Bradley University is in trouble.
Our esteemed “best value” college experience is in jeopardy of being crushed by the poor fiscal decision-making of a few. I’m speaking, of course, about the recent awareness of how money is being misspent by the university’s administrative offices and has been over the past few years.
For example, the combined salaries of University President Joanne Glasser and men’s basketball Coach Geno Ford total more than $1 million. These numbers have only increased year after year, and coincidentally, so has tuition. Plus, this has occurred without increasing merit scholarships of returning students.
Despite the obvious question of why a person needs to make that much money to begin with, a much more pertinent inquiry unfolds: how has the academic state of Bradley University, as well as the student body, been affected by these decisions?
For starters, while the administrative staff spent time and effort raising money for our new Alumni Center ($12 million) and Renaissance Coliseum ($51.1 million), academic and scholarly branches in dire need of assistance were ignored or otherwise deemed unimportant.
Our library, which has appeared in the Princeton Review’s category of “This is a Library?” more than once, is in shambles and in great need of updated resources, which would only benefit our academic progress as a student body.
Other departments across campus also find their budgets contain too few dollars to fully fund student research projects, which then limit and inhibit the potential collegiate achievements of individual students.
The campus meal plan continues to be reformed, but only at the expense of the students – not allowing them to receive unused meal-plan funds that rightfully belong to the student, not the university.
Students continue to be disappointed with campus events (i.e., university-sponsored concerts), because the opinions and interests of the student body are ignored. Again, these are decisions made by a few, which are negatively impacting the general Bradley community. To all this some may ask, “So what?”, which is a much welcomed question.
Unfortunately, the current student body was enrolled at Bradley after these decisions were already made and put into motion. Therefore, we have inherited the negative byproducts of already established mistakes and, thus, cannot change them.
However, we as the student body who are now aware of these mistakes can, in a way, sway the next decision. So, in response to those who ask, “So what?”, I ask “So what now?”
We have some options. One is to demand administrative positions to take a salary cut, and use that money to improve campus that are vital to its future success (i.e., the library).
Another option is to request the university to shift its fundraising tactics from emphasizing recreational facilities to being able to provide an enriching college experience to the students that are actually here now. Isn’t that what we promise our incoming freshmen every fall?
Are we going to continue to allow the administration of this university to continue to misallocate our tuition? Or are we going to be the first generation to take back our education and make Bradley the great institution it should be?
– Mark Lehtman
Senior psychology and history major