan Smith
August 27, 2016 at 9:02pm I'm from the Midwest get that right first. During my seven years here I've assisted with many organizations the Black Student Union, The the Student Trustee position AS&F. Adams State didn't come find me I found Adams State and meanwhile I've been doing all of this as a single parent . I was the first African-American to be hired in the professional staff in 2013. There should've been others before me . I have dealt with many stresses and had some of the worst health issues since beginning my positions at Adams State as staff . This mostly has been caused by stresses of unprofessional situations and being mistreated . I'm speaking out against treating people wrong which is not what Adams State is about . It's time for us to unite as one not on Danny side or any other but to bleed green like were supposed to. All this could've been solved by having a simple sit down . And now we're going to the mattresses . Anybody that has anything to say to me show your name or call me or text me 708-207-3009 So we can talk. - Meagan Smith
August 27, 2016 at 6:48pm "Meagan Smith, you came here as a minority and from the east, yet this university welcomed you, accepted you, taught you, celebrated with you as you took student leadership positions, and then hired you." In addition to being bone-headed, this comment is bigoted and racist. Why should it matter where someone comes from or their ethnicity in order to be accepted ASU? "Inclusive excellence" is evidently nonsense at ASU.
August 27, 2016 at 4:55pm The previous comment attacking Meagan Smith is profoundly revealing about ASU on several levels. Meagan expressed her support for Danny Ledonne and mentioned the many students of color that miss having Ledonne as their professor. Well, it seems this is forbidden in the dysfunctional campus climate of ASU because Ledonne has become a public and vocal critic of what he believes are wrongdoings by the administration, many of which are well-documented and undisputed. This is called “guilt by association” and ASU is rampant with these toxic cliques and harmful nepotism. So making a statement supporting Ledonne is to “speak and protest against us - your own employer.” But who is “us?” ASU is a public university that belongs to the taxpayers of Colorado. Anyone can and should be free to speak about government programs and those who run them, including their employees. What kind of repressive regime shames and punishes people for engaging in free expression? There is only one way to talk about ASU and anything else must be suppressed and anyone who does must be vilified. Parents, students, alumni, and the Higher Learning Commission – take note. This is what retaliation against anyone who steps forward at ASU looks like. And that is why this institution is failing its students, employees, and community.
August 27, 2016 at 4:23pm Meagan Smith, you came here as a minority and from the east, yet this university welcomed you, accepted you, taught you, celebrated with you as you took student leadership positions, and then hired you. Now you speak and protest against us - your own employer? I think you need a class in character, or in thankfulness, or in class itself.
August 27, 2016 at 2:50pm To the commenter who mentioned a former student who did not graduate, FERPA violation! If you are a faculty member, why would any decent parent send their child to Adams to be abused in such a manner and endure federal violations of individual student rights, right Beez?
August 27, 2016 at 2:46pm So let me get this straight: if you speak out at ASU, you'll be bullied and shunned or even defamed and banned. If you don't speak out at ASU, you're a coward and a hypocrite. Got it. Just what young adults need to be learning in our society today.
August 27, 2016 at 1:58pm What happened to the demonstration yesterday? All these people so enthusiastic about it, but then nothing happens. Are we surprised by this? I, for one, am not. Ledonne and his camp claim they are working to be activists for what is right, but cannot even put on a demonstration. I absolutely can't wait to hear their sorry justifications as to why it didn't happen. How I know they are a bunch of cowards, hypocrites, and can't let things go (this all resorts back to Danny losing his position and inability to move on. call it what it truly is). If this "walk" was actually a legit event, why wasn't any of the press there? They claim to have contacted all of these news sources, but none were present. Even the local paper wasn't present to cover it. So, are they all liars now? Claiming things that actually didn't happen? This all has become beyond pathetic. Move on with your sad lives. In the same light, it still amazes me how people continue to back Ledonne and his cult. These people are not credible. Danny lost a position that was basically his to have for a while. His peers did not want to continue to work with him. He's no champion or fit to be a professor teaching students. Ledonne's "inner circle" of people like Carol Smith has lost a lot of credibility by secretly recording meetings to filter it back to him. No wonder why she has lost a lot of credibility on this campus. Megan Smith didn't even finish her degree, and has been reassigned because she is basically incompetent to do anything here. She's fooling no one. Others are also losing their credibility as time goes on, because at the basic root of the problem, Ledonne is wrong. I can't wait for him to disappear. I doubt my previous comments will be published on here, because apparently the truth means nothing anymore. ----Editor's Reply: The march organizers can speak for themselves if they'd like, but it was clear when multiple sets of posters were removed from the walls that the ASU campus remains a hostile and repressive climate for free speech. News outlets have and continue to report on this topic, though those with financial interests directly bound up in ASU are unlikely to do so in a critical manner. This is why Watching Adams fills a necessary space in the SLV information economy. In reading the comments about the march, no one promised helicopters circling the skies – perhaps these are the delusional fantasies of projection? Others have commented here by saying: “I thought about going to the march today but by the fact that no one showed up is proof that, we employees, are fearful for our jobs. If people, on the campus, can't even leave posters up without getting all butt hurt and tearing them down then there's no way a person could march without retaliation and discrimination from the administration and fellow colleagues.” Think about the kinds of grievances this comment brought up. They are upset not that President McClure claimed Ledonne was on a “police watch list” that doesn't exist or claimed that Ledonne made “threats of violence” and “direct and indirect threats” which were flatly false and so unproven that the campus ban was lifted without any actual proceedings related to “campus safety” - the purported grounds for these adverse actions. The administration has now spent more time clarifying the financial settlement than any concern about campus safety – which is altogether telling. This commentator is upset that these statements by a university president in all-campus meetings were recorded. They are advocating a university that tries individuals who step out of line in absentia, behind closed doors, and without evidence or due process. Does this sound like a healthy university campus to anyone? This commentator also continues to attack those they attempt to associate with Ledonne in an effort to discredit anyone who might possibly represent a dissenting view, particularly those who may even support Ledonne – a true act of heresy in a repressive campus environment. ASU has clearly stated that dissent will not be tolerated and the campus culture has clearly demonstrated a commitment to this end on a consistent basis. Despite finding multiple problems with the faculty search committee process, application scoresheets, and an OEO office that refused to meet with him after being previously assured the office would remain open for his case, Ledonne has moved on and continues to produce media and publish in his field. But unlike most who have left Adams State (in growing numbers), Ledonne remains committed to maintaining a publication that gives others a voice on a campus that passively and actively suppresses free speech. Apparently, he is also committed to creating a platform for, and publishing, even disparaging comments about him. Unlike those who rip posters for public assembly from the walls of an institution of higher education, Ledonne believes in the First Amendment and a diversity of views in a pluralistic society.
August 27, 2016 at 9:27am Be careful or you too will be retaliated against. It happened to me at a previous employer. I spoke out publicly against management and the abuse of power and I was let go. We do not have freedom of speech! In ways, it was a blessing to be terminated from my previous job. I no longer was abused by a horrible boss. Situations in life work themselves out. Maybe those individuals fed up with ASU administration will exit and Adams will have no choice, but to have an intense look at the infectious hell they have tolerated. Then action will be necessary. After I was terminated from my job, the board fired management and started over. Keep making noise, keep pushing. Don't let fear of retaliation stop you from speaking, especially if abuse of power is happening. Because eventually, someone will listen. Someone will take action
August 26, 2016 at 7:36pm Do you know what really kills me ? Is these professors that have been here for so many years and just now claim to support under represented students. If they were true and in their professions and they would have supported underrepresented students throughout their careers . They should not have needed a mission statement or a strategic plan to do so . So I will sit back and watch to see what is actually implemented and what is just for show . It is time for our administration to request results within the year . Who have they retained, who have they not retained, and why? - Meagan Smith
August 26, 2016 at 5:24pm Click on the link from a previous post that shows Ledonne with a settlement check. Take a close look. Notice who wrote the check -- it is not Adams State. Salazar was right, ASU didn't pay him a single dime. The ACLU did. Granted, ASU wrote a check to the ALCU to cover its legal fees. What the ACLU did with the money is a matter between the ACLU and its client. ----Editor's Reply: Actually, even the check that the ACLU received was not from ASU but from Hanover Insurance Company. I suppose these financial semantics are important to someone out there, but no press outlet saw this detail as relevant enough to mention it.
August 26, 2016 at 4:46pm As a faculty who has worked at other universities, I am amazed at what people at ASU are willing to put up with. Your administration lies to you repeatedly, underpays you and overworks you. People try to organize a march and their posters are removed. Your university only graduates 1 in 5 students every four years. And that's to say nothing of the quality of the academic programs which is now under review. Yet apparently everything is great, only getting better and the institution is somehow so successful that they “win” lawsuits that they clearly didn't.
August 26, 2016 at 4:15pm A childish attempt by self-serving people to tear our university down." Think about that for just one second before hitting 'send' next time, cos it makes no sense. Why would "self-serving" people want to tear our university down? If the university goes, we all lose our jobs, including the "self-serving". How is that self serving? On the other hand, the self-deluded think that if they just suck it up and swallow hard, then somehow, by magic, the university's declining fortunes will suddenly reverse. The only way to fix something is to admit mistakes, identify problems, put on our thinking caps and work out real solutions. The real "self-serving" are those who hunker down with their fingers in their ears, who are not prepared to examine their, and the institution's, performance. It is they who will cause ASU to come tumbling down.
August 26, 2016 at 4:14pm I for one am not surprised that students didn't show up to march at ASU today. Faculty struggle to get students to attend any event on campus, and this one had no campus support, had the posters repeatedly torn down, and was a challenge to an administration that has ruled by fear and lies on issue after issue. These aren't students who feel supported or empowered to demonstrate on any issue, even when their school is on put probation, their professors are leaving in droves, the university's finances are shoddy, and the list goes on and on. Yet students are on Yik Yak asking about hooking up, partying, and where to score some Ritalin. There are deeper cultural problems at ASU when the campus life is this comatose, sleepwalking off the cliff.
August 26, 2016 at 4:10pm Leadership. While President McClure and the Trustees (and the rest of us) were conducting the work of the university, some of you tried to organize a walk. A walk. You talked and wrote and posted signs and insulted and blustered and threatened for days on end. But when the time came you stood with your thumbs up your butts and couldn't organize a "walk." You criticize others but evidently have neither the brains nor stones to lead a silent prayer. A walk? You heroes couldn't get it done. I respect you less now than when I merely disagreed with you.
August 26, 2016 at 3:31pm This institution is doomed. The cancerous tumor is to large and embedded for a recovery. When you have the leader of the Trustees saying ignorant statements such as "Ledonne didn't receive a single dime of the money" and then a person can click on a link and it shows Danny holding a check made out to him for over $62K. WTF, are these people so egotistical that they can't tell the truth, have they been watching the election to much and have decided that since Hillary is a lying crook that it's justified for them to lie or are they just plum stupid? I thought about going to the march today but by the fact that no one showed up is proof that, we employees, are fearful for our jobs. If people, on the campus, can't even leave posters up without getting all butt hurt and tearing them down then there's no way a person could march without retaliation and discrimination from the administration and fellow colleagues. Adams State University, where great futures are ruined. Good job Richardson Hall, you all ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
August 26, 2016 at 2:53pm A childish attempt by self-serving people to tear our university down. The rest of us will continue to do our work and strive to improve a really good school.
August 26, 2016 at 2:35pm Meanwhile, back at ASU, nothing has changed. The liar is still drawing on her almost-quarter million bucks package, Arnold is still in charge of the trustees who support the liar, and ASU's reputation and fortunes keep on sliding. A victory for everyone. Let's celebrate!!!
August 26, 2016 at 2:27pm I went, but saw no group, just a few other students looking around nervously. Too much fear among my friends. My stomach was in knots just walking over there. Today's piece in the CollegeFix was pretty ugly for ASU and more is on the way. I've spoken with reporters from three other newspapers. The fact that the leader of the board claimed to be perplexed (it's not like ASU is Kent State...) is good reason to remove him.
August 26, 2016 at 1:37pm Where were all those media helicopters we were promised flying over the library, the newspaper reporters coming out in droves, the swarm of television cameras...and the hundreds of protesters marching!? Wait, what? Oh, no, not a peep, not a sound! Salazar was there because he is not a narcissist, cyber bullying, coward! The end. Meanwhile back at ASU...
August 26, 2016 at 1:32pm Try contacting national media. NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MSNBC........you never know. It only takes one to show an interest. I agree, this needs to be expanded to the board and not just McClure. The board was asleep at the wheel for years under Svaldi, and now they are enabling McClure. A fish rots from the head down. Arnold Salazar is another neo-fascist who must be removed.
August 26, 2016 at 1:24pm I think the focus needs to switch from McClure, who is clueless and helpless, and move on to the board. Pressure the governor to clean house. ARNOLD MUST GO! Too many Salazars are in positions of power in SLV anyway. Pressure the governor to find an outside (outside Colorado) assessment group to study ASU, administration, the board, finances, and report findings.
August 26, 2016 at 12:34pm Went by the library at 12:00 p.m. No one was there. I only saw Mr. Salazar.
August 26, 2016 at 10:36am Even Ryan Lochte, the USA gold medalist swimmer and world-class narcissist, who made up a story about being held at gunpoint in Brazil, has apologized for lying. Why can’t Beverley McClure, ASU’s gold class diva, apologize for making up stories about LeDonne “terrorising” her? Why is admitting a mistake so hard for her? What is wrong with her?
August 26, 2016 at 9:30am Dear Arnold, Open and honest conversations start with a president who doesn't lie to the world.
August 26, 2016 at 9:02am I agree wholeheartedly with ASU Board of Trustees chair, Arnold Salazar, when he says that “protests should be about something more important that someone’s narcissistic fantasies.” Indeed, the narcissist who fantasized about LeDonne being a “terrorist”, and who led ASU to a $100,000 legal trouncing because she could not provide a single scrap of evidence to support her fantasy, should have been fired long before honest people were forced to protest her mendacity. Arnold goes on to say that “the settlement [against ASU] was a way for us to refocus our attention on what exactly is important.” So, Arnold, what exactly is important to you? You are okay supporting a president who is a proven liar? You are okay with a president who believes she has the right to slander anyone who she fantasises as being a threat, even if it costs ASU money and reputation? Or do you believe the most important thing is to protect the status quo? Nothing else matters. We must get back to normal. We must not have staff and faculty bother their pretty little heads about such matters as honesty and integrity? So there we have it, from the horse’s mouth. Confirmed! The rot goes all the way to the top.
August 26, 2016 at 7:55am It is so reassuring to see that Arnold Salazar is a compassionate man with high moral standards. In ASU's official statement about their board meeting, he says shooting us isn't OK with him. However, it IS apparently OK with him to lie to us, use us, stomp on our right to free speech, ban citizens from campus unconstitutionally, and slander citizens (police watchlist, terrorism). No real harm there. No wonder the dude is perplexed.
August 26, 2016 at 6:22am Hilarious, the College Fix headline says it all: Public university perplexed by march against president for calling professor a terrorist I am perplexed that they are perplexed! Also, ASU Board Chair Arnold Salazar says "plaintiff was not paid one dime" which is TRUE! The plaintiff was paid about 642,895 dimes in the form of a check!
August 25, 2016 at 9:43pm Is anyone really surprised that ASU lied about Ledonne not receiving payment as part of the ACLU settlement? ASU lied about “winning” as well as so many details about the case itself – like Ledonne being a “threat to campus safety” and being on a “state police watch list.” This is the “pattern of behavior” that keeps students and employees from trusting the ASU administration.
August 25, 2016 at 6:56pm Which building had all the fliers torn down? If it was McDaniel then I suspect the culprit was Crowther from History. He is in the hip pocket of administration.
August 25, 2016 at 6:11pm As the parent of an ASU student, the president's actions make me sick: lying, bullying, squashing free speech, using students, making light of school shootings. These are not things I want at my daughter's school or from her school's leader. I wish she had chosen another college to get her degree and I hope she joins your march tomorrow. I would if I could. ----Editor's Reply: As an ASU parent, please consider communicating your concerns directly with the Board of Trustees, the CO Governor's Office, and/or the Higher Learning Commission. Yes, as a parent I have already written to the Governor via his website. Good suggestion about HLC. I'll do that tomorrow. As for the Board, it sounds like they are part of the problem, so I won't bother. ----Editor's Reply: You might also consider writing an open letter to any publication from the SLV Valley Courier to your local paper to make your concerns known to other parents and prospective students.
August 25, 2016 at 4:30pm "Used" is a perfect word for what McClure did. Using an imaginary threat of a school shooting as pretense for banning Ledonne is disrespectful to every student, teacher, and staff member who died during actual school shootings. McClure, Salazar, and the rest have no conscience. In addition to using ASU students, they dishonor true victims and their families.
August 25, 2016 at 3:27pm Free speech is being crushed at ASU. All the posters for the march were torn down, at least in the building where I had classes today. That's dozens of them. Clear message: don't dare express unpopular opinions or speak up for yourself or others. It's clear that losing the ACLU lawsuit taught ASU leaders nothing... bogus press releases, trying to stop the march...
August 25, 2016 at 11:43am Danny I am so sorry that there were so many negative comments regarding the settlement at today's Trustee meeting. Had I known I would have prepared something on your behalf. I had to leave because I felt more than uncomfortable, which I have never felt before. I feel like a large piece is missing from Adams State with you not teaching on campus. There are so many students from the African American community at ASU that have reached out to me with concern. They very much enjoyed having you as their professor, and found what you taught them beneficial. I feel that you were a true piece in what helped us retain and graduate diverse students. Which is our mission as an institution. All of this drama and disruption of our ASU community brought me to tears today. The part of the meeting where it was said that you had not received a check from the settlement was, for lack of a better word, bogus. Thank you for all that you do. For supporting me and many diverse students. Meagan Danyelle Smith Former Student Trustee, Black Student Union Advisor, Admission Counselor (Not a coward) ----Editor's Reply: thank you for your support! I did in fact receive a check for the settlement. As stated in the Valley Courier by ACLU legal director Mark Silverstein, I was paid about $65,000, which is the standard percentage after attorney's fees.
August 25, 2016 at 10:07am Standing Strong for an Apology When: Friday, August 26th, 12:00 noon Start: In front of Nielsen Library Come, tell your friends, bring a friend! Purpose: To force president McClure and the Board of Trustees to come clean by admitting McClure lied to students, employees, and the community about Danny Ledonne. She lied to us when she said Ledonne was on a “Colorado State Police Watch List” (AS&F meeting) and he made “direct and indirect threats against individuals” (email to all students) and many more lies. She needs to admit Danny Ledonne was never a threat to anyone in order to clear his name and restore his reputation. The president must apologize to everyone she lied to and used by claiming she was acting to ensure our safety. The president must apologize to Danny Ledonne. President McClure not only lied to us, she used us like pawns in her twisted games by claiming the Ledonne ban was for “our safety.” She and the board treated us like children, assuming we would believe whatever they told us. We will show them they were wrong. We paid attention to their unethical games and now we will make ourselves heard. President McClure should resign. How could anyone trust her after she lied to us and used us? If she won’t resign, the Board should fire her. If the Board won’t fire her, they should be fired. Standing Strong for Truth, Free Speech, Ledonne’s Reputation
August 24, 2016 at 8:18pm Hey Students: Do you know what President McClure and the Board of Trustees fear? YOU! You pay the bills, you call the shots. You have them scared as hell. That's why fliers were torn down and thrown in the trash today. The idea of a march and media coverage terrifies them. They may be in the official positions of power, but they have no power over you in this situation. The press wants to know what you think. They want you to be heard. Professors, staff, and citizens can speak up, but many are afraid, and your voice is much more important. In spite of the fear from my job, I'll be there with you! Spread the word. Put up more fliers. I've had enough and I'm guessing many of you have as well.
August 24, 2016 at 4:31pm More and more ASU is coming across as a modern Soviet Union. I guess that makes Beverlee Stalin? Those who post the fliers, sign petitions, march and demonstrate shall be relocated to education reformation in Siberia.
August 24, 2016 at 3:27pm So much for Free Speech at Adams State! We posted fliers yesterday afternoon and many have already been taken down. I don't know who thinks this is OK or not a violation of the First Amendment, but they are wrong. Those bulletin boards contain adds for tattoo shops and the Christian Mind, but issues at ASU aren't fair game? No way. You are stepping on our rights. Print fliers and put them up, hand them out. Don't let whoever did this silence us. WE WILL BE HEARD!
August 22, 2016 at 10:10pm As our group wrote previously, Friday's march is "not all about Danny" and he is the first one to agree. Tonight we invited him and he declined, saying "its probably best if I am not there to keep the focus on the people McClure lied to over and over" and other issues that go beyond his story. This is about a better ASU. Let's take lots of pictures and lots of video. WatchingAdams and other news sources will be happy to use them. The interest from the press is growing daily.
August 22, 2016 at 9:04pm 17 Faculty departed?? 18% of our faculty?? I am left without words. Are those positions be filled this year? WHO is taking over the Nursing Dept? Do we know why these professors have chosen to leave of their own accord? Did we conduct an exit interview? How can we retain our students if we are unable (or unwilling?) to retain our faculty? More importantly - is ASU willing to admit that to solve our student retention problem we must fix (identify/ recognize) our faculty retention problem? So many questions and ASU administration is radio silent. ----Editor's Reply: We researched the practice of exit interviews at ASU for ASU Throws Its Own People Down the Memory Hole and it does not appear that this practice has been implemented in many years now. Exit interviews also presume that ASU administration actually wants to consider and address the issues that have driven away so many faculty and staff in the past decade.
August 22, 2016 at 9:02pm The buck stops with the Board of Trustees and their Chair, Arnold Salazar. You condoned the violations of Ledonne's Constitutional rights. You accepted and backed McClure's lies. You refused to right her wrongs, even after losing the ACLU lawsuit. Time to step down and make room for someone with integrity. Let's review the names of the Board members who will be here for the march this Friday: Arnold Salazar, Kathleen Rogers, Paul Farley, Michele Lueck, Wendell Pryor, LeRoy Salazar, Cleave Simpson, John Singletary, Randy Wright. People who apparently have no conscience. WE WILL BE HEARD!!!
August 22, 2016 at 7:31pm Hmmmmm I just sat down to email my thoughts to the president of ASU but her homepage on the Adams site does not list an email address. Does all email have to go through James? Am I missing something? Does the president need a filter? ----Editor's Reply: President McClure's email can be found on various documents throughout this site, such as the HLC Evaluation Summary Sheet.
August 22, 2016 at 7:09pm In addition to the march, I recommend a petition be started stating that Beverleeeeeee should resign, and if not be fired, and if not the board be fired. There is time before Friday to create the petition and start getting it signed. Friday all the marchers who have not signed it can. How about a petition in addition to the march?
August 22, 2016 at 6:05pm I second the most recent comment: MARCH and BE HEARD! Administration can't do anything to students for exercising their rights. We pay the bills, period. Another newspaper has expressed their intent to publish an article about the march. But get this... two newspapers now plan to run additional articles related to the events leading to the march. Not just events involving Ledonne. Change is coming and we are making it happen. We hold the power! Don't just march, spread the word, tell your friends, post it on FB, print the flier posted here and stick it to an ASU bulletin board... You can't be punished for any of these actions.
August 22, 2016 at 5:22pm I understand that McClure is a nasty bully, threatening anyone who dares to dissent. I understand that no one really wants to risk their job, their livelihood. Students tend to fear (unreasonably) administration (There really is nothing they can do to you for exercising your constitutional rights). But I implore you to march Friday. Do not just silently allow this megalomaniac to run roughshod over you. Contrary to whatever spin Beverleeeeeeee wants to spew, DANNY AND THE ACLU WON! Lying, manipulative, deceitful Beverlee and her Reich LOST. Stand up. Be counted. Take a frigging stand.
August 22, 2016 at 9:01am As a former employee of Adams, may I say what a joy this website and news source is. I too have a story that I may share one day. In the meantime, it thrills me to read disclosures on a small-minded, limited-vision, crony-driven administration that really needs a trip to the public woodshed on a regular basis. There were many fine folks at Adams when I was there and I am sure there are some dedicated individuals meeting the needs of students. However, a public serving institution must be accountable. Long live Watching Adams! You can run, but you can't hide.
August 22, 2016 at 8:31am Lots of people are focused on McClure's lying, and rightfully so, but let's not miss the bigger picture. In one year at ASU (and prior), McClure has established her modus operandi: 1. Poor decisions (violating Ledonne's Constitutional rights, HLC response, guaranteed tuition) 2. Denial when mistakes are pointed out 3. Lying to EVERYONE to cover her mistakes 4. Using ANYONE to get her way and save face ("students' / campus safety") 5. Willingness to lie about and destroy others to get her way and save face ("terrorism", "watchlist") 6. Spinning her mistakes to the press with more lies (ACLU settlement, HLC probation, Moody's downgrade) It's not that real leaders don't make mistakes, but REAL LEADERS put the organization first, recognize mistakes quickly, take responsibility without blaming others, and fix them before they become even more embarrassing and costly. McClure is no leader. She is more concerned with her image than the best interests of ASU, its students and employees. Therefore, she is more than willing to sacrifice the latter for her own good. Beverlee McClure: the real threat to ASU. Students: march, march, MARCH!
August 22, 2016 at 8:05am The new article about how president McClure lied over and over covers only the tip of the iceberg. To add just a few: - her claim that her thick file was full of evidence = NOT! - her claim in press releases that she could now share all the damning evidence against Ledonne = NEVER HAPPENED - ASU's claim that they had prevailed and the judge had ruled in their favor in the ACLU lawsuit = PURE FANTASY Liars! And now advisers from other colleges are telling their students to avoid ASU. Her lies cost all of us in dollars, enrollment, and reputation. It's just sickening.
August 21, 2016 at 2:20pm Why did Paul Grohowski resign as police chief? He had received positive recognition for his work and had only been here a year and a half. Is it pure coincidence that he resigned a few weeks after the ACLU case settled, when ASU claimed it had "won" and of course did nothing wrong even though their insurance company paid $100,000 and they lifted the ban on Danny Ledonne? Students, faculty, and staff should demand answers. After all, this has all been for "their safety!"
August 19, 2016 at 9:50pm Following up on the "it's not all about Ledonne" thread. Folks are absolutely correct, it's not all about Danny and it SHOULD NOT be all about Danny. Danny is the first person to say that. He and everyone else following WatchingAdams just want to see a better ASU, one that does a better job of taking care of its students and employees. Many people have their own stories about the problems at ASU and they are all important because we know there is a long history here that doesn't come down to just one bad apple in administration. However, the ACLU lawsuit and associated discovery process did two things: made ASU's problems widely visible and revealed irrefutable evidence that president McClure lied to the public and used students & employees' safety as an excuse. Other cases are not so cut-and-dried. When they treat people unfairly, the administration likes to hide behind the "there are things no one knows about" line. This time they were caught red-handed. The evidence is clear and the case has visibility that would have disappeared without the march. Now is the time for change!
August 19, 2016 at 9:41pm Alex Morey, the editor-in-chief of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), responded to our mail: "In regards to the planned march next Friday, please encourage anyone—staff or student—who gets in trouble with the administration in connection with the march to contact us immediately via our case-submission portal (https://www.thefire.org/resources/submit-a-case/). We keep information or documents provided to us confidential unless given permission otherwise. Provided marchers are outside in a public space, they should take lots of pictures and record any encounters." Keep the emails to the press coming! WE WILL BE HEARD!
August 19, 2016 at 9:15am For those of you who support president McClure so vigorously, I have one question: did she lie to you? Recall that she called a special session of Faculty Senate and told everyone that Ledonne was on a Colorado State Police watch list. Grohowski was there. Five days later, with plenty of time to correct their story, McClure appeared at the AS&F meeting where she said the same thing. When a student senator suggest no such list exists and asked, "Can you show us that this watchlist exists?", she claimed she had a copy of it in Ledonne's file. If that's not intentional lying, I don't know what is. Certainly not harmless lies either. I understand why students intend to march.
August 18, 2016 at 10:23pm In grad school, I was lucky to have a mentor who cared about my education. He demonstrated that by coming to school with new arguments to challenge my thinking, even if he didn't believe the arguments. He told us the story of two very famous profs who argued in the journals for years in spite of the fact that they came from the same department. He summed it up: "they were lucky to have each other." Having one's ideas challenged is very healthy. Perhaps that's why ASU has been quite sick for many years. The strangle hold of the "if you don't like it, then leave" administration killed meaningful discussion. Looks like some of us are still asleep at the wheel or just complacent with playing follow-the-leader. I talk to my students every semester about the value of (reasoned) argument and encourage them to speak up if they have counter-examples or don't agree with what I say. Those comments can bloom into the most productive of discussions.
August 18, 2016 at 9:47pm I don't know...but here's a thought...perhaps things are "spun" on this site as "negative" because they are in fact NEGATIVE. This institution is simply a hell hole for more than not. You're good if you're drinking the kool aid. If not...well ya know! And it truly is a shame. There is so much Adams has to offer. Excellent faculty (except those who are leaving in droves); stellar administrators who can assist (well most are marginalized to the point of irrelevance); and a desire on students' parts to be here (except that nasty declining enrollment since Dr Mumper stepped down). Damn pesky facts!
August 18, 2016 at 9:36pm It's interesting to me that some are so quick to criticize LaDonne and his "followers" ( as if we are minions); call out individuals in such a demeaning, hateful manner ("yes you Carol Smith" comment); and "demand" the shut down (i.e. Shut down of freedom of speech) of this website because...someone doesn't like it? Finds it threatening? Dislikes the true reason the academy exists ( do you even have a CLUE?). Seriously? Someone disagrees with you and you become an ass (as if you aren't already). If you don't believe in the fundamentals of our constitution and bill of rights...get the "f" out of this country. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! Respectfully...or do we need to define that word for you?!?
August 18, 2016 at 5:40pm Is it me, or does it seem like everytime something happens at ASU, this site, Ledonne, and his pathetic followers are going to show it in a negative light? Evidence: the recent resignation of the police chief report on this site. Ledonne and others claim the president has been on a "witch hunt" against them, but aren't they pretty much doing the same in trying to discredit anything possible at ASU? I am certainly not convinced that Ledonne and his followers (yes, you Carol Smith and other followers), have a brain in your head. For people like Ledonne who claim to be victimized by the president, you are certainly victimizing and hurting others with your silly reports and website. Time to shut it down and move on with your sad lives. ----Editor's Reply: It isn't just you, it's one of the design goals of this site to cover these events. Having just checked the ASU News and homepage, we found nothing about the resignation of the police chief. The university has not made this development public. While it parades everything from a drug bust on campus to the acquisition of new police vehicles on its website, it says nothing publicly of its own police chief resigning a mere year and a half into the position. Why not? This is a newsworthy event in light of many ongoing issues and the public has a right to know how their tax dollars are spent. This site's mission is to provide ongoing critical coverage of a public institution of higher education, particularly given the dearth of coverage from local news sources on the topic. Typically, the Valley Courier and KRZA will publish ASU news releases without any investigation or further questioning, essentially functioning as state propaganda outlets for government administrators. This is not how the fourth estate is supposed to function in a democracy. That no other media outlets have covered the resignation of the police chief amidst legal controversies facing the institution, let alone many of the other stories we've covered, is a testament to the information gap this site fills as a public service. Calling for the removal of free expression is hardly becoming of an institution of higher education and Watching Adams continues because it receives significant daily traffic and tracks developments at Adams State University. You are free not to visit, and your comments will be published so long as they fall within the site's guidelines, but the decision to “shut it down” is not any commentator's to make. And indeed our lives all go on with the satisfaction and purpose we each bring to them.
August 16, 2016 at 9:14pm I work at Adams too and the best way to stand strong for me is for you low self-esteem, short dick syndrome "victims" to sit down, shut up and do the jobs you are paid to do. Editor's Reply: This is probably not the operating principal of a university campus whose charge is to facilitate critical thought and encourage the free expression of ideas. But maybe you're onto something here; maybe that isn't the culture that Adams State embodies? Maybe ASU is more focused on authoritarian leadership and conformity?
August 16, 2016 at 2:05pm When we conceived of the Standing Strong March for next Friday, we never intended it to be focused only on Danny Ledonne. An administration that lies to everyone is a problem FOR EVERYONE! We all deserve an apology and we all deserve an administration that acts in students' and employees' best interests - with integrity! As you will see in the comment posted immediately prior to this one, we hope the Standing Strong March will include all employees, students, and citizens who have been wronged by ASU's leaders. Plan to bring a placard calling attention to any issues you deem appropriate. Contact the press, spread the word in any way possible.
August 16, 2016 at 2:00pm STANDING STRONG for EVERYONE at ASU! STANDING STRONG for a BETTER ASU! 10 days to go (Friday, 8/26, 12:00) On to Phase II. Now that plans have solidified and the media has been alerted via U.S. Mail (which should have arrived yesterday or today), we need to show the media there is interest. The more people who contact them, the more coverage, and then more people. All of this makes it more likely we will achieve our goals: admission of deceit, widespread apology (including new press release to all sources listed below), name clearing for Danny Ledonne, and recognition of the many problems we all face at the hands of ASU administration. Please express your intention to march next Friday or your support for our goals by emailing everyone on the list below. Additional examples / issues beyond the Ledonne case welcome. You will have the most impact by supplying your name and role (student, faculty, staff, citizen), but you can ask to remain anonymous. Contacting these people is an important step! Valley Courier Ruth Heide firstname.lastname@example.org Pueblo Chieftain Robert Boczkiewicz email@example.com Denver Post Tom McGhee firstname.lastname@example.org Colorado Independent Eliza Carter Tips@ColoradoIndependent.com Inside Higher Ed Editor@insidehighered.com The Cortez Journal email@example.com KGNU Radio https://www.kgnu.org/ht/email.html The Chronicle of Higher Education Emma Pettit c/o firstname.lastname@example.org 9 News email@example.com Academe Magazine Martin Kich firstname.lastname@example.org Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Alex Morey email@example.com WestWord Alan Prendergast http://www.westword.com/about/contact?author=5052731 Pagosa Daily Post John Krieger firstname.lastname@example.org The College Fix Greg Piper email@example.com Accuracy In Academia Spencer Irvine c/o Mal.Kline@academia.org STANDING STRONG for JUSTICE – for all!!!! WE WILL BE HEARD!!!!
August 15, 2016 at 1:52pm What any administration wants is in-fighting between employees rather than unifying to stand up for their concerns. You are white, he is brown, she is a woman, etc. but we all have problems with this university and are more alike than we are different. Whether you support or even know Danny Ledonne, the issues his case highlights affect many other people - some have left already and others still struggle here... Who will be banned without due process next? There's no reason to bicker over an individual person's ethnicity or gender. Faculty and staff should come together and support one another or else they will continue being shed or picked off, one by one. Lots of new empty offices at the end of last year.
August 14, 2016 at 7:28pm I agree not to expect anything from the president and the board from the march, but maybe it's not about their response; it's about getting organized for common causes. While the controversy surrounding Ledonne's treatment extends far beyond not being retained (he was banned from campus and the president repeatedly claimed that he was a threat), there is no reason that campus activism has to be limited to one former faculty member (of any race, gender, or orientation). Ledonne stepped forward, maybe others can, as well? So yes, one former faculty is far from alone here. Why not bring forward the many others who have been wronged by the administration? We all know that the mistreatment of past and present employees (and students) isn't limited to Ledonne. How can others get involved?
August 14, 2016 at 6:35pm McClure won't apologize nor will she resign. Don't expect anything from the Board of Trustees either. I'm not saying that the march is a waste of time, just know that they will not admit their wrongdoing. In all of this, I can't help but wonder; what if Ledonne was black or brown? Would the outcome have been the same? Is this some white male privilege showing itself? What about a certain professor that was gay and was not retained by Adams? No one spoke for her. No one put a fight for her. Continuing support for Ledonne, a white male, feels unfair at this time. Hasn't he had his glory? He has been represented. Move over and let others get their representation! Or will no one fight for the minorities?
August 14, 2016 at 2:25pm I hear lots of talk about retaining and recruiting us, but I don't think a lying president helps with either! WE WILL BE HEARD!
August 12, 2016 at 3:19pm Yes, WE WILL BE HEARD. Don't underestimate us. All of you are here because of us. Like many other organizations on campus, AS&F speaks for Beverlee McClure and those that suck-up to her. She has to apologize for lying to us. She thought that like others we will also accept her lies.
August 12, 2016 at 12:12pm Regarding the last comment with the announcement about the campus march, we made 1,000 copies of a flier that includes the text of that comment, plus pictures of McClure and Ledonne. McClure’s bubble says “I lied to you. I used you. Ledonne was never a threat.” Ledonne’s bubble says “I fight with the pen, not the sword.” Look for them on campus soon. We also are in the process of contacting and sending a flier to all the newspapers, television stations, and websites that covered the ACLU lawsuit so they can cover our march: Valley Courier, Pueblo Chieftain, Denver Post, Colorado Independent, Inside Higher Ed, The Cortez Journal, KGNU Radio, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 News, Academe Magazine, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, WestWord, Pagosa Daily Post, The College Fix, Accuracy In Academia. We WILL be heard!!!
August 12, 2016 at 12:07pm Standing Strong for an Apology: March to Richardson Hall When: Friday, August 26th, 12:00 noon Start: In front of Nielsen Library Purpose: To force president McClure and the Board of Trustees to come clean by admitting McClure lied to students, employees, and the community about Danny Ledonne. She lied to us when she said Ledonne was on a “Colorado State Police Watch List” (AS&F meeting) and he made “direct and indirect threats against individuals” (email to all students) and many more lies. She needs to admit Danny Ledonne was never a threat to anyone in order to clear his name and restore his reputation. The president must apologize to everyone she lied to and used by claiming she was acting to ensure our safety. The president must apologize to Danny Ledonne. President McClure not only lied to us, she used us like pawns in her twisted games by claiming the Ledonne ban was for “our safety.” She and the board treated us like children, assuming we would believe whatever they told us. We will show them they were wrong. We paid attention to their unethical games and now we will make ourselves heard. President McClure should resign. How could anyone trust her after she lied to us and used us? If she won’t resign, the Board should fire her. If the Board won’t fire her, they should be fired. Standing Strong for Truth, Free Speech, Ledonne’s Reputation
August 12, 2016 at 11:36am From yesterday: “Adams State University will prevail under the new leadership of Dr. McClure and Dr. Gilmer. Out with the old, in with the new.” Some people here seem to believe that universities succeed or fail based on “leadership” and this myth that history is driven by “great (wo)men.” But that's usually not true. Organizations succeed or fail based mostly on the transaction-end of the workforce – those who interact directly with students on a daily basis. The retention research consistently shows this. So when we hear “out with the old, in with the new,” that sounds like an indifference to the real, ongoing turnover of the very faculty and staff who have a direct connection to students. Then, not surprisingly, students don't stick around either. Why should they? It puzzles me that people take time out of their workday to come on here for the sole purpose of ridiculing this website and the people who post here. If you don't like Watching Adams, nobody is making you visit this website. So rather than insulting one another here, let's come up with some constructive suggestions that we can all work on rather than looking to leaders on high to solve our problems for us ( because they probably won't). Here's an idea: Faculty and staff at ASU should get more organized and collectively represent their concerns. It's fairly clear that Faculty Senate is a slow, risk-adverse body that takes a year and a day just to advance any particular issue, now made more ineffective by a chair of two departments also serving as Faculty Senate president. This is a clear sign that this governing body represents the interests of the administration, not the faculty. We also have a Contingent Faculty and Instructor Council for adjuncts and other non-tenure faculty. What ever happened to that? There was also the Campus Advocacy Group. There's an article on this website about how that was killed by the administration, so maybe there's a lesson there. So what about more members joining the new American Association of University Professors (AAUP) chapter at ASU? Faculty and staff can join, according to their website. What about joining other professional organizations that represent the interests of faculty and staff? It's our workplace, too. We shouldn't just believe that we are here to serve administrators – we are here to serve students!
August 12, 2016 at 8:42am Oh blessed Doctors, apparently you may have been born great, or a least you have had greatness thrust upon you. We supplicants believe that “Adams State University will prevail under [your] new leadership.” We are under your leadership; tell us what to do, and we will whistle while we work.
August 12, 2016 at 8:22am Okay, time to drop the invective, the points scoring, the playground taunts. The fact is that ASU - and all of us who sail in her - need to do better. We can’t expect Dr McClure by herself will somehow save us. The redemptive leader is so rare as to be mythical. She needs to accept that, and the rest of us need to accept that too. Now, let’s hear some new ideas. God bless those who “Think Different”. “Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Bob Siltanen, oft quoted by Steve Jobs.
August 11, 2016 at 5:27pm This afternoon my phone lit up and I learned I was referenced on this site. Not by name but by comments made by me, and known by many. I will not let the School of Business or my colleagues there take a sword that was meant for me. Nor will I be bullied. At 1:47, the editor wrote about Dr. Finney and the "Billy Pulpit" online publication he started. Mark (Finney) and I went to coffee several times and talked about writing and I enjoyed him as a colleague. He wanted employee personal essays, and good robust discussion of ideas on his site. I tossed an essay idea to him that I had been wanting to write. He invited it. So I wrote a personal essay about my desires to be a professor, starting in 1968, and of my first professorship in 1992. It was a humor piece with attempted satire and my early (1992) disappointments and disillusionment as I joined a university and faculty then. That is where I used the word "gauche" tied to salaries. My first big intellectual discussion with the academics I revered and they complained about their pay. It was intended to be humorous. The essay was also about how much I liked Adams, how I had been welcomed by faculty and staff. A good place, I was glad to be here. Mark put my essay on his site and it was almost immediately hit with criticism from humorless men in McDaniel Hall. They took my 1992 reflective comments and made them personal and political. They and I exchanged a few personal emails on the issue and then one pasted select email comments of mine into the site - an egregious violation of ethics. Perhaps I was insufficient a writer to pull off a humor piece, but it should not be misused on this site, out of context and dishonestly. The other quotes along with "gauche" and apparently attributed also to me are not mine - but, thus the dishonesty. Just as Mark's site was not successful in generating ideas and good discussion, neither is this one nor will it be. It is simply a hit site for those who are not willing to accept a woman president, those who do not have the talent or ambition to generate the incomes they wish, those who will not take "no" for an answer, and those who satisfy their lives by anonymously attacking others. We should all be better than this. We can be - a new semester is about to begin. Let's put our energies into welcoming, serving, and teaching well our students. I think we will be happier too. Michael Tomlin Professor of Business Management ----Editor's Reply: Thank you for refreshing our memory and clarifying this reference. Many of us very much enjoyed the Billy Pulpit and wished for it to continue. We can all agree on the desire for Adams State to serve its students and for those who work there to be happy in the workplace.
August 11, 2016 at 3:56pm "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." - William Shakespeare None of which can be said of anyone posting on this asinine website! Adams State University will prevail under the new leadership of Dr. McClure and Dr. Gilmer. Out with the old, in with the new.
August 11, 2016 at 1:47pm The August 10, 8:45am author made a good point. We should all feel grateful that there is a place to voice our opinions. I wonder if there was such a place in Svaldi's reign if things could have been different. Sounds like if anyone dared disagree with Svaldi or his cronies it was met with nasty words, criticism and worse. Probably the same people that condoned Svaldi's mismanagement and cronyism are the same protecting this administration. Got something to hide? If people don't feel safe to have a difficult conversations with administration then places such as this is absolutely necessary. If not it will, most likely, end up just like the Svaldi's years and just look at where that got us. Editor's Reply: Back in 2012-2013, Dr. Mark Finney in Mass Communications published a monthly newsletter called The Billy Pulpit with the expressed goal of increasing campus-wide communication and fostering important conversations about the workplace. Lo and behold, one of the first issues to arise were the perceived impropriety of the creation of another admin position (Assistant VPAA) and the role being filled without a comprehensive search process. The other major issue raised were salary inequities – with Psychology department faculty saying they and others are substantially underpaid while Business department faculty making free market arguments about their faculty bringing more “value” and commanding higher salaries due to their professions. And as is typical, one Business faculty member asserted that it was “gauche” to even bring up such matters! “Shut up and get back to work,” was the message, “we're on top and we like it that way.” So much for campus equity. The Billy Pulpit disappeared when Dr. Finney, like so many others, left ASU in the summer of 2013. And nothing replaced it. Things continued to fester beneath the surface on so many issues. Campus dialogue languished. University salary data wasn't being reported and there were active efforts not to “open that can of worms” when the matter was brought up. This state of affairs certainly served those in charge and those who developed comfortable alliances with administrators, but it also left many feeling marginalized, upset, disheartened, overworked and under-appreciated. It took an outsider with contacts and institutional knowledge to create Watching Adams as the imperfect alternative to the Billy Pulpit. If such a publication were to return and offer the kind of “robust academic discourse” we are all told exists at ASU, perhaps this website will no longer be needed. But until then, ASU has offered no alternative means of a campus-wide forum in which people feel safe in voicing their concerns without fear of retaliation – which is painfully obvious in the many degrading comments and actions towards “complainers” at ASU. In a healthy and functional workplace, Watching Adams wouldn't exist and it certainly wouldn't be getting over 80,000 views in its first year.
August 11, 2016 at 1:23pm Reading through these comments, it seems like there are really two conversations going on. One is identifying problems with ASU that have continued under several administrations and now are the subject of sanctions, investigations, audits, and media scrutiny. The other conversation is ignoring or setting all that aside to ridicule a few individual people who had nothing to do with these larger problems other than trying to call attention to them before things got worse. One group is interested in substance and the other is interested in personal attacks. They call people “bullies” and accuse them of “shaming” yet it seems like projection to me – they are doing the bullying and shaming while offering no solutions. Someone wrote, “Sure, ASU has many problems, and because of the nature and deep-cutting issues behind these problems, it will take some time to correct.” But are they being corrected, at all? Let's look at one example, which this website brought up from the beginning: salary inequities. Two years ago, we had a special committee formed to review salaries, create a group of peer institutions, and measure ASU compensation against other schools on a per-position basis. The results are posted online and the problems are clear to see. Has anything been done to address the low faculty salaries and bloated administrative pay? No. And as the 2016-2017 salary data shows, these problems are being made worse with across-the-board raises that reward high-paying positions with more increases and do little to address the low pay of most faculty and staff. Now, some former administrators are getting sweetheart deals at the expense of everyone else – all paid for by students and taxpayers. The numbers speak for themselves. Read the State Auditor's comments about the university's finances and take a look at declining enrollment and high employee turnover. It seems like some people are in denial that these problems are continuing and would prefer to identify scapegoats who truly had nothing to do with these issues to begin with. This is not helpful. Imagine if people actually asked questions of those making these decisions when they put out bogus press releases instead of insulting the people who bring up these problems as any concerned citizen could and should do.
August 11, 2016 at 11:29am It surprises me the level of absurdity Ledonne and his followers will go to discredit people. Sure, ASU has many problems, and because of the nature and deep-cutting issues behind these problems, it will take some time to correct. Yet, Ledonne and his cult rather jump at every opportunity to discredit anyone or anything that might be productive. For being highly educated people, none of you use your logic or critical thinking skills. I am glad that Ledonne has created his own death in higher education. All institutions of higher learning will be better off without him instructing a class ever again. I am glad Ledonne was let go by his peers who did not see him fit to teach anymore. As for his cult followers, I'm sure the same will happen to you--yes, all of you from the library, staff, and faculty, who blindly were captivated by his slander and journey of destruction. Higher ed brings in some odd balls and people who otherwise couldn't make it in real society, and Ledonne and his cult are proof of that. ----Editor's Reply: Ledonne and many others continue to "make it in real society" beyond ASU and also continue to organize and advocate for improved accountability, transparency, outcomes and working conditions in higher education. There are, of course, many ways of doing this and varying approaches may be necessary to improve higher education at Adams State and across the country.
August 11, 2016 at 11:08am It is outrageous that, as this website shows, a half-time employee, the Controller of Sponsored Programs, earns $89,000 a year, plus benefits. This is equivalent to an annual salary of $198,000! This violates pay equity laws and it also hints of chicanery - Why is the administration willing to pay (off?) such an incredible salary? Signed, A Very Concerned Citizen
August 11, 2016 at 10:27am In response to the previous comment (at 7:54): your arrogance and ignorance are astounding. There are many of us who love Adams State. Love our colleagues. Love the students we serve. Love the community we live in. ( yes, lots of love here! Oh I said it!) AND yet we dislike and are unhappy (*gasp! Love and dislike!? Oh my! Did I disagree? Is that possible?!?) with the decisions made by administration; mismanagement of budget, perpetuation of salary inequities, programmatic inequities & prioritization, public relations incompetence. To think that there can only be love in any relationship without disaccord is asinine. What you may call "lies", I call data. And rather than listen to people's dissenting opinion, you bully and shame. I pity you for being unable to hold a constructive dialogue without breaking into cheering and bringing your grandmother's balls into the conversation. One of the main components many of us try to encourage in our students is critical thinking. To think critically is to question things, not take information at face value, look at the argument behind the numbers and the numbers behind the argument. To ask our students to develop these skills and not practice them ourselves at an institution of higher education is hypocritical at best.
August 11, 2016 at 8:59am A quick tip to the previous commenter at 7:54. Don't drink and text!
August 11, 2016 at 7:54am I suppose at every university, not just Adams State, there are a handful of naysayers bucking the system with malcontent, disaccord, and pessimism. If this site was truly "watching" Adams the publisher (hi, Ledonne!), the librarian (oh, hey!), and the others adding fuel to the flames (yes, we see you!), would unplug their ears and hear when I ask where are the unbias truths about the good things so many of us see at the ASU we love? The hatemongers only spew hate. Instead of building walls that attempt to obstruct positive change, growth, and success at ASU, the defensive rhetoric stained with tainted lies found here should be replaced with truth, the walls that come down for the hopefulness of peace. Only then can the university that Alamosa loves (yes, I said loves), faculty & staff love (oh, there I said it again), students love (so much love right here), and President McClure loves (wow, that's a lot of love for this site, huh?)...only when the destructive attitudes of all of you (and by "all" I do mean "few") stop with your own personal agendas and think about someone other than your sad, pitiful Pearl, poor little me, whining and stop acting like victims. As my grandmother loved to tell the wimpy kids who didn't play well with others...grow a set of balls! Now, run along and play nicely, children. Go, Grizzlies! Go, Beverlee! Go, fight, win!! ----Editor's Reply: And in every aspect of society, not just universities, there will be a large group of supporters who rally behind leadership elements and embrace a form of jingoistic fanfare for the status quo. They will view any form of divergent or critical perspective as inherently incompatible with their worldview and remain focused on their institutional affiliations in generalized and facile terms. For them, any number of issues that arise are likely to be exercises in cognitive dissonance to be rationalized or ignored while those who raise them must be the subject of marginalization and scorn. The discourse will be cast in emotional terms of "love" and "hate" as a form of tribalism while the specifics at hand must be swept away in favor of chants, slogans, and power fantasies that reference testicular fortitude as the predominant currency. It is the same in most every group affiliation when open discourse is shunned in favor of top-down hierarchy. August 11, 2016 at 8:48am I find the Edtor's Replies to be the most comical. Such big words for small minds. ----Editor's Reply: You're most welcome. The comedy is included and the willingness to publish your baseless invective is no additional charge.
August 10, 2016 at 8:45am As correctly observed in earlier posts, Drs. Mumper and Novotny remaining in their respective administrative positions in spite of their obviously detrimental effect on the institution is entirely attributable to President Svaldi’s negligence, lack of intestinal fortitude and complacence owing to his own imminent retirement. As was pointed out in a recent post (August 9, 2016 at 9:37am), President McClure deserves due credit for taking action in an attempt to rectify the situation (i.e., “…fired a few people and then circled wagons around the rest of her people”). However, it is also true that it did not require any special judgment on her part to recognize either Mumper’s obvious incompetence or the toxic effect of Novotny’s complete lack of integrity and bullying incompetence on academic affairs. More importantly, until the administrative malignancy under President Svaldi’s leadership has been fully eradicated doubt will continue to be cast on President McClure’s integrity. It should be noted that Drs. Novotny and Mumper engineered into their own contracts outrageous “golden parachutes” should they “decide to resign” their administrative posts and return to faculty status. While shamelessly lining their own pockets, the administration of which they were senior members failed to address stagnant faculty salaries or budgets for academic programs that have been underfunded literally for decades. This, of course, was justified on the altar of fiscal responsibility on behalf of the institution. Their blatant hypocrisy is utterly disgusting. Novotny would do well to bear in mind that those he has bullied and/or screwed while enjoying the advantage of administrative rank WILL and DO remember. Good riddance, Mr. Big Shot. Not to be overlooked - President Svaldi’s complacence and negligence with respect to Mumper’s and Novotny’s greed are manifest in his approval of those contracts. Perhaps President Svaldi’s mega portrait should be rethought and relocated (to the basement?) Faculty and staff at ASU should be grateful to Watching Adams for providing a forum that advances administrative transparency and oversight to the ultimate benefit of the institution.
August 9, 2016 at 10:56pm It is also very convenient how the people that ASU administrators mark as "bullies" rarely receive due process or an opportunity to challenge the accusations against them. What ASU lacks is a culture of accountability or transparency in workplace conflicts. Then after the "bully" resigns or is terminated, the rumors circulate quickly to assure everyone that they must really have "deserved it." With all the faculty who just left this year, imagine what new justifications will circle campus to poison the well against them. Couldn't be anything wrong with ASU, right?
August 9, 2016 at 8:05pm It is very convenient how Stephen Roberds has forgot all the controversy, problems, and the adversarial environment he created while at ASU. Many people confused his "radical" ideas and pushing the limits to be academic freedom, and he did much of it for shock value, but many also quickly learned his game and distanced themselves from him. Students thought he was something else because he cussed in class, but that wore thin as well. He bullied students into taking his classes, talked badly about his colleagues at any moment, all while acting surprised when he would be corrected or disciplined. Not only that, he basically abused every work-study he had with verbal abuse, or danced on the line of sexual harassment. He also committed a cardinal sin by abuse his captive audience students with forcing his beliefs upon them, and remaining inappropriate at any moment (athletes, non-athletes, etc.). No, Roberds was no gift to ASU. People may have been tricked into thinking he was some prolific academic he believed he was. Towards the end, people were distancing themselves from him because of his poisonous attitude and ways. To support him is supporting corruption and unbecoming of a professor. What gets me the most is anytime he would get into trouble, he acted like he did nothing wrong and always played the victim card; similarly to Ledonne claiming he was bullied, but was truly the bully himself.
August 9, 2016 at 6:38pm Let us go on another hunt. How much will this one cost ASU and the Colorado tax payer?
August 9, 2016 at 4:16pm I too was fooled by the president, right up to the point where McClure used “acts of terrorism” in the Valley Courier interview. At that point, I knew she was unhinged and unfit to lead Adams State. Who the hell throws around the word “terrorism” in today’s world? That’s why I love The College Fix’s headline: Public university pays critical professor $100,000 for calling him a terrorist. Then things got worse with her childish response to the HLC probation, which could have only made our situation worse. Very unprofessional. Most recently, ASU’s ridiculous first cut at a press release regarding the ACLU lawsuit. Delusional. Unfit, unprofessional, shoots from the hip without thinking... Time for McClure to go!
August 9, 2016 at 9:37am August 8 Commenter has a point. Yes, much of the mess ASU finds itself in is directly the result of the former president’s mismanagement. For a decade, Dr Svaldi ruled, and nothing happened, other than nest-feathering by his accomplices. Huge amounts of money were spent on sporting facilities, on the spurious notion a la Kevin Costner that “if we build it, they will come.” By all indices, it seems the opposite is true: “We built it; they are going.” Commenter asks; “Where was everyone during Svaldi’s reign? Surely people knew what was happening. Why was his corruption overlooked?” The answers are: Yes, they did know. But no one dared raised questions for fear of being put down, humiliated and ostracised. “Complainers” were ordered to Svaldi’s office for reprimand. He sent damning emails to anyone who questioned the status quo, CC’ed to multiple people across campus. Dr McClure inherited this situation. But instead of investigating the foundation of these problems - a culture of complacency and vindictiveness on the part of administrators, and a culture of capitulation and compliance on the part of faculty and staff - she did a Donald Trump, fired a few people and then circled wagons around the rest of "her people." Yesterday I was accosted by someone who knows, reprovingly, that I occasionally contribute to WA. He demanded to know, now that the LeDonne affair had ended, why WA continued. I pointed out the August 8 posting, saying that unless we wish to have another ten years of Svaldi-esque rule, then we need to keep a light turned on poor practices and performance. Only when ASU embraces honest and full transparency, when it seeks different ideas and opinions from its own people instead of shredding them, will WA go away. ----Editor's Reply: People who think the existence of Watching Adams has anything to do with the Ledonne v. McClure lawsuit fundamentally do not understand why he created the website, as described on the About Us page. This site started two months before Ledonne was banned from campus and has nothing to do with his own hiring situation, which was only mentioned on the site tangentially when the University banned him and raised the issue of his hiring complaint. This comment has it exactly right – Watching Adams continues to exist precisely because the problems it covers continue to be relevant obstacles... but not intractable ones.
August 9, 2016 at 8:06am I, Stephen C Roberds, propose that Dr. Novotny have until 11:00 AM, August 10, 2016 to submit his resignation. Otherwise, ASU will commence proceedings to have him terminated for unspecified reasons that will remain unspecified. This "due process" has precedent when Dr. Novotny and his sycophant buddy Crowther attempted to force me to resign within 24 hours with no specific reason, allegation, provided. Surely, Drs Novotny and Crowther would not expect to be treated any better than they treated me. Oh, and both of the above named morally deficient individuals should be permanently banned from campus due to threats, harassment, and their names being on the state police list of terror suspects.
August 8, 2016 at 6:41pm Those that are commenting about the salary ranges of special individuals have to remember that those deals were cut with old man Svaldi. Don't blame this Prez for Svaldi's corrupt years and all the crap he and his cronies did. All those on his "E Team" were part of the problem and should, by all rights, be terminated. The amount of money that was misspent during his reign would probably make all of us sick. Where was everyone during Svaldi's reign? Surely people knew what was happening. Why was his corruption overlooked? Was it because he came from the ranks of faculty and in your eyes it's ok to screw people as long as you are one of us?
August 6, 2016 at 10:53pm So let me get this straight: the new VPAA positions still make six figures, along with the previous VPAA employees who now have the same responsibilities of faculty members making half as much? As we tighten program budgets and "guarantee" tuition rates to students, how is this financially sustainable? We should all rotate in/out of these positions until everyone is making six figures at ASU! No wonder the university's finances are being audited and their credit rating has been downgraded.
August 6, 2016 at 11:33am In the context of fairness and campus-wide “equity”, the grossly disproportionate and utterly disgraceful salaries awarded to Drs. Novotny and Mumper upon their “decisions” to “resign” their respective administrative positions and return to faculty status should be of particular interest to faculty holding the same academic rank (i.e., Professor) in their respective disciplines (academic departments in which they are, incidentally, clearly superfluous). See Positions FS1601 and FA1501 listed on ASU Salary Data: Faculty 2016-17 posted on the Documents page of this site. Salary for position FS1601 (Professor of Chemistry) is $106,608, which is $39,816 greater than the salary of $66,792 for position FS8002 (Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair). Similarly, salary for position FA1501 (Professor of Political Science) is a whopping $122,280, which is more than TWICE the average salary ($57,764) of faculty holding the rank of Professor in the Department of History/Anthropology/Philosophy/Political Science/Spanish (i.e., positions FA0033, FA8002, and FA8003) and $45,492 greater than position FA8006 (Professor of History and Department Chair.) The shameless greed of ASU administrators lining their own pockets at the expense of their colleagues provides yet another example of the indefensible conduct that makes it impossible to support the administration at ASU.
August 5, 2016 at 12:42pm Along with cleaning-up house, the president and others need to take a hard look at programs and people in charge of programs. There are several programs (academic, non-academic, etc.) that are useless. Some departments only have a handful of students in areas; non-academic programs on this campus are not functioning properly or are not doing what they are supposed to do. The student life and outdoor program is a joke. No wonder why students are not active on campus. Look at the people in charge of those. They come off as "know-it-all" people. There are a lot of programs for hispanic students, but what are we doing for our Black student populations? Asian American students? How about other demographics beyond ethnicity? Gender, disabled, etc.? Far too many people get "promoted" or take on extra responsibilities just because it is all part of the "Good 'ol boys club" while others who are qualified or have a background in it are not having their skills utilized or given an option to lead. No wonder why so many people have left...I suspect more will be leaving this year as well. The president really needs to take a hard look at the whole campus, areas from administration, faculty, departments, programs, and so forth, and clean house that way. Much would be improved.
August 5, 2016 at 12:29pm I believe writing comments about how Ledonne has written his own death warrant for higher education is not wrong. Being he is now known to be controversial, even when unnecessary, and the lengths he will go to shame others is ridiculous. Just doing a simple search of him will deter search committees if he tries to apply for another academic position again. Along the same lines, McClure and other administrators, also have blame on them. They should have been more logical and deliberate to make sure that the court case would be easily handled instead of how it played out. However, good luck getting the president to apologize. If anything, ASU needs a re-start button. ---- Editor's Reply: We couldn't agree more about the need for an honest and true reboot at Adams State University! And to your first point, the rumors of Ledonne's professional demise are greatly exaggerated, and not for the first time. As everyone knows, in 2005 Ledonne created a videogame about the Columbine school shooting. A videogame! About Columbine! Death threats, hate mail, and calls for his firing from his job as a youth mentor ensued. Nonetheless, Ledonne produced a critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful documentary of the experience, secured a competitive fellowship in graduate school, expanded his video business, and taught at multiple universities and K-12 programs. Not ironically, "Super Columbine Massacre RPG" was cited by Dr. Mazel as among the reasons Ledonne was hired at ASU in 2011 and also among the reasons cited by Chief Grohowski as to why he banned from campus in 2015. We may be done with the past, but the past is never done with us. In virtually every article covering the ASU controversy, Ledonne and his allies at the ACLU appear as the protagonists while reactionary and oppressive university administrators flounder in self-contradictory statements that they cannot defend in their own shoddy press releases. So don't be surprised if Ledonne produces media of his experiences with ASU in the future. Moreover, until more faculty and staff in higher education are willing to stand up in solidarity for greater principals than their own careers or monthly paychecks, the deteriorating conditions in American academia aren't likely to improve. Here at ASU, Watching Adams persists because the conditions that necessitated its existence persist. Ledonne maintains this forum even as he is ridiculed, over and over, for doing so. Ergo, we should all think about what we can do, internally and externally, to improve institutional equity, transparency and demand accountability of government officials such as university administrators. And recognize that just as "well-behaved women seldom make history," so too is the case for "well-behaved men." So here's to the rabble-rousers, despite the nay-sayers, for being willing to swim upstream.
August 4, 2016 at 2:05pm "Education leaders and campuses must build trust. College presidents know that if they lose the trust of their boards, their faculty, government officials and sometimes their students, their jobs are at risk. Of late, too many presidents have lost their positions because the trust others held in them was eroded beyond repair. In this article, Karen Gross suggests that while university and college presidents need not be flawless, they must ferret out--and often quickly--what is fact and what is fiction. They must spend the time to think through the words they use to describe volatile situations, and above all else, own the truth, whether it is good or bad. Gross goes on to say that judging from current events, trust on campuses is eroding, including in leaders and within the student population. She emphasizes that without trust the connectivity so central to the creation of community and the capacity to learn and take risks diminishes. She concludes by asserting that educators need to spend more time rebuilding and valuing trust, not just divining and sharing truth." ("Truth, Transparency and Trust: Treasured Values in Higher Education" Gross, Karen, New England Journal of Higher Education, Feb 2015 - source)
August 4, 2016 at 1:30pm For those of you saying or thinking that it's just Danny and his minions commenting here and supporting the resignation of McClure; I, personally cannot stand Danny. I refuse to talk to him, I think he's a self-centered shithead. But McClure having him banned from campus and labeled a threat and terrorist is just plain wrong. Editor's Reply: This person clearly understands that civil rights aren't only for the popular kids.
August 4, 11:14am What's hilarious to me is that, while ASU administration continues to vilify Ledonne in public statements, they seem quite content with keeping all the videos he produced throughout the ASU website and even playing at the local movie theater!
August 4, 2016 at 11:11am A previous post (August 3, 8:05am) posed the following entirely valid question: “Why are multiple brand new VP positions with substantial salaries being created in the face of declining enrollment, woefully uncompetitive faculty and staff salaries, and tragically under-resourced departments and services?” Related, and equally relevant, questions are: 1. How does the ASU administration (i.e., President Svaldi, who approved the contracts) justify the disgracefully exorbitant salaries awarded to those “VP positions with substantial salaries” (i.e., Drs. Novotny and Mumper) upon their “resignation” and return to faculty status? When the 2016-17 faculty salary data are posted on this website this question should be of particular interest to their peers holding the same academic rank (i.e., Professor), in their respective disciplines. 2. More to the point, given their shameless and unjustified greed at the expense of their woefully underpaid peers, how do Drs. Novotny and Mumper retain any semblance of self-respect? (Obviously a rhetorical question.)
August 4, 2016 at 10:28am I, like many people, thought that Watching Adams would wither away after the court’s decision that LeDonne’s rights had been infringed. I thought administrators would take the whole saga as a learning experience, to be better listeners, to be a little kinder. But ASU’s words and actions show that they have learned nothing about respecting others’ rights, or even its own policies and protocols. Its July 25 press release said everything: “Business as usual. Lies as usual. Bullying as usual.” Even if LeDonne had not created Watching Adams, the problems endemic at ASU would have been no less. Watching Adams is merely making transparent the issues that are holding ASU back from being the great university it could be. By almost all metrics, ASU has been deteriorating for some time, well before Dr McClure took over. And yes, “like the president of the US, she cannot change things overnight.” But note that within the first year of his presidency, Obama had set in train the biggest, most radical (and perhaps most controversial) legislative project in modern American history - the Affordable Care Act. With McClure, we should have seen some moves in the right directions after at least a year in the driver’s seat. Sure, she’s fired a few people. Firing is easy to do. Ask Trump. Creating a coherent, cogent, comprehensive strategic plan is much more difficult Ask Trump. Attacking critics is easier than listening to what critics are saying. He would rather slander the parents of a fallen soldier than address the issues they raise. This is a pattern we see at ASU. So, by the way, where is the strategic plan that we all helped kick-start a year ago? Sure, “not every ounce of the blame should be put on [McClure]”, but she is paid the big bucks for taking responsibility for the actions of her administrators. Truman famously said that “the buck stops here.” Obama has repeated that quintessential axiom of leadership. No one in their right mind can seriously suggest that an unemployed, socially isolated (thanks to McClure) individual like LeDonne is responsible for McClure’s poor performance on every metric. Several commentators have agreed to self-reflection, then gone on to beat up LeDonne again. Self-reflection means being self-critical - how can I/we do a better job - not seeking out scapegoats to relieve us of the discomfort self-reflection necessarily induces. Time to start pointing the finger at ourselves, making ourselves better.
August 4, 2016 at 6:35am This has nothing to do with "stirring the pot." This is about lying and deceiving the campus community and the public. This is about losing trust. This is about lack of leadership. This is about making defamatory remarks and taking damaging actions affecting our university.
August 3, 2016 at 11:40pm Last I checked, Danny wasn't banned from campus because some people don't personally care for him or because they find him annoying or because they don't like his beard. He was banned from campus because (we were told repeatedly) he allegedly made threats of violence, direct and indirect threats, harassment and terrorism, and was on a police watch list. Has anyone seen evidence to support these claims? Because the ACLU never did, nor did any judge who reviewed the court documents. The whole issue of people liking or disliking someone is not sufficient for banning them from a public university campus. So stop the spin. The administration lied to you and now wants to pretend it never happened.
August 3, 2016 at 4:49pm When I first read McClure’s press release (Version 1.0), I was outraged. Shocked that she once again resorted to lying to cover her previous lies and mistakes. My next reaction was laughter at how ridiculously amateurish it was. McClure and her PR folks must have total contempt for students and the public, thinking they are completely stupid if they believed people wouldn’t see through it. I predicted the joke of a press release would bite her in the butt by pissing people off and by not taking responsibility for what she did. And here we are: media folks are calling her on her “win”, people are writing to the governor, and the students are planning to march on Richardson Hall. Nice job! Standing Strong for Justice!
August 3, 2016 at 4:25pm From ASU’s press release: “the only cost to Adams State was a $2,500 deductible”. What a sad, sad joke. Only cost! Someone did a good job listing the variety of costs that go well beyond the $100,000 loss to ASU (like over a thousand hours of wasted time?). Add to that list all the legal fees that president McClure’s foolish mistake led to to handle the ACLU lawsuit. I don’t know if ASU had to pay those, but if they didn’t then taxpayers certainly did. The legal fees alone must be way more than the $100,000 paid to Danny.
August 3, 2016 at 1:57pm It still remains, from many of the comments on this page, people are blowing up and trying to create controversy that is not needed. This page aims to expose the corruption of ASU? No, this page is trying to stir the pot in negative ways. This is truly the fault of Ledonne and his cult, all of which have created more problems than there needs to be. We cannot dismiss the fact that ASU problems have been present for a while now. Svaldi let too many things slide, which started much of the issues in Richardson and the campus. McClure came on, had a ton to deal with right away, and had to work with administrators that were no good. She really need to keep on "cleaning house" in the administration, because there are still too many people who are not qualified to do the jobs they are doing. Especially the way enrollment is not improving, those in charge of that area need to go, because they have no business being in charge of an important area for the university, let alone they are not qualified for their position. This goes for other areas in the administration too. Sure, McClure has not made some good decisions. Maybe her method of dealing with things (like Ledonne) did not work out. However, just like the president of the US, she cannot just change things overnight. I would guess that as soon as more cleaning is done in the administration, and better and qualified people are brought in (like our new VPAA), things will drastically improve. Not every ounce of the blame should be put on her. People, like Ledonne and others, have stalled and created too many obstacles for her to make additional needed improvements. Just because a professor gets praising student evaluations does not mean they are master educators. I too have heard from Ledonne's students who would rather say nice things about him (in evaluations) than put up with his bully tactics to justify his existence. I have also heard from students who say they rather play along with saying he is a good educator because they feel that he would punish them if they did not. One good thing about Ledonne is that he has made such a bad name for himself, and has publicly made himself to be an adversarial colleague, that no higher ed institution would want to hire him. Why would any university bring someone on who they can see will take them to court for not being re-hired? He is foolish to think he has a place in academia. I agree with self-reflection. Everyone should do that. Instead of creating more controversy to bring this place down, think about ways you can improve, both as a person and as a professional. This all needs to stop, otherwise we all will suffer. ----Editor's Reply: No one, including Ledonne himself, has hailed him as a “master educator.” Through (anonymous) course evaluations as well as directed reviews of his performance at ASU, analysis reveals a “pattern of behavior” that includes going out of his way to foster new programs and initiatives, volunteering his time and expertise on committees and working groups, and continued collaboration with former students and peers. During discovery, Ledonne collected over a dozen testimonials solely from female former students and peers at ASU simply to demonstrate that there is a broad support for his efforts, despite the acrimony leveled at his (unpaid) exercise in offering an alternative to the propagandist narrative of the ASU administration. Even after the campus ban, any number of colleagues and former students reached out in support and cheered him on through the successful completion of court proceedings that resulted in the ban being lifted, zero evidence or witnesses ever supporting the university's false allegations, and a settlement to Ledonne and the ACLU simply to drop the court case. This pervasive hostility toward Ledonne's prospects in academia is really meant to frighten anyone else who might dare speak truth to power and make public that which administrators would prefer to keep under tight wraps while distributing highly misleading press-releases. Apparently, the mere act of creating a website that posts articles, documents, commentary, and reader comments appears to be an unacceptable act of criticizing the Emperor's New Clothes, calling for Ledonne to wear a Scarlet Letter and be banished from the kingdom. Disregard for the free exchange of ideas is not becoming of a university campus. But this is all indeed a distraction; what is telling is how often criticism of ASU is met with attacks against someone who hasn't even worked at ASU in over a year now. Many of ASU's problems existed before, during, and after one faculty member's time at ASU. These problems, such as diminished enrollment, low student graduation rates, low employee morale, and bloated administrative positions and salaries, appear to be worsening under the McClure administration. Further, there appear to be heightened levels of employee discord, a culture of fear and shaming, and a kind of toxic tribalism that continues to produce more faculty and staff leaving due to attrition. And despite such barbs of hostility towards a divergent point of view amidst such turmoil, Ledonne continues to receive strong support, praise, assistance and solidarity in his efforts to speak truth to power and hold ASU administrators accountable for the failings of an institution. His efforts are not in the service of personal popularity but rather of higher ideals and principals. ASU deserves better, the San Luis Valley deserves better, and we can all find ways to hold ourselves and one another accountable to this end – even and especially when we disagree. Regarding charges of "negativity," please check out our commentary “Negativity” is negative, President McClure. Time to Change the Tune. Lastly, have you ever tried cooking without "stirring the pot?" All the substance gets stuck at the bottom and burned while the seasoning rises to the top. Stew on that for a bit.
August 3, 2016 at 8:05am It is truly heartening to see students asking important questions about the condition of their institution. Student activism is what will lead to desperately needed changes at Adams State, and those changes go well beyond just a new president and a fresh board of trustees. Foxes have guarded the hen house for far too long at ASU; a full cleansing of long entrenched, self-rewarding administrators is needed if the school is to ever lift itself up, discover its amazing potential, and fully serve its students. Here are a few more questions students should consider posing: 1. How many of your professors have left ASU in the past academic year? Why did they leave? How many of them would have stayed if conditions were different? I encourage students to contact their departed professors and ask these questions directly. And then share what you learn. 2. What does it cost to replace a single professor? These costs include but are not limited to the time of search committee members, travel expenses for multiple candidates, and moving expenses for the selected candidate. How could these resources (i.e., your tuition dollars) be otherwise allocated if ASU valued and supported their people enough to retain them? 3. Why are multiple brand new VP positions with substantial salaries being created in the face of declining enrollment, woefully uncompetitive faculty and staff salaries, and tragically under-resourced departments and services? Could funds for these new administrator salaries be better allocated in another way that better supports your education? 4. Why is the state legislature conducting an unprecedented audit of ASU finances? 5. Why is ASU on academic probation? What are the implications? 6. If administrators were at the helm as all these problems arose, should those same administrators be trusted to resolve them? Why aren’t your professors actively examining these questions? Ask them to stand with you. 7. Why aren’t faculty and staff asking these questions on your behalf? Are they fearful? If so, why? Ask them. But don’t pose these questions to ASU administrators. Ask your professors, ask the state legislature, ask the Higher Learning Commission, ask the governor. Don’t accept pat, dismissive explanations from ASU administrators if they are offered. And certainly don’t accept anyone suggesting it’s none of your business. It is your university and it is very much your business. Student activism across the country is bringing about dramatic change on many campuses. Look to Green River Community College and U.C. Davis as just two of many, many examples. Be the change you want to see. You have the power.
August 2, 2016 at 11:42pm Plain and simple: McClure's repeated lies have led to the current state of affairs. She is a president of a public university. She is responsible and cannot put the blame on past leadership and current employees who advise her. A liar cannot be trusted. She has to resign, if not then the board has to let her go.
August 2, 2016 at 8:55pm "Most importantly, ask yourself why you are in higher education. Aren't we all here to help the students? Aren't students our top priority, giving them a quality education?" Couldn't agree more. And for students to stay and succeed, faculty and staff must have a healthy and supportive culture. That starts with a workplace that is free from bullying, retaliation, fear-based leadership, lying to faculty and students, administrators who disregard policy and procedure, and fair, competitive compensation for the many hours put into the classroom or the office.
August 2, 2016 at 4:38pm Does anyone know the story behind the recent resignation of former trustees Val Vigil and Mary Griffin? Might this have something to do with the Ledonne case? I'm sure it does, but as always, ASU will put a positive lie-filled spin on their departure.
August 2, 2016 at 2:54pm If it's okay to have a march in support of McClure and her repeated false statements about Ledonne to the entire campus, it seems reasonable to call for a march in opposition to these very same measures now that it seems clear the amount of employee time and student money ASU wasted. And for what? Ledonne is free to be on campus as he was growing up here and teaching here. ASU doesn't have money for any number of pressing matters but it has the money to go after anyone who criticizes the administration?
August 2, 2016 at 2:07pm I have been reluctant to ever comment on here, but now it seems to be warranted. I think everyone should calm down, take a chill pill, and do some reflecting. Sure, there are many problems at Adams State, many of which began long before McClure became president. As much as I liked Svaldi, he let far too many things pass, especially in his finals few years as president. McClure inherited those problems. Sure, some problems came into existence after she became president, but in my opinion, far too many people expected her to fix everything overnight. I know there was a positive and supportive atmosphere when she became president, but look at what she has done to try and improve a few things (i.e., got rid of Novotny and Mansheim, and other "clean-up jobs"). With this recent talk and promotion for a walk in support of Ledonne and trying to force her to apologize or resign, remember, just because you do away with one person does not guarantee the next will be any better. I am not necessarily saying we all have to fully support the president. I think there is more she should do to clean up the image and create a more positive environment on this campus. More "bad eggs" in Richardson and around campus need to leave. I truly believe that the president has been misinformed about several things. Evidence: look at some of the recent changes on campus. People are in charge of programs that have no business running them. Other programs need to be looked into because they are not producing any positive outcomes on campus. We could be doing more to better this campus for the students, our number 1 priority. Far too many people want to point fingers and blame others, instead of trying to work together. I know that I am not the only one feeling isolated or that my voice is unheard these days. These days, I rather simply do my job, not say too much, and go about my business quietly. Too many people are in this witch hunt; this is where a paradox exists in higher education. Too many over-educated people think they know what is the best thing to do, but in doing so have created adversarial conditions for others. However, some simple facts remain. The president cannot fix things overnight. Because so many problem existed before her time, along with the problems that came up in her presidency, it will take some time to fix things, hopefully sooner rather than later. She has been ill advised on matters, but some of the main problems are now gone or demoted. Sure, she has made poor decisions, said stuff incorrectly, and all, but at least she is trying. Ledonne, on the other hand, has been nothing but a pain. I know most of his students did not like him, as they only put on a facade to not be victim to his bully tactics. He was not wanted by his fellow faculty (whether or not it was faculty searches). His faculty and peers did NOT want him. Why would anyone want to work at a place that did not want them? Through all of his complaining, lawsuit, and such, he has made himself very undesirable for any academic position again, because now he has a long record of being a cry-baby because he did not keep a position. It is sad that he has wasted so much money, time, resources, and attention away to more important issues. I ask that everyone take a few moments to do a self-reflection. Ask yourself if you are doing anything to help improve the conditions at Adams State. Ask yourself if whatever issue you are taking (these days either being anti-McClure or pro-Danny), if that is the best thing. Ask yourself if you are being the best version of yourself in these issue. Most importantly, ask yourself why you are in higher education. Aren't we all here to help the students? Aren't students our top priority, giving them a quality education? I am in it because I believe in education and educating others, and I intend to still do that, within this mess Ledonne and his cult-followers have created. ----Editor's Reply: Self-reflection seems like a good idea and your point about the length and depth of ASU's problems is well-taken; many within ASU have tried for years to address these challenges through "the proper channels" and gotten nowhere (or worse, been shunned and bullied by peers or supervisors). Ledonne maintains close friendships with many of his colleagues and former students at ASU. In addition to the letter of support signed by his students and peers, Ledonne was consistently ranked above his peer group average on student evaluations, is still asked to write letters of recommendation for former students, has received letters of recommendation from his former department chair and numerous peers, and many students have contacted him to congratulate him on his successful resolution of the ACLU lawsuit. Ledonne's public announcement of the settlement on his Facebook page was "liked" over 265 times and "shared" over 30 times, including by faculty organizations supporting his efforts including Trinity Washington University Part-Time Faculty Union, SEIU 500 CAL, Montgomery College Part Time Faculty Union, Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College-AAUP, New Faculty Majority, and the Higher Education arm of AFT-WV.
August 1, 2016 at 3:51pm Polls, huh? Let's take one on whether "Danny" should be hired at ASU. Oh yes, we already took that poll and the answer was "no." And Beverlee McClure had nothing to do with it. ----Editor's Reply: Danny Ledonne was hired over and over by ASU between 2011-2015, received high student evals and department reviews, helped to create a film festival and student media organization, and supplied multiple letters of recommendation, a letter of support signed by approx. 80 faculty, staff, students and community members to the Board of Trustees. Like many other students and faculty who have left in recent years, so too went Ledonne.
August 1, 2016 at 3:44pm I googled "Arnold Salazar Adams State University" as someone suggested and it worked. Near the top I found an oldie, but goodie! The board's letter to the campus, posted on AcademeBlog and it lists all the names of the board since they all signed it. I bet they regret this now: it was all for our safety and "The university’s actions throughout this situation have been appropriate and defensible." NEITHER appropriate nor defensible. That's why they settled the ACLU LAWSUIT for $100K. They were suckers to believe McClure and now they are paying for it with their reputations. Adams State University Board of Trustees 11/9/15 As the Board of Trustees for Adams State University, we assure you the safety of our campus is of utmost importance. President McClure shares that priority, and we fully support measures she recently took to issue persona non grata status to Danny Ledonne. The action was based on safety concerns and disruptive behavior and taken in conjunction with information from the Colorado Attorney General’s office. The university’s actions throughout this situation have been appropriate and defensible. What began as an unsuccessful application for a faculty position has been distorted. Mr. Ledonne’s freedom of speech is in no way threatened. He has been given every document that he is entitled to under the law, and he continues to freely communicate his concerns through blogs and newspapers. This issue has become a distraction from the work of the university. We urge you, our faculty and staff, to continue in your dedicated work to serve students and move Adams State forward in a positive manner. Sincerely, The Board of Trustees for Adams State University Arnold Salazar, Chair Kathleen Rogers, Vice Chair Paul Farley Mary Griffin LeRoy Salazar Cleave Simpson John Singletary Valentin Vigil Randy Wright
August 1, 2016 at 3:38pm Someone wrote, "The fact that our president showed a folder of "evidence" and then did not prevail in legal proceedings does not mean she lied." Actually President McClure repeatedly told students and faculty that Ledonne was on a "police watch list." There is no such thing as a police watch list. That's a lie and there's really no other way to spin this. McClure also said in the Valley Courier that Ledonne was engaged in "terrorism," a serious Federal offense. That was also a lie. She claimed Ledonne made "direct threats," a prosecutable offense, yet the police cheif admitted in his email that Ledonne has broken no law. This isn't a matter of opinion, these are legal facts and McClure is on the wrong side of them.
August 1, 2016 at 3:30pm When I look at McClure’s track record, what I see is a “disturbing pattern of behavior that has been going on for a long time.” Abuse of power by banning Ledonne. Then slander about Ledonne to justify her actions. Then lies to cover those lies. And most recently, her original press release about the ACLU lawsuit was filled with lies. Not surprisingly, her pattern of lying and slandering people she doesn’t like for her own gain precedes ASU. While representing the business world in New Mexico, she falsely accused a non-profit organization of breaking the law. (The punchline is that the non-profit didn’t even exist in the year she said they broke the law! Not even a good liar, but we know that from the recent press release.) Her false accusations in NM earned her the title of “Worst Person in the World” on a website down there. I think she deserves it again for what she did to Danny Ledonne and everyone she lied to. ASU President Beverlee J. McClure: Worst Person in the World (two-time winner) Given her “disturbing pattern of behavior,” I think she should be banned from campus for the financial and reputational safety of ASU. The ban would be “in response to concerns expressed by faculty, staff, and students” (from the ASU press release!). That’s all it takes, right Bev?
August 1, 2016 at 3:27pm Fantastic, the Standing Strong March is already scheduled for the Friday the Board of Trustees will be here: August 26th!!!
August 1, 2016 at 3:25pm Two quick comments: 1 - There have been calls for the Governor to fire the trustees and the president and replace them. The University of Louisville (I think) is cited as an example. We actually do NOT want any politician to exercise control over the independence of a state university regardless of the reason or cause. Our trustees are selected as a diverse group, men and women, local and distant, Dem and Repub, white and not white. To subordinate them to the Governor would allow a politician to seize control of Adams at another point in time, maybe for political gain, or to censure a freedom, or any other reason. I also suspect the Louisville issue will be contested and will not go as planned. Regardless it is a very bad idea. 2 - The fact that our president showed a folder of "evidence" and then did not prevail in legal proceedings does not mean she lied. She may have believed and been advised by counsel that she had "the goods." The prosecutor in Baltimore thought she had the goods on the police officers involved in Freddie Gray's death. She lost four court cases and dropped the rest. I don't believe she lied, she simply got beat in court. We know that OJ was guilty, but he beat a murder rap. Did the prosecutor lie (?), no, OJ did it, but he won in court. Let's not be too quick to call someone a liar just because a proceeding didn't go their way. We learn over life that proceedings, judicial decisions, trials, grievances, etc., can go many different ways and not always in the precise direction of truth or justice.
August 1, 2016 at 2:51pm Remember the petition some of us had the smarts and guts to sign last year. Looks like we were right. Our president was lying to us about Danny and using our “safety” as her smokescreen. I feel betrayed, imagine how Danny must feel. It’s disgusting. Maybe time for a new petition: remove her. How about a new WatchingAdams poll: Is it time to give president McClure the boot? When will her bosses be here to hear what we have to say? I’d like an explanation from Arnold Salazar, Kathleen Rogers, Paul Farley, Michele Lueck, Wendell Pryor, LeRoy Salazar, Cleave Simpson, John Singletary, and Randy Wright. (Thanks for the tip about using their names.) ----Editor's Reply: We have created a poll with this topic here. The ASU Board of Trustees meets monthly, updated here. Next meeting: August 25-26, 2016 - ASU Campus
August 1, 2016 at 1:47pm I’ll be at the Standing Strong march because I want an apology. But that’s not enough. I plan to vote with my money. I don’t want my hard-earned cash paying president McClure and her bosses. I’m transferring and I'm going to tell my adviser why. I know they won’t do it, but I’m also going to ask for a refund for my last 5 semesters. At the rate McClure is trashing our reputation, pretty soon credits and degrees from ASU won’t be worth much.
August 1, 2016 at 1:35pm You know, what's funny to me is that every so often, someone will comment here about how this website is so ridiculous, everyone is laughing at it, or something like that. Yet all of the articles and documents here link to verified information about the problems ASU has. So I'm not sure I "get" the joke. Maybe they are just laughing nervously, hoping it will all somehow go away, that nobody will expect them to be accountable for all the mistakes the administration has created? But don't worry, "Guaranteed Tuition" will solve everything! That's the real joke.
August 1, 2016 at 12:47pm Dr. McClure has been the model of excellence in lying to the students, to the faculty and staff, and to the community.
August 1, 2016 at 12:24pm Dr. McClure has been a model of excellence for Adams State University! Someone told me, laughing I might add, to check out this website and it's absurdity, so I did. The administrators of this page must know they are the laughing stock of the university, community, and town of Alamosa! I guess it's good for a laugh or two, but nobody takes this ascinine page seriously. Change is coming at ASU, so all the bad apples will be plucked from the basket in record time, as not to spoil the positive, well-supported goals of Dr. McClure and her extraordinary team, like the esteemed Dr Gilmer, the new VPAA, and great ones like the Associate VPAA, Margaret Doell, to name a few. Go, Grizzlies! ----Editor's Reply: Meanwhile, in the real world outside Richardson Hall and the SLV bubble, the university is on academic probation, its credit rating has been downgraded, the State Auditor is reviewing four years of negative financial performance, ASU's enrollment continues to decline, ASU has one of the lowest graduation rates in the state of Colorado, campus services and scholarships are cut, faculty and staff are leaving so quickly that entire departments are being re-hired, and press outlets covering higher education continue to report on multiple controversies involving the ASU administration. But it is all quite funny in a certain sense, yes.
July 30, 2016 at 4:15pm Students: You have absolutely no need to worry about being punished for marching. You may feel like you are at the bottom level on campus, but you have all the power. You pay the bills. Without students, there is no ASU. And enrollment has been dropping for years. ASU is in dire straits financially. President McClure and the administration are cutting services for students: library staffing, sports teams, scholarships, etc. Nonetheless, the president is adding new administrative positions. It’s probably a way to reward her friends (Margaret Doell comes to mind) or payoff folks who have dirt on her regarding the ACLU lawsuit. Plus, a lot of faculty saw through the president's lies, and in the last week many more have seen the light. We are with you, some figuratively, some literally (in the march). She lied to us too.
July 30, 2016 at 4:08pm GO BEVERLEE GO! GO BOT GO! GO BEVERLEE GO! GO BOT GO! GO BEVERLEE GO! GO BOT GO!...
July 30, 2016 at 2:28pm Thanks for the answers to my questions. I approve! I don’t know if the “we” thought about this, but we should end the march on the steps like the faculty did. There will be to many of us to go to McClure’s office and it would be harder for the media to cover it. Plus, I’d love to see her coming out of the building and apologize in public. She used us and I’m pissed. I agree about our right to free speech, just as long as we keep it peaceful. The only thing McClure should fear is losing her job, which personaly I hope she does. We came to ASU to learn but what kind of lessons is she teaching? A lot of people haven’t heard about McClure losing the ACLU lawsuit, but word will spread quickly with the march and the start of the semester. And it will spread with lots of anger. But it has to be peaceful.
July 30, 2016 at 2:20pm Another way to apply pressure to McClure and the Board is to just keep using their names in posts around the web. The WatchingAdams comments, ACLU lawsuit and Danny Ledonne already come up near the top when I search for “Adams State University McClure.” That doesn’t look good for her and it won’t look good for members of the Board if their names start coming up similarly. It will draw attention to what they’ve done and what people think of them. Works best with the right keywords, perhaps Arnold Salazar, Board of Trustees, Adams State University, ACLU lawsuit, Beverlee McClure, Danny Ledonne, First Amendment violation, Fourteenth Amendment violation, etc. All in a short explanation, perhaps: Arnold Salazar of the Adams State University Board of Trustees condoned the lying and slander perpetrated by ASU president Beverlee McClure when she illegally banned Danny Ledonne from campus. McClure denied him his First Amendment rights by limiting his access to campus and violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights by denying him due process. Worse yet, she resorted to slander, lying about him being a risk on multiple occasions in order to cover her tracks. McClure lost an ACLU lawsuit filed on her behalf. In spite of all of this, Arnold Salazar and the Board of Trustees condoned her actions and in a press release characterized them as “no wrongdoing.” Similarly, just searching certain terms makes them more likely to come up, like “moving to Canada” comes up more quickly since Trump is running for President. So search away for things like “Arnold Salazar Adams State University ACLU lawsuit.” Or McClure or other trustees’ names.
July 30, 2016 at 2:04pm Replying to these questions: 1) what if McClure won’t apologize? 2) What if McClure resigns before the march? 3) what do we do if she does apologize before the march? Do we cancel? Great questions and we did think about all of them. Benefits of having a group brainstorm. If no apology: We figure the attention will look terrible and her refusal to apologize would make her look like an even bigger ogre. Plus, we will draw attention to the truth which would help Danny. And maybe we can force the board to apologize if McClure doesn’t have the integrity to do it (which obviously she doesn’t or she would have done it by now, but she will probably do it under pressure). If McClure resigns, Danny’s name still needs to be cleared, so we’ll demand the Board make the apologize and acknowledge McClure’s lies. Again, the march will still bring wider attention to the truth. If she does apologize beforehand, that raises a more basic question: what would an apology need to look like? Answer: We thought it would have to include coming to AS&F, admitting she lied about “acts of terrorism,” the Police Watchlist, direct threats of violence, and implying he could be a school shooter. She would have to send out a new press release saying the same and it would have to go to everyone who covered the story. And she would need to apologize to Danny. Did we miss anything else other people would like to see happen? Then that would put pressure on the Board. Could they live with condoning what she did? If that all happens, then no need for a march, no need to bring more bad publicity to ASU. If all else fails, we could walk out of classes and shut ASU down.
July 30, 2016 at 1:03pm Some thoughts about the protest: should be bigger than what they put up. Should involve faculty, staff, and students. Should ask for BOT to go also. Should have far and wide press coverage. Letters should be signed on spot and sent to the governor. Of course the protests should include genuine grievances and should not have Danny's case in view primarily, but yes the protest should mention Danny's case and how it could have been easily averted. Should also mention HLC and how the students are now into unfamiliar territory because of incompetence at ASU.
July 30, 2016 at 11:59am And here’s another letter, but I haven’t figured out how to contact these people yet. Dear Arnold Salazar, Kathleen Rogers, Paul Farley, Michele Lueck, Wendell Pryor, LeRoy Salazar, Cleave Simpson, John Singletary, Randy Wright (ASU Board of Trustees), You are immoral, unethical, and irresponsible! Either 1) you knew about ASU’s ridiculous, lie-filled press release (posted hear) or 2) you didn’t know about it: 1) If you knew about it, then you are condoning McClure’s mistake and her lies. To say that McClure won the lawsuit is a lie. To say that violating a citizens rights, ruining his reputation, and lying to everyone isn’t wrongdoing is sick! If that’s what you believe, then we need a new president and Board. This whole mess was about lies and you all just keep feeding the public more lies and refusing to fix the damage. You are being immoral and unethical. 2) If you didn’t know about it, then what the hell are you doing? After McClure’s slander (“terrorism”? “police watchlist”? really?) brought an ACLU lawsuit against ASU, you all should be watching her every move and stopping her from making things worse. Like she did with the press release. So, if you didn’t know about it, then you aren’t taking your jobs seriously. Being unethical and irresponsible. If you have an honest, ethical bone in your bodies and if you actually care about students and ASU, then apologize or make president McClure apologize and clear Danny Ledonne’s name. ----Editor's Reply: The Board of Trustees can be contacted via: James Trujillo, Executive Assistant to the President/Board of Trustees (719) 587-7341 firstname.lastname@example.org
July 30, 2016 at 11:57am So, did you all think about this: what if McClure won’t apologize? What if McClure resigns before the march? Hate to be a pain in the butt with all the what-ifs, but what do we do if she does apologize before the march? Do we cancel? I think you / we need a backup plan.
July 30, 2016 at 11:57am I’m deeply embarrassed to admit I was one of the faculty members duped by McClure. I supported her and was even irritated by the people who criticized her. Being truthful, I even said some negative things about them. It’s now clear the whole PNG was a game, an act, a bunch of lies. Thinking back about the police watchlist, the theatrics of her Ledonne file, and the audacity to bring it to student and faculty meetings like a prop, makes me sick. I have lost all confidence and trust and her. Clearly, she will say anything at all to advance her agenda and cover her mistakes. I don’t know how an institution can follow such a leader. Oh, and to the person who thinks this site is all written by a few people, I know you are wrong. My feelings about Danny aside, I’m one example of the soon-to-be many people who are fed up.
July 30, 2016 at 11:38am Standing Strong March… I’m as good as there. Word is spreading quick, a friend just told me to check out watchingadams and it looks like this was just posted. The newspaper idea is great, but don’t forget the radio and TV stations. Now that Danny is allowed back on campus, we should invite Danny to attend, so he can be there for the apology. It would be awesome for thousands of people to hear or watch it!
July 30, 2016 at 11:39am When it comes to the Standing Strong March, don’t forget Chief Grohowski and those Board folks: Arnold Salazar, Kathleen Rogers, Paul Farley, Michele Lueck, Wendell Pryor, LeRoy Salazar, Cleave Simpson, John Singletary, Randy Wright.
July 30, 2016 at 10:34am Here's a letter I just sent to our governor. Feel free to copy or modify and send by mail or email. Address: Governor John Hickenlooper, 200 E Colfax Ave #136, Denver, CO 80203 Email: https://www.colorado.gov/governor/ask-help (Totally confidential if you check the box at the bottom!) Dear Governor Hickenlooper, Please pay attention to what has been happening at Adams State University. Our president, Beverly McClure, violated a great professors constitutional rights (Danny Ledonne) by banning him from our campus, fired him, lied about him to ruin his reputation, and then lied to everyone (students, employees, newspapers, the public) to hide her mistake. She just lost an ACLU lawsuit and had to pay $100,000 to Danny. However, she and the Board of Trustees (Arnold Salazar, Kathleen Rogers, Paul Farley, Michele Lueck, Wendell Pryor, LeRoy Salazar, Cleave Simpson, John Singletary, Randy Wright) claim they won the case, even though they had to pay Danny and allow him back on campus. Even more immoral and unethical, they claim there was no wrongdoing. As if violating a citizens rights, ruining his reputation, and lying to everyone isn’t wrongdoing! If that’s what they believe, then we need a new president and Board. Please fire these people (like Kentucky governor Matt Bevin did at Louisville) and appoint people who are honest, ethical, and care about students. Thank You, (Add your name)
July 30, 2016 at 10:12am Standing Strong for an Apology March to Richardson Hall Friday, August 26th, 12:00 noon Start: In front of Nielsen Library Purpose: To force president McClure to come clean by admitting her lies to students, employees, and the community. To admit Danny Ledonne was never a threat to anyone in order to clear his name and restore his reputation. To insist the president apologize to everyone she lied to and used by claiming she was acting to ensure our safety. To insist the president apologize to Danny Ledonne. A bunch of us discussed the options and decided the AS&F resolution is a great idea, but it could take a while. So, let’s do the march without waiting for the resolution. We thought the first day of class would be kinda cool, but we’ll need more time to spread the word. Therefore, we are proposing the first Friday of classes (8/26), unless someone has a better idea. The Valley Courier covered the faculty’s march to support president McClure, so we will contact them to cover our march. In fact, we’ll Google to see all the newspapers and websites that covered the ACLU lawsuit and contact them in advance. We will also plaster the classrooms, doors, and bulletin boards with posters and fliers, just like McClure’s supporters did. Whoever started this idea mentioned the possibility of the president stopping us. We don’t think that’s likely. She just finished dealing with one lawsuit over free speech, plus with the media attention, it would look horrible. We have the right to march and be heard. The president and board treated us like children, assuming we would believe whatever they told us, like “just ignore what’s going on and focus on your work.” We will show them they were wrong. We paid attention to their unethical games and now we will make ourselves heard. Standing Strong for the Truth Standing Strong for the Constitution Standing Strong for Free Speech Standing Strong for Retracting the President’s Lies Standing Strong for restoring Danny Ledonne’s reputation SPREAD THE WORD!
Editor's Note: Clarifying the 7/29/16 addendum to the ASU press release - “Clarifying Facts: Ledonne vs. McClure et al.” “Ledonne filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, arguing that his due process rights were violated. After a full day of hearing testimony, Judge Moore denied that motion.” The ACLU filed a motion for preliminary injunction based on the the assertion that Ledonne had utter lack of due process prior to being banned from campus, including a failure to be notified of the allegations against him or a reasonable opportunity to respond before an impartial decision-maker, and a denial of his right to receive information and attend events on a public university campus. After the motion was denied, the ACLU appealed this motion, restating their claims and introducing additional case law to support these claims. The parties began preparing for a jury trial. During this time, the plaintiffs and defendants began the process of discovery – during which the ACLU acquired the entirety of the documents believed to be President McClure's “file” on Ledonne. The defendants and plaintiffs were scheduling depositions for mid-July, should mediation be unsuccessful. Upon reviewing the documents obtained during discovery, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein stated: “Throughout the course of the litigation, Adams State University was not able to produce a single piece of evidence that Danny Ledonne ever engaged in any threats of violence, direct or indirect, toward anyone or anything at the university... The University had no legitimate basis for banning Mr. Ledonne from campus, nor did university officials have any factual basis for the stigmatizing and derogatory characterizations of Mr. Ledonne that they communicated to the university community and the public.” “While statements have been made that he was a professor, Ledonne was never employed as a tenure-track faculty member. Instead, he was on a one-year, temporary contract that ended May 2015. He was not an employee of Adams State University when he was issued the persona non grata.” No one has claimed that Ledonne was ever “a tenure track professor” but have consistently maintained that Ledonne taught in the Mass Communication department between 2011-2015, first as an adjunct instructor from 2011-2014 and then as a visiting assistant professor from 2014-2015. Moreover, Ledonne's employment status with ASU is immaterial to the claims of the case; Ledonne has a right to access the public areas of the university campus unless deprived of such by due process of law. “On two occasions, Ledonne applied for a tenure-track faculty position which he did not receive. Ultimately, a faculty search committee filled the position with a highly qualified individual.” The 2014 search (in which Ledonne was a semi-finalist) resulted in failure when none of the finalists accepted the position, though the university refused to consider Ledonne's application for the position while nonetheless offering him a one year visiting assistant professor position. Ledonne again applied for the full time position when it became available. Upon investigating the 2015 search (in which Ledonne was not in consideration for the position), Ledonne's Office of Equal Opportunity complaint alleged that the search committee exercised undo bias against his application. After obtaining his application scoresheets through an open records request in May 2015, Ledonne maintained that he discovered “technical, factual, and procedural errors” with the 2015 search process and sought to redress these grievances with the new OEO director in September 2015, who refused to meet with him to discuss the matter though Ledonne had been assured by the previous OEO director that the case remained open. Ledonne was told he could not meet because he was not an employee, though the case had been filed when Ledonne was an employee. The faculty member hired during the 2015 faculty search then left Adams State University after teaching the spring 2016 semester. “The settlement with ACLU has a provision that Ledonne is to have no contact with a female professor who was on the selection committee that chose another candidate. This restriction from contact is for a one-year period.” Ledonne has not had any form of contact with this professor since June 2015 upon completion of his teaching contract and the university never provided any evidence to the contrary despite banning him from campus in October 2015. Ledonne fully intends to honor this provision as he has already been doing so without any outside direction for the past year. “As part of the settlement, the University's insurance carrier agreed to pay a portion of the ACLU attorneys' fees. By doing so, this allowed the University to focus on its mission, rather than continued litigation. The agreement ultimately saved the University time and money.” Both parties agreed to the terms of mediation as being more favorable than ongoing litigation. As reported in the Valley Courier, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein said although the university was not writing a check to Ledonne personally, he would receive about $65,000 out of the $100,000 ASU would be remitting to the ACLU. "The $100,000 settlement resolves Mr. Ledonne's claim for damages and attorneys fees,"Silverstein said. "We keep only one-third for the attorneys fees. The rest of it goes to Mr. Ledonne. He will get about $65,000." The attorney said ASU's insurance company would write a check to ACLU for $100,000, which ACLU would put into a client trust account. Out of that account, ACLU will reimburse a cooperating attorney for some expenses and write a check from the client trust account to Ledonne. “After the Board of Trustees failed to create an unfunded position specifically for him at his request at the October 2, 2015, meeting, Ledonne posted a number of articles critical of Adams State University. The University has continuously complied with all of Ledonne's requests for information, regardless of the intended use of the information, and even after the issuance of the persona non grata. The persona non grata did not impact his access to information, nor did it restrain his ability to advocate his position – he continued to have access to University records.” In April 2015, Ledonne first proposed the creation of a new position to then-President David Svaldi. This would have been a half-time teaching and half-time performing video production services (as had been the case since May 2011). Ledonne characterized this as a "win-win" to avoid further dispute regarding the hiring process. Ledonne was encouraged by the president to speak to the Board of Trustees about this proposal and Ledonne did so in May 2015, at which time he also presented letters of recommendation and a letter of support from approximately 80 students, staff, faculty and community members. This request was not granted. Ledonne appeared before the Board in October 2015 to request mediation for his hiring concerns. Twelve days later, Ledonne was served a No Trespass Order, threatening him with arrest were he to set foot onto University property. As argued by the ACLU, this No Trespass Order impacted Ledonne's ability to attend events and activities on the ASU campus as well as access the university's library. Further, the ACLU argued the many unproven claims by the ASU administration that Ledonne “threatened” individuals and was banned for “campus safety” created an unwarranted stigma against Ledonne in the Alamosa community. The ACLU took Ledonne's case pro-bono because they strongly believed his First Amendment rights to receive information and attend events open to the public were being violated without due process under law. “Ledonne will only have the same access to the campus that other members of the general public have.” Yes, this is precisely what the ACLU lawsuit sought to resolve and Ledonne is pleased with this resolution. Adams State University has not explained, if Ledonne was indeed a threat to campus safety, how mediation has addressed this issue in once again granting Ledonne access to the public areas of the ASU campus.
July 29, 2016 at 7:43pm I am embarrassed to call myself an alumni of Adams State after reading all of this. More importantly I am saddened and disappointed in the lack of leadership at the school which for many aspiring kids is the only option for them to attain a higher education. The leadership and trustees have destroyed for many their only hope for a better life. I hope the state of Colorado takes over Adams State and cleans house of the political hacks and incompetence there. Only then will positive change occur.
July 29, 2016 at 8:58am On Monday July 25th, Adams State University issued a press release about a settlement reached between the university and the American Civil Liberties Union. At dispute had been former faculty member Danny Ledonne's banning from campus and the university’s failure to follow its own policies and procedures in providing Ledonne with due process prior to imposing the ban. The press release clearly set out to deceive readers. Below is a list of the falsehoods published by ASU’s administration: Fiction #1 The ASU press release said that, in mediation between ASU and the ACLU, Judge William F. Downes “ultimately decided in favor of Adams State, after nearly a year of controversy.” The Judge did no such thing. The role of a judge in mediation is to get the parties to agree on a settlement, not to decide in favor of either party. However, ACLU’s Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein sums up: “By summarily banning Danny from a public campus and falsely labeling him a security threat, without providing any opportunity to rebut the false allegations, the university deprived him of due process and unjustifiably retaliated against him for his constitutionally-protected criticism of university practices.” Fiction #2 The ASU press release “clarified that the ACLU did not “win” the case.” There are no judgments for or against either party in a settlement. Having established that, if the ACLU didn't prevail in their efforts to represent Ledonne, why did ASU lift the No Trespass Order and pay $100,000 in settlement? To put it another way, if Ledonne and the ACLU had “lost,” why are they are not paying ASU and why isn't the campus ban still in effect? ASU agreed to lift the trespass ban and allow Danny Ledonne back on campus with the same rights as any other member of this community. The primary objective of this case was to achieve that; surely a win for Ledonne. Fiction #3 The ASU press release claimed that the university is not really paying the $100,000 - only a $2,500 deductible - because ASU’s insurance company is actually paying. The press release purposely ignores the fact that the lawsuit was against ASU, not its insurance company. ASU is simply passing on the bill for the settlement. Fiction #4 According to the ASU press release, “Danny Ledonne was not compensated by the university.” This is a distinction without a difference, as with the previous statement regarding ASU's deductible being its only cost. According to Silverstein with the ACLU, about $64,000 of the $100,000 settlement goes to Ledonne. Fiction #5 According to the ASU press release, “the ban was in response to concerns expressed by faculty, staff, and students.” The reality is that not one piece of evidence - not a single document, not an email, not a single police complaint, not a witness statement, not a restraining order, not a voice message, not a tittle, not a jot - was presented in court to substantiate ASU’s assertions that Ledonne made “threats” against anyone. During litigation, ASU called zero witnesses and entered zero exhibits into evidence. So without any evidence, ASU agreed to out-of-court settlement because a case with no evidence was not likely to prevail in a court of law. And even with such evidence, it was plainly obvious that Ledonne was not afforded due process or a reasonable opportunity to be heard prior to being banned. Silverstein, having reviewed all of the material provided during discovery, including McClure's “thick file,” stated: “Throughout the course of the litigation, Adams State University was not able to produce a single piece of evidence that Danny Ledonne ever engaged in any threats of violence, direct or indirect, toward anyone or anything at the university,” said Silverstein. “The University had no legitimate basis for banning Mr. Ledonne from campus, nor did university officials have any factual basis for the stigmatizing and derogatory characterizations of Mr. Ledonne that they communicated to the university community and the public.” Fiction #6 According to the ASU press release, “no fault was found against Adams State University or the administration.” This of course is the caveat that some of the most cavalier, corrupt and amoral organizations use when they get caught out. When the Department of Justice threatens prosecution, the Masters of the Universe - financiers who lied and cheated, and brought the US world economy to the brink of collapse - seek out-of-court settlements. The likes of JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America have paid out over $150 billion in bank fines and penalties, but all with the caveat that doing so was not an admission of guilt. ASU’s Masters of the University following the same line. Fiction #7 The last paragraph of the ASU press release claims that ASU “is a strong supporter of a diverse on-campus community.” But the worm that eats to the core of the institution is that, in fact, there is absolutely no tolerance for diverse views. Regardless of race, color or creed, if you say “negative” stuff, you are drubbed. Watching Adams has documented this on any number of occasions during the 2015-2016 academic year. In practice, one is only considered part of the ASU community if they agree with what the administration says and does. Disagree, or call them to account, and you are badgered or ostracized until you leave, as the Masters spin it, “for personal reasons” or “for better opportunities.” And if you don't leave, you'll be banned from campus under patently false pretenses. *** The press releases lack of truthfulness was greeted by incredulity or downright derision. Even employees who had initially sided with the administration because they believed that the university must have had evidence to support its claim that Ledonne was a security threat could no longer countenance the institution’s rhetoric. They felt betrayed. The Watching Adams website comments page has been inundated with notes of outrage, many calling for President McClure and Board Trustees’ resignations. Such was the magnitude of protest that ASU removed the press release from its website two days later. A few hours later, it appeared again, edited, the day after that. Some untruths had been deleted, others had been modified. But essentially the message is the same. The message is that there will be no soul-searching for a better way of mediating employee concerns or addressing dissenting views in an accompanying manner. There is no hint that ASU will begin to fairly and evenly apply its own policies and procedures and that if you step out of line, the institution will come down on you, unrepentant, like a ton of bricks. These punishments will continue until ASU leadership changes its course.
July 28, 2016 at 10:25pm The revision of the University press release, as a direct result of fact checking from without, clearly demonstrates that the current administration is continuing the tradition of an absence of integrity that has been the hallmark of ASU administration for years. As for Novotny’s departure from academic administration, it does not require any special judgment on President McClure’s part to recognize the toxic effect of his bullying incompetence on academic affairs. It is singularly due to President Svaldi’s negligence, proceeding from his imminent retirement, that Novotny was allowed to remain in the position of VPAA. In any case - no more Mr. Big Shot. Good riddance. It’s about time. Similarly, President Svaldi did not address Mumper’s obvious administrative incompetence due to negligence derived from his impending retirement.
July 28, 2016 at 8:46pm Allow me to offer a few observations from one who has as friends employees of the college, both faculty and staff. First, it is clear the press release and web posting was botched. We all know Adams is very poorly represented in the media and the PR department has little expertise other than to promote a program or publish pictures. Changes need to be made and soon. However, it is important to note changes that have been made that my friends told me were needed. I guess everyone knew our recruiting and advertising administrator did little more than hold meetings with no production. I understand he has been demoted to a teacher. Likewise, the faculty have said they had no confidence in the academic administrator, and he has been demoted to a teacher and I understand that all employees had good input into hiring a new person. Where is the praise for Dr. McClure for those long needed actions? Everyone in the community knew the leader of new student programs needed to go, and I hear he has. There was a reported "toxic" person in tutoring and I guess she is gone. And the nice woman who did nothing and was granted a leave to get her degree has been released. These changes have come from the new president but I see no praise for her actions. Regarding the legal action, if you know much about them, this one was a yawner. An FBI folder full of evidence didn't do any good against Hillary, so don't be surprised that the college president's folder full of evidence resulted in no action. Insurance companies make these decisions - and this one was small change. Many of us in town applaud Dr. McClure for just getting it behind us. Besides, isn't it true that the professor was rejected by his own department? Move on. Some of you have written about Adams State's reputation and called it a clown school. This is true only if you are a clown and working there. Like the clown I heard about who secretly audiotaped his "friends" and colleagues in a meeting. He should resign, not the president. What a lowlife. The real reputation for Adams State is one of a school that brings art and music, drama and sport to our little valley and we cherish that. It brings smart professors who teach students from all over the world, and provides opportunity for so many who are poor or otherwise disadvantaged. It would be nice if some of you, a minority I'm sure would recognize that and actually do the work deserving of the reputation. And not be the clowns. I know many of the trustees and they are good people who work hard. They have confidence in Dr. McClure and many of us have confidence in her. So please put this little problem sniped about by little people behind us and start your school year in September with a good attitude. That would help us be supportive of you too. The downtown community does pay attention to this. Thank you.
July 28, 2016 at 5:21pm Editor's Note: After being offline for approximately 24 hours, ASU has updated their press release in response to the ACLU lawsuit. In comparing the two versions: redacted and updated, here are the changes we have found: 1. Headline changed: "Mediation decides in favor of Adams State University" -> "Adams State University satisfied with results of mediation" 2. Statement removed: "After completing successful arbitration, Adams State University was found to have no wrongdoing..." 3. Statement removed: "William F. Downes, a retired judge, oversaw the mediation and ultimately decided in favor of Adams State, after nearly a year of controversy." These changes do not mention the $100,000 settlement amount. More importantly, the statement makes no mention of the No Trespass Order being lifted - which was the central claim of the lawsuit and the very first clause of the settlement agreement with which ASU claims it is "satisfied." The statement omits any mention of "direct and indirect threats against individuals and the campus as a whole" or similar claims that President McClure repeatedly used to justify the ban. Instead, the press release introduces the legally-innocuous phrase "concerns expressed by faculty, staff, and students." The university continues to emphasize "No fault was found against Adams State University or the administration" when "no admission of wrongdoing" by either party was a clause in the settlement agreement.
July 28, 2016 at 12:12pm The insurance company and the office of the Colorado Attorney General SETTLED because they didn't want to take Beverly's case to court because she LIED. She had NOTHING. ASU has a long history of defamation, abuse and oppression. The university's (now removed) response is a clear indication that they will continue with their abusive practices and have learned nothing. The reputation ASU is cultivating is well earned.
July 28, 2016 at 8:22am ASU statement: "William F. Downes, a retired judge, oversaw the mediation and ultimately decided in favor of Adams State University..." Isn't this CONTEMPT OF COURT?
July 28, 2016 at 7:57am You guys are pathetic! Everyone on campus knows that the "information" posted on this site comes from DL and a handful of disgruntled employees. The vast majority of the ASU community supports Dr. McClure. ----Editor's Reply: The information posted on this site comes from publicly-available documents (such as the HLC Academic Probation, Moody's credit downgrade, Office of the State Auditor, press outlets covering higher education, public employee salary data, university meeting minutes, and other public records).
July 28, 2016 at 6:39am Beverlee and her administration keep on making mistakes and more mistakes. I have now started to believe that BOT is as much involved and responsible for the mess ASU is in. I have lost confidence in McClure's leadership, her administration, and the BOT.
July 27, 2016 at 10:01pm It's amateur hour at the Gong Show. Welcome to the clown college.
July 27, 2016 at 5:26pm The University has now removed their own press release from the ASU news website, which addressed the Ledonne settlement. This action only makes one wonder what they continue to hide. I'm sure the goal is to keep current and future students, as well as parents, in the dark. On another note, has anyone noticed how Beverlee's cronies have gone silent in sharing articles about the settlement? They sure were quick to pass along news regarding court proceedings when it painted the University in a positive light. ----Editor's Reply: The page used to be online here but has been removed. The page still comes up in a search index though the content has been removed. The press release remains online here at Watching Adams.
July 27, 2016 at 3:04pm I think people are reasonably confused at this point. If Ledonne was a threat, is he no longer a threat? Why or why not? From the ACLU: “Throughout the course of the litigation, Adams State University was not able to produce a single piece of evidence that Danny Ledonne ever engaged in any threats of violence, direct or indirect, toward anyone or anything at the university,” said Silverstein. “The University had no legitimate basis for banning Mr. Ledonne from campus, nor did university officials have any factual basis for the stigmatizing and derogatory characterizations of Mr. Ledonne that they communicated to the university community and the public.” From Westword: "University officials continue to maintain that declaring Ledonne persona non grata was not an act of retaliation but "in response to concerns expressed by faculty, staff and students." The statement does not explain why, if the ban was based on legitimate security concerns, those concerns are no longer an issue."
July 27, 2016 at 12:58pm I suggest people go back and read the op-ed that circulated last fall and later published on Watching Adams: ASU Administration Fails to Act in Students’ Best Interests And also about the court case and why ASU would lose in court, probably why they settled before going to trial: Beverlee’s Bluff: the Real Threat to ASU
July 27, 2016 at 12:37pm President McClure and the Board are such hippocrits! We have a handbook that tells us the rules and how we will be punished for violating them: including dishonesty. If we did what McClure did we would fail a course, be put on probation, or kicked out of school. But if you run a company or a university, I guess there are no repercussions. Great role models, one and all! McClure: F (for Failure or Fraud) McClure: E (for Expel her) Board: S (for Spineless)
July 27, 2016 at 12:24pm I didn't really understand what / who this Board of Trustees / BOT was, so I looked them up. Maybe having them identified by name, rather than some anonymous group may get their attention. Arnold Salazar Kathleen Rogers Paul Farley Michele Lueck Wendell Pryor LeRoy Salazar Cleave Simpson John Singletary Randy Wright Now we know the names of the leaders who support liars and claim lying in order to ruin a person's reputation is not "wrongdoing." These people have no morality, if they think the president's behavior is OK. Disgusting!
July 27, 2016 at 12:19pm I love the idea of an AS&F resolution. She not only lied to us, she USED US by claiming her ban was for our safety, rather than the safety of her image. This was mentioned like a year ago in an article posted here (sure Ledone must know which one). Editor's Reply: Likely referring to this 11/7/15 Valley Courier article. How about a Standing Strong march to deliver the AS&F resolution to her office door? Faculty had that farce of a pep rally to support their lying president. If we do it to force her to apologize and clear Ledone's name, I bet they would try to stop it. They trampled his free speech rights, they would be willing to trample ours. Standing Strong for: - students - Truth - integrity - Danny Ledone
July 27, 2016 at 12:03pm The governor replacing a president and entire board is in progress in Kentucky. Great idea, ASU's board backed McClure's lies. They have no ethics and no respect for the community. "Gov. Matt Bevin announced Friday that embattled University of Louisville President James Ramsey will step down, and in a sweeping act of executive power, the governor also fired the university's divided board of trustees and will replace it with members of his own choosing."
July 27, 2016 at 11:45am Whether the ACLU lawsuit against president McClure (and lets not forget Chief Grohowski) cost ASU $2500 or $100,000 matters little in comparison to the other costs: - She lied, no one can trust her. - Thousands of hours of wasted time. According to an article posted here, McClure stated "ASU Administration has been wasting something like 150 hours per week." And that was before the lawsuit even started! Imagine the time spent producing documents for the lawsuit discovery. Add to that all the time wasted by employees and students arguing and gossiping. - Bad press. More in a year riddled with bad press (HLC probation, unprecedented third-party audit, declining enrollment, credit downgrade by Moody's) - Strife on campus as employees took sides, damaged relationships. I don't know if trust on campus has ever been lower.
July 27, 2016 at 11:38am President McClure came to an AS&F meeting and she lied to us! Her claims of a police watchlist and threats to harm us were all lies. I think we should write an AS&F resolution demanding she apologize to students and Ledonne. She needs to make this right by admitting she lied and clearing his name.
July 27, 2016 at 10:53am I hope the ACLU press release was found by the Chronicle of Higher Education and they run a front page story on ASU as a bogus university and authoritarian regime.
July 26, 2016 at 1:46pm McClure must resign. Immediately. If the BOT does not tell her to resign the governor should fire all members of the BOT and appoint a new board.
July 26, 2016 at 12:37am
July 26, 2016 at 11:12am Can McClure inform us more about Mr. Leddone's folder, state patrol watch list, why she equated him with "terrorism," and clarification of ASU's statement about $2,500 settlement as opposed to $100,000 paid to the plaintiff mentioned by multiple news reports? We are waiting President McClure for your response. Show us that you are fit to lead Adams State University. Let us know why you lied and how you are going to build trust again at ASU?
July 26, 2016 at 9:04am Wow, after reading Adams State official statement and the articles from four different news sources I would say that the Administration is delusional and they must think they are Hillary and can lie without repercussion. What do you think was in that big folder of evidence against Danny that many on campus were shown and told not to worry we've got the goods on Danny. Rubbish!
July 25, 2016 at 6:36pm ASU president should resign. University is not only facing the outcome of Ledonne case fiasco, but her mismanagement of HLC probation and declining enrollments this fall. Beverlee is not fit to be a president of any university.
July 25, 2016 at 6:10pm McClure is a joke! Just swallow your damn pride and apologize now. How dare you throw the word "terrorism" around so lightly! Have you no conscience? Who was whispering falsehood in your ear? We know you didn't act alone.
July 25, 2016 at 4:06pm OMG! How much more LAME or untrue can the university be with regard to their "response" to the ACLU press release?! Come on McClure! Be a damn leader by doing the right thing! Admit you're wrong, APOLOGiZE ( to Danny and our entire university and Alamosa communities), and move on!
July 25, 2016 at 3:44pm I agree with the comment about the need for a new BOT. They have been asleep at the wheel, shirking their responsibilities. Instead of setting McClure straight when she screws up and calling her on her lies, they rally support and offer her a 3-year contract. It makes no sense and shows a lack of respect for ASU and students.
July 25, 2016 at 3:02pm I say we need a new BOT AND a new President.
July 25, 2016 at 2:47pm ASU's "damage control" spin on the ACLU lawsuit is a joke, much like McClure's decision to ban Ledonne. They claim "a retired judge ... ultimately decided in favor of Adams State" and "Ledonne was not compensated by the University." Sure, that's why Danny is allowed back on campus, and we all know our insurance companies always pay out money when we win our cases. More bullshit from the ultimate bullshitters! Pure and simple facts: there was no evidence that Danny was a threat and the PNG violated his civil rights; that's why the PNG was lifted (never mentioned in ASU's statement) and ASU's insurance paid for McClure's mistakes - including her defamatory lies about Danny. The BOT needs to find a new president.
July 25, 2016 at 2:46pm McClure and ASU cost taxpayers $100,000 and tarnished ASU's reputation not only statewide but regionally.
July 25, 2016 at 1:37pm Beverlee McClure's lies have been exposed. ASU lost its case against Ledonne. McClure is unfit to lead ASU and her presidency presents a clear and present danger to Adams State University.
June 21, 2016 at 7:52pm I am a former ASU student who was acquainted with Danny Ledonne during my freshman year in 2011. I have recently discovered this website and would like to alert you to another aspect of ASU's conduct which you might be interested in including here. While I understand that this website was originally set up to monitor ASU's salary policy, the administration's corruption and abuse goes far, far beyond compensation packages. They victimize students as well as faculty. I was one such student, and it still haunts me five years later. I feel compelled to reach out about it now after learning about the way that they have treated Danny.
June 14, 2016 at 9:01pm Faculty are reminded that they serve as role models. If they engage in activities that negatively reflect on the institution they will be reprimanded and possibly fired depending on the seriousness of the incident. I think administrators should be held to even higher standards. A department chair racking up points due to drinking and driving reflects negatively on the institution. Holding department meetings in bars with the chair and some faculty enjoying alcohol probably violate some institutional rule or state law. But then who cares? ASU is out of control and needs to have a complete and total make over. The board, president, HR department, and many department chairs need to be sent packing. To those who think this is anonymous, petty, scandal mongering check it all out. Investigate. Private behavior of public officials is subject to review and investigation. If you were a parent of a senior high school student and you knew all that has come to light regarding ASU would you encourage your child to enroll there? Seriously? Sure, be a ....... major and study under a character flawed alcoholic. Learn about what makes the US "exceptional" and then learn about repression, violations of rights and due process by an unqualified university president. And if your child is female, please investigate sexual assaults on and off campus, especially those the powers at ASU try to hide and sweep under the carpet. Talk to the former chief of campus police. Do NOT send your daughter to ASU until this place is cleaned of the dirty, incompetent, duplicitous administrators and coaches that turn a blind eye to sexual assaults against female students.
June 12, 2016 at 5:38pm I want to hear more about "wives" in HR department! They are notoriously under performing. Who is your daddy?
June 8, 2016 at 11:49am Anonymity is indeed a double-edged blade and this forum would be better for eschewing mere gossip. Nevertheless, DUI is not a disease but a choice indicative of poor judgment by a person occupying three leadership positions. Similarly, infidelity is indicative of a lack of integrity which has been the hallmark of the administration at ASU.
June 7, 2016 at 8:45pm Anonymity is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, anonymity is an indispensible condition for candid discussion about the repressive, oppressive, dysfunctional organization that is Adams State. Gratitude to the manager of this site for providing faculty and staff with a forum for speaking safely about the truly tragic state of Adams. On the other hand, anonymity is also a privilege. Like all privileges it comes with attending responsibilities, including the responsibility to keep the conversation on a higher plane, on a level worthy of an institution of higher education. Using this forum to attack individuals on private matters and personal foibles isn’t just inappropriate – it directly undermines the far more pertinent and more serious matters being raised on this site. Commenters have made repeated direct appeals to “higher powers” – the Board of Trustees, the Attorney General, the Colorado DHE, the HLC, and more – but how can any of these organizations take appeals seriously if they’re intermixed with low, pointless accusations like alcoholism (a disease, not a character flaw) and infidelity (so not anyone’s business)? I value this forum, even if mostly as a lurker. I believe it can contribute to the positive change we all so desperately desire, but IF and only if we use this forum as a tool to speak responsibly - with force and candor, but also respect and discretion - about what we know to be true, that - Adams State is in a tragic state of decline, a decline that can be directly attributed to ASU’s “leadership” - a corrupt, petty, ineffective bunch of cronyistic “administrators” and their pathetic coterie of faculty enablers. They have taken advantage of ASU’s geographic isolation to rabidly and unethically stuff their pockets for years while the ship wanders off course, slowly but unmistakably sinking. And woe to any who dare point out that the ship is off course and sinking. The wiser ones silently jump ship, and their numbers are rapidly growing. If any of those aforementioned outside organizations is listening (is anyone out there listening?), yes – it’s REALLY THAT BAD. Hope you’re listening. ----Editor's Reply: While lurid personal gossip is indeed an appeal of anonymous speech, we have focused our reporting and documentation on some of the structural issues which we believe are the central problems with Adams State University. We would welcome and encourage further discourse on these larger issues but recognize that an open discussion forum will hold different kinds of interest to different readers.
June 6, 2016 at 11:03pm So much drama, dirt, corruption, cheating, and sleaze going on at ASU. If taxpayers only knew the corruption, waste, hypocrisy, and financial improprieties that take place as a regular practice under the not-so-watchful eye of an asleep at the wheel Board. Not to mention drunkards serving as department chairs, marital cheaters in administration, floozies in HR, privileges given to athletes and coaches, unsanitary conditions in food services, illegal drugs rampant in the dorms, and sexual assaults as almost a pre-condition for men's basketball and football. It is truly shameful.
May 31, 2016 at 9:47am Mumper also is receiving his administrative salary who has returned to his political science teaching job. In regards to Novonty's wife, don't you mean "wives" with the other one in HR?????
May 24, 2016 at 3:18pm The VPAA's wife? Well that's pretty much an in-your-face money grab - and an obvious conflict of interest!
May 22, 2016 at 8:22pm I suspect it would be very interesting to learn which instructors have been guilty of this blatant exploitation of Extended Studies as a self-serving revenue stream - at the expense of institutional integrity and endangering accreditation. That's not hard to figure out: Novotny's wife, teaching English. No wonder Frank was Extended Studies biggest fan! It lined his pockets for years. Aldrich's wife, teaching Math. She wasn't retained, but who cares when it comes to teaching online! Probably a few folks in Business too. Someone a while back posted about a prof teaching 9 or 10 hours a day during the 3-week May session. That's like a 45 credit load. Superhuman. Or Super-greedy. Guess that's happening right now for anyone who cares to sit in a few classes to observe academic rigor at its finest. No worries, everything has been fixed. McClure flew to Chicago to meet with the HLC and I'm sure all is well. Notice how quickly ASU was removed from probation? Oh, wait... that hasn't happened.
May 19, 2016 at 4:40pm Given that HLC specifically cited grossly over-enrolled Extended Studies courses as a point of concern with respect to reasonable expectation of academic rigor and student/instructor interaction, I suspect it would be very interesting to learn which instructors have been guilty of this blatant exploitation of Extended Studies as a self-serving revenue stream - at the expense of institutional integrity and endangering accreditation. From the perspective of administrative oversight, might there be an obvious conflict of interest?
May 19, 2016 at 9:05am I have really enjoyed the rat face and pumpkin head show; it has been entertaining but it is time for it to end. They are real pygmies among men.........
May 18, 2016 at 2:06pm Now that Novotny has been "resigned," I wonder why Roybal, the director of Extended Studies, still has a job. Roybal was Notovtny's hire and they both ran the ES program into the ground and landed ASU on academic probation. He should have been "resigned" along with Novotny. Also if it true that Novotny will return to chemistry as an instructor with a significant portion of his administrative salary intact, that is a travesty. This sort of "golden parachute" arrangement should not occur in a publicly funded institution of higher education. It hurts faculty morale and is unfair to students and taxpayers who are footing the bill for an overpriced chemistry instructor.
May 18, 2016 at 1:46pm I see that Svaldi has his home for sale. I guess that he is gathering his loot and getting ready to blow town after he and his cronies have driven ASU to the brink of financial ruin. One wonders how a mediocre instructor, a non-scholar and obviously not a shining administrative star attained the ASU presidency. It reflects poorly on the individuals who made that important decision. I guess it is time to move Svaldi's official portrait from the main hall in Richardson to the bathroom wall where it belongs.
May 10, 2016 at 7:07am According to May 7 article in the Pueblo Chieftain the six year graduation rate for all Colorado public universities is 41.4 percent for Hispanics. At ASU it is just 22.2 percent, probably the lowest in the state, and we call ourselves: Hispanic Serving Institution!
May 9, 2016 at 7:21pm I know Dr. Crowther. I have spoken to several faculty who have had him as chair for over a decade. He is NOT pro-faculty. He has two allegiances. First, to his own advancement and interests. Second. to administration. He does not care about faculty. He is authoritarian as chair. If you disagree with him his response will eventually be, "If we do what you want we will all be out of jobs. We are already being looked at as a department that could be eliminated." If you don't believe me, listen to him in faculty senate meetings. He is a manipulative, deceitful. liar. He will smile at you as he twists a knife in your back. This is the man who now has power over two departments and faculty senate. If senators are afraid of Crowther and administration,. then my advice is just boycott meetings. Don't go. Have a headache. Have child care issues. Have a physician's appointment. Please do not collaborate with this narcissistic, authoritarian. back stabbing, manipulative, power seeking. ambitious phony.
May 7, 2016 at 10:02pm Anyone out there - has President McClure admitted to anyone about her making a single mistake on the job in her first year? Any mistake at all?
May 4, 2016 at 9:26pm I read that the Board extended President McClure's contract. Is that anything other than an arrogant slap in the face to those who are concerned with faculty rights, due process, transparency, honesty, and integrity? Some want to go back and blame David Svaldi for the financial situation. I suggest the Board has been negligent. I think there needs to be wholesale changes to the Board, a new president, and the state should appoint someone to do a full investigation and write a report on what is and has been going on at ASU.
May 2, 2016 at 10:32am Looking at the audit information posted on this site, it seems that the previous president did a lot of harm to the university. Thanks for putting up this information here which is easily accessible!
May 1, 2016 at 3:54pm Adams may not be open long enough for most of us to finish our careers, much less start one here.
April 30, 2016 at 8:02am I have always wanted to work at Adams, after reading documents and comments on here, I'm not so sure I should pursue a career at Adams.
April 29, 2016 at 4:05pm Today's CEC (Classified Employee Council) general meeting was a joke. Once again, McClure danced around several very direct and specific questions. I guess we all should get used to that deer caught in the headlights look. It is plainly obvious she hasn't a clue what she's talking about and continues her practice of divisiveness. The future of ASU is looking more bleak.
April 29, 2016 at 11:52am Surely many ASU employees will be interested in the 2016-17 salary data...
April 29, 2016 at 11:32am This is one of my favorite websites to visit! The drama on here is addicting. I'm considering starting a gofundme account to pay for all the popcorn i'm consuming.
April 28, 2016 at 7:40pm The new documents posted on this site (our last regular audit and an RFP for an apparently unprecedented 3rd party audit) contain some truly scary information. For a "transparent" administration, they certainly did a good job of hiding all of this. - Adams went from an increase in net position of approximately $700,000 in Fiscal Year 2011 to a decrease in net position of approximately $7.0 million in Fiscal Year 2015, a 1,115 percent change increasing the loss. - p. 5: The University has experienced a growing trend of operating losses before other revenues, expenses, gains, losses or transfers as of June 30, 2015 and the previous three years. We may be paying for all our capital construction with our jobs! Thanks a lot Bill, Dave, and Frank! - p. 6-7: The University has experienced over $47 million of capital construction projects since 2011. Related to the capital construction, there have been significant increases in depreciation, interest and operation of plant expenses. The combination of declining revenue and increasing expenses has caused a negative trend in the University's financial condition. - p. 14: Bonds payable of $70.1 million represent over 57% of the University’s total noncurrent liabilities Moody's mentioned some of these issues and the downside of guaranteed tuition when they down-rated our bonds to A3. - p. 7: Why does this problem matter? If the trend is not reversed, the University's financial condition will deteriorate and jeopardize the operations of the University. Are we paying for this by dropping fellowships and scholarships? - p. 22: "Scholarships and fellowships". 2014:$831,691 2015:$254,183 The difference is over a half a million dollars I wonder when Administration plans on discussing any of this with employees?
April 28, 2016 at 2:23pm Chief Grohowski's "performance" at the employee recognition ceremony yesterday was ridiculous and painful. Yes, every one appreciates all that the campus police do to keep us safe from sex predators and drug dealers. And yes, the Chief is being sued by the ACLU, so I'm sure he wanted to seize the opportunity to share the accomplishments of "his" department. Nonetheless, taking 15-20 minutes to recognize four officers was completely out of line with how all the other employees were treated. Staff members who have worked here for 30 or 40 years received 90 seconds of recognition. Top honors went to two faculty members - who were recognized for 90 seconds. Less time was spent recognizing the promotion of a whole list of professors than was spent on the four officers. A naive observer would have thought campus police are the bedrock of ASU, with primary responsibility for educating and supporting our students. Next year, the Chief needs to get his own venue or keep his ceremony consistent with the rest: reason for recognition, name, present an award while everyone claps for 30 seconds,... next!
April 26, 2016 at 8:45am A different scenario of “one year from today.” I and MANY others, (more than you are willing to count, who are tired of the Bullying, Lying and Public Shaming routine at ASU) envision quite a different scenario a year from now. Let’s start with Beverlee and her scorched earth policy. Yes, she still might be president at ASU for reasons beyond reason, but once she and ASU have lost the ACLU case she will be a legally confirmed liar who was willing to defame, libel and slander an innocent individual out of personal convenience. Who exactly did she lie to? She lied to the Faculty senate as she waived a stuffed folder full of meaningless documents while crowing about a non-existent watchlist. She lied to the students, the community and Valley Courier with further false allegations of terrorism regarding her “whipping boy” du jour. She and ASU will then be personally open to civil slander/libel suits where the cost of losing will be compounded. So how much has ASU and the attorney general’s office already spent on legal fees? Who knows how many other libel and slander cases she and OTHERS who have been complicit in this egregious behavior of defamation and bullying will be liable for. Perhaps this treatment of defamation extends to others on campus who are also willing to take up arms against the repetitious pattern of retribution and false accusations. A year from now ASU will still be on probation continuing to garner a stellar reputation as an institution worthy of avoidance. We still have yet to see what further investigation shall uncover. ASU will continue to have a faculty and staff who are deeply divided by an abusive segment of Beverlee loyalists who continue to bully and oppress. They bully and oppress those who will not tow the line of blind and unquestioning allegiance to unrestrained campus cronyism. Oh what a happy family are we! You can paint your happy faces and dance with dervish delight to your pompous parades that make you feel a false sense of elation regarding your current situation but you are just lying to yourself. Right, Beez? The sad and utterly pathetic truth is that the administration and their cronies are engaging in a slash and burn vendetta. When attempts were made for an amicable settlement, without lawyers, Beverlee betrayed everyone who was involved and effectively spat in the eyes of all good faith participants. Now the atmosphere on campus is reduced to campaigns of public shaming, shunning and more of that kind. These behaviors are more worthy of a 13th grade, never mind a university. If Adams is to survive, the retribution needs to stop now. Sincere reconciliation should be the order of the day. All of these campus battles are having a terrible toll on the dwindling student body. Academics, rigorous and honest is what is needed to be the focus instead of battles between petty fiefdoms. The eternal battle of the snake and the mongoose only leads to the demise of both parties. The choice lies with those who have the power to make these changes.
April 25, 2016 at 8:09pm In reply to that last comment, right on! "The same 8-10 unhappy people" is a meme, just like "the disgruntled employee." Just keep saying them and maybe your audience will buy them. People in power love to spread these memes as a convenient way of manipulating public opinion. They are just so palatable, tasty little morsels that are easy to consume without thinking for yourself, but they are poisonous if you care about reality.
April 25, 2016 at 3:22pm "The same 8-10 unhappy people will continue to be unhappy." Depending on how you define it, there are at least 8-10 people who are unhappy with the leadership and culture at ASU in any given department or building. If you think this is limited to just a few people, you are kidding yourself or just unaware of how many people are silently suffering.
April 24, 2016 at 10:23pm On March 17th, someone wrote: "One year from today Danny will still not be employed by ASU. Beverlee McClure will still be President. ASU will still be accredited. Donors will continue their support. Dedicated faculty, staff, and administration will continue the mission of the university. The same 8-10 unhappy people will continue to be unhappy." I'd like to add... One year from today Danny will still not be a threat to ASU or anyone because he never was. McClure will still be President because she'll be unemployable elsewhere. Dedicated faculty, staff, and administration will continue to serve students because that's what they love to do. And almost everyone will be unhappy with the decision to hire an under-qualified "business person" for president. True leaders have leadership skills, including the wisdom to listen to employees who point out problems, rather than being duped by those who say everything is "just fine."
April 6, 2016 at 2:25pm I have been following the Danny Ledone "story" since it was published in Westworld, and I'm confused about exactly what Danny hopes to gain from his lawsuit. Does he want the persona non grata designation lifted, or does he expect more? It seems to me that, in the end, his actions will prove to be self-destructive. Maybe he will once again be allowed on the ASU campus to attend functions open to the general public, which seems reasonable. I hope he will be happy with that because he will never again be employed by the institution. In fact, it is doubtful that any college or university will want to employ him. So Danny, I wish you well in your business because you have made yourself unemployable. ----Editor's Reply: The relief sought in the ACLU lawsuit speaks for itself and filing documents are available on the Watching Adams Documents page. And sometimes, there are greater causes in life than making a paycheck and higher principles than attracting a particular employer. What is happening to the profession of college faculty in the USA is a tragic and avoidable unraveling, one of which many similar stories are emerging nationwide.
March 17, 2016 at 2:20pm One year from today Danny will still not be employed by ASU. Beverlee McClure will still be President. ASU will still be accredited. Donors will continue their support. Dedicated faculty, staff, and administration will continue the mission of the university. The same 8-10 unhappy people will continue to be unhappy.
March 16, 2016 at 10:14pm To the comment that read, "If the institution is so bad, quit!" After all the insults that President McClure has lobbed at the HLC in an open letter, maybe she should consider quitting the HLC? Or just quitting?
March 16, 2016 at 3:05pm I completely agree with the comment left on 3/15 regarding the online programs being cash cows; therefore, any sense of academic or accountability of students are nil, since plagiarism is allowed and unqualified students get degrees.
March 15, 2016 at 9:54pm I sincerely hope that current and future donors to ASU's Foundation and Alumni programs seriously consider how their money might be spent. Unrestricted gifts often have the tendency to find their way to the Athletics department. Staff and administrators in this department seem to have a keen sense of the deep pockets of the Foundation and it's willingness to write "blank checks." I doubt very many donors would be happy to know of this practice.
March 15, 2016 at 7:48pm HLC must be watching the comments posted here about our Extended Studies department with much interest.
March 15, 2016 at 4:20pm It's common knowledge within the institution that the Extended Studies department and it's online courses are ASU's cash cow. Higher-level administration has always been willing to turn a blind eye to the day-to-day operational (both financial and academic) side of things. Rarely, if ever, are the directors of this program held accountable for their spending. The excuse has always been "they're cash funded, so leave them alone." Administrators have also been known to regularly dip into the cash reserves of the Extended Studies program to supplement other budgets across campus.
March 15, 2016 at 1:21pm The divisiveness at ASU was there before Watching Adams. Watching Adams exposed Richardson Hall and the incompetent presidency of McClure.
March 15, 2016 at 9:40am I'm here as a troll, and I very much wish I hadn't clicked on this website (Pandora's Box) since my visit has only added to the ever-growing number of hits it gets, making it look more legitimate than it really is. It deserves no hits. This website doesn't promote anything positive, it just fuels a small clique's need to publically throw hate at Adams State. And yes, it is disgusting that there are people who are supported financially by ASU - who take home a fat paycheck every month - that contribute to this ugliness. If the institution is so bad, quit! Don't expect that you can hide behind your Adams State desk and no one will know who you are; a weasel's easily recognized. I believe in freedom of speech, but I don't believe anything good can come from feeding this divisive propaganda. Stop the hate. ----Editor's Reply: ASU is supported financially by its students and Colorado taxpayers, both of whom deserve outside perspectives on a public institution. Propaganda is largely a matter of perspective, though the Valley Courier and KRZA are local media outlets who reprint ASU press releases in full without any additional investigation. There is a vast difference between criticism and hate - one which should be understood in higher education given that critical thought is the basis for the formation of knowledge. And critical thought is inherently positive because it represents the willingness to challenge existing assumptions - especially those espoused by government officials such as university administration. That is the purpose of the fourth estate - often the only check to government power. And with such a high employee turnover and low graduation rate, unfortunately many people are already quitting.
March 15, 2016 at 8:24am Looking forward to the Standing Strong events scheduled today, spring winds notwithstanding! I'm also hoping that staff/supporters of Watching Adams will attend. Maybe we can have an actual dialogue--with or without their Guy Fawkes masks. --QCIC
March 14, 2016 at 4:29pm Hi Danny, Watching your interview with Dr. Rees at AAUP and I think back on last year, when you were another adjunct in exile! NOW and in spite of what you have been through, you have been relentless and successful in your mission to expose corporate practices in higher ed and for that I THANK YOU for your hard work! As an adjunct faculty myself, I am very grateful to you! Beth E. McGarry, RN, BSN, M.Ed -- Adjunct Professors United on facebook
March 14, 2016 at 1:18pm The best analogy for the parade at ASU is the dance band on the Titanic calming the panicked crowd as the ship sinks.
March 14, 2016 at 9:23am Better a "parade" than creating and maintaining a website like watching adams ----Editor's Reply: The beautiful part about living in a free country is that we can have both! We deserve a marketplace of ideas with more voices and more choices. Judging by the amount of traffic this site gets, people are voting with their eyeballs. --------Reply March 14, 2016 at 12:42pm Not really - people just troll your site. This is hardly a "vote with eyeballs" - more like passing a horrible accident as we have no choice but to keep watching despite the nastiness. ------------Editor's Reply: While we receive many compliments and much praise for our work, it's perfectly fine if someone wants to "troll" this site. But make no mistake: the choice to visit is entirely of one's own making.
March 14, 2016 at 7:22am I could not believe what I just read about Dr. McClure's statement concerning 2008 enrollment levels. I am confused!
March 13, 2016 at 10:24pm - Chronicle article on cheating - Declining enrollment - Moody's downgrade - ACLU lawsuit - HLC probation - Students wondering if their degrees will come from an accredited institution How can ASU address these serious problems? A PARADE! That will fix everything! Students and parents will feel so much better.
March 13, 2016 at 8:53pm From a previous comment: "I (very) recently read about 3 online classes at Cal Berkeley with a total enrollment of 350,000. Are they are [sic] probation too, I don't know?" Home run, you prove the point the HLC made: "the sheer number of documented non-compliant courses is evidence of a pervasive lack of policy communication, understanding, or enforcement.” The commentator, most likely a former department chair, doesn't understand the difference between a MOOC and ASU's online courses, doesn't understand HLC's policies, and isn't or wasn't concerned about enforcement. Is it any wonder the HLC sanctioned ASU?
March 13, 2016 at 1:22pm It turns out, many faculty frequently do leave ASU to find higher-paying and less strenuous teaching positions elsewhere. We had several professors leave at the end of last semester, actually. Ask faculty how often they're serving on a search committee for an open position. Is this constant turnover, which seems financially wasteful and hinders good student relations, really "just the way it is" for ASU? Turnover at a university shouldn't resemble turnover at Walmart or Burger King.
March 13, 2016 at 8:17am Berkeley’s “enrollment” of 350,000 students are participants in MOOCs. A MOOC is an acronym for massive open online course. It’s an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. You are comparing apples to oranges. A MOOC is comparable to watching TV. They are mostly streamed lectures with perhaps accompanying materials. We are not talking about a direct student/teacher relationship. Berkeley also relies on “auto grading”. It’s completely computer based. http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/spring-2015-dropouts-and-drop-ins/many-enroll-few-finish-moocs-march-how-online Students who PAY for online semester based classes have lecture materials, videos but also must include a direct relationship with a teacher and fellow students with discussion board topics and email communications. Anybody who has taught or taken a course via Blackboard should be familiar with this mode of interaction. MOOCs are similar to watching TV. They offer no personal interaction. Also, Berkeley does not charge a dime for their MOOC streaming AND Berkeley MOOCs do not confer degrees. A single teacher cannot effectively teach “450-600 students in individual online sections” in any meaningful way. This is why the HLC is correctly citing ASU in its online offerings. "•Faculty teaching in Extended Studies have course enrollments ranging from 450-600 students in individual online sections and are peculiar to the freshman sequence of English and math instruction; in addition, current full-time faculty teach many of the large courses, but these are considered outside of their full-time teaching load. This heavy student to faculty loading calls into question the academic integrity of the courses and quality of instruction;" ASU is charging students for a full educational experience. I don’t see how “auto grading” can be effectively employed in an English course. I think the HLC feels the same way.
March 12, 2016 at 10:04pm So let me get this straight, Beverlee could not give the benefit of due process to Danny, but was emphatically requesting the same from HLC???
March 12, 2016 at 9:37pm Response to an earlier comment: "I would say the 'watching adams' crowd has created the fear in others because you don't have the ability to truly dialogue." ARE YOU SERIOUS? Have you read the ACLU/Ledonne case against ASU? "Defendants deprived Mr. Ledonne of constitutionally-protected interests by (1) denying access to a Colorado public university campus and (2) injuring his reputation and good name. They did so without notice, without a hearing, and without any meaningful opportunity to be heard, all in violation of the Due Process Clause." It seems to me that it is actually the president of ASU and her administration who cannot "truly dialogue."
March 12, 2016 at 12:53pm Standing Strong for ASU...its students, President McClure, women's equality, collaboration, academic rigor, shared governance, student success.....join us Tuesday 3/15 at 12:15 at the library....will march to Richardson Hall to celebrate ASU Grizzly greatness!
March 12, 2016 at 12:14pm The "fear of retribution" (by? administration?) is completely false and unfounded. Basically, an excuse to hide and 'think' that people don't know who is posting. I would say the 'watching adams' crowd has created the fear in others because you don't have the ability to truly dialogue. Carol Smith - just sign your name to your posts and blog entries. The entire campus knows that you are a major contributor to this divisive site (and beyond). And, we know a whole lot more about your destructive antics. Your reputation is beyond tarnished.
March 12, 2016 at 10:44am I (very) recently read about 3 online classes at Cal Berkeley with a total enrollment of 350,000. Are they are probation too, I don't know? There is a simple answer to the question about why faculty and staff make 25% less that others, I'm guessing from other colleges: You are working at a small state school with low enrollment. If you want more money then recruit more students and teach more classes. Or go back to school and get a degree or skill that pays more. Or move to one of those colleges that pays 25% more that evidently is holding a job open for you. Only at a college would productive employees be criticized for being more productive. Most of us in this valley support ASU but your constant bickering does not help you.
March 11, 2016 at 11:02pm Something to ponder: if things at ASU are just fine, why is there a 21% four year graduation rate, why do faculty and staff make 25% less than others in their field, and why is there such constant turnover in many programs and departments? Things are not fine at Adams State. Until the campus moves to address the fundamentals, these quibbles over specific online courses are just diddling with the details.
March 11, 2016 at 7:02pm Thanks for the explanation from the School of Business. That helps others understand to some degree. ASU certainly needs to keep the best interest of students in mind. Nevertheless, it is unclear why so many courses are being taught in summer. The figures posted in a previous comment regarding 3 courses in 3 weeks is equivalent to an instructor teaching 45 credits (15 courses) at the same time during a single semester. I can't imagine a justification for that. Moreover, that has been going on for years hasn't it? Maybe some motivated researcher will check the past few years' schedules. Maybe they'll be from HLC. And who has the facts on HLC's claim about 450-600 students in a single online course? Who are the superhumans teaching those courses? I don't know any haters who hate ASU or students, but then again I have limited contacts. I do know people who speak up often do so to make things better, in particular, for students.
March 11, 2016 at 1:04pm Anonymous submissions to Watching Adams are an indication of the prevailing atmosphere at Adams State University. ----Editor's Reply: For commentary on this topic, see The Value of Anonymous Speech.
March 11, 2016 at 11:47am I would like to see a list of contributors to the "Watching Adams" website. Journalistic integrity and fear of retribution is one thing (and I'm using the term "journalistic" quite generously when referring to this website), and having the strength to stand by one's convictions is another. ----Editor's Reply: As these comments are collected anonymously, only those signed by their authors are attributed. "Fear of retribution" for authors and their sources is indeed the reason all articles are edited and published by Danny Ledonne, the only contributor not employed by Adams State University; ASU is an at-will employer who has demonstrated an ongoing practice of terminating or attempting to terminate staff and even tenured faculty without due process. We respect the privacy of our sources and our authors, as well as those who comment here, in the interest of a free exchange of ideas. Those who believe this website is of no value are free not to visit. I would encourage anyone to contact us with story ideas and/or their own writing if they wish to contribute to the site.
March 11, 2016 at 8:43am It is unfortunate that promised "great transparency" has sunk into insults. The haters and malcontents won't care but other readers might note that the School of Business is short two full faculty members - one vacant position and one sabbatical. A part-time adjunct was hired for some classes but the majority had to be shouldered by existing faculty, thus some heavy overloads this and last semester. It was not what the faculty desired, but the alternative was to cancel classes and force students to delay their graduation a semester or year. Note too that some classes are taught in alternate years. Serving the students seemed the best decision. It is also fair to note that no business faculty member sees overloads as a good financial proposition. The pay is very low compared to the time and effort required for a full semester class. Many business faculty could easily accept a consulting or speaking engagement and reap higher financial reward for far less time committed. Those who impugn the quality of business classes at Adams State need only look at the true evaluation of the classes and faculty - the marketplace. Business students are hired at a very high rate and at higher salaries than many other majors on campus. Business executives regularly recruit Adam's graduates and come back for more. Business graduates also fare very well in acceptance to and success in graduate programs in law, tax, management and other areas. And it is not only Business, Adams has many such successful programs. But the truth is, everyone knows this except for the haters and malcontents. They may know it and just be jealous. Regardless, these desperate few could help Adams by working with the president and board, although their efforts to trash and divide are causing the BOT, business leaders, scholarship donors, athletic contributors and others to double-down on our support of President McClure, the School of Business, the Athletic Department, and of course Adams at large. It doesn't take much to tear down, but the builders will prevail.
March 10, 2016 at 7:37pm So today on 9 News, President McClure said they couldn't fix the fact that instructors were overloaded with credits because they are in the middle of the semester. However, this problem has been going on for years and ASU has known for several years that HLC had concerns. Embarrassingly, as a previous post makes clear, the Summer 2016 schedule includes some outrageous overloads. If ASU takes the HLC probation seriously, they need to change the summer schedule NOW.
March 10, 2016 at 3:13pm I wonder how Larry Mortensen and his minions will squander the latest $60,000 donation to ASU Athletics from the Alamosa County commissioners.
March 10, 2016 at 8:11am That last comment got me thinking. When I was in a summer Business class a few years ago, I heard the prof was teaching 3 courses at the same time. A look at the Summer Schedule for 2016 shows that's still goin on. In just three weeks in May one teacher is teaching 3 courses, 9 hours a day, with a 1 minute break between classes for lunch and a 30 minute break between classes in the afternoon. WTF! Another prof is teaching 12 credits in just 5 weeks and covering some kind of internship over the summer. Isn't that more than triple what most profs teach? I thought they were supposed to teach 4 classes in a 15-16 week semester? Two of these classes run for only a week, meeting 5 days for 9 hours a day. Makes you wonder about exhaustion of students and teacher. And how much feedback can students get under those condtions? Quality all the way! Problem fixed. Why would the accreditation folks be so harsh on my poor little ASU?
March 10, 2016 at 6:32am To the last comment, GOOD POINT! I wonder what’s being concealed under the rock the Business School is hiding under. Let’s find out how many student athletic “scholars” are being funneled, ur, I mean educated under that banner.
March 9, 2016 at 9:07pm Let me get this right... President McClure is claiming the problems are fixed? If you look at the course offerings for this semester, it appears a single Business professor is teaching FIVE on-campus courses and a bunch of online courses. How the hell does anyone teach that many classes at once and deliver any kind of quality?!?! And another Business professor is teaching EIGHT on-campus courses, plus a bunch of online courses. Who cares about students, it's all about the money!
March 9, 2016 at 12:36pm Mass email [sent out to students]: I would like to clarify an issue about which you may have questions or concerns. In late 2014, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article recounting "Confessions of a Fixer", an unidentified person who made a business of cheating to help academically ineligible student athletes at other institutions. He admitted to falsifying information and posing as the athletes to take exams for correspondence course transfer credit through Adams State Extended Studies. Adams State immediately began addressing this alleged issue and commissioned reports with recommendations from two external entities, including the Colorado Department of Higher Education. That review, submitted in May, found "no evidence of instances of ignoring guidelines or policies...or negligence. In some areas, the institution had already identified procedural changes to address issues related to [student] authentication and academic integrity, and had begun to initiate those changes." We have been proactive in identifying and addressing concerns in a manner that demonstrates continuous improvement. Last September 14-15, the Higher Learning Commission, our accrediting agency, conducted an Advisory Visit on campus to further explore the issue. We received correspondence regarding the report on January 7. Our response to the report reiterated that Adams State had already addressed all of the concerns raised in the initial Chronicle of Higher Education articles, none of which were identified in the advisory team report. We have made significant progress in correcting additional findings, as well. Nevertheless, this week the HLC notified us that Adams State was placed on probation effective February 26, 2016. HLC imposed the sanction immediately, prior to even notifying the institution. I ASSURE YOU OUR ACCREDITATION REMAINS INTACT. We are stunned by this action. It appears the HLC had already determined the outcome of this review and completely disregarded the actions we took to correct the situation. Prior to the HLC action, I made several requests to address the HLC Board directly and to speak with its president. Those requests were ignored. We believe the HLC's action was calculated to undermine the integrity of the university. We have requested HLC review all the information we had submitted, which I believe will lead to a reversal of this onerous decision. You may read the documents mentioned here and others at this website. Please know that Adams State University is committed to student success and to meeting accreditation criteria. Sincerely yours, Dr. Beverlee J. McClure President, Adams State University
March 9, 2016 at 8:19am ADAMS STATE UNIVERSITY TRUSTEES: Now you will wake up! Adams State’s President Says Her University Is Accreditor’s ‘Whipping Boy’
March 8, 2016 at 2:14pm ----Editor's Note: The HLC notice of academic probation and President' McClure's response are now available on the Watching Adams Documents page.
March 8, 2016 at 12:35am Dr. McClure's email to staff regarding the HLC action to place ASU on probation is laughable. Furthermore, her letter to the HLC Board comes across as condescending and arrogant. Do we really need these qualities in a supposed leader? Once again, the BOT must be asleep at the wheel. The irony in all this, is McClure's ability to understand the meaning of due process when it's to her convenience.
March 7, 2016 at 8:57pm Too much bad news lately, so I have to point to why I love ASU: I, and I'm guessing the rest of our department, are so incredibly proud of our psychology students. We have record involvement in the Psychology Club and the national honor society, Psi Chi, as well as a record number of students heading to Denver for our regional psychology conference (RMPA). They raised money for RMPA and to bring a speaker to campus from Ft. Lewis (aided by the Campus Impact Fund, I believe). Excellent lecture tonight with great turnout and great discussions. They have set the bar for student involvement within our department. Kudos to the students and faculty advisers (Leslie & Robert)!!! - Jeff Elison
March 7, 2016 at 8:48pm Adams State University Trustees: with the recent HLC notification of putting the entire University on probation, some of you must be thinking, "Is it time for McClure to go?" We all know the various series of events which have resulted in a downward spiral for ASU. Some of you must be coming to the realization that it was a mistake in appointing Dr. McClure as president. However, the bigger mistake with grave long term consequences for Adams would be not to take any action now. Just read the confrontational, accusatory, and defensive letter to HLC and you will know if McClure is fit to lead ASU.
February 29, 2016 at 7:30am From today's WatchingAdams article about the 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." I'm proud of our students for recognizing the importance of the library, for working together, and for making their needs known. Good work.
February 25, 2016 at 1:22pm McClure-RESIGN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get out before you totally destroy an chance at future employment. I would never vote to hire you, but someone may unless you carry this out to its logical conclusion.
February 25, 2016 at 10:17am WOW! Blundering statements follow more blundering statements from Beverlee, and BOT sleeping?
February 25, 2016 at 7:43am The latest joke in ASU's tragicomedy has to be the disconnect between McClure's stance and that of her attorneys: BRING IT ON! (but slowly please). As the ACLU attorneys point out in their latest response to the Federal Court: "only one day after the filing of the lawsuit, Defendant McClure publicly CROWED [emphasis added] that the Defendants 'look forward to making the case that the University’s actions were based solely on evidence'" and “it is eager to tackle the allegations of a former faculty member in U.S. District Court.” So says McClure, in contrast to her attorneys who claim "they cannot reasonably respond to the Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction within ten days." The president can talk-the-talk, but she doesn't have a case to allow her attorneys to walk-the-walk. Seem like a case of "crow" meets "chicken."
February 21, 2016 at 10:10pm I don't think the decision to issue the PNG will be McClure's downfall. She can claim an "abundance of caution" over "student safety" or blame the AG's office. No, her downfall will be the cover-up, the lies she told to save face. She used students to justify her action, yet she didn't inform students about the PNG for weeks. That makes no sense. She granted an interview with the Valley Courier - using words like "harassment" and "terrorism." Get a grip. She called an emergency meeting of faculty senate - and lied about the State Police Watchlist - and pretended the Watson case didn't apply. She addressed students at AS&F and told them the same lie about the Watchlist, patting her trusty file, "I do have a copy of that in his file." A copy of a non-existent Watchlist that the State Police point out would violate citizens' civil liberties?!? If that's not a cover-up, I don't know what is. Danny Ledonne is Beverlee McClure's Watergate. Just as Nixon's tapes had long "mysterious gaps," I suspect McClure and ASU administration will hide their dirty deeds... but it won't matter. They will lose.
February 21, 2016 at 7:46pm Thanks to whoever addressed the silly “if you don’t like ASU then leave” comment. You are correct; I (Jeff Elison) strive to change things precisely because I do like ASU, Alamosa, my colleagues, and our students. I’ve been waiting to address the second part of the threatening comment, which implies we don’t do our jobs: “These guys don’t have a freak’n clue about the ramifications of this for their careers. But, doubt if they care because they would be doing their jobs rather than…” Somebody beat me to responding and I thank you. It’s nice to be appreciated in these trying times. At the same time, I understand there are many reasons why others, even tenured faculty, might not speak up, so I don’t hold any grudges. As much as my wife dislikes WatchingAdams, she was incredulous when she heard someone didn’t think I work hard enough. She and our kids think I spend too much time working. She said “surely no one in your department feels that way” and I doubt they do. Nevertheless, just as the commentator couldn’t seem to comprehend the logic of loving a place therefore wanting to improve it, he or she couldn’t seem to comprehend critics doing their jobs AND working extra hours to improve ASU. The implication that Ben or I don’t do our jobs is not only insulting (which I’m sure was the intent), but it is an additional threat. Failure to do our jobs would be grounds for “the ramifications” to which the commentator referred. Therefore, I will address these misconceptions in some detail. Just skip it if you’re not interested. Last semester, in the midst of raising issues about Constitutional violations, I received my highest course evaluations ever. Over the four months the PNG controversy has been going on, I served on two faculty senate committees, finished an invited manuscript for the Encyclopedia of Adolescence, submitted a paper to the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Conference (RMPA) which was accepted, a student I advise had her paper accepted by RMPA and it will be presented as a poster at Student Scholar Days, another student will be presenting a project we worked on together at SSD, I reviewed submissions for RMPA as a member of the program committee, obtained IRB approval for an undergraduate research project designed with two of my students and started collecting data, reviewed 30+ articles for another manuscript which I’ve started, helped Polish researchers translate a psychological assessment I created (13th translation), wrote and submitted an FTAC grant, attended the 7-hour Master Teacher workshop, reviewed three manuscripts for psych journals, and served as an editorial board member for Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. I’ve also helped with student recruitment by participating in two 2-hour Upward Bound activities in December and January (staying until 9:00pm), spending three hours on the Discover Day recruiting event last weekend, and donating $50 in prize money for this weekend’s ASU Climbing Competition. I work almost every weekend and I worked a few hours almost every day during a 2-week vacation over Christmas and New Years. I’ll happily share my C.V. and course evals with anyone. I may not be an academic rock star, but my publication record isn’t exactly shabby with 15 publications, including a book. Regarding availability to students, I check email first thing every morning, late at night just before going to bed, and many times in between. This prompted one non-traditional student to joke in class: “Dr. Elison didn’t respond for 12 hours, so I was pretty sure he was dead or in the hospital.” So, you and ASU administration would be hard-pressed to make the case that I’ve been shirking my duties. I’m not bragging, just being defensive and setting the record straight for you and administration because, as you acknowledge, ASU can be a threatening environment. Furthermore, my career aspirations are modest. I never want to be a department chair or an administrator. I love teaching and research. My goals are to teach at ASU, improving every year, until I retire in 8-10 years, and attain full professor next year. Yes, at ASU. I love the SLV, believe ASU makes an important contribution to the lives of our students, and believe our campus climate can be improved. Those goals hardly seem threatening or worth the risk of interfering with. Feel free to share this post with administration and their newly hired lawyers. I want people to be fully informed before making any more rash decisions. I’m guessing ASU will be in damage control mode for quite some time. Not a Danny-follower, I’m a believer in Constitutional civil liberties. As someone pointed out here, all ASU faculty pledged to follow the State and U.S. Constitutions. I’ve done my part. Have you? I’d be happy to talk about this more face-to-face. Stop by my office (MCD 350) or we could meet for a beer. Sincerely, Jeff Elison
February 21, 2016 at 8:04am Jeff and Ben. Good guys. Solid academics. Good colleagues. Fighting the fight for faculty rights. Where are all the other tenured faculty? Behind closed doors they agree with Jeff and Ben. Over some foreign beer at the pub they badmouth McClure. But when it comes to publicly supporting Danny, Ben, and Jeff, these tenured faculty show no integrity, no solidarity, no class. Shame on you all.
February 20, 2016 at 11:04am Did she get a "standing ovation" by the Colorado senate on Friday for increasing enrollment and retention, decreasing the number of law suits and other investigations against her and the administration, uniting the campus, increasing graduation rates, following the Constitution and due process, providing a retaliation free campus climate for those who do not agree with her, increasing the prestige of ASU, increasing job placement rates of our graduates, etc, etc?
February 20, 2016 at 6:46am “If you don't like ASU then leave! Please! Do us all a favor and ditch town. “ My brain keeps looping around back to this perplexing mandate from a post last week. If one doesn’t like something, if one sees wrong in the world and is uncomfortable with it, one has three basic choices: a. Live with it b. Leave it c. Change it The majority will probably always gravitate towards the first two options. The majority will probably always take issue with those who opt for the third way. But who really cares for an institution more – those who live with it as it is, those who abandon it for greener pastures, or those who stay and work to improve it? It is the individuals who are actively seeking positive change for ASU who truly “like ASU”. The majority will always say, “Well, we need change just not the way you’re going about it.” A question for the majority, then, is “Which way, then?” My guess is, when pressed to dig deep, their answer is inaction. Patience. Subservience. Because ultimately people are uncomfortable with change until it’s over and done with. It’s a psychological maxim. Questions to ponder: • “If you don’t like segregation, then leave the South!” • “If you don’t like apartheid, then leave South Africa!” • “If you don’t like the specter of Trump, then move to Canada!” • “If you don’t like the British tax on tea, then leave the colonies!” • …Feel free to add your own lessons from history Positive change in the world is not brought about by options a) and b), folks.
February 19, 2016 at 8:46pm College presidents, like Beverlee, who do not uphold the Constitution and take away the fundamental individual right of due process are not deserving of any "standing ovation" by a legislative body nor should be welcomed by them.
February 19, 2016 at 8:21pm As a supporter of Danny and even more important the Constitution, I want to thank Drew Lamprecht for his comment below. Supporters of ASU, students, should read it. I understand employees in Richardson Hall standing by McClure-their jobs would be lost if they did not. But students, get a clue. This is serious. Do you really support an institution that retaliates against individuals because they cannot tolerate any sort of criticism? Do you really think freedom of speech and assembly are not important? Do you have any idea of what "due process" is and how/why it is crucial to a democratic culture? Don't be duped by an administration that talks the talk but then is deceitful, manipulative, and retaliatory. You may not know Danny, but that is not important. If ASU can get away with this against him. they could do it to anyone-even you. If free inquiry and unbridled speech should be protected anywhere it is at a university.
February 19, 2016 at 12:23pm I wrote an email to Dr. McClure in the wake of the issuance of the PNG against Danny and I never received a reply from the "eager to listen" president. I was and still am in support of Danny Ledonne. The president has shown that she would rather let the school get sued than admit she was in the wrong. I left Adams State this semester for multiple reasons, but first and foremost was the administration of ASU. I was close to graduating, but have decided that a different school is right for me (and probably for many other students who attend). A culture of ignorance pervades the detached student body. In one of my 400 level English classes in the fall semester the class complained that we had to "read too much". Clearly, academics are of little priority to many students and especially to the administration. I liked all my teachers, and I knew many other students as dedicated to learning as I was, but we all felt neglected by the "institution of higher education". Adams State University is most certainly broken, and I can only hope that whichever school I end up choosing will accept the majority of my credits. - Drew Lamprecht
February 18, 2016 at 10:38pm From Bridge of Spies (based on a true story of the Cold War): After being asked to violate his ethics "for the good of the country," Donovan responds: "My name's Donovan, Irish, both sides, mother and father. I'm Irish, you're German, but what makes us both Americans? Just one thing, one, one, one, the rule book. We call it the Constitution and we agree to the rules and that's what makes us Americans and it's all that makes us Americans" From the ACLU complaint against ASU: "Without intervention from this Court, employees and students at Adams State University, and members of the Alamosa community at-large, will be deterred or chilled from expressing opinions critical of Adams State University or its administration for fear that they will be unceremoniously banned from campus on the pretext that their conduct is “disruptive,” makes people “uncomfortable,” or represents “a threat” to the campus or its students." The U.S. Constitution is our Rule Book. Maybe it protects people you don't like today, but maybe it protects you tomorrow. It helps level the playing field when some people have advantages due to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, position, or wealth. Who would we be, as a nation, without it?
February 17, 2016 at 10:21pm After days of active chatter, Jeff Elison’s post appears to have brought this forum to a complete standstill. Wow. Why? Is it because, by daring to identify himself on this anonymous forum, he’s driven home that we are speaking not just about real people, but *to* them? Is it because he has spoken directly to that which compels us all to stay silent at Adams State – the very real and ever present prospect of retaliation? Is it because, by identifying himself by name, he challenges us to consider doing the same and we find that a frightening prospect? I would like to applaud Jeff for having the courage to speak out against the thinly veiled and utterly despicable threats posted here a few days ago. I would like to applaud Jeff and Ben and a few others for being among just a slim handful of tenured faculty at ASU with the personal principles and convictions to stand up for our constitutional protections. If tenured faculty won’t do so, who else will? Certainly not tenure track faculty or at-will employees who can be let go at any time without cause, with no “statement of reasons or grounds required”, and who know this is a repressive administration that looks unkindly on freedom of expression. I wish I had the personal courage to not just applaud Jeff but to declare my own name while doing so. If we ALL identified ourselves and stood up to ASU’s entrenched bullies and intimidators, their power would be instantly diminished. I have come close to doing so with this post, but then I remember – as another poster stated so succinctly - this shit is real. And so I elect to remain anonymous out of simple self-preservation, knowing that this in turn preserves ASU’s unfortunate status quo. I haven’t yet found the courage to speak out, but I applaud those like Jeff who have done so. They are the ones who are leading the way to a new and better ASU.
February 15, 2016 at 8:12pm A comment from February 13 included: “If we are going to name names - let’s call out Jeff Elison and Ben Waddell… These guys don’t have a freak’n clue about the ramifications of this for their careers.” Wow, I check in after a few days and there is so much misinformation – and a threat. I’m going to break WatchingAdams protocol and make it clear who is writing this - Jeff Elison. After all, I’ve been “named” (imagine scary music playing in the background)! Now I have to ask: did you read what you wrote? The ACLU is suing President McClure for what they describe as retaliatory acts and here you are threatening me regarding the ramifications of “this” for my career! Nice irony. You are defending an administration at the same time you are saying they will retaliate against me. You’ve pegged our campus climate. Are you trying to make the ACLU’s case for them? Note: “Ramifications” for my career would violate State and Federal whistle blower laws. I doubt ASU wants to make their situation worse. If you want to intimidate me, you’ll have to try harder. That comment also included: “This and the danny followers, get more and more pathetic. It’s actually very funny and has given a lot of people stuff to laugh at.” I’m glad folks at ASU are laughing during these sad times. I’m sure most of us have had some hearty laughs over this comedy of errors, but we could all use some real humor instead. Let’s not forget administration is wasting our students’ money on legal fees, money that could benefit students and employees, and doing it at a time when ASU’s financial situation is bleak. Not so funny. Neither is being sued in Federal Court for violations of the U.S. Constitution. I doubt President McClure, Chief Grohowski, or the BOT are laughing about the suit or all the bad press. Please let this pass quickly.
February 15, 2016 at 9:21am The piece on anonymity really hits close to home. And frankly, it should be hitting close to home for everyone posting on here; reading from home because they’re afraid ASU is monitoring internet use; or whispering behind closed doors and even still too scared to post anonymously. If in fact ASU was a place that supported innovation or even a dissenting opinion, people would be posting their names next to their comments. So call it pathetic. Call it cowardly. But do us a favor and call it the truth. Whether you’re pro McClure or not, it doesn’t matter. The real issue is that she was hired as a business person to bring money into the institution. Three things to note here. 1) Upper administration and the BOT has not been able to admit to themselves or the ASU community the dire straits that the campus is actually in (financially and culturally). It seems that the condition of ASU was not even disclosed to McClure as noted in a quote from the Pueblo Chieftain where she says “Adams State is not a place you have to go into and fix” http://www.chieftain.com/news/3502449-120/mcclure-education-state-chieftain#sthash.kjUj73cO.dpuf 2) In higher ed new presidents usually come into their new positions and clean house. Whether it’s their whole cabinet or just a few members, new presidents bring in someone from their own team to make things happen. Unfortunately for us McClure lacked the previous experience necessary to even have her own team and had to rely on the existing ASU administration – one that has not worked for years. 3) We can’t throw rich donors, grants, and more money at a problem and expect things to magically get better. While I think that ASU does currently need a business person to get us out of the financial hole that we are in, the long term future of ASU will depend on a strong educational leader. Think about that when we are filling McClure’s position. Not if. When. “Adams is not fractured. Actually, it's never been stronger!” Are you serious? By strong do you mean the huge “mystery” hole in our budget? By strong do you mean our dismal graduation and retention rates? By strong do you mean the institutionalized culture of fear that exists across campus? You must be getting your news from the Valley Courier. So what do we do to fix things? And yes, things need fixing. Someone commented “If you don't like ASU then leave!” It’s not about “not liking ASU” it’s about not liking how things are done, it’s about not being involved in the decision making process. And if you try to get involved in the process you’ll be punished for it. See the piece on the Killing of CAG –this shit is real. I have engaged with some incredible students since I’ve been here. And I know so many hardworking and passionate faculty members and supportive staff. So why would we leave when we know we can make things better for these students?
February 15, 2016 at 7:33am Insightful comment here: "Adams is not fractured. Actually, it's never been stronger!" Maybe you should read the WatchingAdams article about the recent Moody's Report - it looks like our credit rating has never been lower. They just downgraded our rating on January 26th of this year. We, including students, are still paying for all the nice construction on campus. Moody's report says an additional threat that could lead to another downgrade is declining enrollment. And yes, it looks like numbers are down. On top of that, we'll now be paying substantial legal fees for a lawsuit brought on President McClure and Chief Grohowski: "Defendants acted intentionally, knowingly, willfully, wantonly, and in reckless disregard for Mr. Ledonne’s federally-protected constitutional rights"
February 14, 2016 at 10:58pm From the ACLU complaint: "The 'appeal' process proposed by Adams State University was a sham." Enough said. From a previous comment: "I find it curious that those who post that they work at ASU are posting during work hours. Are you posting on an ASU computer too? That's a great use of taxpayer and student money....NOT." Seems like posting about campus issues in an attempt to improve ASU would be a pretty good use of time and money. As opposed to say... squandering students' tuition defending Administrations' violations of ASU policy and the U.S. Constitution. Especially when Admin continued on this crash course after repeatedly having the law explained to them - explanations that are available in emails and audio recordings. An emeritus faculty member explained that the "General Fund" is where all tuition goes and from where we pay legal fees. The attorney general's office doesn't work for ASU for free. In other words, students and their families are paying their hard earned money and it's going straight to legal fees incurred over poor decisions. From the ACLU complaint: "Reasonable officials in Defendants’ positions would have known that their actions violated clearly-established constitutional rights to procedural due process." So, what does that make President McClure and Chief Grohowski? Certainly not "reasonable." You can fill in the rest.
February 14, 2016 at 10:44pm President's Contract (available on WatchingAdams under Documents): 16. Termination b. Discharge for Cause. iii) Intentional and willful misconduct that would subject the Employer to criminal or civil liability; v) A material violation of any law, rule, regulation, constitutional provision or policy of the Employer or University, or local, state, or federal law, which reflects adversely upon the University;
February 14, 2016 at 8:45pm I have contacts at universities in the Midwest and California. They have read what is going on and ASU's reputation is dropping like a rock. ASU already has a reputation for essentially just being 13th grade, but now this. Young Ph.Ds and ABDs are going to think twice before applying or accepting offers here. I guess the McClure supporters think this is a good thing. Circle the wagons and be damned the critics. Well, besides a lot of money to defend the suit ASU is going to have a terrible reputation both in Colorado and nationally.
February 14, 2016 at 7:34pm Has anyone seen this article from Foundation for Individual Rights in Education? ASU is becoming the laughing stock of higher education for its handling of this situation. Here it is: https://www.thefire.org/barred-from-adams-state-former-faculty-member-sues-over-an-utter-lack-of-due-process/
February 14, 2016 at 7:12pm She was supervising about FOUR employees as head of ACI in New Mexico. Bill Richardson gave her a cabinet position when he was the governor there, and subsequently she also contributed toward his presidential bid. And of course many years ago she was heading Clovis Community College in New Mexico. Perhaps BOT found these credentials impressive.
February 14, 2016 at 6:07pm Exactly what were President McClure's previous experiences that led the BOT to hire her? What is so impressive about her resume? I am just curious what her qualifications were to take the helm of ASU during troubled times. With massive education cuts for so many years, declining enrollments, and low faculty morale, what made her stand out?
February 14, 2016 at 5:37pm It is not surprising to see so many McClure sycophants posting. A large portion of ASU students are actually quite intellectually challenged and qualify as having fascist tendencies with their eagerness to follow a strong charismatic leader. You know, a Hitler/Mussolini type. I have encountered many ASU students and most would not be admitted to a real university, ie. U of C, CO State, KU, etc. Her supporters write generalized things about how the new administration is doing such great things. What things? Be specific.
February 14, 2016 at 3:52pm The ACLU does not file complaints in U.S. Federal District Courts based upon "BS."
February 14, 2016 at 1:47pm Per the faculty handbook, every ASU faculty member must sign the following Faculty Oath or Affirmation: "I solemnly (swear)(affirm) that I will uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado, and I will faithfully perform the duties of the position upon which I am about to enter." Every ASU faculty member, therefore, has a sworn DUTY to consider the constitutional issues at hand. Forget Danny, forget McClure. Forget about who you like, dislike, support, or don't support. Forget the unfortunate tone of some recent posts on this site (it's not exactly "robust academic discourse", to use McClure's recent words). Just focus on the constitutional issues being raised - a solid start would be a careful review of the ACLU of Colorado's filed complaint - and then determine what course of action is needed for you to uphold your personal affirmation. To dismiss this as merely a disgruntled personnel issue is to dismiss both the academic code and your responsibilities as an American citizen.
February 14, 2016 at 10:52am Adams is not fractured. Actually, it's never been stronger! There's true leadership and people see that things are getting done . Someone finally has the guts to stand up and not let someone like Danny get away with his BS.
February 14, 2016 at 9:03am It is clear that Adams is now a fractured institution. President McClure has been unable to bring the university together. She has listened to those who she should never have listened to in the first place. Her decisions which have led the university on this unfortunate path have been the direct result of her not following good and basic leadership principles. Mr. Ledonne is and will be a citizen of the valley regardless of the outcome of the ACLU lawsuit. However Dr. McClure will not be in Alamosa for a lengthy period of time. Adams has to unify, but it is unlikely it will happen under the inept presidency of Dr. McClure and those she is relying upon. This is a "created mess" by the ASU's administration and could have been avoided when she took over. With this lawsuit, declining enrollment, and the splintered organization, sooner or later, BOT will realize that they need to make a decision.
February 14, 2016 at 12:12am All of you who are so snidely supporting the administration and McClure are obviously uneducated with regard to the Constitution, 14th Amendment, and Supreme Court rulings on due process. I recommend you read the filing by the ACLU on this website's opening page. I guarantee you, ASU is going lose this case. You are going to spend a lot of money, receive unfavorable media coverage and ultimately lose. You cannot legally do what ASU did. I don't care what you think of the parties involved. In court, you will lose. Take it to the bank.
February 13, 2016 at 8:55pm Great stuff today. Lots of heat and no light. I have yet to see an informed comment that addresses the merits of the case or why exactly the PNG does not violate the Constitution. Any pro-PNG supporters care to do the reading and then explain your position? At least Jeff and Ben had the backbone to attempt an open dialogue at the faculty senate meeting and explain their concerns openly. If you read the complaint, it appears their concerns were justified - pretty much to the letter. They tried to warn the president for the benefit of ASU. Both spent many hours with Kurt Cary and Danny trying to negotiate a win-win resolution, but President McClure pulled the plug. You reap what you sow. As for implications for careers, were you threatening Jeff or Ben? I think you need to be PNG'ed right out of here. I'd be more concerned for President McClure's career. When the real lawyers look at the chain of events, there will be a sudden change.
February 13, 2016 at 6:02pm Oh, and to the person who had a "living hell" for two years because of e-mails and texts -- dude, you sound like a pervert and stalker! I wish they would have kicked out out of ASU. Better yet, thrown you in jail for harassment...
February 13, 2016 at 5:55pm If you have a problem with someone, go and talk to them rather than post (anonymously) on a website that nobody cares about! But, that's all this is -- a bunch of anonymous cry-babies. Get a life! At first, this has promise of being a place for dialogue but has become a bulletin board for angry people. Really? If you don't like ASU then leave! Please! Do us all a favor and ditch town. This has become, "ouch, my feelings are hurt so someone kiss the boo boo and make it go away." If there is a real argument it has been lost with all of the whiners with no life.
February 13, 2016 at 5:50pm This, and the danny followers, get more and more pathetic. It's actually very funny and has given a lot of people stuff to laugh at. That's what the majority of people at ASU are doing with this -- laughing at you all! I find it curious that those who post that they work at ASU are posting during work hours. Are you posting on an ASU computer too? That's a great use of taxpayer and student money....NOT. If we are going to name names - let's call out Jeff Elison and Ben Waddell as being the sad, sad danny followers. Anyone else? These guys don't have a freak'n clue about the ramifications of this for their careers. But, doubt if they care because they would be doing their jobs rather than being danny's little bodyguards.
February 13, 2016 at 12:07pm Whoever it was that feels the need to insult and talk down to our student government needs to come to one meeting and realize that most of ASF are working students who commute and CHOOSE to go above and beyond to serve on committees and represent campus.
February 13, 2016 at 9:49am Dr. McClure has done so many amazing things for our campus. From her first day here she has worked nonstop to promote ASU, bring investors, bring grants, strengthen community partnerships, and she actually listens to what students have to say. ASU is strong, I am a ASU student and I support Dr. McClure.
February 12, 2016 at 8:27pm If everyone who made someone at ASU "feel threatened," Bill Mansheim and Michael Martin would have been given PNG status long ago.
February 12, 2016 at 7:36pm Honey Badger Crowther fits right in with Tracy Rogers and Frank Novotny. Back stabbing, fake, ambitious power seeking devils. As long as they are there the stench over Alamosa will remain. I wonder if Crowther wore his favorite t-shirt, "I'm not an alcoholic, Alcoholics go to meetings. I'm a drunk," first time he met the new president. He wore it to meet the new provost years ago. As for as the members of student government loving the new president, it is well known that SGA is merely a collection of ass kissing immature boys and girls led around by the nose by the Dean of Students. They are resume builders and nothing more. They are far out of touch with most of the student body. Most ASU students commute and work to pay for school. SGA does not concern themselves with these students.
February 12, 2016 at 7:14pm I was treated unfairly by Adams just as LeDonne, suspended for two years for nothing more than texting a scorned love interest. Something that, at other institutions, would have been a minor infraction. Adams state read the contents of my personal email account and punished me according to that and not the actual incident. The "victim" attempted to drop all charges. I returned to Adams (after 2 years) and was again subjected to their paranoid, irrational treatment when a female employee of theirs complained because I was exercising my constitutional right to free speech and used a "risque" subject line in an email to her, after she approached me first. They again punished me for the offense two years prior, and subjected me to mandatory psychologic evaluation, and probation for the remainder of my academic career. Ken Marquez made my life a living hell for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I was an honor student for the remainder of my time there and graduated with a B.S. Adams state is way too reactionary and paranoid and I'm glad to see someone calling them out on their alarmist reactions to people from diverse backgrounds. If you aren't a woman or a gay man I strongly suggest you avoid Adams State University.
February 12, 2016 at 2:47pm A previous comment included the statements: "The lawsuit is bogus and just causing unnecessary problems for Adams and Alamosa." Bogus? Is this an informed opinion? Have you read the 50-page complaint against McClure and Grohowski? Do you understand the "due process" portion of the Fourteenth Amendment? Unless you can answer yes to both of those, then "bogus" is merely uniformed opinion. And if you really want to be informed on the issue, read the case summary from Watson v. C.U. Board of Regents. There you will find a nearly identical case, which C.U. lost. Watson, the citizen in that case, actually went to a dean's house, threatened him, and was arrested. Yet, the Colo Supreme Court still upheld his right to due process. Danny is entitled to the same protections under the Constitution. Your emotional responses have nothing to do with the facts. Whatever is in that mysterious file is nearly irrelevant to the legal issue of due process. Authorities like to make emotional appeals to fear because people fall for it. "Oh no, Homeland Security has raised the alert level, let's all fall in line behind our government for protection. Laws no longer matter... torture is justified... due process is expendable..." The commentator goes on to say the suit is "just causing unnecessary problems for Adams and Alamosa." What is really causing those problems, the lawsuit or is it an administration that disregarded the Constitution? A point on which we probably agree: the quicker this gets resolved, the better. Less money will be wasted on legal fees, and less time will be wasted on campus. We should be serving our students, not defending indefensible administrative decisions.
February 12, 2016 at 12:12pm As someone who has felt threatened (not just creeped/weirded out) by Danny, I know that things can now be revealed about why he was kicked off campus. The lawsuit is bogus and just causing unnecessary problems for Adams and Alamosa. I look forward to having everything in that "file" looked at and, I hope, made public.
February 12, 2016 at 11:50am As what some people might label a Danny "cronie," I'm glad to see the "other side" participating on Watching Adams. Open dialogue is extremely important for a University. I'm sure Dr. McClure has many strengths and brings much to ASU. My problem has to do with civil rights and the U.S. Constitution. To me, it looks like bullying when people in power violate the civil rights of people with less power. Our Constitution is supposed to protect everyone, not just those in power. And I'm bothered even more when people don't admit their mistakes and then lie to cover them up ("terrorism," "State Police watchlist"). If an ACLU lawsuit will make ASU administration follow laws and our own policies, then bring it on. But personally, I'd rather have administration follow laws and policies voluntarily, drop the PNG, and save those substantial legal fees for students and employees.
February 12, 2016 at 11:08am Ditto! I'm also a student/junior at ASU and a member of AS&F -- the majority of our membership supports dr. McClure and we want her to stay and see things through. People need to listen to who matters - the students! Everyone needs to stop spreading lies and false data saying that we don't support her
February 12, 2016 at 11:02am Thank you, thank you, thank you to the person who posted in support of ASU. I really wanted to avoid writing anything on Watching Adams but the amount of negativity is finally getting to me. Everyone saying that "nobody supports Dr. McClure" is totally false! I've heard nothing but positive things about her and the work she has done. In fact, she's done more in less than a year than the previous administration did in over ten years. The students, faculty, staff and community are glad that she ws hired!
February 12, 2016 at 8:55am I sincerely doubt that my note will be published as I'm sure Danny and his cronies are monitoring/editing/evaluating everything. After reading a few of the items on this website, I am fully convinced that you all have NO lives, families, or jobs. Get real! This crusade is the most pathetic display of selfishness that I've ever known. The only thing worse than Danny's little "fight" with ASU are the people who are blindly following this crap. I am also guessing that the people posting to this site number less than 10 (you all just have nothing better to do). For what it's worth, the majority of the campus and community truly support Dr. McClure and her efforts. While Danny and his followers are busy creating nonsense, the rest of us are working hard to keep ASU afloat and thriving. I have now just wasted five minutes of my life writing this note. I can only hope that the rest of you realize how pathetic you all are... ---Editor's Note: So long as a comment meets the posting guidelines, we publish every comment. Your perspective is valid and your time spent posting is welcome and appreciated.
February 11, 2016 at 11:18pm I have to agree with an earlier comment about Crowther. During the years I worked at ASU, I saw him pull some outrageous maneuvers. He will do anything to suck up to the administration. He'll shake your hand and smile at you, "Honey Badger," as he stabs you in the back.
February 11, 2016 at 10:07pm I agree with the previous writer. President McClure has lost the confidence of faculty, staff, and students. All of this can go away if she goes away, Tracy Rogers resigns, the Board give a full and complete public apology to Danny, pay him for expenses and suffering. And look for a new president. This time someone with a Ph.D who spent at least a decade in the classroom teaching.
February 11, 2016 at 6:11pm Dr. McClure has lost confidence of the majority of her staff and faculty. If a college president comes to this place in her or his professional career, they should resign for the sake of the institution and the students.
February 11, 2016 at 4:56pm One of the comments discusses Frank Novotny and Tracy Rogers as: "Certainly, those two individuals are the very foundation of everything wrong at ASU. If there is a problem, enough investigation ultimately reveals these two are the root." I write to concur and add one additional name to this list. Careful observation and investigation will reveal that Dr. Ed Crowther is a full time member of this axis of evil. He runs his department with an iron fist and constantly brags how his "kingdom" ( departments, majors, minors, disciplines, faculty, staff, and students ) make him one of the most powerful people on campus, not to mention he "makes more money than God" for all the various disciplines and people he has serving (under?) him. He is a glad hander, ambitious, sycophant of those in power, and expect those "under" him to swallow their pride and be a cult follower and sycophant of Crowther. Apparently not even driving through stop signs while under the influence of alcohol can get him in trouble with administration. But enough about this soldier, the axis of evil Luca Brasi. I only mention this to give full credit (blame?) to all three in the axis of evil. Frank and Tracy are, indeed, dangerous, but Luca the wild, loud head of the McDaniel Hall Family should not be left out. My hopes are that publicity of all this reaches readers far and wide. I hope Colorado parents warn their children against ASU. I hope The Chronicle Of Higher Education jumps on this with weekly updates. I hope enrollments and retention decline and cause massive terminations of people in Richardson Hall. I hope faculty, staff, and students who find themselves being bullied, intimidated, threatened, and treated unfairly do not just take it but fight. Fight like Danny. Do not just give in to this axis of evil. And I hope others who are in the know of the dirt that covers Richardson Hall and its "elites" will write comments to this site, talk to Danny about an interview, share what you learn with others. I fully support Danny and am ecstatic that the ACLU has taken his case. The ACLU is the real deal President McClure. I think you need solid legal advice, so avoid Tracy Rogers or any local attorneys at all costs.
February 11, 2016 at 11:35am I have been following Watchingadams.org since its inception. Quietly, I have listened to many individuals—on both sides of this conundrum—discuss why Danny or Dr. McClure is “right” or “wrong”. I have been cautiously optimistic that Dr. McClure was simply a victim—as many, many of us have been—of Frank Novotny’s and Tracy Rogers’ lying, conniving, and evil practices. Certainly, those two individuals are the very foundation of everything wrong at ASU. If there is a problem, enough investigation ultimately reveals these two are the root. So, imagine my surprise—and dismay—to learn that an organization as reputable and successful as the ACLU has chosen to take on this fight on Danny’s behalf. Imagine how one’s heart sinks when they have supported something or someone—even though cautiously—only to learn that perhaps that support was misguided or misplaced. This is not to say I didn’t support Danny…In fact, I did and still do. I never have believed the PNG was appropriate. I believed that the minions surrounding Dr. McClure misinformed her. But, it is time to admit that Dr. McClure has CHOSEN her path, regardless of who has informed her. As a cautious Dr. McClure supporter, I think she’s f’ed. And, I am not alone in this thinking… pride is an interesting and wicked thing.
February 11, 2016 at 9:12am In president McClure's response to the law suit she falls back on a dangerous justification: "an abundance of caution." The dangers of this phrase are discussed here: http://www.bifurcatedneedle.com/new-blog/2015/7/22/out-of-an-abundance-of-caution-an-overused-phrase From the article: "It allows businesses, schools, leaders in the government, and others in charge to enact policies that are scientifically unfounded but potentially irrational and, sometimes, to INFRINGE UPON THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS. " [emphasis added] "The phrase, 'out of an abundance of caution,' is often used when explaining an action that isn’t necessary, but is going to be done anyway because you want to be extra careful. Unfortunately, this throws the whole decision making process for a loop, because it assumes that there are no consequences for overly cautious and unnecessary actions. Yet these actions always have a COST – in money, resources, time and, sometimes, CIVIL LIBERTIES. " [emphasis added] We have already seen the COST to civil liberties in Mr. Ledonne's case, as well as the administration's own admission that they were spending 150 hours / week on their PNG decision. Now it looks like there will be further COSTS as ASU wastes money defending their "abundance of caution." I'd rather see that time and money go to employees and students!
February 11, 2016 at 8:26am The hastily prepared and reactively long missive to us by Beverlee in response to ACLU filing just shows that she, the administration, and BOT have now found themselves in a situation which could easily have been avoided much earlier. As more news media pick up the story it will have a negative impact on enrollment, retention, and employee morale. Beverlee has received an 'F' grade so far in leadership, management, and interpersonal skills. There are consequences if a student receives a similar failing grade consistently.
February 11, 2016 at 8:01am From the ACLU press release: “We bring this lawsuit to protect the rights of not just Mr. Ledonne, but all Coloradoans,” said ACLU of Colorado cooperating attorney N. Reid Neureiter. Yes indeed, all Coloradoans need protection from ASU. The president's cabinet recently passed a Persona Non Grata policy that intentionally leaves out the due process (hearing prior to imposition of PNG status) that Ledonne was denied, prompting this law suit. In other words, the cabinet members decided the Constitution was too inconvenient, too limiting of ASU's powers. So, they decided to ignore it and pass an ASU policy that violates the U.S. Constitution. Putting their disregard for Coloradoans' civil rights in writing does not bode well for ASU in this law suit.
February 10, 2016 at 8:22pm The contrast between the professionalism of the ACLU's 25-page legal motion and ASU's half-assed response is hilarious. The president's message has multiple errors, she ignores the due process claims, and resorts to more mud-slinging against Mr. Ledonne. How much money will McClure waste in her lame attempts to save face? She should just admit she was wrong and save more embarrassment. More importantly, she should save some of that legal defense money for students and employees, rather than squander it trying to save her own career. It looks like ASU is against the ropes financially, so it's way past time to do the right thing. The bluff is over. Let's move forward for the sake of students.
February 10, 2016 at 3:33pm Bravo! Bravo Danny for not just taking it but standing up for yourself and your principles. I hope Richardson Hall, the Board, and citizens now realize just how deep the hole Richardson Hall has dug for itself is. Do not even think you can bully the ACLU. You brought this on your selves. After years of abuse of faculty and staff it is now time to face the consequences. All those who have been abused by administration, including tyrannical department chairs, applaud Danny and the ACLU. Whatchya gonna do now Madam President? Spend a lot of money defending your actions, being negatively exposed in the media, continue to see enrollments and retention decline, get savaged by the Chronicle of Higher Education.....Richardson Hall needs to be fumigated and the Board needs to be removed. Bravo Danny, bravo ACLU!
February 10, 2016 at 1:33pm As I read through today's ACLU filing of suit against ASU, the main thought that came to my mind was: WHERE ARE ASU's BOARD OF TRUSTEES? Hopefully there is at least one trustee who might be wondering at this point if Beverlee McClure was the right selection to lead ASU???
February 10, 2016 at 1:07pm I read the comment from the Classified Employee posted on [Jan 26th]. I am also a classified employee and proud of my race, language, customs, and where I have come from. Below is an e-mail, word for word, which went out to Classified Employees on January 29, 2016: "CIELO believes that the photos of past Presidents in Richardson Hall might work better if they were placed in the museum. The photos are not very "warm" and do not reflect our student body (white, male, etc.). Please understand this is no disrespect to the past presidents, it is about making the space more welcoming to students. Would you support having these moved to a different location so that something more student centered can be placed there? Please let me know as soon as possible so I can provide your feedback to the CIELO committee. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend." I am not sure how others felt when they received this e-mail, but I just went WOW!
February 5, 2016 at 2:00pm So the early word on the street is that enrollment numbers aren’t looking so hot. No surprise to anyone walking around campus. I was in the union the other day and found myself wondering where all the students were. I believe I heard my footsteps echoing. When the official statistics come out, the last thing anyone wants to hear from Richardson Hall is that tired line, “Recruitment and retention are everyone’s responsibility.” Of course they are. In a certain sense, everything is everyone’s responsibility. But administration should be forewarned not to lob any finger-pointing platitudes in any direction except their own. You can’t dismiss and devalue your faculty and staff until disaster looms, then try to pull us in to share your culpability for the mess. Hold up a mirror, kids. You’re the ones who got us here. You did this. And we all know you have no idea how to get us out of it, so stop pretending that everything’s fine. You know what I’d like to see? A campus roundtable where administrators comes clean, confess they’ve driven ASU into the ground with their ineptitude, arrogance, and lack of direction. Admit they don’t have the answers. Ask for help and answers and action from the ones who really matter, the ones who really count: The faculty and staff who interact directly with students everyday. Together we might be able to turn things around. But if RH keeps acting like everything’s fine, like they’re the big bosses on campus and we should just shut up and put up, it’s all going down in a very ugly way. But please, please: No more theatrical events like that utterly bogus campus forum we endured last year regarding the Chronicle accusations and resulting HLC investigation. That was a poorly concealed, obviously orchestrated “press conference” performed by those with vested monetary interests in Extended Studies. The one person on the “panel” who dared to speak somewhat candidly found themselves on the receiving end of glares from the other participants. We all saw it. And so attendees all knew better than to try to contribute anything truthful and substantive. Most, wisely, said nothing at all. Let’s end the pretending. Only a big platter of honesty and a side serving of humble pie from RH will move us out of this very scary place we’re in right now. Trustees? Hello?
February 3, 2016 at 10:18am Concerning the cult climate at Adams, you might want to read an article in the Sept. 10th (I think) issue of New York Times Magazine. It describes the corporatization of higher ed institutions where, like any corporation, protection of the institution is way more important than helping people, the truth, or doing what should be right. When the Navajo walkers were here last fall, a lady wore a shirt proclaiming "Capitalism Is The Mortal Enemy of Mother Earth." And I would add, just about everything else. The corporate mentality is infecting everything and that is extremely bad for everyone but the top 10 percent. Since the current ASU president came from a corporate climate, I'd be very concerned with her policies and ethics.
February 3, 2016 at 12:08am As someone without a personal connection to ASU or the community of Alamosa, I find it disturbing and sadly ridiculous that recent actions undertaken by ASU administration seem to be aimed at preserving an existing power structure on campus, and eliminating open discourse instead of simply addressing their own long-standing nonfeasance. It is also beyond me how the people tasked with running a university can be so terribly misguided and embarrassingly out of touch with not only the communities they serve but with the faculty and staff that actually fulfill the schools mission. With Watching Adams help in increasing public awareness of the mess that is ASU administration governance, surely it's only a matter of time before a big plate of crow is laid out for President McClure and her admin. underlings.
January 26, 2016 at 6:31pm To whom it may interest, I am an employee of Adams State. I am just a classified employee, which equates to lowest form of employee on the campus. I saw and read something today that really upset me and there is nothing or nowhere to take this. If I contact the infamous HR department, I might as well kiss my paycheck goodbye. I know better than upset the apple cart. This administration talks a good game on diversity and being sensitive to each persons feelings and well being but there is no place to go if your not in lock step with the administration's beliefs. Here is the item that insulted me as a man and my race. It was an article, instructions and suggestions on how to denounce my race and declare that, because of my race, that I am a racist and until I do the following I will remain a racist. I, hopefully along with the majority of people, am proud of who I am, where I came from, what my ancestors and I have accomplished. This type of political attack should not be allowed but we all know that the school will do nothing but let's be clear that the real crime here is there is No place for me to go and voice my concerns. It would be a death sentence. ---Editor's note: for more on this comment see White Privilege at ASU: an Interview with a Classified Employee.
January 20, 2016 at 10:24am In the context of fairness and campus-wide “equity”, as reflected by inclusion of the topic on the Faculty Senate agenda for January 27, more than a few faculty members may find interesting the salaries awarded Drs. Novotny and Mumper upon their “decisions” to “step down” to faculty status from their respective administrative positions.
December 10, 2015 at 2:14am I was sorry to learn of the termination of campus police chief Joel Shults. I found Joel to be professional, well educated, committed to the institution, and quite likeable. Although we are pretty much at opposite poles of ideology, I really enjoyed our chats over coffee and grew to respect Joel. From what I have heard he was treated in a harsh, arbitrary, and mean spirited way. If readers are learning anything from this site it is that Adams State does not provide anything approaching due process. The head of HR, Tracy Rogers, advises administration and her lack of proper legal education has become quite clear. Knowing what I know about the favored position of athletics at Adams, I believe he was terminated because he refused to go along with the Adams administration and certain members of the Board who wanted athletic students and coaches to do as they wished. I have heard many negative things about the men's basketball coach and believe Adams decided their basketball coach was more valuable than a quality chief of police. It looks like the new president has a fellow authoritarian in the office of chief of police now.
December 4, 2015 at 9:26am Dr. McClure you have indeed transformed ASU. It has gone from a fairly ineffectual relatively benign culture, with some exceptions, to one of suspicion and distrust from an overtly adversarial administration. One no longer has to imagine what people behind the former Iron Curtain experienced. The campus environment is one of bullying and baseless allegations leading to punitive measures where the accused has no reasonable defense. Those around you do not seem to have the slightest concept of due process. Your apparatchiks consistently parrot with pavlovian fervor signaling in the affirmative to your utterly baseless allegations of dangerous behavior of one or cast the evil eye at any one else who dares to differ with respectful queries regarding questionable practices on campus. There is a great appearance of a lack of any valid attempt to consider as to whether the so called “toxic” or “negative” individuals just might have valid points that could improve the situational health of the campus. When being questioned on why approved legal practices were not enacted when dealing with an individual who has been stamped with the red letter of “terrorism”, your convenient response is that the question is sexist in nature. This of course makes the questioner sexist by the association of merely to have the audacity to ask a reasonable question. This is a convenient and cowardly way to avoid giving an answer to what as many suspect is that you have no appropriate defense and must fall back on the current flavor of PC McCarthyism to deflect blame. There has developed an unhealthy schism between faculty, staff and students by this toxic campaign. Anyone who dares walk outside of the clearly delineated path is treated as a heretic to be shunned, ostracized and have their livelihood made to feel insecure. The motto for ASU should be changed to “sit down and shut up” or as we have heard reported frequently by many, “if you don’t like it, you can leave”. This is a free speech issue Dr. McClure. Yes, everyone can speak their mind in your presence but that “freedom” does not come without consequences and misrepresentation. The true shame of this predicament is that many of those who have been tarred and feathered as “toxic” or “negative” care and are deeply saddened by the situation at ASU. Their unheeded attempts to cite where serious problems lie are based on observations from the field, day in and day out. They are your boots on the ground. They are reaching out with a helping hand only to be, as previously stated, shunned, ostracized and have their livelihood made to feel insecure. As Lincoln aptly stated, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
December 3, 2015 at 9:35am With Frank Novotny stepping down, it is high time for Beverlee McClure to start taking stock of her actions as a new ASU President. She needs to go back and educate herself about the fundamentals of being a successful university president and take notice of the advice offered in this article, which she has been oblivious about up till now: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304893404579530204036842732
December 2, 2015 at 10:59am I sure wish I was still at Adams. I was a free thinking non-conformist while there and would be fighting the fight with Danny. I had great relationships with students and might even encourage them to voice their opinions. But then I would fall victim to one of McClure's PNG labels and be banned from campus. Maybe a campus-wide vote should be scheduled on whether McClure is best labelled a PNG threat.
December 2, 2015 at 10:49am It is 11:30 AM. I rarely drink, and rarely drink this early. But the news of Frank Novotny leaving his vpaa position to return to teaching is just such sweet news. He had wanted Svaldi's position for so long and now his administrative ambition has been zapped. I also heard that Ed Crowther was driving and pulled over. Of course, like any true alcoholic, he had been drinking. I need to find the police report in the paper. [comment previously redacted due to potential libel]. So two of the axis of evil have fallen on bad times. Miss Tracy Rogers is so far a survivor under the new dictatorship, er, leadership of President McClure. If the president reads these comments I can assure her that Crowther will be a thorn in her side, and while cleaning house she should deal with him right up front. ---Addendum 12/4/15: The deleted part of my earlier comment (deemed potentially libelous) had to do with a FACT. Earlier in the year one of the axis of evil, Dr. Ed Crowther, was reported in the press to have run a stop sign while under the influence. This is not libelous but is a fact. I just want parents, students, and citizens to know what one of McClure's sycophants was up to. A subscriber to the Valley News might do a check if this was the first time. I believe the accumulation of points is now in the neighborhood of twelve. ------Editor's reply: Watching Adams has done some preliminary investigation and determined that the claim regarding Dr. Crowther's alleged moving vehicle violation is true. Via the Alamosa Police Report "May 13th, 2015: Edward Riley Crowther, 55, Alamosa, was summoned for disregarding a stop sign at a through highway, 4 points, and for DUI, 12 points, at Clark Street and Craft Drive." At this time, we encourage readers to investigate the matter further and form their own opinion of the matter.
December 2, 2015 at 10:15am Contradictions, loss of trust, and no direction. The emails sent to ASU staff, faculty, and students regarding campus safety, retirements, resignations are just plain distracting. How are we as an institution supposed to be productive? There seems to be no aim for true resolution to the issues on our campus. Even though there are many problems that are glaring they seem to be ignored. Is it ethical for those in higher administration to just retire or resign? What message are you sending? It is clear that even though behaviors that deem to be a reason to get fired have no strong repercussions. The elite are always protected. Beverlee McClure will never get the respect that she yearns for until heads in higher administration roll. Lately at several administrative meetings we have heard her talk about gender bias, and men not respecting her because she is a female in charge. However it seems more submissive to let people in higher administration who have been so disruptive to our work environment just resign. Where is the strong willed woman that we saw in the campus interviews? We want her back with a vengeance.
December 1, 2015 at 12:44pm Hearing today that Dr. Novotny has decided to go back to faculty starting Fall 2016 was not a surprise to me because I worked closely with him for 8 years and for the past two and one half years, after being flown out “Flight for Life” he has struggled with a chronic health issue. I know rumors will fly but I know for a fact that his decision was based on what is best for him and his family. I would like to leave you with a quote from Shannon L. Alder – “When dealing with critics always remember this: Critics judge things based on what is outside of their content of understanding.”
November 27, 2015 at 6:10pm There is an axis of evil at ASU. McClure adds one more crypto-fascist. Beware of Novotny, Tracy Rogers, and Ed Crowther. They run the place like they own it. Crowther runs his HAPPSS department like his little kingdom. Tracy Rogers does not understand the federal or state constitutions nor statutes. Novotny is frustrated, wants to be president, can't make any headway, so he abuses what powers he does have. Decent people, like Michael Mumper, have had their authority diminished. If an honest job could be done rather than a "good ole boy" cover up, ASU would be found to be so mismanaged that it should be shut down. And students are right, graduates are leaving here totally unprepared for careers and life. ASU has almost no academic standards. If a student can pay tuition they are welcome here. Many professors are more like middle school teachers than university professors. Add to this the favored place of athletics. Football players are notorious for throwing parties where young women are taken advantage of, and worse. Damon Martin is almost in the axis of evil. He gets whatever he wants, regardless of cost. I have no doubt that Danny has been exploited and now treated illegally. He is being denied his constitutional rights and his character under constant attack. ASU has no sense of shame. The powers that be use taxpayer monies for their personal agendas. As long as Danny continues to fight and this site is up I will continue to post-the truth.
November 24, 2015 at 4:12am Dr. McClure clearly does not know what to say and when to say it. First her use of the word "terrorism" publicly regarding Mr. Ledonne's actions, and now her blatant and outright lie about Danny being on a "watchlist" are indications that she is not fit to lead a state institution or any other institution. Wonder where are the BOT???
November 20, 2015 at 10:52am The Board of Trustees for Adams State unanimously approved a new Guaranteed Tuition program for undergraduate students enrolled in on-campus classes. This program put together by the administration, under Dr. McClure's leadership, is an amazing step towards affordability and helping students graduate. Dr. McClure will be visiting AS&F meeting to discuss Persona Non Grata and all relating issues. Students are highly encouraged to come with any questions, concerns, or comments. The meeting Monday November 23rd at 6 pm BUS 142. If you have any further questions or comments please contact me. Azarel Madrigal email@example.com
November 17, 2015 at 11:00pm The email to the students by Dr. McClure is a joke! The email sounds like a middle school teacher communicating with her students. It undermines the intellectual level and capabilities of students. The tone of the email is condescending and patronizing. It is an insult to the students.
November 16, 2015 at 11:10am I want to thank you for the honest and difficult work that you are doing; for challenging the "norms" deemed acceptable by ASU. Working in Administration and "near the President's Office," I can tell you that no superior or preferential treatment is given; barely over minimum-wage pay, lack of praise in accomplishment (actually non-existent); fearful to speak out against campus norms-even for the betterment of student services. I do wish that your website and this media coverage would change ASUs condemning and disparaging environment. Conforming and ingratiating ourselves with the ASU bureaucracy is not acceptable, nor is it beneficial to our student population or community.
November 15, 2015 at 8:28pm I have been a community member and/or student here in Alamosa and at Adams State for five years now. I have met, spoken with and been in the company of Mr. Ledonne several times. he is always pleasant, and although he has opinions that challenge the dominant paradigms of economics, politics and education, I have never experienced any indications of threatening or violent behavior. To “blanket ban” a person from ASU events and properties here in our small community effectively cuts them off from others, isolating and segregating them from many of the events and activities offered here in the SLV, many of which are associated with ASU. To have issued this blanket ban to a person identified as “low risk” and for no specific reason is, in my opinion, in complete opposition to the core function of an academic institution. Further, it violates ASU’s motto of “great stories begin here…” or perhaps once they have begun, and begin to question the staus quo, they must move elsewhere. I, for one, am not impressed. Much is made here at ASU about inclusivity, tolerance and awareness of cultural differences. We are a Hispanic Serving Institution. Recently, there was a campus-wide effort to educate and increase sensitivity about LGBTQ+ issues. Why, exactly, is Mr. Ledonne being singled out for exclusion? Is it because he has a voice? Because he has an audience? Because he expresses opinions you do not agree with and you are afraid that his audience might grow? As a citizen, I must protest this arbitrary censorship. If there are, indeed, reasons to bar Mr. Ledonne (and/or others), let us hear them. This particular incident has already caused public humiliation for the person being targeted; what further harm could come from enumerating those reasons? Lack of knowledge causes fear, and withholding knowledge specifically to engender fear is a tactic unworthy of an institution that receives funds from a government founded on principles that have endured for millennia. Put away the hemlock, President McClure and Chief Grohowski, and remove the ban against Mr. Ledonne unless you can prove with evidence that he poses a clear threat to the students and this campus.
November 14, 2015 at 8:28am The problem ASU admin is having is that their credibility is running on empty for many students, faculty, and staff nowadays - and they know it!
November 13, 2015 at 9:53am Watching Adams recently posted an ASU press release. A couple of observations: If Danny really is such an imminent threat to campus safety, why would the institution identify one of the complainants as “the former president”. Hmm, who could that possibly be? Aren’t you just putting a big target on Svaldi’s forehead? Isn't this yet another confidentiality violation? Amateur hour. Rapidly descending into absurdity. And to suggest that academic freedom is a concept limited to the four walls of a classroom puts their institutional ignorance on full regal display.
November 12, 2015 at 8:40pm The senior administration staff, who have negatively affected the growth and success of Adams State for many years, are still in power. They are the real personae non gratae. One can not even come close to comparing the damage they have done, and keep on doing it, to ASU with any actions of Danny Ledonne. Beverlee McClure has the wrong persona non grata or personae non gratae!
November 12, 2015 at 12:12am The Board of Trustees' email only reveals how out of touch they are with what actually happens on campus. First, their denial that this is a First Amendment issue is ridiculous. What about "the right of the people peaceably to assemble"? Danny is no longer allowed on public property. What about the effect it has on faculty and staff? I'm a professor. My colleagues and I are afraid that speaking up will be met with retaliation. We will likely be labeled "toxic" by our President. Second, the BOT's statement, "We urge you, our faculty and staff, to continue in your dedicated work to serve students and move Adams State forward in a positive manner," sickens me. The statement is condescending and they fail to recognize the value and dedication of their employees. They have no idea how dedicated most ASU faculty and staff are. Why else would we be here, given our low pay? The bottom line is that we love helping students. We have the intelligence to, and are quite capable of, giving our students 100% while keeping track of the Administrative circus all around us. When I walk into the classroom, I give it my all; I am completely absorbed. So, who is creating the distractions? Who is keeping Adams State from moving forward in a positive manner? Administration much more than Ledonne. Let it go, give up this reckless course of action. ASU doesn't need the bad publicity. Administration is far more of a threat to the well-being of ASU than Danny Ledonne. Who IS serving our students on a day-to-day basis? Staff and faculty. Listen to your people. They have valid concerns about shared governance, Administration's violations of policies, students' well-being, and salaries. To tell a whole university full of intelligent people to "keep your head down, ignore the problems" is patronizing and unrealistic. BOT, it is time to pay attention. You may have thought this was a cushy position, but it comes with responsibility. Be realistic about what is best for your students, faculty, and staff.
November 11, 2015 at 6:22pm The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude. Be kind, but not weak. Be bold, but not bully. Be thoughtful, but not lazy. Be humble, but not timid. Be proud, but not arrogant. – Jim Rohn It is clear that Adams State University has NOT found a leader in President Beverlee McClure. In my opinion, a simple one-on-one conversation between President McClure and Danny Ledonne could have saved a lot of time, heartache, and potentially money if Mr. Ledonne decides to make President McClure (and ASU) pay for the slanderous, libelous, words they have said against his character. I’ve seen no proof of a threat to the safety of students, faculty, or staff. In fact, ASU administration admits “we do not find an actionable threat at this time”; “Mr. Ledonne's behavior has not yet breached the realm of violation of our laws.” So why the rush to ban him from campus? If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck….. This appears to be a clear case of retaliation and a violation of Mr. Ledonne’s civil rights.
November 11, 2015 at 11:53am Be careful when you blindly follow the masses. Sometimes the “m” is silent. ~Unknown
November 10, 2015 at 1:27pm Surprised and disappointed by the recent ASU Board of Trustees email sent to all ASU employees. Instead of looking into the allegations and indicating that it is their responsibility to thoroughly investigate all issues and non-compliance of rules and regulations at ASU, they want us to believe that there is nothing wrong at ASU and all of this is just the doings of a disgruntled ex-employee.
November 10, 2015 at 1:27pm Surprised and disappointed by the recent ASU Board of Trustees email sent to all ASU employees. Instead of looking into the allegations and indicating that it is their responsibility to thoroughly investigate all issues and non-compliance of rules and regulations at ASU, they want us to believe that there is nothing wrong at ASU and all of this is just the doings of a disgruntled ex-employee.
November 8, 2015 at 9:16pm President McClure and Chief Grohowski have sunk from "irrational behavior" to "harassment" to "toxic" to "terrorism"... what could possibly be next? The FBI defines terrorism as "acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state laws." So, in the Valley Courier article, President McClure just publicly accused Mr. Ledonne of violating state or federal laws, yet Chief Grohowski's email included "Mr. Ledonne's behavior has not yet breached the realm of violation of our laws." Is this amateur hour? Don't they understand that "harassment," "slander," and "libel" have legal definitions - definitions that apply to their own behavior? Mr. Ledonne's lawyer must be smiling wider and wider everyday, with dollar signs in his or her eyes. Seriously, it is time for President McClure to act professionally and rescind the persona non grata order before she wastes anymore valuable ASU time and money, both of which could be better used to help students!
November 8, 2015 at 8:16pm It is clear from the callow comments made by the ASU President, as published in the recent Valley Courier article, that she is not equipped to lead the institution. Unfortunately her statements portray her as a clueless leader who is unaware of the spirit and pulse of Adams State University, the local community, and its citizens.
November 8, 2015 at 4:14pm This website is disgusting. Danny Ledonne is a sick man, I'm glad Adams State University let this guy go. How can a man that made a game about a tragic event in history and say he could make it because he was affected by it. No human being should or never make a game about the death of several people. You need to get a life stop ruining the lives of others. ---Editor's reply: If you'd like to learn more about the purpose and impact of "Super Columbine Massacre RPG!" you might consider watching the documentary on the topic: http://playingcolumbine.com/ Columbine has been the subject of plays, movies, documentaries, books, songs, magazine articles, and much more. Fundamentally, interactive media should also be a possible tool for understanding difficult and socially-urgent topics. So how can a man make a game about a tragic event in history and say he could make it because he was affected by it? The same way another person could make a film, write a book, or create a painting about that same topic. ------Reply November 9, 2015 at 7:21pm That doesn't mean you should be disrespectful and take the issue as a joke. If you see another production make fun a disability, would you too? Would you agree that making a game to reenacts the day most families hate to remember and all they see is a rpg reenact the death of their loved ones, NO! Instead of bring bad memories back, why not create a better understanding what to do to prevent these attacks from being influenced. I've watched thw documentary of your RPG, and it continues to bring me to see that you are not human. ---------Editor's reply: As is evident in the dozens of interviews Danny Ledonne has done on the topic, he does not view school shootings disrespectfully or as a joke. He has personally met with and befriended school shooting survivors from Columbine and Dawson College during the production of "Playing Columbine" and has demonstrated serious commitment to the issue of rampage shootings and representations of violence in media. It is possible that you are viewing the Columbine RPG as a joke; game critics and theorists who understand the medium disagree. For example: Shawn Rider, Editor In Chief of Alternative Games wrote: "Super Columbine Massacre RPG is not a great game. But it is an important game. It is a game created by a filmmaker, not a game developer. In fact, Ledonne told the Washington Post that he would not make another game. It was created specifically with the intent of generating discussion and presenting a unique perspective on the events of the Columbine shooting. This may not be the future of gaming, but it is a step towards the future of how games will be treated and viewed in our culture--as artful, meaningful objects which represent the thoughts, ideas, dreams and nightmares of a unique creator." Medical professionals would strongly contend that Danny Ledonne is human. He may not think like you do or view the role of interactive media in society the way you do, but that's the principal insight of a pluralistic society with freedom of expression.
November 8, 2015 at 9:34am I had heard the rumors on campus, but they seemed too far-fetched to believe, that is until the first Valley Courier article came out: could President McClure be a naive victim of sabotage from within? The rumor hypothesizes that Frank Novotny and Tracy Rogers have set up McClure for failure with the hope that Novotny would fill the void once McClure is dismissed. Arguing against the rumor, one must note McClure's libelous comment implying Ledonne is a terrorist. It is hard to imagine she was coached to say this. It's asking for a lawsuit. More likely she is just ignorant of the law and willing to say anything to make Ledonne look bad, all in hopes of saving face.
November 8, 2015 at 9:27am Now playing in the Valley Courier and at the Sky Hi 6: The Last Witch Hunter, starring Beverly McClure and Danny Ledonne.
November 5, 2015 at 6:39am An open communique to ASU Board of Trustees: If you did not attend the recent ASU Faculty Senate meeting, then you must at least read the minutes. You must take action now, before all of this gets out of hand. Needless to say, the writing is on the wall!
October 29, 2015 at 3:15pm For the "messenger" (ASU Chief of Police) to write such an email and jump into the fray reflects poorly on his professional conduct and provides an insight into ASU administration's current desperation and unprofessional actions. It seems that the administration is making mistakes upon mistakes. One of the most serious and damaging implication indicated in the email is the ludicrous connection between Columbine, the video game, Mr. Ledonne, and campus safety. All of us who have known Danny for a long time, in any capacity, and who are residents of this community are outraged that such an incriminating statement pertaining to a prominent citizen has been made with the backing of the ASU President.
October 29, 2015 at 8:33am On 10/28/2015, the ASU Chief of Police, Paul Grohowski, issued an "open letter" to the campus. A quick read is enough to see that this letter had nothing to do with making the campus safer. It was all about justifying the ban against Danny Ledonne in an attempt to save face for the President. It's nice that the Chief is a team player and willing to take the hit for recent poor decisions. However, it is unfortunate that whoever was involved with writing this open letter (in addition to the Chief) felt it would be helpful to disparage Danny. The first "Fact" states that "Mr. Ledonne created a post-Columbine video game that recreates the horror of the Columbine HS shooting massacre." If this were just about disparaging Mr. Ledonne with this insinuation that he might go postal, I wouldn't honor that insinuation by responding. However, the Chief's letter is dangerous in so many ways. The threat to freedom of speech and academic freedom at ASU is obvious, but the Chief's response is dangerously misguided - putting students and employees at GREATER risk - if the threat were real, which IT IS NOT. It would seem the Chief is horribly misinformed about best practices with regard to suspected school shooters. I think we can safely assume the FBI knows more about such threats. Reviewing their 52-page report, "The School Shooter," shows how misguided ASU's actions have been. For starters: "One response to the pressure for action may be an effort to identify the next shooter by developing a "profile" of the typical school shooter. This may sound like a reasonable preventive measure, but in practice, trying to draw up a catalogue or "checklist" of warning signs to detect a potential school shooter can be shortsighted, even dangerous. Such lists, publicized by the media, can end up unfairly labeling many nonviolent students as potentially dangerous or even lethal. In fact, a great many adolescents who will never commit violent acts will show some of the behaviors or personality traits included on the list." Yes, that's right "dangerous." Reading further, I'm guessing any rational person would judge Danny as Low-Risk (or no risk if you actually talked to him), based on the reports assessment guidelines. When it comes to the FBI's recommendations for intervention, ASU's actions can once again be construed as dangerous: "It is especially important that a school not deal with threats by simply kicking the problem out the door. Expelling or suspending a student for making a threat must not be a substitute for careful threat assessment and a considered, consistent policy of intervention. Disciplinary action alone, unaccompanied by any effort to evaluate the threat or the student's intent, may actually exacerbate the danger-- for example, if a student feels unfairly or arbitrarily treated and becomes even angrier and more bent on carrying out a violent act." "Kicking the problem out the door"? Sure, let's ban him from campus - even though he's not a real threat and this is against recommendations. And as an added bonus, this move will serve to isolate him from many positive social connections, while at the same time embarrass him. A "considered, consistent policy of intervention"? Let's hastily plagiarize a Persona Non Grata policy and implement it before it has even been approved. ASU's response has been anything but "considered." "Unfairly or arbitrarily treated"? Bingo! Speak up and President McClure is happy to slap you down. Let's have the Chief issue this open letter, which will further embarrass or humiliate Mr. Ledonne. That's certainly a best practice when dealing with someone you are accusing of being a potential threat. Humiliating someone always makes them less violent - sure! Returning to my initial point about safety, yesterday's letter had nothing to do with safety. It was just another poor decision that would "exacerbate the danger," IF THE DANGER WERE REAL. So, I hope all students, staff, faculty, and administration are feeling safer today, all thanks to the intelligent, rational actions of President McClure and Chief Grohowski. It would just be simpler and safer for Administration to admit they were wrong and DE-ESCALATE, rather than continue to double-down on bad decisions.
October 28, 2015 at 10:31pm I can't believe a public institution would actually release a statement to the media calling a specific person a "disgruntled, unsuccessful job applicant". It almost feels like Adams State is asking to be shut down due to its gross incompetence. And to then read a childish rant from the chief of police that was sent to ALL staff?
October 27, 2015 at 1:43pm ASU is in need of seasoned, experienced, and mature leadership. The institution needs a leader who understands the type of counsel that is given and who is giving it and what are their real motives. A leader who does not understand this basic attribute of an astute university president, will not and cannot be successful in governing. Unfortunately actions and decisions of the current ASU President do not reflect this. Naturally, it is difficult for someone who was supervising about FOUR employees in their previous longtime position and is now responsible for an entire state university!
October 26, 2015 at 8:37pm I believe the title "President McClure is Misinformed..." is quite accurate. I have heard or read at least five statements that were just plain incorrect. Most of these statements were about past situations at ASU (supervisors reviewed and approved CUPA-based salary decisions, come on?) or recent changes (all the data available at WatchingAdams came from ASU's website and is available there - false!), so it is easy to imagine how she may have been misinformed by the same administrators who routinely misinform the campus and obfuscate facts to hide their incompetencies or personal agendas. If she is listening to Dr. Novotny and Tracy Rogers without taking what they say with a large grain of salt, then it is no wonder she is misinformed. It is a real shame if Dr. McClure is making incorrect statements due to these circumstances, and just plain unethical if she is doing it knowingly. In either case, the result is the same -- a blow to her credibility. She made a good impression when she interviewed and at other times when she has spoken on campus, leading many of us to be hopeful. That hope hasn't died, but it certainly has been tarnished as her credibility continues to drop. Dr. McClure is happy to give advice to others. Here is some for her: "Beverly, don't believe everything from those who seek to whisper in the Queen's ear." They just might be motivated to misinform.
October 26, 2015 at 7:09pm Lots of talk here about "due process." Given ASU Administration's history of disregarding due process, Dr. McClure's actions fit right in. Perhaps, she has found a good fit at ASU.
October 26, 2015 at 6:54pm Regarding the "'Negativity' is Negative" commentary, Dr. McClure's language reveals something about her way of thinking. Using words like "toxic" to describe individuals is more than just disparaging; it is a label that relegates them to an inconsequential status, justifying her dismissal of their concerns. Similarly, characterizing Human Resources as "victims" not so subtly implies that those who complain or question are "persecutors," also worthy of dismissal. This type of black-and-white thinking is not what we need in any leader. An additional concern is the speed with which she is willing to judge others as "toxic." Do these rapid all-encompassing judgments come from her personal experience, or is she just following what other administrators tell her? I am sure Dr. McClure is under great pressure in her new position; therefore, I hope she is capable of less emotional, more rational thinking as ASU moves forward. In particular, I hope she comes to realize that much of the "negativity" has a long history and that there is much to be learned from "complainers."