We’ve been arguing a lot here at The Free Press lately over, you guessed it, the recent budget cuts at USM. Trying to decide exactly what to write this editorial about, we decided that we couldn’t actually agree or come to a conclusion on any argument that related to the cuts.
That pesky $5 million seems to have had a similar effect on a number of administrators, faculty and students across campus. We figured that the reason why we couldn’t even agree to disagree was that we don’t actually know what’s going on, but then again, does anyone?
We can only agree that we’d like to know why. Why were the cuts so sudden and so aggressive, and why hasn’t the administration transparently and less bureaucratically answered that question? Why is academic affairs shouldering the brunt of the cuts? Why don’t we know how much money is currently spent at USM on administration, and why hasn’t a definitive list of cuts been released yet?
We’ve got a comprehensive list of questions that we’ve been adding to every day here in our office – come and see it if you feel inclined – and from talking to staff, faculty and students, it’s clear that we’re not the only ones who are reeling with confusion over the recent cuts. Rumors, paranoia and fear seem to have eked their way into the USM community, and we’re beginning to wonder, does anyone really know what’s going on?
We reasoned that this might be why none of our ‘whys’ are being answered, and why so many people are angry that we’re not telling them the answers. We’re not shy, we’ll tell you why we’re not giving you the answers you might be looking for – this whole budget debacle is a chaotic mess. As a university, we’re not seeing that we all play ball for the same team – team Save USM. We can’t win if we aren’t honest with each other. The students need to know what’s happening to their university, and if the university doesn’t know what’s going on, it’s probably time to figure that out.