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Dear Chancellor White,

I’ve been quite disheartened by your response to the KHSU fiasco at Humboldt State University. You claim that the actions of President Rossbacher and her henchman Vice-President Craig Wruck are in the “fiscal interests of the university.”

May I ask how you came to that conclusion? Was it based on the review/audit from your office? Because if it was, I can tell you that review/audit was a shoddy, shallow piece of work full of incorrect information. Not only did the reviewers fail to interview people with the most historic points of view and institutional memory, they completely left out hours of testimony from people they did interview. I would like to be directed to the complaint/grievance process regarding the review. I want to see their notes and hear their recordings. I believe someone directed them to leave out valuable information that did not fit into the plans that were already under development (please see HSU’s excellent reporting in the Lumberjack for some background).

You cannot be unaware that the fiscal problems of KHSU were entirely engineered by Mr. Wruck and his henchman, Peter Fretwell. The station was in no way the kind of fiscal trouble that resulted after the firing of Katie Whiteside, and the subsequent firing of all station staff. I myself was a $35/month sustaining member, and I froze that after Ms. Whiteside’s dismissal. I gave $100 at the recent pledge drive (which was done under absolute false pretenses). And like so many in the community, I was prepared to resume, at an increased rate, my sustaining membership upon the firing of Peter Fretwell. Oh, about that —

I am/was a member of the Community Advisory Board. I sat in a room with Dr. Rossbacher and Mr. Wruck on April 10. Do you believe it is professional or ethical to lie as part of the job of university president and vice-president? Because that is exactly what the two of them did. They bald-faced, outright lied to the nine of us sitting there. They spun falsehoods and smiled. I shook their hands. If you think it is okay for a person in that position to lie, then I question your suitability for your job. I have to take ethics training every year at my job; perhaps it should be required for all administrators.

The HSU Academic Senate has voiced its displeasure at the manner in which this occurred. The student body and the community have done so as well. Mr. Wruck, again spinning falsehoods, attempted to get the students on his side, only to be revealed as a backstabbing schemer. He claimed to want more student involvement in KHSU, yet he destroyed a half semester’s work of the student interns, who can’t get credit for the academic work they did because they no longer have instructors. They have put research grants in peril because they’ve notified the various grantors that former KHSU employees can not be part the grant seeking process, even though those employees were instrumental in the projects.

It remains mind boggling to me that a politician as yourself (because let’s face it, your job is political, not academic) doesn’t value the communities in which your institutions are placed. While exploring the Chancellor’s website, I saw a large section on “Community Partnerships,” so apparently you wish for prospective students to think that the local communities are important. Yet here, in Humboldt County, Dr. Rossbacher has managed to destroy three major town-and-gown connections in the past few years. First, the off-campus art gallery, last known as the Third Street Gallery. Then the football program. And in the same year, but with virtually no warning (unlike the year reprieve given to football) — KHSU.

I will close with telling you that I came to HSU in 1975. I listened to KHSU from my first days in the dorms, and then, when I ended up staying here and raising a family, wherever I lived. I donated when the fund drives started, first as a single parent out of my waitressing tips. As I got older and became an empty nester, I started volunteering and increasing my donations. KHSU became an inherent part of my day to day life in Eureka. Your ongoing support of Lisa Rossbacher and Craig Wruck’s Machiavellian betrayal sullies your own legacy as Chancellor.

Please reconsider. Be a hero in this story, rather than a cohort of miscreants and carpetbaggers.

Barbara A. Boerger, HSU Class of 1980, resides in Eureka.

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