Dear President Ken Gormley,

“Honor bespeaks worth. Confidence begets trust. Service brings satisfaction. Cooperation proves the quality of leadership” – James Cash Penney

Listen. That’s all we ask of you. You said you heard us. You thanked us for showing our dissident. You said you were “eager to hear our views”. But, Mr. Gormley, are you really listening?

Students and professors lined the hallways of McAnulty April 7th imploring you to hear us. Silently we begged. You’re not listening to our problems, so we silently asked you to understand our side of the conversation. We held signs asking you to save DU Press, signs reminding you how we feel about liberal arts. But, did you look at them?

When many liberal arts students heard about the budget cuts, student organizations gathered to show their support of the school and DU Press. The university announced budget cuts, a total of $1.5 million with one-third of that coming from McAnulty, and the reallocation of those funds from one school to another. Also announced was the shutdown of DU Press, a $300,000 cut.

We understand that budget cuts happen; it’s basically a part of life. The students of the Liberal Arts school just want an honest conversation with you. We want you to hear us out. The funds were reallocated because enrollment numbers are down, but we just want you to see what our money is working towards.

All we want is to understand where our tuition money goes to. All we want is a voice in decision-making processes that affect students.

With new renovations to the A.J. Palumbo Center coming, it’s a wonder if that is where our money is actually being reallocated to. The Palumbo Center’s recent renovations have totalled almost $7 million. The new renovations come on the back of news that the new men’s basketball coach’s salary will be $7 million. It’s logical to question whether these budget cuts are all for academics or not.

Duquesne University is known for their education programs, not their sports. A majority of the students come here to get a quality education at a well-respected school. It’s disheartening to hear that the education programs are taking a backseat to a losing men’s basketball team.

We implore you, President Gormley, to listen! Listen to our concerns. Listen to your students, your faculty. Be a president that listens to those you serve. We don’t want a president so removed from his students that he doesn’t understand what they want or hear what their interests are.

Please hear us out; don’t shut us out.

Sources:

Addeo, Brandon. “Duquesne Press to close, other budget cuts imminent.” The Duke, 6 April 2017.

Burnet, Kaye and Brandon Addeo. “Students stage silent protest of budget cuts before Liberal Arts faculty meeting [UPDATED].” The Duke, 7 April 2017.

Spencer, Sarah K. “Are Palumbo Center renovations on the horizon?” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 6 March 2017.

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