Archive for the ‘Media Bias’ Category

It was impossible to do a proper critique of the Times article in a single post so here’s Part II. First, let’s start with more Potter spin:

Potter said he was proud of the university community for the way it responded to the questions, and he noted that St. Cloud State was one of only a few higher education institutions to participate in this type of survey.

“It’s a risky thing to do. We knew that we would get some hard messages back,” he said. “We knew that we would not be near the top, that we have a long way to go. But (we) felt it was absolutely essential to take the step and move our culture forward.”

Fortunately for President Potter, the Times buried those hard messages from employees under a pile of manure. When the vast majority of employees think that the boss is incompetent and untrustworthy, those aren’t the ingredients for a great place to work. As damning as those things are, this might be the worst criticism of the Potter administration:

The survey was the idea of Holly Schoenherr, the university’s human resources director. Shortly after she started two years ago, she began to hear about employees who felt they were being bullied in the workplace and about concerns regarding civil discourse.

I’ve spoken with several SCSU professors. They won’t go on the record for fear of retribution from President Potter, corrupt members of the faculty or both. The pervasive atmosphere amongst faculty is that retribution is considered a management tool by the administration and their apologists.

What’s puzzling is that Mr. Unze didn’t ask Ms. Schoenherr whether the survey showed if the bullying had persisted. Also, why didn’t Mr. Unze ask whether the discourse had improved from being hostile? These are questions that should’ve been asked. These are questions that the public has a right to know.

As amateurish as the Times’ reporting is, that isn’t the focus of this post. What’s important is that this post highlight President Potter’s management (mismanagement?) style, the on-campus bullying and whether steps have been taken to improve on-campus morale.

Based on the information contained in this post, I’d argue that nothing concrete has changed:

The statistics speak for themselves. People don’t trust President Potter because his actions don’t match his words, because “management isn’t approachable” and because they think he’s incompetent.

There’s no reason to think President Potter will change. Absent him changing dramatically, the problems at SCSU will persist. No amount of spin from the administration and the St. Cloud Times will change that fact.

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For the umpteenth time, the St. Cloud Times treated disastrous news for President Potter like it was a minor bump in the road. Most importantly, the article showed how lazy Times reporter Dave Unze is:

The survey was offered to all 1,582 university employees and generated a response from 40 percent of them. The university released the answers to two questions that were asked of those employees: What makes St. Cloud State a great place to work, and what would make the school a better place to work?

That’s pathetic ‘reporting’. Why didn’t Unze ask for the other questions in the survey? This is the type of ‘journalism’ I’d expect from TMZ. Jon Stewart asks harder hitting questions than this. But I digress.

The survey’s findings are devastating to President Potter. Just look at this graphic:

Here’s what I wrote when I got the full results of the GPTWI survey:

When asked if “management’s words match its actions”, only 24% of respondents said yes. When asked if “management is competent”, only 32% said yes. When asked if “management makes sound financial decisions”, only 28% said they did.

Instead of digging into the meat of the survey, the Times picked out two softball questions that doesn’t get to the heart of the survey. That isn’t reporting. That’s insulting to the point that I should question whether President Potter is paying the Times to be his off-campus PR firm.

The graphic titled the numbers tell the story raises some important questions about President Potter’s competency and trustworthiness. In addition to the questions in the above paragraph, there are other damning questions. Here are some examples:

  1. Only 20% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management shares information openly and transparently.
  2. Only 29% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management is approachable.
  3. Only 26% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management delivers on its promises.
  4. Only 25% of survey respondents agreed with this statement: Management has a clear view.

The Times is cheating its readers by not asking hard-hitting questions. Apparently, the Times’ goal is to take whatever information President Potter gives them, then turns it into a story that praises President Potter.

President Potter’s decisions have taken St. Cloud State from being the flagship university in the MnSCU to being a distant 2nd place and fading fast. The only thing more disgusting than SCSU’s decline during President Potter’s watch is how the St. Cloud Times has refused to challenge President Potter’s spin.

The damning information is there for those willing to look for it. It’s apparent that Dave Unze isn’t willing to look for that type of information. It’s apparent that the Times management isn’t interested in holding Mr. Unze accountable for not digging into the story the way a real reporter would do.

This paragraph is insulting:

“As in any complex organization, there are folks that think that St. Cloud State is a great place to work. There is strong agreement among them about why they think that’s true,” Potter said.

When only a third of SCSU employees think management is competent, that’s a sign that there aren’t many folks who think SCSU is a great place to work.” When a fourth of SCSU’s employees think that management’s words match its actions, it’s impossible to think that SCSU employees trust President Potter and his senior management team. In the private sector, those survey results would get the CEO terminated immediately.

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This article sickens me because it’s intellectually dishonest. Baird Helgeson is intent on portraying the DFL as heroic tax cutters. That’s BS. The DFL is the party that taxes first, then waits to see if there’s a backlash. If there’s a backlash, they pass a Tax Repair Bill like they did Friday.

“This is a monumental victory for the DFL leadership in the Legislature and just shows that we have a balanced approach to Minnesota,” Dayton said during a celebratory news conference with DFL House and Senate leaders. “That’s what people wanted.”

Despite Gov. Dayton’s attempt to praise the DFL leadership in the House and Senate, it’s just proof that Gov. Dayton is intent on painting over his criticism of Sen. Bakk earlier this week. Here’s what he said earlier this week:

I’m very disappointed that we have not been able to reach a bill and frankly, we’ve got a meeting this afternoon with House and Senate leaders. I just have to say that the impasse isn’t around the tax bill. It’s about the Legislative Office Building and the Senate’s insistence that they have the building and they aren’t willing to let a reasonable tax bill proceed on a timely basis until they get the building and the House’s unwillingness at this point to agree to that. So I hope that Minnesotans will communicate with their legislators, and these are Democrat legislators, I’m sorry to say, that this is inexcusable and unacceptable.

Which is it, Gov. Dayton? Does Sen. Bakk deserve praise for stalling a bill to pressure the House into approving Bakk’s Palace? Does the DFL deserve praise for passing the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history last year, then repealing a tiny fraction of them this year? Does the DFL deserve praise for raising taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000 last year, then giving $440,000,000 of that back this year?

Minnesotans shouldn’t be happy that the DFL finally listened to them. They shouldn’t be happy that the DFL did the right thing only after the DFL started worrying about this year’s elections. That isn’t representing the people. That’s voting the DFL’s ideology.

It’s proof that the DFL will always do the right thing…when it’s the only option left.

The House and Senate passed the bill overwhelmingly on Friday. Nearly every Republican joined most DFLers in backing it, but GOP members criticized the majority for a provision in the bill that adds $150 million to state budget reserves. That brings the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $800 million, but Republicans said that money should go back to taxpayers too.

Putting that much money into the state’s rainy day fund is criminal. That’s stealing money from businesses that would create jobs with it. The DFL is putting money aside so the DFL won’t have to spend money efficiently. They’d rather pay off their special interest allies with the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. The DFL wouldn’t be able to pay off their special interest allies with taxpayers money if money was spent efficiently. It’s time the DFL stopped feeding their special interest allies and started representing their constituents.

Thus far, the DFL hasn’t proven that they’re interested in doing the right thing the first time. They’ve proven quite the opposite. This week, the DFL proved that they’ll do the right thing only when they’re worried about the next election.

That isn’t leadership. That’s called brinksmanship, which shouldn’t be rewarded with praise. This isn’t tax relief:

Much of the tax relief is delivered by conforming to recent changes in federal tax law, and about $57 million of it is retroactive to taxes paid in 2013.

Typically, tax conformity is the first bill passed by the legislature each year. It’s typically the first bill the governor signs each year. By waiting until after thousands of people have filed their tax returns before passing the tax conformity bill, the DFL just caused taxpayers the headache of filing an amended return. The DFL didn’t give thousands of people the opportunity to do their taxes once. Instead, Sen. Bakk opted to force thousands to file amended returns.

That isn’t cause for celebration. That’s cause for criticism. The DFL, specifically Sen. Bakk, put a high priority on getting the Senate Office Building approved. The DFL, especially Sen. Bakk, didn’t put a high priority on passing what I’m calling the Tax Repair Bill. Sen. Bakk said that the Senate couldn’t be rushed into passing the Tax Repair Bill because they were studying the impacts the tax repeals would have.

Sen. Bakk said that until he was exposed as playing political games with the Tax Repair Bill. Then he went into warp speed.

The GOP deserves praise in this for not supporting the biggest tax increase in Minnesota history. The GOP deserves praise for not buying into the DFL’s counterproductive tax increases. Minnesotans deserve praise for passionately criticizing the DFL’s tax increases.

UPDATE: This video is sickening:

Speaker Thissen spoke about tax relief for possibly 1,000,000 Minnesotans. Sen. Bakk praised the DFL for working at warp speed to get these tax ‘cuts’ passed. Isn’t it interesting that Sen. Bakk conveniently omitted the part about how he tried holding the tax repeals hostage to force the House to approve his Senate Office Building project? He didn’t budge until Gov. Dayton threw him under the bus because the political backlash was threatening a second Dayton term.

Sen. Bakk deserves criticism for playing politics with this Tax Repair Bill. Speaker Thissen and Gov. Dayton deserve criticism for passing the original tax increases which they repealed Friday. The DFL ‘leadership’ deserves criticism for putting a higher priority on voting their ideology than representing their constituents.

The good news is that we can fix two-thirds of the problem this November.

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I wrote this post to highlight the Agenda Media’s willingness to parrot the DFL’s ‘tax cut’ rhetoric. Frankly, it’s insulting intellectually to hear them say that the DFL is cutting taxes. A little history lesson will illustrate the intellectual emptiness of the DFL’s claims.

Let’s start with 2010, when voters swept in a class of reformers, giving Republicans majorities in the House and Senate. That group of legislators started with a $6,200,000,000 deficit. Gov. Dayton immediately proposed the biggest tax increases in Minnesota history.

When the February budget forecast came out, the projected deficit had ‘dropped’ to $5,030,000,000. Immediately, Gov. Dayton took several proposed tax increases off the table. Here’s a list of Gov. Dayton’s tax increases:

Taxes: Largest Increase in History; Highest Rate in Nation -

New fifth tier of 13.95% for anyone earning over $500,000.
New fourth tier of 10.95% for single earning $85,000 or married filing jointly earning $150,000.
State property tax on Home Values over $1 million.
Closing Corporate and other Loopholes
Health Care Surcharges including the Granny Tax.
Other Tax Revenues including a car rental tax to help fund Minnesota tourism.
No complete payback of K-12 shift until 2023.

Spending: A 22% Increase

When the dust settled after the Dayton Shutdown, taxes weren’t raised. As a result, Minnesota’s economy rebounded. When the DFL took over the legislature, Gov. Dayton again proposed huge tax increases. He did this despite the fact that the projected deficit had dropped to $600,000,000. That’s quite the difference from the $6,200,000,000 deficit Republicans inherited.

Despite the tiny deficit, Gov. Dayton and the DFL proposed $2,400,000,000 in tax and fee increases. Gov. Dayton and the DFL included new business-to-business sales taxes in its ‘tax reform’ package. They also included increased LGA, allegedly to provide property tax relief.

Immediately, the business community criticized the B2B sales taxes and the income tax increases. Quickly, Gov. Dayton and the House DFL dropped those tax increases. The Senate DFL refused to play along with that. The Tax Bill that House and Senate Democrats voted for and that Gov. Dayton signed included those B2B tax increases along with money for Sen. Bakk’s Legislative Office Building.

Fast forward to this week. Gov. Dayton criticized Sen. Bakk for playing games with what I’m calling the DFL’s Tax Repair Bill. As a result, Sen. Bakk caved and eventually passed the Tax Repair Bill.

When a thief plunders a home, taking jewelry, high tech electronics and kitchen appliances, that’s a theft. If the thief returns the kitchen appliances, it’s still a theft. Similarly, raising taxes, then repealing a tiny portion of those taxes still means that the DFL raised taxes.

The reality is that Minnesota families will have a greater percentage of their paychecks confiscated because of the Dayton-DFL tax increases than they paid when this legislature was sworn in. That’s the verifiable reality.

Whether Heather Carlson, Mary Lahammer and Tom Scheck parrot the DFL’s chanting points, the plain truth is that Gov. Dayton and the DFL have raised taxes on every Minnesotan since taking office in 2013. No amount of tap-dancing by the DFL and the Agenda Media will change that.

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I just started watching Almanac’s Roundtable but I had to stop and write about what panelists Heather Carlson, Mary Lahammer and Tom Scheck said. Frankly, what they said is insulting. They’re disgraces to the reporting profession because they aren’t telling the whole truth.

When Cathy Wurzer asked Heather Carlson if passing these tax cuts was politically necessary to the DFL, Ms. Carlson said it was. Scheck followed up by saying that it was because the DFL “just raised taxes by $2.1 billion dollars.”

These aren’t tax cuts. A tax cut is when you lower the rate at which something is getting taxed. For instance, if income is getting taxed at 7.85% by the state, a tax cut would be lowering that rate. If farm equipment repairs aren’t subject to Minnesota’s sales tax, then the legislature passes their a bill that subjects farm equipment repairs to the state’s sales tax, then the legislature repeals the sales tax on farm equipment repairs, that isn’t a tax cut.

That’s returning things to where they were before the DFL legislature waged war on taxpayers. Another key portion of the Tax Correction Bill is tax conformity. That saves Minnesotans money but tax conformity is something that’s typically the first bill passed each year.

The truth is that the DFL raised taxes because Sen. Bakk insisted on punishing farmers, telecommunication companies and warehousing businesses. That’s where those B2B sales taxes came from. The truth is that the DFL raised other regressive taxes last year, too.

Now they’re trying to portray themselves as tax cutters when they’re really admitting that they raised taxes too much last year. What’s disappointing is that media personalities like Carlson, Lahammer and Scheck are playing along with the DFL’s storyline.

It’s disappointing from the perspective that societies that don’t get the whole truth make difficult decisions based on incomplete or faulty information. That’s a recipe for disaster. It’s also why the MSM is held in such low regard.

If Scheck, Lahammer and Carlson want to be DFL shills, that’s their right. In that case, however, taxpayers should insist that funding for TPT and MPR be cut dramatically because taxpayers shouldn’t pay for the DFL’s operations. If MPR and TPT can’t make it without taxpayer funding, that’s tough. That’s called the marketplace working perfectly.

The notion that MPR and TPT are the only real reporting outlets because they aren’t owned by corporate interests is insulting. They’re just as biased as Esme Murphy or Lori Sturdevant.

It’s time Minnesotans raised hell on this. They’re getting cheated by DFL spinmeisters pretending to be reporters. These reporters bought the DFL’s storyline without hesitation. A reporter’s job is to question people in authority. Carlson, Lahammer and Scheck apparently don’t think that’s part of their responsibility.

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I’ve had tons of justification for being hypercritical of the St. Cloud Times over the years. What I’m about to share with you is proof that the Times isn’t just unprofessional. It’s proof that they’re either corrupt or totally clueless. This graphic contains the results of the Great Place to Work Institute’s survey conducted at St. Cloud State:

Look at that. When asked if “management’s words match its actions”, only 24% of respondents said yes. When asked if “management is competent”, only 32% said yes. When asked if “management makes sound financial decisions”, only 28% said they did.

I’ve been writing about these issues for over a year. These results aren’t surprising to me. They’re what I expected. What’s disheartening is that the St. Cloud Times, the supposedly professional journalists in town, hasn’t seen fit to write a single critical article about the University.

The reality is that they opened a recent Our View editorial with this quote:

The level of trust that exists between the faculty, staff and administration is not what it needs to be to be among the very best.”

That the Times didn’t even think about challenging President Potter’s statement indicates that the Times either sees itself as SCSU’s off-campus PR staff or they’re totally unaware of what’s happening on campus. Newspapers have an affirmative responsibility to inform their readers. The Times has repeatedly failed in that responsibility when it comes to SCSU.

At best, they’re unreliable because they aren’t interested in the truth. At worst, they’re unreliable because they’ve been corrupted by President Potter’s charms.

I’ve proudly published Silence Dogood’s articles on LFR. In all that time, the Times didn’t attempt to identify Silence. That’s disturbing because Silence’s articles have brought to light unpleasant truths about President Potter’s questionable financial decisions or grade corruption by improperly removing students’ participation in classes they failed.

A professional newsgathering organization should get interested in these corrupt activities. That the Times wasn’t interested in these thoroughly documented scandals is the journalistic equivalent of indicting the Times of a series of A-level felonies. How can you serve the public good when you aren’t interested in getting even basic facts published?

If you get your information from the Times, I hope you’re satisfied with getting a tiny bit of what’s important to you. If you’d like more than just bits and pieces of news, please consider dropping money in my tip jar. Better yet, consider making a monthly contribution so this important reporting can continue. Rest assured that any contributions are appreciated.

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Earlier this week, I spoke with a suburban legislator about whether the House Rules Committee would vote to prevent the building of the Senate Office Building. This legislator said that there’s virtually no chance the Rules Committee will vote to stop construction of Sen. Bakk’s Palace for Politicians, adding that Sen. Bakk is playing hardball on a host of issues to guarantee he gets his palace.

This article is just verification for me:

The old adage “two can play that game” is being played out at the Capitol as DFLers in the House and the Senate go nose to nose, jaw to jaw, threat to threat.

There’s a common belief among DFL House members, as well as Republican senators, that Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk is going to slow down virtually every bill of substance the House passes until he gets the Senate Office Building he seems to want so much.

It’s quite melodramatic to say that the House and Senate are about to go “nose to nose, jaw to jaw, threat to threat.” This is the tipoff that a deal is imminent:

The House Rules Committee, headed by Murphy, has held a hearing but has taken no vote — and has no vote planned. “We’re doing our due diligence,” said Murphy of her plans for the bill.

That’s legislative speak for “We have a big stick and we’re gonna use it.”

That’s political speak for ‘we won’t say yes until Bakk says yes on our stuff.’ The minute the House gets what it wants, the House Rules Committee will approve the plans for Bakk’s Palace for Politicians. The House Rules Committee isn’t primarily interested in doing what’s right for Minnesotans. They’re thinking only in terms of how many things on their ideological wishlist they can get signed into law. Period.

Make no mistake about this: If the House Rules Committee approves plans for Bakk’s Palace for Politicians, they will have said ‘the taxpayer be damned.’ They will have voted to give a spoiled brat and elitist what he wants. The DFL’s concern for taxpayers is virtually nonexistent.

Despite Rep. Murphy’s insistence otherwise, there’s no due diligence to do. The building is a waste of $90,000,000. The Senate doesn’t need this building:

The DFL House and Gov. Dayton don’t care about taxpayers. If they did, they wouldn’t have put this spending initiative in last year’s Tax Bill. If the DFL wants to be tagged with the reputation of out-of-touch big spenders who don’t care about taxpayers, they should vote today to approve Sen. Bakk’s Palace for Politicians project.

If, however, the DFL wants to earn the reputation of caring about taxpayers, they’d better change directions and stop spending taxpayers’ money on foolish things like Bakk’s Palace.

Finally, Sen. Bakk apparently thinks he’s in the driver’s seat because they aren’t up for re-election this year. He might get what he wants this year but the taxpayers will remember. They’ll remember because I’ll repeatedly remind them in 2016. I’ll remind taxpayers that their senators foolishly spent $90,000,000 on Bakk’s Palace. I’ll even remind people which DFL senators voted for Bakk’s Palace.

Good luck with that, Sen. Bakk.

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John Bodette’s column would be funny if the Times’ inactions weren’t so serious. This is the paragraph that caught my attention:

During the past couple weeks, we have worked hard to protect the public’s right to see important data tied to hiring decisions regarding key figures in two of our communities.

Then Bodette highlights 2 instances where the Times’ reporters appear to have done their jobs. Here’s the first example:

The Sartell-St. Stephen school board was working on a final contract offer to present to the person board members decided was their best choice for the job of superintendent.

It is our position that the proposed contract should be public. Taxpayers and citizens deserve to see what is in the contract proposal so they can give their feedback to board members before a final vote is taken.

Here’s the other example:

Our second challenge revolved around the Cold Spring City Council’s efforts to decide whether to offer a contract to its selection for police chief. The council held two closed meetings on the subject. We protested the closure. We have concerns about some of the actions that appear to have been taken during those meetings. We will pursue efforts to see if the council’s actions were in compliance with the state’s Open Meeting Law.

It isn’t that the Times reporters shouldn’t demand transparency from school boards and city councils. It’s that the Times’ consistency in demanding transparency apparently stops when the subject turns to St. Cloud State. Last Sunday’s Times Our View Editorial talked about the Great Place to Work Institute’s survey:

The next step in addressing those challenges is for Potter’s administration to begin releasing results of an employee attitude survey it conducted through a private company known as the Great Place to Work Institute.

Potter said more than 150 pages of written comments were compiled along with other findings, all of which the administration plans to examine and address through listening sessions and employee meetings in the coming months.

While the university has yet to officially release findings, it’s a safe bet they resemble a recent Inter Faculty Organization survey that found more than half of St. Cloud State faculty have a negative perception of the university.

That’s sloppy journalism. Why think that the GPTW survey would have similar findings to the IFO survey done more than 2 years earlier? Why shouldn’t the Times’ journalists think that the results would be worse? After all, the editorial hinted that morale on campus was low:

Vowing to improve workplace morale is always a big challenge. That’s an understatement at St. Cloud State, where the past several years have seen drastic budget cuts and program closures happen alongside tens of millions of dollars in campus expansion projects.

Why isn’t the Times interested in the negative things happening on campus? Doesn’t the public have a right to know that, too? The Times ran one story on the transcript scandal. Even then, it didn’t bother sending its own reporter to cover the story.

St. Cloud State is a major employer in St. Cloud. Its budget is north of $210,000,000. Those facts can’t be denied. It’s easy to deny, though, the fact that the Times’ coverage of St. Cloud State has been spotty at best. LFR has gotten more exclusives about what wrong at SCSU than the Times has. In fact, it isn’t that close.

Finally, it’s time the Times stopped playing its games about how both sides are to blame for the morale problems at SCSU. They aren’t. Next week, I’ll show proof that SCSU’s morale is the result of the Potter administration’s mismanagement.

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I wish I didn’t have to continually criticize the SC Times for publishing this outlandish editorial. It’s just that I find their intellectual dishonesty that repulsive. This paragraph is especially repulsive:

Faculty and staff leaders need to get engaged, too. They must start by demanding accountability of employees who seek anonymity in making potentially damaging claims but offer no proof of what they are saying.

The Times didn’t write about a specific person who’s allegedly making these claims. They wouldn’t even talk about what claims were supposedly made. They didn’t even offer proof that this anonymous troublemaker was making things up. Instead, they talked about anonymity and not offering proof.

That’s the picture of gutlessness and hypocrisy. That’s called accountabilility for thee, just not for me.

Aside from that, it’s time for someone to hold the Times accountable for not living up to its promises. For instance, John Bodette has promised that the Times would do more investigative reporting than the year before. He’s done that each of the last 2 years.

What’s interesting is that I haven’t seen proof that a Times reporter has submitted a data practices act request, aka a DPAR, to the University to dig into a controversial subject?

Thus far, I haven’t seen anything resembling an investigative article from the Times on the transcript scandal. I wrote here about how “the St. Cloud Times couldn’t be bothered with dispatching one of their education beat reporters to the campus to cover the student transcript fiasco.” Instead, they ran Conrad Wilson’s MPR article.

Why hasn’t the Times dug into the Coborn’s Plaza financial fiasco? It’s been open more than 3 years. SCSU lost #2,250,000 the first 2 years it was open. At a SCSU Budget Advisory Committee meeting this year, the Committee members were told that the University hoped to keep the losses to “only” $980,000 this year.

When the Times reported on the University’s fall semester enrollment, the Times ‘reported that enrollment was down 1.3%. That was the administration’s figure. The MnSCU FYE figure, which gives the accurate picture of the University’s enrollment health, was significantly different:

The MnSCU website on the thirtieth day classes showed enrollment at SCSU to be down 5.6% in FYE (full-year equivalent).

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The Times Editorial Board has said some insulting things throughout the years but this editorial is as disgusting as it gets. That’s why I had to write this post. Unfortunately, that post didn’t cover everything that needed to get covered. This paragraph must be slapped down ASAP:

Faculty and staff leaders need to get engaged, too. They must start by demanding accountability of employees who seek anonymity in making potentially damaging claims but offer no proof of what they are saying.

This is a reference to Silence Dogood’s articles that I’ve published here. Silence’s posts are accurate to the extent that that’s possible. The information Silence has talked about comes from either SCSU documents or from the MnSCU website. If the Times want to dispute Silence’s statistics, they’d better prepare to dispute SCSU’s or MnSCU’s documentation. Good luck with that. Adding insult to injury, the Times closed their surreal editorial with this paragraph:

Potter’s administration stands willing to work through such issues in a credible manner. Faculty and staff should do the same.

That’s insulting. President Potter has dealt harshly with people who’ve dissented from his dictates, including students. He’s berated professors in front of student, too. He’s lied to the City Council. Either that or he lied to people on campus.

When the Faculty Association asked him if he’d consider re-opening the Aviation at a meet & Confer meeting, President Potter said he wouldn’t because changing his mind would make his administration look weak. That’s what President Potter said.

The first step that’s required is for President Potter to admit that the faculty’s claims aren’t unsubstantiated allegations. If President Potter isn’t willing to admit that, then he isn’t interested in serious fence-mending. If President Potter isn’t willing to get treatment for his temper, why should students or faculty think he’s interested in putting forth a good faith effort to improve SCSU’s morale?

These are lovely-sounding gestures but they’re irrelevant. Actions, not lovely-sounding gestures, are what’s needed. Frankly, I’m skeptical that President Potter is interested in improving campus morale unless it’s on his terms. There’s nothing in his history that suggests he’s interested in a give-and-take amongst equals. That’s right. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

What type of man yells at students? What type of man says that changing his mind is a sign of weakness? What type of man thinks that he can tell faculty on campus that he’s closing a program because its curriculum is unfocused, then tell the City Council that he canceled “a great program that we couldn’t afford anymore?”

The only thing worse than President Potter’s deceitfulness and intimidation is the Times’ consistent attempts to cover up President Potter’s misdeeds. They aren’t a news organization. They’re a media outlet. Contrary to their allegations in this editorial, the accusations highlighted by Silence Dogood’s articles are filled with verifiable information. What’s especially disappointing is that the Times knows that Silence’s articles aren’t unsubstantiated allegations.

Rather than admitting that, the Times chose to act like President Potter’s PR firm. It’s especially sad to see the Times playing the role of stenographer rather than acting like a news organization. Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising.

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