Mar 262012
 
Authors: Carl Patton

Tony,

I think most CSU people appreciate your “fireside chat” type letters — although this last one is a little more rambling than usual — and I believe it came as a surprise to most and has us (still) wondering what is really happening. I think you are finally realizing the level of opposition to this “bad idea” (as I said in my first email to you on this after the first Advisory Committee meeting).

I gather that input from some people has gotten a little nasty. Too bad about that. But this is a very serious issue. You said that you were surprised at the level of opposition. I expect that, as you witness the continued growth in this opposition at all levels, you may be even more surprised. I assure you (in spite of my own tendency to rhetoric), I am doing what I can to keep the dialogue direct –– and sometimes blunt –– but civil.

You are perplexed that many people are opposed to this main campus stadium before hearing the “facts.” I think the data from Martin Carcasson and the Center for Public Deliberation now show it is about nine-to-one for all groups. The great FACT is this: The “should we” question should precede the “can we” question. And the answer to this FIRST question seems to me (and to many others) to be a no-brainer.

From Jack’s comments at the excellent LOWV (League of Women Voters) Forum program, it appears that Jack came to you with his “vision” sometime prior to Nov. 30, 2011 and you bought into it lock, stock and barrel. I hope you caught the LOMV Forum. Between Loren Crabtree, Carl Wangsvick and Karen Snider, basically all of Frank’s five PowerPoint bullets (re-edited versions of the five stadium points in your Dec. 1 white paper) were, I believe, debunked rather well.

To me, it is ludicrous that a mega-stadium construction outfit is doing high-cost “consulting” on “should we” build a stadium question and to manage more “engagement” to sell it. I could make some political parallels here, but I won’t. This is just yet another disconnect.

I heard the City of Fort Collins representative on your Advisory Committee speak the other night. According to her, the “site selection” subcommittee has met once since Feb 3, and members have exchanged few or no phone calls or emails.

This meeting appears to have been only in the last week or so (a few weeks earlier, I think she said they had not had any meetings). Yet site options will be presented (according to Frank at the LOMV) this Thursday. One would have thought that the subcommittee members would have been a bunch of busy bees since Feb 3. Another disconnect.

Thanks for your recent congratulatory letter on my 40 years of service to CSU (and your personal penned-in note). Let me just say that, apart from this rather serious misstep (in my view), I still hold that, of all the CSU presidents whom I have seen come and go, you are by far the best.

Had we had people such as you, Rick Miranda, Jan Nerger and John Harton in place for the bulk of my previous years, perhaps my attitude toward CSU administrators overall would have been more positive. I have always said that my success here (it has always been and still is a great ride) has been in spite of the administration. This has not been the case for the last few years.

And I do agree that this issue has used up far too much energy that could have been better directed to more meaningful issues. I hope it ends sooner rather than later, with a charge to the athletic director and coach to focus on a winning football program, so we can let the university get back to its real business of maintaining and expanding the academic excellence in education/teaching/learning/research (these are not separate entities, by the way) that is CSU.

Best wishes,
Carl Patton

Carl Patton is a physics professor at CSU.

 Posted by at 4:02 pm

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