MC should be more open on cuts

It’s been a week since Marietta College made the announcement that 20 full-time positions on campus had been eliminated, a move that will save the college $1.1 million.

A press release went out, as well as an email to non-affected employees, informing them of the reductions. But not included were the positions cut, any specifics on the college’s finances that would have led to this decision or information on any other changes the college is making, or plans to make, to save money. That information still has not officially surfaced.

Marietta College is private, not public and is not legally required to provide those details.

That doesn’t mean they don’t have an obligation to share information with the employees, students, alumni and community that support the college in so many ways.

By not sharing some pertinent facts, the college has given free rein to the rumor mill and speculation about what’s next for MC.

Faculty and staff wonder if their jobs will be next, alumni wonder if programs they love have been cut and if they still want to provide donations and support, the community wonders if the college-one of the largest employers in Washington County-is in real trouble and what the ripple effects could be.

We urge them to be more transparent.

Even if they don’t want to provide details to the media and the general community, they should at least do so on the campus itself.

At a faculty meeting earlier this week, emotions reportedly ran high, with faculty members saying they feel they don’t know enough about what happened, who was affected, and why it had to happen.

They should know. They shouldn’t have to hear through the grapevine or on Facebook that a particular colleague was let go. They should know what other steps were taken to save money. They should know about future plans.

The reductions in force were a huge step for the college, so large in scale that even longtime employees don’t remember it ever happening before. For those working there to have so many unanswered questions and anxieties is not necessary.

If information isn’t forthcoming, it will cultivate a campus culture of secrecy and distrust. Employees should feel they have an open line of communication with the administration and that they will be kept informed and knowledgeable about key issues. We know this was an extremely difficult decision to make and there’s likely a desire to protect those who were affected.

But Marietta is a small town. Word will, and has, gotten out about many of the employees who lost their jobs. We don’t understand why those in charge won’t control the information, and put out something accurate and official.

Marietta College is a vital part of the community, as both an employer and a means for education, culture and art. Marietta and Marietta College go hand-in-hand in so many respects.

Those at the college should keep their community in the loop.