In the past few weeks, President Scott Gordon and the Board of Regents have become hot topics around campus due to budget issues. After it was revealed that Gordon had accepted, and later returned, an $85,000 raise, the SFA community was enraged. But while the issue is being handled, SFA administration has mainly been attempting to communicate with the faculty of the University. Students deserve the same degree of communication from the SFA administration regarding these ongoing issues.
After the raise was first brought to the community’s attention through Facebook, Gordon sent out an email to faculty stating the raise would be returned. Both students and faculty were able to view the Facebook post; however, only one party was sent the email. Students only knew of the raise return if their professors informed them. This is creating a sense of distrust within the SFA community, and many students and parents are angered. Students now feel that not only is their education not valued anymore, but neither are they.
On Sept. 8, the Faculty Senate met with the Board of Regents Chair Karen Gantt. The Faculty Senate discussed the situation and came to a unanimous vote of no confidence for Gordon’s presidency. It was only after this vote was made that an email was sent out to students about the situation the following day. The email addressed the vote made by the Faculty Senate but did not directly say what the vote was. It’s unfair that students weren’t even aware of the meeting, and then weren’t even told directly what the vote was. Instead of being told facts, students were made promises.
Even though Gordon returned the money, it was only brought to the attention of the faculty that he did. Students found out thanks to news releases or their professors. Throughout the whole process, students have mainly been left in the dark – only receiving emails full of apologies instead of reports.
The Board of Regents and the President need to be more transparent with students, considering that it is their education that lies on the line. Having transparency will provoke less anger and will help students trust SFA administration throughout everything going on.