STAFF EDITORIAL | Student issues must come first

Published April 10, 2012

OUR POINT THIS WEEK: Hiring unnecessary staff while vital positions are being cut is not the way to help Butler students succeed | VOTE: 27-0-4

A core curriculum program  $400,000 in the red. Four percent increases in tuition.

Recent controversies whirling around campus seem to be following the tone of money, money, money.

Despite all of these fiscal mishaps and concerns, Butler University’s administration stands unfazed with its hands on its wallet. Butler President Jim Danko will be hiring three “advising staff” for the sole purpose of “mitigating student concerns.”

While these three overqualified individuals fill up space in the administrative offices, several committed, necessary faculty and staff are being undervalued.

From faculty put on constant one-year contracts—deservedly or not—to the elimination of the College of Communication’s internship coordinator, people on campus directly involved in “student concerns” are being removed while Danko stuffs his office with unnecessary positions.

Even worse, when approached about the elimination of CCOM’s internship coordinator, Interim Provost Kathryn Morris said it was simply a CCOM problem.

The problem is that some CCOM majors require an internship in order to earn their degree, not to mention that internships guarantee an increased likelihood of scoring a job after graduation.

The provost’s job is to oversee the university and ensure that students recieve the best education possible, and that includes involving herself in the grimy issues of the individual colleges.

By writing off the administration-mandated termination of a position that greatly benefits students as a college problem, the administration makes itself appear callous to the concerns students have about their education.

This administrative tendency to appear and act out-of-touch affects more than just CCOM. It stretches campus wide.

This becomes especially clear when looking 15 years back, during a financial crisis. Despite the severity of the situation, the administration found ways to retain and fund crucial positions, including the internship coordinator.

Students, staff and other community members have voiced their worries about widespread issues including parking, hiked tuition, financial aid and underfunded classes and programs.

But the administration has not proposed a long-lasting solution or, rather, not prioritized its spending in a way that reflects student concerns.

Instead of finding ways to work with the current budget to fund the core or save some vital positions, Danko’s administration has taken money from the same “underfunded” system to pay for three positions.

Instead of making pay equitable or expanding swamped departments, money is spent on installing fireplaces in Atherton and purchasing a Charger for the Butler University Police Department.

Instead of concrete, honest solutions and outlooks on Butler’s multitude of issues, we have more evasive answers and mixed messages about Butler being a “community of care.”

Enough politicking.  Enough unclear goals and innovation funds.

Butler administrators, if they really believe we live in a community of care, should prioritize spending to improve the very reason for their existence: the students and their educations.

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