The Scout’s final edition of this academic year is our time to reflect. Our thumbs up and thumbs down is meant to commemorate the good and improve the shortcomings. From several Bradley teams and affiliated groups acquiring accolades and national recognition to the difficult times the Bradley community has experienced, The Scout has been there to cover it all.
The 2018-19 season was full of historical accolades for the Braves. Nearly every team merited a milestone. The men’s basketball team won the Missouri Valley Conference Championship, the men’s cross-country team advanced to the NCAA Championships, the tennis team completed the most successful season in program history and the volleyball team placed third in the MVC, the best since 2001. Not enough can be said about how well Bradley athletics performed this school year and how exciting it was to watch each team succeed.
Despite the resignation of Ken Young, former director of forensics, amidst a decade-old sexual assault investigation last October, the Speech Team still took home two national titles. While it has earned the most championships of any team in the nation, this is the first time the team has won both national championships in a single year since 2013. We commend the Speech Team for the pride and attention it has brought to the university.
The network issue has been increasingly present this semester and stood out when Bradley experienced a campus-wide network outage in March, when sites like Sakai and Webster couldn’t be accessed for over six hours. Chief information officer Zach Gorman sent out multiple emails to all students, encouraging people to report network issues. It is right that the information technology department is actively working toward fixing the problem, but at the end of the day, unstable connections are still a problem. It is on all the students to help the Service Desk identify any connection issues. It is the responsibility of the IT department to make the reporting process easy and accessible, and fix any reported issues in a timely manner.
Bradley announced an enrollment shortfall for the 2018-19 school year that will result in an operating deficit of about $5 million for the fiscal year. The university fell short not just in recruitment of freshman students, but also in student retention. The university has emphasized enrolling and retaining students this year. We hope next year there is not a significant shortfall and that the university can potentially make up some of the deficits.
In April, Bradley and Illinois State University officially signed an agreement to transfer WCBU-FM’s operations to WGLT-FM under ISU. The agreement came after months of speculation and rumors as to what would happen to the Peoria Public Radio station. We are glad Bradley was able to preserve local journalism in Peoria. Bradley could have handled the situation better in terms of communication in order to lessen concern from the public.
In the months to come, Bradley will experience a plethora of new challenges and highlights. The opening of the Business and Engineering Complex is slated for the fall of 2019. Updates regarding the status of this effort have not recently been released, but we hope if the opening is postponed that the university is proactive regarding the situation. This building will be the main academic hub for all business and engineering students, as classes are scheduled in the building for next semester. Pushing the deadline back will have a great impact on campus.
Additionally, many experienced professors and administrators will be departing from the Hilltop. The dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, Joan Sattler, will be retiring after 42 years at the university. Assistant provost Linda Pizzuti, who has spent 25 years at Bradley, will also be entering retirement.
Moving forward, we hope Bradley examines these highs and lows and pushes for improvements all around.