I am on vacation. I am setting on the porch of a prefab cabin at the Crane Hotsprings.
It is a beautiful day.
I have internet. My wife is off searching for hot coffee. This is a hilariously working class resort.
Yesterday we were in Bend. There were lots of stringy tanned people with weird sandals and kayaks on the roof of their Subaru's. Now we are with people who have big-arsed pickups, Romeo shoes, baseball hats and Camo. There are a couple hippie families here also. I am not complaining or making negative judgements on either group. Everyone is friendly. It is just funny that there are differences between the two locations.
I am not sure of the point in writing about my college. I am sure most of my 20 remaining subscribers have heard about my
college University in the news as I have had calls from as far away New York asking me what is going on.
There are two parts to this. There is the Tyranny of Tenure Professors who are part of a small community of self-congratulating self styled intellectual writers that are the source of most news opinion in the country. They Twitter back and fourth about the dangers of White Supremacists and how terrible Donald Trump still is, and they live to be oppressed. They are so happy when someone objects to their stupidity because then their free speech rights are being restricted and they are being bullied. A love fest ensues.
college University has its own issues which won't allow it to respond to internal criticism. The University started as a small local college. There were ups and downs but it's heyday was twenty years ago when the economy was booming and the President was a lady who loved everybody.
When I was hired I the college contributed 11.25 percent of wages to retirement. My insurance payment was very reasonable and of course there was the free tuition with a tuition exchange program with like 400 other colleges.
There were also employee associations, I believe their was a faculty group, an administrator's group, and a hourly wage employee's association. We all felt we had a say in the governance of the college.
The new President thought we should all be one. It was his vision for unity at the college. He didn't realize that the groups had uniquely different needs and attitudes which needed a line of separation for the groups to function smoothly.
Then the Wu-Flu hit...
Suddenly we were all on zoom meetings. Then a decision was made to combine the Employees Association and the Administrators groups. We were pissed (hourly wage people). There are some serious differences between wage and hour people and their supervisors. Namely that some of the supervisors seem really nice but are really petty and mean. We nearly revolted. I actually talked to a labor organizer and then realized two things. I don't like labor organizers and I really don't have to work at the college.
Somehow we all feel we own the college. That is not true.
During the Wu-Flu crisis I worked from home. I put a sprayer together in my own shop. Did a pretty good job of it also. I also installed my own sprayer controller ($1000 retail value but I bought it on eBay for a lot less). I was unloading the sprayer in the parking lot. (one of the features of my sprayer is that one person can install it in the back of a Kawasaki Mule by himself) A long term employee of the college was making his rounds and stopped to help me, I joyfully explained all the features of my sprayer. He smiled and shook his head.
"Buddy," he said. "I have been here long enough to know one thing... L...... doesn't give a fuck about you..."
I was shocked but the more I thought about it the more I realized that the college was a bureaucracy and yes I was expendable. It was a wakeup call. I have been much happier since realizing this.
At the same time the English Professor revolted. This is when the real attack on the president started. It was so outrageous I had to defense the President. I emailed him and we patched things up. Had some coffee and talks about music and philosophy instead of Linfield issues. Honestly, the President doesn't like to be disagreed with. But, the thing is he had a vision. He was hired to change things. I don't like change but you have to do something. We were going broke, no one had a better idea. I mean starting a marching band seemed pretty cool but I think there might be more and better ideas.
The problem with the college is more than just a few faculty members who have tenure and shout down anyone who dare disagree with their woke White Savior complexes,
The administration does not respond well to change. They fall back on an authoritarian stance. We complain about retirement cuts we get an impassioned speech from an upper level administration lady who nearly breaks down in tears describing our "benefit rich" compensation package. It is no longer benefit rich, I could get a $10 per hour raise if I went to work for the local co-op. The college is no longer contributing to my retirement. My insurance is pretty expensive.
Four years ago (or so), before the current president, the Libertarian student association attempted to bring in a conservative speaker. Reshmi Dutt-Dutt went ballistic. Again, called students Nazi's. Wrote an incredibly self absorbed opinion piece against free speech on campus.
The administration didn't know what to do. Finally they found some bogus reason to force the speaker off campus. Security objected or something. But, they caved. And they caved in such a way as to piss everyone off.
The same thing is happening now. The school administration falls back on rules and fails to act proactively. There was a student protest over the firing of Daniel Pelzner-Pollack. Student wrote on sidewalks with chalk. Security followed behind and washed off the chalk. Apparently one security guy actually started fining students $25 for making a mess.
There was a protest at graduation. (The protests are pretty lame. Ten heavily masked odd looking students and four Professors with signs saying things like "do better," stand around and read poetry) Professors had the audacity to put signs in the windows of their building. The "do better" and "Fire Davis and Bacca" signs inspired a security raid on the offices and the signs were removed. Considering that probably half the student body and 3/4 of the parents think the angry professors are idiots the signs were inconsequential.
Now the Professors are claiming oppression and there has been another round of indignant articles in local press.
So the professor has been fired and the University is really not putting out any press on why and there are no articles showing what a great and personable fellow Miles Davis is. I suppose the plan is to just let it all blow over but I am not a PR guy.
Miles Davis is a cheerful and positive guy. He likes to hug people, he is interested in students. He is a good speaker, he works the crowd, he is a salesman. He thinks all his great ideas boosted enrollement by 10% his first year but I think it was him getting out there and shaking the hand of prospective students that boosted enrollment.
When my daughter was checking out colleges Miles Davis made an appointment with her and spoke with her in person. She was impressed. (Did not change her mind but she was impressed)
The wife of my coworker passed away from Pancreatic cancer. I was standing in front of the administration building with a coworker when Miles Davis came down the steps. He said he was going to the viewing and why didn't we go along. I went with him. We discussed religion and farming and paid our respects. I think that shows a great deal of humanity.
I don't really have an answer but I think it I such a shame that it all seems to be going to hell. I wish he would just fire them all and take the hit. There are three reasons to attend my University. Business, Nursing, and the Sports department really works hard to support student athletes regardless of their ability. Also, I think there used to be a good music department but I haven't heard a lot about music but it isn't like anyone from my University is going to read this blog. Also one good Psychology professor.
Whatever, I am going to try out the hot springs. Also brush up my resume...
I will proof read tomorrow... maybe...