June 3, 2013 via Tech press release - In conjunction with the The Humane Society of West Texas, the City of Lubbock Animal Services and the TTU Feral Cat Program to promote a healthier environment for our faculty, staff, students and visitors to campus, the university will begin implementing a safe and humane plan to better control the feral cat population on campus in the coming weeks. With the assistance of these organizations, we will begin relocating the cats to more suitable, safe off-campus locations. While this process will take some time and will not result in the removal of all cats, it will allow the university to bring the number down to a manageable level.
Texas Tech University Administration.
No collaboration occurred with either the Humane Society of West Texas or the TTU Feral Cat Program after Tech administrators published their initial commitment. When challenged on this failure months later, Tech replied:
Sep 14, 2013, 3:53 PM - Hugh Cronin is no longer with the university. After his departure, administration continued to seek opportunities to partner with the campus and the student organization in an effort to strengthen the viability of the program intended to relocate the feral cats away from residence halls, dining halls, and child development center.
Texas Tech University Administration
Really? What did administration do, what concrete acts did they take to partner after their September 14 commitment? Apparently nothing:
1/9/2014 8:30 AM - Texas Tech administrators have planned to initiate a meeting with the President of TTU’s Feral Cat Association, a student organization registered with SGA in Fall 2013. The purpose of this meeting will be to jointly complete the City of Lubbock’s required Feral Cat Caretaker Application. This will appropriately document TTU’s feral cat colony, including number of animals, identification, and appropriate feeding locations. Quarterly meetings will continue between TTU administrators and the President of TTU’s Feral Cat Association.
Texas Tech University Administration
How hapless or evil are Tech administrators who can't find a way to communicate with people on campus the last six months? It's clear administrators had no intention of collaborating, choosing to hide and obfuscate behind political language. Their pattern of arrogance and hubris remains unbroken.
Addendum: The record of complaints on this issue is below:
Report #3 Submission Date 1/4/2014
Reported Company/Branch Information
Name Texas Tech University Location Texas Tech University - Lubbock
150 Administration Bldg.
City/State/Zip Lubbock, TX, 79409
Violation Information Issue Type Conflict of Interest Relationship to Institution Other/Anonymous What is the general nature of this matter? Tech leaders promised to collaborate with the student run Feral Cat organization on reducing the number of feral cats on campus. Tech leaders never delivered on this promise, a huge ethical failure. How did you become aware of this possible violation? Other If other, how? Reports from Tech students and staff involved in Feral Cats as well as Lubbock animal service organization representatives. Where did this incident or possible violation occur? Repeatedly in the top administrative offices and facilities management. Tech's Chris Cook in marketing and communications outright lied numerous times on this subject. That is also an ethics violation. Please provide the specific or approximate time this incident occurred. Over Christmas break Tech leaders again ramped up cat removal without contacting any Tech Feral students or supporting staff. Tech used university owned traps to catch the cats. Facilities staff stole the feeding bowls provided by Tech Feral and used them in the traps. Earlier this semester Tech staff stole cat shelters. How long do you think this problem has been going on? 3 months to a year What leads you to believe the problem has been ongoing? The University began removing the cats in the summer. It chose to ramp up trapping again while students were gone for Christmas break. Please identify the person(s) you feel are engaged in this behavior. Kent Meredith - Facilities Management
Duane Nellis - President
For the persons named above please indicate whether or not they are affiliated with Texas Tech. Yes, both are affiliated with Texas Tech. Also, staff members who stole food bowls and cat shelters, although I do not know their names. Have you or someone else previously reported this problem to your supervisor or management? If so, by whom, to whom, when, and how? Yes, I reported Tech's failure to deliver on its promise to collaborate two times via EthicsPoint. One response stated "Hugh Cronin is no longer with the university. After his departure, administration continued to seek opportunities to partner with the campus and the student organization in an effort to strengthen the viability of the program intended to relocate the feral cats away from residence halls, dining halls, and child development center." Administration did no such thing. Do you suspect or know that a supervisor or management is involved? Yes If yes, then who? Kent Meredith and Duane Nellis. What leads you to believe that a supervisor or management is involved? Numerous contacts were made by e-mail with both parties. Nellis never responded to any concerns shared, while Meredith conducted the latest round of cat removal without contacting TechFeral students or staff. Please identify any persons who have attempted to conceal this problem and the steps they took to conceal it. Kent Meredith ignored concerns that staff were stealing food bowls and cat shelters. He was not the least bit forthcoming about the renewed strategy to remove cats from campus. Details Texas Tech University committed to collaborating with local animal service organizations on reducing the number of cats in the university's longstanding feral cat colony. Here's what collaboration looks like.
"Plan - Involve feral cat caretakers, TTU students and staff, in ascertaining the feral cat population on campus. Determine solutions to identified concerns in conjunction with caretakers. Test those strategies to see their impact. Identify who is responsible for various parts of the plan. Meet regularly to share feedback on actions taken and course correct. Have agreed upon measures for success and methods for communicating when surprises arise. Be forthright, open and honest in dealings with one another and the public."
Tech did none of the above with the university's feral cat caretakers. Facilities Chief Hugh Cronin and Marketing's Chris Cook started Tech's Feral Cat War in the heat of summer, which has been ably continued by new Facilities Chief Chief Kent Meredith.
TTU accelerated cat trapping and removal during the Winter break. The university had the audacity to steal bowls provided by cat caretakers and use those inside their traps. This move came after Tech staff removed shelters donated by cat caretakers.
Tech repeatedly shut out the very groups it promised to work with, thus it's clear the university's intent was never to collaborate. At every turn Tech acted unilaterally with arrogance and hubris.
Top administrators ignored expressed objections, breaking their silence only with worthless replies to EthicsPoint complaints. I queried EthicsPoint on Tech's non-investigation and hapless response, which reiterated on September 14, 2013:
"Hugh Cronin is no longer with the university. After his departure, administration continued to seek opportunities to partner with the campus and the student organization in an effort to strengthen the viability of the program intended to relocate the feral cats away from residence halls, dining halls, and child development center. "
Over three months later Tech's collaboration mantra remains unfulfilled. EthicsPoint advised me to submit the concerns yet again. I may do so next year.
Might TTU actually fulfill it's longstanding promise to collaborate with feral cat caretakers in 2014? Might it look like the Plan picture painted above? The ball is in (and has always been) in Tech's court.
Follow-Up Questions/Comments from TTU
Jan 09, 2014, 8:30 AM
Comment: TTU administration is working toward a cooperative and successful feral cat population on TTU’s campus that takes into consideration the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students. Texas Tech administrators have planned to initiate a meeting with the President of TTU’s Feral Cat Association, a student organization registered with SGA in Fall 2013. The purpose of this meeting will be to jointly complete the City of Lubbock’s required Feral Cat Caretaker Application. This will appropriately document TTU’s feral cat colony, including number of animals, identification, and appropriate feeding locations. Quarterly meetings will continue between TTU administrators and the President of TTU’s Feral Cat Association.
Texas Tech University Administration
Jan 11, 2014, 11:17 PM from Reporting Person
Reply: This is the third promise to collaborate since June 3rd, 2013. "Planned to initiate a meeting" comes after "continued to seek opportunities to partner" which followed "in conjunction with" and "with the assistance of these organizations." The longer it goes the less University administrators are willing to commit.
So why didn't Tech administrators fulfill their prior commitments to collaborate, made on June 3rd and September 14th? You can say it, "because they didn't feel like it." Arrogance and hubris are alive and well at the top of Texas Tech.
Jan 16, 2014, 11:15 PM from Reporting Person
So why didn't Tech administrators fulfill their prior commitments to collaborate, made on June 3rd and September 14th?
It's a simple question and deserves an answer.
What real collaboration might look like
Note: Texas Tech's Administrators and Facilities Management Department have not behaved in an ethical manner, much less in an "award winning" fashion. Three e-mails to APPA staff produced no response. Apparently APPA's quality control is as ineffective as EthicsPoint's.
Update 1-20-14: TTU administrators are silent to date on why they did not fulfill prior commitments to collaborate. I would say cat got their tongue, but I don't think any are left.
Jan 21, 2014, 1:22 PM from TTU
Comment: The meeting between University officials and Feral Cat Association officials is scheduled for this week.
Jan 21, 2014, 11:00 PM
My Reply: That's not an answer as to why Tech officials did not fulfill their twice offered promise to collaborate.
Also, there was a trap outside Drane Hall this morning. The trap stated it was property of Texas Tech Operations Division. Speaking of property, your reply never addressed TTU's theft of bowls and shelters provided by TechFeral and staff cat caregivers. It seems the university owes them an official apology, at the least, and even remuneration.
It's amazing how educated people cannot answer the simplest why questions. It's sad university leadership has sunk to the lowest common denominator alongside political language.