Clarity from ambiguity

The strategic positioning task forces are nothing more than a sham.

It would be a gross understatement to say the University administration has been fair and forthright regarding its strategic positioning and its decision to eliminate the General College.

Whether it was the timing, the inclusiveness or overall clarity, the University administration failed, and continues to fail, at presenting information surrounding the strategic positioning in a sincere and truthful way to students and the state of Minnesota.

When the Daily first learned of the administration’s strategic positioning, the Editorial Board called on University President Bob Bruininks to communicate directly and clearly with the University community to address questions of implementation with respect to major task-force recommendations and the future of the General College. True to form, this call was ignored. What the University administration did do, however, was schedule “public” debates for task-force proposals during finals week and winter break. To be fair, the University administration, in all of its benevolence, extended the “public” debate by 15 days so students “would have time to respond” during the first two weeks of spring semester. This dubious attempt at debate has been characteristic of the entire process.

Still, the University maintains that the entire process behind the strategic positioning was “open and public” with “robust debate.” This statement would be laughable if the effects of the strategic positioning weren’t so sad. Just two days ago, in an emotional open letter published in the Daily, 56 Minnesota high school students of all backgrounds conveyed how essential the General College was, not only to their futures, but also to the future of Minnesota, and that by eliminating the General College, the “University has failed the current and future children of immigrants.”

As the University continues to use its doublespeak and dubious “public” debates, it becomes clear the administration only cares enough about what the University community thinks to pay them lip service, and that the fate of the General College was decided long before the task force submitted its recommendations. It becomes clear that the entire strategic positioning is dishonest.