Monday, December 29, 2008

Who Silenced Us?

A cult-like abhorrence to question anything uttered by Old Main pervades Penn State's culture. Silence and apathy are the glues that bind the Penn State way.

If you work at Penn State, decisions are made by the administration and those edicts are expected to be treated as though they're etched on stone tablets and brought down from Old Main by Moses.

Your opinion on tuition hikes, salary cuts, job titles, working conditions, spending decisions and building projects aren't needed. After all, you're fortunate just to have a job. Managers have little say if those decisions are off target, either; they're just responsible for pulling the trigger.

Penn State employees are disconnected from the Penn State legacy, a legacy that is reserved for deans and presidents, trustees and chancellors, whose pictures, they believe, will one day adorn the hallowed halls and ivory towers that they spend so much money on.

And, exactly, what type of legacy will it be? High tuition. Crippling debt. Reckless spending. Declining wages. Hostile working conditions.

It's time that Penn State staff members realize that they are critical in re-righting one of Pennsylvania's proudest educational institutions. If we are expected to sacrifice, we should at least be able to add a voice to the decisions that affect our students and our future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Penn State staff have feelings of ambivalence towards Penn State because of the disconnect. Of course, unless you are one of the elite or part of the good o'l boys gang. Just ask the staff who tried to unionize and got fired, demoted, or moved. If you don't think this is happening, you are very naive or one of them.