Georgia Southern, and Education, Under Financial Attack. Push it Aside.

It’s scary out there. Rumors of budget cuts here at the university have sent me in a scramble to update my resume and look for possible emergency lines of work should worst come to worst. Honestly, the job market looks like a wasteland. I can’t even begin to think of a backup plan.

Then today I see this video.

That would be Georgia Southern University’s president laying out what this school is facing. I have been through this process once before, and I can say with confidence this is much worse. The face of this university will likely undergo a radical shift into something we can only theorize about it. What’s worse is the number of people the organization will be forced to cut from their livelihood, and cast into a job market already desolate and ruined.

I could go on about this from a personal perspective and illustrate my horror as these events unfold, but I think I would rather let my wife speak for me. This is the letter she currently plans to send to our State Senator.

March 2, 2010

Hi Mr. Hill,
I am writing to you with concern about the recent budget cuts.  My husband
is temporary faculty at Georgia Southern University.  He loves his job and
is upset to hear about budget cuts…. again.  He went through this last
year also, and luckily survived.  David and I married this past July, and
we were so happy.  I had just graduated from GSU with my elementary
education degree, but unfortunately with the budget cuts that went on, I
was not able to find a teaching job.  I am currently a nanny for two
children before and after school, while their mom is a nurse and their dad
is in Iraq.  I leave every morning at 4:40 a.m. and don’t get home to see
my husband until 9:30 p.m. (During the day I substitute teach.) You can
see we both work really hard, and if we did not have his income we could
not survive.  We have so many student loans that we are trying to pay on,
so please consider young couples like us when you think of budget cuts.
We really need his job, and I of course would love a teaching job, so
please think about us when you are working on cuts.

Thanks so much

Sincerely,

Whitney Bailey

I love my wife more than this limited space can say. Her letter to the senator makes no rigid demands and does not devolve into an angry tantrum. She simply implores the senator to consider our plight as the cuts rage on.

We have to fight this, not just for MY University, but for the sanctity and survival of education itself. Everywhere Schools suffer as the myriad cuts tear them apart piece by weakening piece. If these cuts continue at this pace, education will become a mere shadow of what it once was: a shell mined of all progress and innovation. It will become a mockery of the values our nation stands for. Freedom, opportunity and equality shrivel and die as education withers. We MUST do something.

We can start with a conversation. Anything will do, but this story must circulate. What cuts has your institution suffered? Any institution, not just education, is worthy of discussion here. What crisis do you now confront that threatens your livelihood? Your well being? Your family? How will you personally respond to the worst? I have been considering the military, just because I can fathom no other immediate route.

Perhaps there may be solutions and ideas our leaders have not shared. Maybe some of you out there have faced or are facing a situation just a dire. If we come together here and offer up our strategies, perhaps we can truly push this crisis aside and move toward a repaired system of education.

Its better to be a wasp that stings and kills even as it dies than to go gently into that arguably good night. But if we push, and meet here (or other virtual venues) we can demonstrate our resolve and confront this horror not with fear, but logic, reason, and cold calculation.

Roll up your sleeves and spread the word. The next few months are going to be interesting.

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2 Responses to “Georgia Southern, and Education, Under Financial Attack. Push it Aside.”

  1. With you brother. Things look bleak. We just lost out Atlanta office and the team members up there. They were working hard in an area that represents nearly half of our current student and alumni base. Poof. Gone.

    The toughest thing about the current situation will be to try to remain positive. Hard to do sometimes, but I’m committed to at least try to wear a smile. Communication with our elected officials is the best first step. Let’s hope for the best.

  2. This is terrible. When education ceases to function, and when mail services cease Saturday runs, and when average people are being tossed in the street, and when unemployment cuts run deep, and when the banking system continues to get wealthier, it’s time to put an urgent change in place for the people. I will post a link to this story on my FB and Twitter — Thx David. Sorry to hear this. 😦

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