By Leanndra W. Padgett
Back Page Editor
It seems that ending the President’s Ambassadors Program was just the beginning of some controversial changes by President Greene. In a recent statement on the GC website he started revealing some of the highly anticipated and slightly feared changes for the school.
Regardless of your opinion on the changes, keeping people informed is a good first step. The statement was posted under the title “As We Look Ahead, updates from Dr. Greene.” I am not aware of any previous postings like this on the website, but hope that the promise implied in the plural “updates” is fulfilled. Keeping the populace informed is a good thing.
Some of what the president said is heartening. He stated that the college can succeed only as it “exercises the discipline and commitment to get its financial house in order.” We all know this to be the case, so shoot straight with us, Dr. Greene. What’s it going to take to turn this thing around?
His “strategic renewal” is still not explicitly laid out, but several hints have been given as to what the next semester/year have in store for GC. Apparently, every program in the college is under scrutiny. So get your act together everybody: judgment day is here.
It is nerve–wracking to hypothesize about which departments will be identified as showing “underperformance and diminishing potential.” Sometimes good things come in small packages, afterall. Getting rid of small departments (for size will surely be one measure of performance) will decidedly change the offerings and atmosphere of Georgetown.
As much as I hate to say it, in difficult financial times it does make economic sense to trim down the faculty and staff, but these people are what make Georgetown great. To lose even one of them before they decide of their own accord to retire is a tragedy to the college family. Despite the alleged necessity of department cuts, this may turn out to be an appropriate time for mourning.
Once the initial terminations are complete, hopefully things will improve. Focus and specialization could be the key elements our school needs for growth and prosperity. GC is already known for its excellent undergraduate and graduate education programs, for example. If we are able to similarly strengthen the reputation of more departments, we may attract more students. But first, we have to make it through the refining fire.
To all of the faculty and staff who look upon President Greene’s announcement with fear and trepidation: no matter what happens to your contract for next year, I think I can speak for the vast majority of the current students and alumni of Georgetown College in voicing my support for you. Thank you all for what you do for students and the way you go above and beyond what is required and expected.
It may sound like a cheesy advertising ploy, but as a senior I can testify to its accuracy – the faculty and staff are some of the best assets of this college.
The professors intentionally forge relationships with students. I’ve been welcomed into professors’ homes with classes or college groups on at least seven different occasions, and I know that others would open their doors to me if I was ever in need. One of the most valuable things that I will graduate with is a network (I hesitate to use the word because it seems too cold for the familial relationships I am trying to describe) of academic mentors and advisers who truly care about my (and the rest of the students’) well being.
The other staff members are similarly friendly and essential to a GC student’s college career. Caf workers, housekeepers, librarians, grounds workers and members of other administrative offices are consistently helpful to students.
While I understand the financial catalyst behind personnel cuts, I anticipate the changes with great sadness. Whether you stay or go, thank you to all who, through the years, have labored to make GC what it is.