Some institutions deserve to fail. Evergreen State will have a hard time finding sympathy if it folds. Recently leaked emails reveal concern.

My Northwest reports:

Evergreen State College pres. chided dean who revealed financial woes

Staff members at The Evergreen State College, witnessing dramatic decreases in student enrollment and subsequently cash-flow, are being fed talking points by the school’s president that won’t “be used against us.”

In an email to staff, Dr. Jennifer Drake, Evergreen State College’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, warned that the total student enrollment may drop significantly and, consequently, they will experience layoffs and a strict adherence to hours with part-time faculty members.

The email from Drake, apparently, concerned Evergreen State College President George Bridges. He wondered if Drake ran the contents of the email by the school’s Communications and Public Relations Manager Zach Powers before sending it to staff. He wrote, according to an email forwarded to me:

In reading through this message, I wonder whether you ran its content by Zach Powers before sending. If not, given the sensitivity of some of the language — losses of students instead of projected losses; losses of faculty position instead of possible budget reductions — might end up appearing elsewhere in ways that will be used against us.

While I realize that the scope of our challenge is becoming known, I would have preferred that such detail not gone out in an email without review. If it was reviewed, then my concern is not with the message but the reviewer and review process. Please let me know.