Several University of Montana faculty members who sent a letter criticizing the rehiring of Bobby Hauck as head football coach received an angry email today from an athletic department employee who was not authorized to speak for the department.
At the Faculty Senate meeting earlier this afternoon, Professor of Women’s Studies Elizabeth Hubble said four faculty members received an email with the subject line “Should I stay or should I go?” from Cathleen O’Brien, an administrative assistant with the athletic department.
In the email, O’Brien referenced upcoming cuts to university faculty and staff and wondered why faculty members wouldn’t be focused on their jobs.
To Hubble, those sounded like fighting words.
"Given the status of lecturers, things like that right now, it reads pretty threatening," said Hubble. "Do your jobs or something’s going to happen."
Hubble and 27 other faculty members sent a letter dated December 1 to incoming University of Montana president Seth Bodnar and Athletic Director Kent Haslam calling the rehiring of Bobby Hauck a slap in the face because it sends a signal that the university values sports over student safety.
At the meeting, Haslam said O’Brien wasn’t authorized to speak for the department and said he hoped to strike a different tone. He apologized for the email and said that he and Hauck would be willing to come back and talk with the faculty senate about their concerns.