Home Archived forums Archived Forums Miscellaneous concerns Morale continues to decline

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    I Skyped an ex colleague last night. As I feared, all hope is lost for the majority of faculty and staff.
    The threat of being fired, outright lies from administration- faculty are retreating for cover.
    A once vibrant institution is dying a silent death. Numbers are up (grade level sizes) in order to keep finances afloat, which means class sizes will be 20+ for required courses. Is this what parents are paying for?
    Faculty are hiding in their offices and keeping their mouths shut fearing very real retribution from The Chosen.
    Members of The Chosen are rewarded for abusing hard working, honest, ethical people. I never imagined how bad it could get. It is much worse.
    Friends have said they fully expect admin changes will occur over the summer without proper open interviews. Of course it will be touted as, “Well, we couldn’t do interviews or post new positions because you all wete gone.” Continued placement of people who have no experience or credentials or support from faculty and many staff will rise up the ladder. How are seasoned, excellent faculty to react to such treachery? Inwardly, they are angry and are betrayed. Outwardly, they go through the day with fake smiles and zombie actions. They are in fear of being put on The List and dismissed on trumped up charges.
    Those who have made attempts to caution administration are now beaten down and have been silenced. No one can come forth – they’ve seen their own crucified by lies and no due process.
    And, by the way, contracts are to start trickling out. Most of the people doing the real work, teaching students, may get $1,000. Others will get more as they are selected as being more vital and newer faculty. Once again, thank you Watson, for smacking experience in the face. I experienced it when I worked there and it continues. Bad managers, poor leadership is rampant and feeling empowered to continue the travesty.


    Pearl Kane

    Just joining in here. I was planning to say nothing, but, dear ExFac, your words are on the mark. So sad. Just so very, very sad.



    And Mr Watson and his wife continue to rake in a cool half-mil a year in blatant disregard for the schools financial hardships – what does he care? Obviously not at all.

    The BOD is really MIA here – At this point, more permanent damage is being done to the school and its reputation by his actions/inactions than would ever be done by just getting rid of him tomorrow morning.

    Seriously, other than a giant sigh of relief by basically everyone, what is the down-side of letting him go? It’s time.


    Lionel Messi

    A contract came in the mail. The raise amounts to about $40 per month after FICA, insurance, etc.


    Concerned Parent

    It is with great consideration and much contemplation I am writing this transmission. I have been monitoring the situation regarding the Albuquerque Academy endowment as I receive multiple solicitations to increase contributions to AA, in addition to the ever increasing tuition fees we pay on an annual basis.

    When considering both sides of this issue, here is where my family is at. Some time ago we decided to send our child to AA. At the time it was somewhat of a pipe dream in that what seemed like an ion in the future took careful planning and rigorous financial sacrifice and commitment by our whole family. We did our part, taking part time jobs, not taking vacations, not eating out; basically, doing all we could to the dream of an AA education for our child. We held to the concept that AA mirrored those values within our household; and, unlike other educational options, AA educates the child to their maximum potential not to the student body mean.

    Our family feels that the instruction is outstanding!!!! The peer group of the students is outstanding!!!! The experiential philosophy is outstanding!!!

    These elements fostered by a culture that exists with cooperative understanding between students, parents and instructors that the educational development of all of our children is set through challenge and accomplishment. After all, when a student carries the attendance of Albuquerque Academy on their resume it means something because all in the Albuquerque community know “if you want your child to be a leader in the United States, send them to the Albuquerque Academy!!!!” A common thread in all AA parents is they are not reticent to EXPECT their children to rise and meet challenges, and accept the responsibility of their academic – life experience. A simile that comes to mind is, the AA graduate is like the leader who is busy making and facilitating change through critical thought; while, most people are waiting for their lottery number to come in.

    It is with a bit of trepidation and dare I say worry that I come to my final point. Although, I have great faith in the parents, students, instructors of AA I am deeply concerned with AA leadership. For all of the reasons I outlined above I am very proud to have a child attend AA; however, I am deeply saddened to see the crown jewel of New Mexico education eroded with what I feel is very little effort and thought given to all of those effected by its tarnish. As I have monitored the events and facts it is disturbing to see the AA endowment reduced to the state it now in.

    Although it would appear my concern is for the endowment, which it is, there is a bigger threat. That threat being the erosion of the AA culture. Because of the board / administrations unwillingness to meet this potentially grave challenge head on it threatens our culture in whole as every organization takes its cues from top-down leadership. By accepting the situation we are no better than those dysfunctional New Mexico institutions we are so inclined to complain about; whether, dysfunction as part in parcel to complacency, corruption, racism, cronyism. In short, by not EXPECTING better accountability we are doomed to fail to the same fate that we so commonly criticize.

    I sent my child to the Albuquerque Academy because I EXPECTED my child to succeed!!! it is for this reason I am sad to say last year was the last year me and my family will not contribute to the Albuquerque Academy until a comprehensive plan is presented for reestablishing its presence as a premier independent school.

    I will be frank when I state the Mariposa experiment should not have been the debacle it was. The risk profile was too large. It has yet to be presented any of the analytics that lead to a decision to place 80% to 90% of the endowment at risk when that endowment was functional form a simple interest bearing “hold”. was it greed, was it hubris, was it neglect? Compounding this failure is leadership seems oblivious to the dire straights the endowment presents to the very existence of the Albuquerque Academy by increasing administration compensation. I ask what have we received in return?

    Failing can be the cornerstone of success. The United States was founded on this concept, and is something I have ingrained in my child. However, failure can become systemic if great consideration is not paid to the prognosis and diagnosis of those elements that contribute to failed endeavors. I do not see real introspection by Albuquerque Academy leadership that would result in Phoenician rebirth of the Albuquerque Academy.

    With great consideration, I will not be able to contribute to the Albuquerque Academy until Dr. Watson is replaced!!!!



    Well stated, Concerned Parent. I will correct only one item – it is Mr. Not Dr. Watson.

    FYI: I have not yet received a contract, but several faculty have received theirs. The wording is out-and-out threatening. If I had not seen the 15 item list (a colleague shared his/her contract contents with me), I would have said it could never contain the threats and demeaning wording that it does.

    The word “terminated / termination” was used 5 times. We must agree to be have “a duty of loyalty to the Academy.” My goodness, we were much more loyal before being threated by termination if we are not loyal. Which begs: who gets to define loyalty? Those who have stood up and questioned leaderahip and finances or those who have made the mess we now find ourselves.

    If I sneeze, I could be fired just because they can fire me for no justifiable reason or with due process. It’s a stranglehold and a joke. Valuable faculty will be seeking other positions as soon as they can get them.

    Thank you Andy, Stephanie and Jennifer-the-lawyer-and-wife-of-faculty-member-bob Anderson. Oh, and also the apparent heir to the CFO slot – though she has, admittedly, no financial background as a CFO.



    I haven’t seen the new terms added to the teacher’s contracts, but I’m 100% sure that “Dr. Watson” will be publicly signing a rider to his own employment agreement with the exact same terms applied to himself.


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