Bradley University has once again left students, faculty and staff with disappointment and unanswered questions. For the last year, Bradley has mishandled the logistics and communication in regards to its new Business and Engineering Convergence Center.
The building is no small feat; a two-phased project that spans almost a three-year period. It is understandable and almost inevitable to have complications during the actual executions.
However, the university’s administration has not handled complications well.
Towards the end of the spring semester and throughout the summer, it has become rather obvious that the construction won’t meet the promised deadline. The communication to the affected faculty and staff until mid-July and the communication to students only arrived on July 22.
“We plan to begin teaching classes in the new building mid-semester,” the July email from the University Communications read.
Now at the half-point of the semester, the university did send an email last week updating campus on the progress of the building, which gave the impression the building was ready for class.
That is far from the truth, however. No classes have begun at the mid-semester mark and it does not appear any will start soon. According to the email, business college faculty were supposed to be moved into offices this week and the engineering faculty will start moving in the week of Oct. 28.
At the University Senate meeting Thursday, university president Gary Roberts said the business faculty’s move-in has been moved back another week.
Classes will not begin until faculty are completely moved in, which the university has no set date for. Regardless, classes will not begin in the building until late October to early November, at the earliest.
The constantly-delaying opening date is behind the mid-semester mark Bradley told campus in July and far from the originally promised August completion.
Bradley seems to have wised up a little by not providing a date for classes to actually begin, but it also creates unanswered questions and frustrations.
Students have expressed the doubt the building will even be done by the end of the semester.
Mistakes and delays happen. It is reasonable for the construction of a large academic building to have delays. That is not the problem here.
The major issue is when faculty and students lost faith in their own university’s word. Not once, but twice Bradley administrators told campus the building would be done and it was not. Bradley needs to be conscious of the promises it makes. Or maybe just reserve a little extra time for delays even more than they anticipated.
As the proverb says, “There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept.”