Campus needs audit to dissolve administrative dictatorship

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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

A campuswide survey reports that 74 percent of respondent employees feel mistreated and ignored by the university. This survey will be submitted as further cause for an outside audit.

Last month, Chico State faculty and staff called for an outside auditor to assess their work environment. It’s now up to the chancellor’s office whether or not it wants to heed the request and intervene on behalf of Chico State’s employees.

As if the fact that an outside audit is needed isn’t proof enough, the damning statements from this survey make it clear: Chico State staff and faculty have suffered under the university’s bureaucracy for too long, and they shouldn’t have to keep submitting surveys to get the message across.

The chancellor’s office needs to answer this plea for an audit and shift the university’s paradigm of oppression.
When asked about the quantity and quality of their work, staff and faculty stated that they are barely keeping afloat, according to the report’s results.

They have taken on work to cover for vacant positions. They’re struggling to accommodate overcrowded classes. Staff and faculty feel “overwhelmed” and “weary.” They feel like “beasts of burden.”

When asked about their job satisfaction, employees stated that they feel devalued and underappreciated. Their work environment is “dehumanizing” and “hopeless.” They feel “disposable.”

When asked about the university’s quality of communication, faculty and staff stated that they are oftentimes too afraid to voice complaints and concerns for fear of retribution. They described their treatment as “bullying” and “harassment.”

Two employees even insisted on turning in paper copies of the survey because they were afraid of having their identities traced through the digital version.

Based on these surveys, Chico State sounds less like a house of learning and more like a dystopian dictatorship.

If the university expects faculty to empower students and prepare them for the future, it can’t rule its employees with an iron fist.

The survey results spell it out perfectly. Faculty and staff are “doing the bare minimum” because the university has them spread too thin. A toxic administration doesn’t only weigh on faculty and staff. It trickles down to students as well.

With employees feeling hopeless and trivialized, yet afraid of speaking out, it’s hard to imagine an environment in more pressing need of an audit.
The faculty and staff have nothing to lose but their chains. They have the world to win.

Now is the time for the California State University chancellor’s office to step in and stand up for the rights and respect that Chico State employees deserve.

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