Off the record, off the page
Posted April 21, 2006

Dear Faculty,
It’s no secret that relations between the colleges of Business, Education and the Arts and Sciences have become strained, to say the least.

It seems that behind the scenes, and behind one another’s backs, faculty and administrators from their respective colleges have been participating in something of an electronic feud.

And we at the Campus Times happened to get caught right in the middle of the whole joyous catfight, as you all are sending us unsolicited – and unsigned – copies of the caustic complaints, hoping we’ll publish something to support your side of the “discussion.”

While everyone tries to keep up a peaceful façade, we know very well that behind the scenes some folks are a little busy writing derogatory e-mails, calling co-workers names.

You want us to know, that’s why you’ve been keeping us abreast “off the record” of the blow-by-blow.

And we want to know what’s going on, because, hey, we love a good story.

But we’re a little frustrated because until you’re willing to go on the record, there is no story.

Now, we enjoy a controversy, but let’s get things straight. If you want to vent in the strongest published medium on campus, don’t do it off the record. If you alert us to your plans to write letters to the editor, or call for change in University governance, go through with it. Enough with the teasing. We’re offering you a forum, actually two: You can talk to us on the record and we’ll write a story, or you can send a letter to the editor.

Sending anonymous e-mails and leaking correspondences to the Campus Times gives us nothing to work with. The Campus Times is not a gossip rag. We will not print private letters (e-mailed, snail mailed, or hand-delivered) that were not intended for publication. While leaking correspondences does keep us in the know, we cannot publish any of the information without having someone back it up. This publication will not publish anonymous letters to the editor and will not publish articles based on hearsay.

That said, faculty, we have to say we’re a little disappointed in your recent pattern of clamming up on controversial stories.
With a few exceptions, you all have had a tendency to be MIA when we come a-knocking with the tough questions.

On the other hand, you’re eager to invite us to an event you’re sponsoring or to have us write about your recent accomplishments.
If an issue or incident on campus provokes your ire, don’t be afraid to make a stand publically to work for change; the Campus Times is more than happy to help. Simply biting your tongue and grousing privately can only make the problem worse.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s continue. A university cannot survive without all its colleges working together. This occurs when there is real communication among the academic and administrative sides, as well as within the academic realm. Name calling and fighting among colleges does not help the University, but rather hinders it.

There is no use whining about troubles to the Campus Times if no one will do anything to help the situation. It’s time to decide: Get over it or do something about it.

Off the record, off the page

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