Letters: Readers weigh in on issues of the day

Farmington Daily Times
Letters to the Editor

Some advice for the new Diné College president


My name is Dr. Brad Messerly, a former candidate for the Diné college president position.

Having the experience of a doctor, educator, and businessman, I see the vast potential in Diné College and our amazing students. As the new college president will soon be named, I want to wish him/her the best on their journey and to encourage them to always keep their students as the top priority.

After working at colleges over the past 12 years it has become evident that the most successful colleges employ a few basic rules and I would like to share these with the future President of Diné College.

1). Students are your primary concern, period. How you conduct your college’s recruitment, enrollment, retention, and placement strategies should all contribute to an exceptional college experience for your students. Your college and your actions should exceed your student’s expectations on day one.

2). Value and respect your faculty, staff, and employees. An effective president should be highly visible and accessible to not only students but also to the “gears” of the institution in which they serve. Effective leadership is established through quality guidance, earned respect, loyalty, and teamwork.

3). Never settle for “good enough”. Be aggressive! Look for new ways to grow! Seek out new funding streams for new programs and improving physical facilities. Develop and nurture partnerships with area employers to encourage student placement following graduation.

4). Build your “brand”. Establish that Dine’ College is the first and original tribal college then claim your place and persist. Diné College has immense potential but for one reason or another has stalled and failed to be what it could become. As the first tribal college, we should be leaders, innovators, and the measure by which all others are gauged.

At this time, I’d like to express my sincere thanks for an awesome welcome and the experience I received at Diné College from the students, faculty, administration, and employees. Serving the students of Diné College was and always will be one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Brad Messerly

Fort Dodge, Iowa

The value of newspapers


Yes — Newspapers are Dying! — as you’ve been warning us in the classified section for years. And before newspapers die we should seriously consider what we are losing.

The founders of our nation considered an informed citizenry essential to a government of the people. To make good decisions the first thing needed is accurate information, and so they saw the newspapers as essential.

Now we have the internet—isn’t that better? If not, why not?

Newspapers are a human ecosystem — a human culture that has long embodied an ethic — an ethic of responsibility to the community to provide accurate information.
First the facts — and reporters check the facts for accuracy — then analysis. Opinion is kept separate, on its own page.

In the past, people read the newspapers seeing it as their responsibility as citizens to be informed. The news was not entertainment.

Hard copy newspapers have always had a limitation of space. This sets a condition — to fit in as much information as possible, and this requires good writing — brief and concise, clarity is essential. It requires good judgment of what’s important — what matters — what’s happening locally and what of national and international news need to be known by the general public.

A crucially important part of the paper is the editor. A good editor can read far more than most people, is well-informed on a wide variety of subjects, has good sense of the trends of history, gives feedback to reporters and challenges them to write their best.

What about the internet?

• The internet is faster! But they don’t take the time to check the facts. Misinformation is rampant — sometimes misinformation is deliberate.

• The internet has no space limitations — so it’s easy to get lost on the internet for hours.

• Or it’s too brief. Or it’s focused on entertainment. People don’t see a basic, spread of news.

• The internet doesn’t have an editor to bring things together into a coherent whole.

• And the internet still depends on newspaper and other media reporters (television and radio) for accurate, in-depth news gathering, fact checking and investigative reporting.

Daisy Swadesh


Morgan has the right approach for education


As a former teacher and always an educator at heart, I am dismayed at the statistic that I read that shows New Mexico ranks in the bottom half in the United States on many education statistics.  We are rated very near the bottom (48 among the 50) on almost everything from graduation rates to per pupil spending.

Rebecca Morgan has met with former and current teachers, administrators and parents.  And during these meetings, rather than speaking at us, she came to listen to us.  I found her approach to be refreshing and she is passionate about helping improve our education system — for the children who are being taught and for the teachers who are teaching.  Rebecca’s mother served on the Farmington School Board and she and her siblings all attended and graduated from Farmington public schools.

I’m hopeful that with good leadership, we in New Mexico can “crack the code” on effective education and sufficient spending on this important issue — education.  We all need to be willing to work together to implement successful strategies for education in New Mexico.

I’m a retired teacher and proud San Juan County voter and I’m voting for Rebecca Morgan for State Senate District 1.

Ann Hume Freimuth