Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Post letter to the editor: Administration needs to own up to decisions, face real issues

Administration needs to own up to decisions, face real issues

The recent sports cuts have demonstrated that the Ohio University administrators are lacking in leadership skills. The cutting of four varsity sports is a huge decision that affects many students here at our university; yet when those affected try to ask questions, they get the run around or are ignored all together. Statements given by President McDavis, including “I’d rather not get into the specifics,” is an unacceptable answer. The decisions made by university officials affect many lives and the administrators who make those decisions need to be held accountable.

I find it very disconcerting that officials at Ohio University time after time refuse to answer simple yes or no questions. “Does a university with a core value of integrity have an obligation to honor its words and commitments to its student-athletes?” It is a simple question, yet no one in the administration seems to have an answer. It is the responsibility of the administration to answer the question; it is your job. The students whose lives you have negatively altered deserve an answer. And the fact that administration officials would have the audacity to even suggest that the students asking these tough questions are immature is outrageous. The administration made a choice in cutting these sports, and it is their job to explain their reasons for that decision. In the case of cutting four sports, it seems there is an overwhelming amount of information that shows this decision was not the correct choice of action.

Our university is in a fiscal emergency, and the only solutions given have been cuts. These deficits have not appeared over night; there has been serious mismanagement by this and the former administration.

Cutting programs and cutting sports does not fix the problem; it just prolongs finding a solution. The administration has been trying to put a Band-Aid over its grave lack of fiscal responsibility. Cutting sports with very low budgets and small scholarship opportunities has an extremely detrimental affect on the school’s financial situation. For example, men’s swimming and diving brings in more than a half million dollars a year in tuition. Yes, the university saves a $30,000 budget, but then also risks losing more than $470,000 dollars in tuition. It is a very simple concept: $30,000 dollars pales in comparison to $470,000 dollars. Yes, cutting a few sports has a short-term appeal, but it does not provide a long-term solution and also negatively affects the university’s budget in the long run.

This administration, throughout every problem that has arisen, has tried to take the easy way out. Unfortunately, the easy way out usually comes with the most negative outcomes. Our university is in trouble, and our administration keeps running from the real issue. This institution has a lack of leadership and integrity, plain and simple. The current administration continues to make poor decisions that it cannot defend. There needs to be more accountability for every action taken by this administration from now on. I’m tired of half-hearted answers and complete avoidance to every question posed to this administration. McDavis, remember a public university is a university that is predominantly funded by the public, and the students pay your salary.

Branden Burns is a freshman political science and recreation management major.

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