SavingSLU Continues to Challenge Administration

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SavingSLU Continues to Challenge Administration

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Following up on the last issue’s story of the formation of SavingSLU, this article is meant to report on the proceedings of the teach-in of Sept. 25, not to be a commentary on the issues themselves. SavingSLU is an organization made up of faculty members from across campus whose goal is to inform other educators about perceived “threats” to Saint Louis University’s mission.


In the last issue, The University News stated that the organization would be holding “teach-ins” to share and discuss issues that the members of SavingSLU are concerned about. In the  teach-in on Sept. 25, over 40 faculty members gathered to hear presentations given by their peers. After the presentations, open discussion time was allowed for the attendees to share their thoughts. 


Three of the presentations were made available for public viewing on the group’s website. The opening remarks, made by Professor Penny Weiss, P.h.D. of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, focused on the topic of whistleblowers. Weiss described how many people who speak out against an issue may be unfairly characterized as “ill-informed or self-interested or ungrateful, and sometimes there is even retribution just for raising the issues.” 


Weiss also focused on the budget crisis at SLU and subsequent department cuts, stating that “the economic situation keeps most of us, as SLU workers, feeling vulnerable and even dispensable.” Keeping with her theme of the presentation, Weiss urged the attendees to continue their work in discussing issues they felt were detrimental to SLU, ending her remarks with the statement “We cannot afford to be silent, apathetic or misinformed.”


Another presentation, delivered by Professor David Rapach, P.h.D., John Simon Endowed Chair in Economics in  the Chaifetz School of Business, focused on the Sinquefield Donation to the Business School, a topic that Rapach has followed and commented on for a long time. In this presentation, Rapach detailed the “violations of well-established academic norms” that he felt were prevalent in the terms of the Sinquefield donation. 


Other presentations, including one by Associate Professor of Economics  Bonnie Wilson, P.h.D., which focused on governance and leadership, were made available on the SavingSLU website. The group promised to make more presentations available for public viewing as more events are held. 


Since the last issue, members of the administration reached out saying they felt the last report on SavingSLU was “lacking in accuracy and fairness,” but they did not give a comment or statement on SavingSLU itself. The administration has been contacted again to comment on the topic, and the UNews will hopefully have a statement to share in the next update to this ongoing story. Clayton Berry, Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Communications at SLU, told UNews that he would follow up on the issue and comment at a later date. 


The group held another teach-in on Wednesday, Oct. 2, where they discussed feedback on the previous meeting, the recent email from the Interim Provost’s Academic Portfolio Review Committee, general discussion about developments across the University and how to best share information and encourage participation. 


The SavingSLU movement is an on-going process that The University News intends to follow. More to come in the future.