I support wholeheartedly Nic's comments regarding this list.  As I said
in a much earlier post (pontification) regarding the potential demise of
GC, nationally, it is important for those of us in this field to have
knowledge of the political climate across the country with regard to
what we do.

None of us should ever think that we in developmental education or
learning assistance are as desired, necessary or permanent as we might
like to think, particularly at four year institutions.  In the years
I've worked in this profession, I've seen many wonderful, competent
people lose their jobs because of shifts in demographics, institutional
or state fiscal stability, political agendas (national or state), social
trends and obligations, news magazine ratings, and administrators with a
different value system than ours.

I have always viewed this listserve as a finger on the pulse of those
shifts.  We need to know what is happening at individual institutions
and states so we know what to be prepared to address in our own

I was grateful for the opportunity to find out from this listserve
about UMINN's pending decisions, and equally grateful to be given the
information here to be able to write a letter to their Board of Trustees
to help them understand the national implications of their decision.

The situation at UMINN is not a private campus skirmish.  It is a huge
decision effecting one of the largest, most comprehensive and innovative
developmental programs in the country.  If it can happen there, it can
happen anywhere, and IMHO this listserve is an appropriate place to
discuss it because many of us could face a similar fate as this news
becomes national.

Certainly, thanks to a magazine's rating system of who is the best
school in the country,  I already routinely address this issue with many
members of my own institution who point to "excellence" rather than
"access" as the more important value for our institution.

My opinion is, to our profession UMINN represents "excellence" in
working with "access", and for years, GC has been one the benchmark
programs for all of us in this profession.

Jeanne, and the rest of you at CRDEUL, I urge you to stay a part of
this group, and continue to do and share the vital research that you
have long offered to our profession.  And I hope that the decision to
keep politics away from this list will be more carefully considered in
the future because many of us are in this profession because of issues
of social justice and political values.

Shevawn Eaton, Ph.D.
Director, ACCESS/ESP
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
PH: (815) 753-0581

FAX: (815) 753-4115

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