Look at the progress — or lack thereof — over two years and draw your own conclusions as to whether the problem lies with sea year or with leadership at the Academy. Then re-read Joseph Keefe’s article where he concludes,
[I]t is clear that these students are safer while on board the garden variety U.S. flag merchant vessel than they are when they are sleeping in their own dormitory on campus at Kings Point. That’s what the numbers tell us. Marad owes these shipping companies, their merchant mariners and the midshipmen themselves, an unambiguous apology.
I can’t help but believe that the whole sea year
stand down cancellation was a gigantic “Look, a squirrel” diversion to deflect attention from two separate reports (the Inspector General’s and the Middle States Accreditation Report), both of which identify problems with leadership AT THE ACADEMY. As I reported here, three months before the stand down the superintendent and the Maritime Administrator were testifying before Congress and the Superintendent devoted a lot of time to SASH at that Academy with nary a mention of a problem during sea year. Yet, in June, right before the Accreditation Report was released and two months before the Inspector General reported on the failure to satisfactorily address the concerns it had raised TWO YEARS EARLIER, suddenly there is a crisis during sea year? With absolutely no data to support the existence of the crisis?
Folks, a federal academy is in danger — serious danger — of losing its accreditation because, among many problems, “the [accreditation] team concludes that the institution is not able to function successfully as it is not properly administered and staffed.” See Accreditation Report, p.13. The people who are charged with administering the institution should be focused on real, defined, problems rather than ginned up problems designed to shift attention away from the real problem.