Michael Williams worked with Greg Little, director of media center, for 15 years. On Wednesday, Sept. 15, he learned Little had been abruptly dismissed from his possition.
“All that we know at the time is that Greg doesn’t work here anymore,” said Williams, Media Center operations instructional support specialist. “Nothing has really been disclosed. Nothing has even been said. That’s even with him. There really hasn’t been any explanation given.”
Little’s supervisor Terri Lucas, director of IT Desktop Technical Services, made no comment. The School of Communications staff is unable to comment on the specifics of the dismissal, but according to Media Center Operations Assistant Director Louis Lindsay, Little was informed of his dismissal during a meeting with the Vice President of Information Technology Lawrence Haffner.
“Everyone likes to think they’re indispensible,” Haffner said. “But I don’t think it should affect the media center dramatically in any way. Life will go on,” Haffner said.
According to Williams, given Little’s hard work and his contributions to the School of Communications, his dismissal came as a shock to his co-workers. Jeremy Clements, senior broadcast journalism major and general manager of The Galaxy, said the university couldn’t afford to lose an employee like Little.
“He was one of the most supportive people on campus of students and student media,” Clements said.
During the 13 years Little worked in the Media Center, he was charged with getting much of the equipment in the facilities, including the SSL board used by audio students. Williams said that a lot of facilities don’t have an SSL board. He compared it to having a Rolls Royce, saying that it’s something that a lot of schools would love to have, but either can’t afford or can’t get.
“He was always one who was willing and ready to listen,” Williams said. “I haven’t seen many managers as fair as he was, who could meet everyone on their level and communicate with them, but still be firm enough to get the job done. He always met everyone with respect, no matter what level they were on.”
Over the past few years, various departments within the School of Communications have been merging. The Desktop User Services, Help Desk, and Media Center have all been moved under User Services, for example.
“There’s been a slow merge to where we’re going to be up under User Services, and at some point, probably merge completely to where you’ll see that the media center will probably disappear, is my thought,” Lindsay said. “That’s the direction that choose to go with this department. I’m quite sure the thought is that it’s more efficient. You don’t have to have as many staff and as many work study students, so everything is more efficient.”
Williams thinks this department merger has resulted in a lot of miscommunication and confusion, which has had a negative effect on the department, and possibly on Little.
“I believe he often felt uneasy about his employment — at least over the last three to four years,” Williams said. “He would often be very cautious about how he carried himself and how he said things. Not that he was careless at any time before, but he became a little more careful than I had known him to be in previous years. I think he was a lot more unsure of what his supervisors required of him. So he was cautious at that point, because he didn’t want to not do [sic] what was required of him.”