Scott discusses last year’s stresses
| Michael Bauer reporter |
Julie Dainty, Faculty Senate president, left the staff at the Pittsburg State opening faculty meeting with one thought: “Students don’t care what you know if they don’t know you care.”
This was the lesson discussed throughout the morning and in the address by Steve Scott, university president, on Thursday, Aug. 14, at McCray Hall.
The event, which usually takes place in Overman Student Center, was moved to McCray Hall because of construction.
“We’ve been here before a number of years ago,” Scott said. “I want to thank the people for letting us borrow (McCray Hall). But we have a nice new building that’s almost done.”
Scott, of course, was referring to the Bicknell Performing Arts Center that is slated to be completed some time this school year.
Scott emphasized the stress felt by teachers last school year and thanked them for their patience.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the level of stress, angst and frustration that I witnessed on campus,” Scott said. “You could see it in casual conversations and hear it in our voices. I felt it as well.”
Some of those frustrations included the drop in revenues in Kansas from the 2012 tax cuts. Scott emphasized that either way, there will be an outcome “one way or another” later this year, regardless of whether it fails or not.
Scott also talked about previous tension and confusion from education goals in the past, even quoting former PSU president from 1984 Don Wilson.
“I guess the stress we’re feeling isn’t new and it is not unique,” Scott said. “But for some reason, it feels more intense and enduring and I’d even say more relentless.”
There were also problems with the potential partnership with Fort Scott Community College, which fell through.
Despite all that, there were plenty of positives to draw from this past school year.
“We still had an extraordinary year,” Scott said. “It’s amazing but we did it. We tuned with it, and we coped with it.”
Scott noted the groundbreakings and construction projects going on all over campus and says he is eager to cut the red ribbon outside of new buildings.
“We’re getting pretty good at groundbreaking ceremonies,” Scott said to a roll of laughter from the audience.
Cathy Lee Arcuino, of the international programs and services office, also made a few remarks about the construction in her opening address.
“There’s a lot of expansion going on,” Arcuino said. “When I first came here in 2009, the newest building was the Student Recreation Center.”
Scott also talked about the classified staff voting to leave the state civil service, and the tobacco-free policy going into effect on Jan. 1.
Students coming back to campus this year might also notice a change with the GUS technology system some time soon.
“It’s old, decrepit, and it always fails,” Scott said. “We’ve got to replace GUS. We’ve got to replace the IT system. We were close to making a decision, and then the state finances got wacky,” he said.