With talk of the budget cuts floating around campus, students and faculty feel that they are not receiving sufficient answers about the university’s decision-making process.
The announcement that Bradley is suffering from a $13 million deficit this year came in an email three weeks before the beginning of the semester and many students felt blindsided by the news. Since then, students have not received any updates regarding the situation.
Because of this, many students have heard different statements from other students and faculty. It has been stated that the university will look over enrollment data to determine which programs should be cut. Many students fear their major or minor will be discontinued.
The Scout staff believes that students should be included in the conversation because these budget cuts are directly impacting the trajectory of their college career.
On July 31, an email informing faculty of the budget deficit also mentioned that a forum would be held on campus four days later. Not only was this email not sent to students, but the forum was held before school started when most faculty were not around to voice their concerns.
Then, on Sept. 21, another email was sent detailing the process for the cuts, which students also did not receive.
It would be more beneficial to alert students of changes in the budget cuts or at the very least keep them in the loop of what the university is planning to ease the nerves surrounding the unknown.
Students understand the seriousness of the financial crisis and know the measures that need to be taken, but they would like to be aware of the process. Majors and minors are being affected, and it’s important that the people in these programs know if they’re education will be changed in any way.
The administration could potentially increase student involvement and prepare students for the discontinuation by administering a survey to the student body regarding the programs they are in or interested in. This way, programs that have potential for involvement would not be impacted.
Another byproduct of the budget cuts is the loss of several faculty members and academic centers on campus. Earlier this year, the administration closed the Center for Legal Studies and director Brigette Lobacz is no longer employed at the university.
It is frustrating for students to have the faculty that have been instrumental in their success at Bradley suddenly gone with last-minute alternatives.
Something else that can frustrate both faculty and students is that it is currently only academic programs being cut instead of athletic programs. It may raise concerns about Bradley prioritizing sports over academics.
Ultimately, students and faculty want to feel heard and not ignored. Their feelings and opinions deserve to be recognized.