After the Board of Trustees reviewed the Strategic Financial Planning Committee’s report on a rise in tuition, Trustee Linda Lauer read from a statement she had previously prepared on the topic. The following is her complete statement:
There is no easy way to solve the problems we are faced with — we must put our feet to fire.
This board consists of people with differnt backgrounds, perspectives, experiences and knowledge, but we can listen (truly communicate) with one another and work together toward the common good of this institution.
The debate is being framed that there is only one true alternative to our budget concerns. I’m sure this group of diverse leaders has the ability to be thoughtful, thorough, and innovative in our problem solving of this financial challenge we are faced with.
If we are too critical, too pessimistic, we become locked into the old politics of cultural jamming; resistance becomes an end, in and of itself, rather than a tool to ensure corporate responsibility.
We must continue to ask hard questions about major policy changes and assess the effect that our policy decisions have on our consituents. Let us be attentive to the ethical dimensions practiced by our institution and be mindful of what type of internal culture we are creating. Progressive ethics are directly democratic, break down hierarchies, foster community among all constituents, allow for diversity of opinion, and engage with reality while asking what NEW realities might be possible. Fredom to express thoughts in an educational setting is the way to advocate knowledge and true learning.
As a utopian (albeit a frustrated one) I want us to identify possibilities within the culture of this institution that might lead toward a better more just society.
Let’s not disempower our students or our great staff by framing the debate in a self defeating manner. It is a “rainy day” for the college; it is a monsoon for our consituents.”
-Trustee Linda Lauer