June 25, 2012
Dear Current Shorter Faculty:
Though 67 faculty and staff have departed as of the writing of this post, YOU remain on the hill. SOS wants you to know that you continue to have our support and prayers.
We have applauded the integrity of those who refused to sign the documents. We have applauded those who have sought employment elsewhere, in order to teach in an environment of love and academic freedom. We have not yet focused on those of you who have felt forced, or have chosen to remain. We applaud you too.
Some of you felt forced to sign your contract, because you have no other option due to family and/or financial obligations. Please know that your integrity has never been questioned. We believe that you have been economically bullied and you have done what is necessary to survive. Thank you and we applaud you.
Some of you have chosen to remain, because of your love of teaching, your students, and your belief that someone will be needed to pick up the pieces and rebuild once this is over. You believe that your individual light of Christian love will make a difference. Thank you and we applaud you.
Current Faculty, many of you have given years of your lives to the empowerment of students at Shorter. Some of us are beneficiaries of your teaching, guidance, and love. Please know that we continue to love, support, and pray for you. Daily, you remain on our minds and in our hearts.
Finally, some of you have enthusiastically embraced the changes being led by the BOT through the administration. While we strenuously disagree with these policies and their restrictions on academic and personal freedoms, we continue to pray for you as well, and encourage you to examine the consequences that have resulted from these changes. We believe these “fruits” are indicative of a misguided (at best) or deceitful (at worst) agenda.
Dear Faculty and Staff of Shorter University,
Some of you are in full support of the recent changes on The Hill. Others of you are strongly opposed to the very same changes. No matter your view, I want you to be able to voice it without fear of reprimand.
You have worked and studied and researched and performed to rise to your present position. You have shown mastery in your field and have agreed to guide others in their own personal treks toward similar expertise. Save Our Shorter wants you to be able to do just that. We value your knowledge and are fighting for you to be able to share it with future generations.
I am no longer at Shorter. You are. If the efforts of Save Our Shorter are successful, the only people who will benefit more than you are the students who will learn from you.
I do not want any of you to find yourselves in a more precarious situation than you are in at present. I do not ask that you jeopardize your career by speaking out publicly. I do ask that you let us know if our endeavor is making a bad situation worse. Even more so, I need to know if it is making a good situation bad, since that is contradictory to my intentions. I give you my word that your name will be known only to me, unless you specifically indicate otherwise.
I cherish the time that I spent at Shorter College and give daily thanks for every lesson I learned, both in and out of the classroom. I employ Ken Josephson’s methods to teach sight-singing in my own classroom. Although I never took a class from her, Dr. Lewis Lipps continues to serve as inspiration to work hard and persevere. “Uncle Miltie” Laurie pops into my mind when I need to be reminded that being of service is more important than taking.
These individuals, like you, were truly “individual”. The homogenization process of the recent changes takes that away from you. Additionally, the dissolution of the Faculty Senate has given you little opportunity to get answers.
I want to get those answers for you. For all that Shorter College has given me, I owe you my voice. Tell me what to say and do to help you. You may reach me through the website contact email.
With all of my best wishes,
Debra Willis Hamlin ‘91