SDSU Budget Crisis

You were right to point out that San Diego State University President Tom Day contradicted himself by postponing the layoffs of full-time faculty members at SDSU (Aug. 13). You were right to question why laying off tenured professors with decades of service to one of CSU’s finest was his first rather than last option. You were right to wonder why other CSU campuses laid off none or few when faced with the same budget reductions.

You were wrong, however, to argue that, “Despite the pain the campus has been through, there is no evidence his removal is necessary.” The pain Day’s precipitous action caused, both physical and psychological, would be reason enough to oust him. But there are other, less personal reasons. Day has lost the confidence of the SDSU Senate and the SDSU faculty. The Senate voted a lack of confidence in Day’s leadership by a 41 to 29 margin; the faculty by an overwhelming 351 to 29 (On Aug. 27, the faculty officially voted 55.7% to 42.4% to ask the California State University Board of Trustees to fire Day). Students are staying away. Faculty members whose jobs were not threatened are seeking employment elsewhere. High-level administrators are speaking to reporters “off the record,” an obvious sign that job insecurity has become commonplace.

You were right to point out that Day is shrewd. But is shrewd a quality we want?


We don’t need shrewd at SDSU. We need leadership. We need a new president.

DAN WHITNEY, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, San Diego State University