This is a letter to the Editors and Staff of The Express. Please share with all of those students who contribute to the publication. If you would like to include this in The Express Newspaper, we request that it be included in its entirety.
Respect and responsibility
Last Friday The Express wrote a news article regarding President Walthers facing criticism from various factions on campus and his announcement that he will be seeking a job elsewhere. The news article discusses some of the conflicts experienced this past year with varying degrees of accuracy; it should be noted that not all faculty agree with the article.
We are facing obstacles that are unprecedented in our district and conflicts have arisen that have left us frustrated and demoralized but we are continuing to think through ways of making the seemingly impossible possible.
The president of a college is our advocate during district meetings regarding resource allocation, our representative in the greater community and provides the leadership to ensure consistency in the student experience.
The person in this role carries a lot of responsibility and requires respect in order to be successful. It is a journalistic duty to report on issues and conflicts. To do this takes courage. To do it in a balanced and respectful way is challenging, but essential if the integrity of the press is to be preserved.
How an article is written can undermine the work of any future president, of any college leader (faculty and classified too) and may deter future candidates from wanting to work at our school.
Let it be noted that while five presidents have come and gone at Las Positas in the last 9 years, faculty are constant and faculty are the institutional memory of this college.
As Las Positas faculty, we strive to communicate our concerns on any topic in a respectful, constructive manner, and we hope that this tone sets an example for our students and community.
We support free speech and commend you on covering some very important issues facing our campus this year, such as how LPC layoffs have created transfer problems and highlighting our specialized 1440 degrees that offer a fast track for students to four year colleges.
As a newspaper that is read by many on our campus and in our surrounding community, you have a unique opportunity to highlight the obstacles students face and the efforts to continue to improve our students’ experiences in a way that compliments the values of Las Positas College.
These are issues that our students and community need to be aware of and what a powerful way to get the information out there. We need to constructively work through conflict and consider what impact our actions will have. Our time and resources are valuable, rare and powerful. When focused, what power they unleash – both positive and negative – is up to us.
We have a choice about what our legacy will be. As a newspaper that is read by many on our campus and in our surrounding community, you have a unique responsibility to figure out how to use that voice and what your legacy will be.
Sincerely the following faculty,
Kristine Woods, Colin Schatz, Debbie Fields, David Everett, Craig Kutil, Barbara Zingg, Terry Johnson, Richard Grow, Ashley McHale, Bill Paskewitz, Angella VenJohn, Bob D’Elena, Joel Gagnon, Heike Gecox, Teresa Henson, Keith Level, LaVaughn Hart, Moh Daoud, Adeliza Flores, Gerry Gire, Scott Miner, Mike Ansell, Jane McCoy, Mark Tarte, Christina H. Lee, Jim Gioa, Brian Owyoung, Greg Daubenmire, Randy Taylor, Barbara Morrissey, Cindy Keune, Ruchira Majumdar, John Gonder, Jason Morris, Eric Harpell, Thomas Orf, Lisa Weaver, Rajeev Chopra, Elizabeth Abril, Gilberto Victoria.