On the job training for college administration

It is important in these times to not first think of yourself and the security you find comforting. We see you wrapped in your title and position, with all the hierarch at your flank. Not only are you showered with status, compensation, don’t forget you also must also exercise leadership qualities sporadically.

Here are some pointers:

  1. Leaders do not consider their job security over the security of their staff and students.

  2. Leaders do not ignore students and constituents in favor of constantly repeating that they are “professional outside agitators / protestors”. I will remind you many of these folks grew up in the same communities as you did. They likely played with your children and know your family to a much better degree than you may like to admit. It is insulting to call these people outsiders. Especially because we all know that is how you really feel about us / them.

  3. Your country is more important than your job. The hubris some university leaders have to think they are in a position to continue to lead is delightfully absurd. You may want to read the writing on the wall, it is your resignation letter.

Here is my open letter to university heads and politicians (you know who you are).

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The following was produced in collaboration with ChatGPT.

We are writing to you with deep concern regarding recent events on college campuses across the country, where peaceful protestors are being met with aggressive tactics by law enforcement, and where the voices of dissent are being silenced under the guise of maintaining safety.

As educators and leaders within our academic communities, we believe it is our duty to uphold the principles of free speech and peaceful assembly, which are fundamental to the pursuit of knowledge and the advancement of society. However, recent actions taken by some college administrations to suppress dissenting voices and quell peaceful protests raise serious concerns about the state of academic freedom and civil liberties on our campuses.

We understand that administrators may face difficult decisions when it comes to balancing the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff with the need to uphold the principles of free speech and peaceful protest. However, we urge you to exercise restraint and caution in your response to protests, and to refrain from calling law enforcement to suppress peaceful demonstrations.

It is imperative that college campuses remain spaces where diverse perspectives can be freely expressed, debated, and challenged, without fear of reprisal or censorship. By resorting to heavy-handed tactics to quash dissent, college administrations not only undermine the principles of academic freedom and civil liberties but also risk alienating and disenfranchising members of the academic community who are deeply committed to social justice and positive change.

We call on you to demonstrate leadership and integrity by engaging in constructive dialogue with protestors, listening to their concerns, and working collaboratively to address issues of mutual concern. Let us reaffirm our commitment to fostering an inclusive and respectful campus environment, where all voices are heard and respected, and where the pursuit of truth and justice is upheld above all else.

We stand ready to work with you to uphold the principles of free speech, academic freedom, and peaceful protest on our college campuses. Together, let us strive to create a better future for all members of our academic community.

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Very well said!

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