Administration must take corruption more seriously

WSU seems to only care about saving face, ignores the needs, demands of students

IAN NORLAND, Guest columnist

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Recently WSU Human Resource Services reached out to employees with their 2018 Employee Engagement Survey. At the end of the survey, they invited employees to address any issues not already probed by the survey itself.

I started writing the paragraphs below on my time here at WSU to date and thought that it reflects the sentiment of a great many employees I encounter.

The results of this survey will likely reflect something different — I know many employees fear recrimination and I in no way propose that my opinion is representative. I do believe, though, that it speaks to a sentiment many long-term employees develop, working here and seeing student resources dwindle and student voices ignored.

This institution seems devoid of a sense of self, focused not on students, learning or research but instead on propping up the egos of administrators and leaders that cling to political capital and institutional gravitas instead of evaluating and implementing evidence-based practices for higher education administration.

The consistent prevalence of headlines about corruption, pay-offs, hush money and inappropriate actions by administrators system wide are evidence alone.

Having seen many mismanagement issues escalated through the available employee resources — WSU’s Employment Assistant Program, HRS, Internal Audit, ombudsman, etc. — it is clear that said resources are only lip service toward addressing issues. They’re put in place only to protect WSU from being held accountable for the damages they cause by perpetuating this negligent mismanagement cycle.

In short, WSU is a zombie, soulless and dead from the chin up with old decaying mechanisms for limbs — roads, IT infrastructure, AIS Data Resources, payroll. All of these desperately need attention, as they limp forward on momentum and bluster of egos long retired, outed or re-homed to another institution.

Whether it is a top-25 zombie or not, it will forever be haunted by the ghosts of corruption and mismanagement until someone at the highest reaches takes it upon themselves to clean house of the fraudulent ego-mongering that governs this place. Only when top-level management joins with WSU’s greatest resource, its students, to hold WSU leaders accountable will WSU realize it’s greatest success.

Have a good day, if possible, here in Pullman, Washington, home of the worst kind of ivory towers.