This Our View editorial in the Times isn’t surprising considering their disgust with conviction politicians. It isn’t surprising that the Times is running interference for St. Cloud State again.

Councilman Johnson’s understanding of the airline industry has caused him to ask a number of pointed questions about daily flight service to Chicago. Being an expert on that issue isn’t a liability, though the Times apparently think it’s a liability. It’s a strength. Councilman Johnson isn’t afraid to ask tough questions while the Times and other politicians try sweeping things under the rug.

Further, it’s beyond galling to see the Times write about conflicts of interest, especially with regards to St. Cloud State. The Times has played multiple roles in its relationship with St. Cloud State and President Potter. They’ve been SCSU’s PR agency. They’ve been Potter’s stenographer, too. Unfortunately, the thing they haven’t been are unbiased reporters of fact.

If you weren’t reading LFR, you likely don’t know that SCSU has hidden, with the Times’ help, the fact that administrators have erased students’ participation in classes from the University’s official transcripts. If you haven’t read LFR, you certainly wouldn’t know that St. Cloud State’s tuition revenues have dropped dramatically thanks to a precipitous drop in enrollment. One Times article even said that enrollment for a semester was only down 1.3%, which is technically accurate if you’re going by headcount enrollment.

Had the Times reported that FYE enrollment, which is the only enrollment that’s predictive of tuition revenues, that semester was down close to 5%, they might’ve seen this year’s $9,542,000 budget deficit. Unfortunately, they didn’t report it, then were surprised when President Potter was forced to announce that SCSU’s operating deficit for FY2015 will be at least $9,542,000. It’s still possible, unfortunately, that it might reach higher.

If you haven’t read LFR, you wouldn’t know that President Potter’s trust rating with the faculty was terrible. The best that the Times has done is admit that there’s a problem and that both sides need to work together to solve the problem. The Times hasn’t said anything critical of President Potter with respect to the Great Place to Work Institute’s Trust Index Survey. When the Institute asked if the administration didn’t play politics, only 17% of faculty agreed with that statement.

Not surprisingly, the Times didn’t report that. Instead, they talked about the need for both sides to work together.

LFR is calling on the Times to abandon their SCSU cheerleader uniforms and to become a serious news organization. Their unwavering support for President Potter, frankly, is disgusting. If they won’t stop being President Potter’s off-campus PR firm, then people shouldn’t take their Our View editorials seriously.

2 Responses to “SC Times’ conflict of interest”

  • Jarrett says:

    My comment to the article (and I had not read LFR yet)
    I encourage everyone to support MR Johnson

    Greg Jarrett

    MARY: He was unopposed. Cute reference as to one trick pony though. LORI: unfortunately, for the Times, this is EXACTLY the reason for this “opinion”.PERCEPTION
    The truth of the matter is that Mr. Johnson brings forth real challenging and tuff questions that are not getting answered…by anyone….period.
    This City depends on SCSU in a big way. SCSU has lost and is continuing to lose huge numbers in enrollment and is losing MILLIONS (9 million deficit RIGHT NOW) under the current leadership. The aviation program WAS closed improperly. North Dakota is laughing at SCSU and put an aviation billboard on I-94 to throw in in their face and recruit students. Take a look at THEIR enrollment
    SCSU has a nearly empty 40+ million building, empty student housing, rising crime on campus … Those are simple FACTS
    While that is NOT officially St Cloud “business” it DOES affect St Cloud.
    IF perception IS reality, then the Times also “perceives” everything is fine, ITS NOT.
    In the larger picture directly tied to SCSU is the MNSCU Chancellor who has received unanimous NO CONFIDENCE VOTE STATEWIDE, and he makes more money than ANYBODY in State Government AND the President of The United States. You’re kidding me , right?
    His leadership DIRECTLY affects SCSU.
    I’m sorry but I think Mr. Johnson is a breath of fresh air.
    PLEASE somebody tell me that SCSU is NOT important in the financial well being and stability of the City of St Cloud. Mr. Johnson has every right as a good Councilman to ask these questions. My question is why aren’t the rest of them? Every person reading this, in some way is affected by SCSU and its enrollment.
    The MAIN reason the Times wrote this “opinion” is just defense of the force feeding “happy talk” that many of us know differently, first hand. My AXE is that many in this town are asleep to the obvious huge cultural, economic and social tidal wave of changes that is supported by the leadership at SCSU and the Chancellor of MNSCU.
    THAT is NOT perception. That is also a FACT.
    SCSU will become a Mosque and Coborn’s will become Goat markets before anyone wakes up!!!
    BRAVO Mr. Johnson keep up the good work!!!

    Reply · · about an hour ago

  • Overseas student says:

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about councilman Johnson. He asked hard questions about St. Cloud’s air service to Chicago including the fact that there needs to be more passengers, the unfair competition with federal subsidies, and he mentioned the critical airline pilot workforce problem.

    Sometimes I wonder how serious St. Cloud is about keeping air service. He also mentioned that Coborn’s Apartments lost almost 8 million bucks since it opened and how the taxpayers are paying for this, and if the city was going to approve the bonds at some later date.

    I see that people from the public are also staying there, too. I am sure that will go over real well with the hotels and other landlords. The Times claims that he is doing this to get his job back at St. Cloud State. Yea right! The stuff he brings up is legitimate and anyone with half a brain knows it.

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