I am concerned about a letter written to the editor of the Eagle and printed in the last edition [March 2]. I read with some alarm the allegation leveled at one of my colleagues. I was disheartened and angered. In our current climate of negativity towards enrollment, and the caliber of student we, as recruiting faculty are called on to find, this letter couldn’t have come at a worse moment. I was ready to find some action to address this situation. After allowing my emotions to run , I took a step back and wondered if this was an accurate representation of the facts. So, I did the unthinkable, I asked Greg Benson about the letter and what it meant.
I found that the facts as they were, were taken out of context and Greg was misrepresented. There are times when we as a recruiter I have told students that our program at CEU wouldn’t suit their particular needs. CEU does not have a musical theatre component in place. This is a specialization within theatre education that we simply cannot offer. I have directed students who wish to follow that course of study to the appropriate college and universities who have a specialist in place to teach and train them. In fact they offer degrees in that particular discipline. I understand, from Greg, that this was the case with the student mentioned in the letter. He wished to follow a course of study we don’t offer. Greg, as an educator, helped to point him in the direction of a program that would fulfill his need, want, and desire. We couldn’t meet those needs, someone else could. Education was upheld. CEU wasn’t denigrated or held in derision.
I believe Greg’s intentions were honorable and in no way damaged CEU music. I have seen Greg at concerts at the junior high and the high school, he offers scholarships and awards at these events. He is a presence in the lives of these young musicians, encouraging them to better their talent through his summer band program. I know Greg is frustrated, we all are to a certain degree. We work within the confines of our budgets and find ways to make them work. I believe Greg to be loyal to CEU, to his students, and fellow faculty, staff, and even the administration. I would suggest that an apology be written, presented to the editor and printed in the Eagle.
The climate at CEU is very tender right now. Instead of fanning the flames of discontent, let us use a cool head of reason. Go to the source, get their side, and work toward better understanding.
Dr. Corey Ewan