Mishandling losses

In this past week, alone, the University has suffered two losses that were made more painful by poor handling.

The forced resignation of Rubenstein professor and interim dean Larry Forcier has left students reeling from asudden and unexpected change.

We have received a multitude of letters and comments in response to our story on the subject last week – every one supporting and praising the professor. Although we cannot speak of this firsthand, it has been made clear to us that the students and community members who were a part of Forcier’s life were shocked and surprised to hear the news.

Similarly treated were members of the recently terminated baseball and softball teams.

The season was less than a week from starting when the cuts were announced, but now players are being forced to make quick decisions about the rest of their college careers as transfer deadlines are fast approaching.

And once again, we received a large number of letters and comments expressing concern and anger over this issue.

We do not wish to take any one side on the specific questions that may rise – the worth of cutting baseball, the truth of claims against Forcier, etc. – but we think it fair to condemn the administration for paying too little regard for the effect Forcier and baseball’s departure would have on students and faculty.

Why are we being continually kept in the dark on matters for which we are the most-directly affected group?

The Cynic raised many of these issues previously, but we have yet to hear a comprehensive explanation from the administration.

We know that the University is dealing with many difficult financial decisions, and that belts are being tightened across the board and we know that, sometimes, beloved staff has to be cut loose for their indiscretions. Yet, we feel like the University’s methods – which leaves its students out of the loop – is, frankly, insulting.

We’ve been constantly reassured that students still are the main concern for this institution throughout the restructuring process, but we are still woefully under-informed. If we are to believe these reassurances, all we have to go on is the administration’s word.

We’ve suggested previously that the University rely more heavily on the student body to help fix our financial shortfalls – citing the SGA’s proposition to remove landlines from dorms as an example of our ability to come up with creative solutions. The Cynic would like to cite the SGA’s efforts as a model once again – this time in reference to their voting transparency bill.

If UVM is looking out for the best interests of the students and the student body, why not increase transparency, and invite our participation throughout the process?

It is not proper that administrators make serious, broadly-felt decisions without adequately informing and including the students and people involved.

The greater we know, the greater we can help make choices that are acceptable – or at least more so – for everyone.

This is our university, after all. It’s time we stop being treating us as its subordinates.