Watching the Tina Evans matter unfold in the pages of the Herald, I am amazed at what appears to be a paranoia about differing ideas on the part of the new Fort Lewis College administration.
I have not experienced Evans as a teacher in the classroom, but I experienced her efforts in bringing together the Durango community and FLC community.
I have volunteered for the Apple Festival and watched Evans as she facilitated the event and efforts of students and townies in collecting apples from all over La Plata County. She handled the different perspectives in a fluid and collaborative manner, making students as well as nonstudents feel part of the effort.
For many years, FLC and the town have been separated, not only geographically, but also ideologically. Evans efforts to make the two communities see they can work together as one are refreshing.
It is clear there was more to her removal as environmental studies coordinator than her qualifications, as she is more than qualified.
It is becoming more clear that her removal resulted from an unhealthy fear on the part of the administration, which suggested parallels of students protesting on Evans behalf to the death and disruption of Vietnam peace rallies at Kent State.
Our institutions of higher learning are purportedly bastions of creative, thought-provoking, freely exchanged ideas. Evans promoted and lived these ideals. I will watch attentively as the administrations reasons for her removal receive more public light (as they can because she has elected a public path), and I believe the lack of qualifications will be debunked. I am dubious any new evidence will support a legitimate reason for her removal.
For the good of FLC and our noncollege community, I suggest FLC take immediate steps to restore its credibility by reinstating Evans as coordinator of the FLC environmental studies program.
Barry Spear, Durango