The following article was originally printed in The Babbler on September 30, 1999. Much thanks to the staff of The Babbler for permission to reprint.|
Letter to the editor: Administration has not addressed student concerns
While beginning this semester and reflecting upon the events of this
past summer, we were left with a sour taste in our mouths.
Sour turned to bitter as the first month of this semester passed and
these controversial events were left untouched by the Administration.
The issues to which we are referring, namely the financial
circumstances surrounding the move to NCAA Division One and Doug Varnado's
"resignation", were covered by the Tennessean, other local media, and a few
short Babbler articles, but not by our own Administration.
First of all, the events at the end of the 1999 Spring Semester were
It does not seem merely coincidental that President Flatt's
announcement of the University's decision to move to NCAA D-1 was made
public after the semester's conclusion. It seemed apparent that this was a
strategic effort to avoid student reaction at the close of the semester.
The ramifications of this decision have affected, and will continue
to affect, each and every student financially, academically, and socially
from here on. This, however, was not reason enough to be public, and honest,
with the students about the decision.
Secondly, regardless of what anyone has said thus far, it is clear
that Doug Varnado's resignation had one or both of the following forces
behind it: donor's demands/contributions or the attempt to save face in the
wake of the events at Goodpasture High School.
We care not to argue at this time about the reason(s) for his
dismissal, but simply about the lack of communication between the
Administration and the student body concerning this decision.
Not once since the beginning of the semester has the name Varnado
even been mentioned in any public setting by an Administration member.
The common thread in these issues is the lack of communication
between the Administration and the student body. We view this as a one-sided
We cannot rely on a handful of quotes from the Tennessean or the
Babbler as our source for knowing the significant decisions of the
Administration, especially decisions which draw a significant amount of
attention from the public eye and which concern the students directly.
Lipscomb is one of the few schools that has its entire student body
gathered together in halves each day. This, however, has yet to be utilized
as an opportunity to communicate the decisions in question and the reasons
for those decisions.
In conversing with fellow students and faculty members, we have made
a very interesting observation: very few of these people are pleased about
either of these Administrative decisions.
Therefore, we are issuing a challenge to President Steve Flatt and
the Administration. We ask that you make public the reasons for your
decisions over the past five months. We ask that this be done in an honest
and sincere fashion.
We ask that you simply communicate with the students of Lipscomb
Sincerely, and on behalf of a student body that wants answers,
Adam Metz - Bible
Devin Russell - Biology
Eric McKibben - Biology
John Webb - Political Science
Jay Priestley - Bible
Jonathan Hemingway - History
Jason Oliphant - Biology