After the May 13 board decision, there was quite a bit of chatter among faculty members and the administration. Out of impassioned commentaries, I will remember one phrase in particular that was offered twice — a “shame on you” was sent in one direction and “shame on you” was returned.
I’m not trying to be critical of the people involved, but on the subject of closing two Lane Community College programs — this isn’t really the thoughtful analysis that is needed to sort out what happened. It is, however, a very accurate reflection of the process that actually closed the programs.
The administration would make a claim, followed by counterpoints from the faculty union. All mouths were talking, all ears were deaf, and at no point was there any true communication. There were legitimate budgetary concerns with the Auto Collision and Refinishing and Electronic Technology programs, but at no time were any true solutions considered. How sad.
I must say, though, I am walking away from these events with a fat little scrap book. I have clipped articles from The Torch and The Register Guard. My book also contains emails and written testimonies from students and community members — I am truly humbled by the support we have been given.
But in that light, I also feel a sense of failure. Had we honestly tried, could we have worked out a solution to save two programs? Did our community deserve more than we gave them? Does our best communication boil down to “shame on you?”
If that is the case, then shame on all of us.