Some have accused me of orchestrating a walkout, of staging an event that was designed to embarrass the president and the institution, and that I knew in advance that the editor of the Point Weekly would not be allowed to stay in the meeting and write about it. None of this is true.
The editor asked if she could attend our meeting so she could write a more complete story about the prioritization decisions and the process by which those decisions were made. I said she could come as my guest. She sat off to the side in the LJML lounge. Provost Fulcher told her that she would need to leave, and I said that if the newspaper wasn’t allowed to stay, then I didn’t feel comfortable staying, either. I think that these processes and decisions should be openly talked about, and it seemed to me that the newspaper’s job is inform people of as many sides to an issue as is possible. Since students were going to be affected by these decisions, I thought they had a right to hear about the process. But Provost Fulcher also had a right to ask her to leave. No laws were broken.
When I left, others left as well. It was not orchestrated or discussed ahead of time. I was surprised when they left.
For the record, I actually agree with most of the decisions that came out of the prioritization process. I wish it would have been done with more openness, obviously, because the secrecy created a lot of unnecessary anxiety. But I think the decisions make a lot of sense. They should have probably been made years ago.
If my friends in the administration and in my department — and they really are my friends — felt personally attacked by this, then I apologize.