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 quite disturbing.
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 problem.
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 University.

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


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