The natural question when employee reductions occur is, “Who are the people affected?” It’s a question we chose not to answer in our report of the recent budget cuts at Tabor College that included 11 faculty and staff positions. In part we conceded the position the college took on the issue: “Due to privacy concerns, Tabor College will not be releasing nor confirming the names of the affected employees.” At the same time, we are not bound by that position. Particularly in a small town, lost jobs affect our friends, and the reporting of names can stimulate expressions of support and caring.
But even in small town—or perhaps especially in small towns—names tend to feed the gossip grist mill under the guise of caring. Loss of job is an intensely personal and traumatic event. We believe the people who truly care for the people affected will already have sufficient knowledge through their existing relationship.
In this case, the public has no “right” to know. —DR