Speaking of our provost, David Dillon of our chemistry department sent this letter to the President, cc’ing every employee on campus, early yesterday evening:
Now, you may wonder how such a thing is even possible. How can one person e-mail an entire campus? I explained this in the comments at Historiann’s place at one point, but I might as well do it now in plain sight. Here at CSU-Pueblo, almost every e-mail distribution list is open for almost anybody to use. [Until a few years ago, even students could e-mail the entire campus.] That’s why my inbox fills up regularly with pitches for every single event on campus, Blackboard updates and even messages from the mail room looking for somebody who has a package addressed to them whom they can’t identify.
Usually, this is not a major problem, but Tim McGettigan hit the distribution lists hard right before they took his privileges away. When you read that his e-mail has been partially restored, what that means is that he can use the Internet again but he can’t access the distribution lists anymore.
In the run up to Tim’s fifteen minutes of fame, I actually expected the administration to crack down on him for his use of the distribution lists. Instead, they cracked down on him for the CONTENT of his message. By doing so, they not only restricted his academic freedom, they implicitly endorsed the notion of faculty sending policy messages that can’t be misconstrued as violent to the entire campus, an invitation which Professor Dillon accepted last night (and of course the inevitable “reply all” conversation has continued into this morning).
PS I know what you’re thinking: “I liked this blog much better when he only wrote about MOOCs.” Well, I promise I’ll get to them again soon. Hopefully, this space won’t turn into the academic equivalent of disaster porn before I get around to it.