Ken Anderson (of Geology) asked us to post this piece, and we're happy to oblige, even if we don't share all of Ken's sentiments (or at least I, Dave, don't--but that's for another post).
A request to those who consider posting here…
I have a request of those who consider posting (or commenting on another’s post) on this site. Please look at the URL of this site. It is a public site that can be, and will be, found by anyone with access to Google or other search engines and an interest in SIU. Access to this site is not limited to SIU faculty, nor can anything that is posted here ever be truly removed or withdrawn. It is ultimately inevitable that what is posted here may be read by potential students, their families, the general public, alumni, legislators and policy makers – people upon whose good will we all depend.
Even when we disagree, SIU is an institution in which we must all share, both in its triumphs and its tribulations. It is shared space; it is our mutual proverbial sand box. I ask that you please not piss in our sand box.
We are a diverse faculty, with a wide range of opinions on many issues. Some among us hold some of those opinions very strongly, but regardless of your personal passion concerning any issue, please keep in mind that your views are no more, or less, than your own opinions. Passions ebb and flow as the tide, but what is posted online is forever and whenever it is read, it will always be read in the context of current events. Not current events when it is posted, but current events when it is read.
With that in mind,
· Assume that whatever you post will be read by people outside the university community. Ultimately, there is a good probability that it will be.
· Please do not state as fact that on which there is an absence of unanimity, and especially, do not write as though you speak for the entire faculty – you do not.
· Post nothing that may be a disinducement to potential students or their families. We ALL depend on our ability to attract high quality students in large numbers. Post nothing that will turn them away because doing so harms us all.
· Post nothing that may diminish the reputation or public perception of our shared institution. You have no right to do so because so doing diminishes and devalues us all and lessens the perceived value of the qualifications earned by our alumni.
In short, take a deep breath before you post anything and consider the consequence of your words on your fellow faculty, including those who do NOT share your views. In public forums, like this one, we are all better served by discretion than by diatribe.