When a department is closed at a MnSCU college or university, there’s a procedure that’s supposed to be followed. Part of that procedure is meeting with “the appropriate constituencies, including faculty, students and the community.”

When the Aviation Department was terminated at SCSU, President Potter didn’t follow that procedure. Based on this article in the SCSU Chronicle, a different procedure was followed in picking a new athletic director:

Daniel J. Schumacher, Josh Fenton, Heather L. Weems were the three finalists for the athletic director position at SCSU. An open forum was hosted by the SCSU athletic department on Wednesday.

The forum was open to everyone in St. Cloud. Finalists had their own forum in the different rooms and at different times at Halenback Hall. Each forum lasted 50 minutes. SCSU’s staff, alumni and public had a 30 minute question and answer session with the finalists on each forum.

The first thing I thought of was a question. Why wasn’t this procedure followed prior to shutting down the Aviation Department? Shouldn’t the community have been entitled to ask President Potter, Provost Malhotra and Dean DeGroote? Shouldn’t community leaders have had their input considered before a decision was made? Shouldn’t terminating a jobs-producing program be given the same consideration, if not more consideration, as hiring SCSU’s next AD?

The forums finished at 4:50 p.m. Those who attended had the chance to evaluate each finalist and returned their feedback by by 12 p.m. on Thursday to the President’s Office.

Community leaders didn’t get the opportunity to voice their opinions on the Aviation Program’s closing. It’s fair to ask whether that’s because President Potter didn’t want to hear the community’s input on whether he should terminate SCSU’s Aviation Department. It isn’t a stretch to think that he didn’t because many of the people who contribute to SCSU are big supporters of the Aviation Department.

It’s a sad day when the community has greater input opportunities in hiring SCSU’s AD than they had when deciding which programs to close. That’s what poor prioritization looks like.

President Potter is losing control of the campus. There are issues swirling that are beyond his control. That’s likely to affect his administration going forward. If President Potter doesn’t quickly address these issues, he’ll lose credibility with civic and business leaders.

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3 Responses to “SCSU’s inconsistent behavior puzzling”

  • Nick says:

    My website http://www.savescsuaviation.com/ is nearly ready to go to the major newspapers and TV stations in MN and a few in WI. Still have to put a video in there, change the favicon (icon in the address bar), and have to have SCSU Aviation Alumni post in the guestbook what track of aviation that they went for, where they work right now, and why the SCSU Aviation Department helped them get the job that they currently have. Once those things happen, I will send the website and have the major newspapers in MN and WI, and the major TV stations in MN run a story about the SCSU Aviation Program. And btw, all of the city council videos are up!!!

  • Bob J. says:

    I counted nine grammatical and spelling errors in the first three paragraphs and photo cutline at the link. In addition to having well-documented problems with institutional control, someone at SCSU needs instruction in basic writing skills.

    Good catch, Gary.

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