Staff Editorial

With the announcement of the schedule change for 2009, students across campus have offered strong, valid opinions in support of and opposition to the change. Without knowing the full effects of the schedule change and without a proper knowledge of the University’s financial situation, we at The Lawrentian do not feel it would be wise to offer an endorsement or criticism of the decision.
We do feel comfortable, however, expressing qualms about how the decision was made.
The most obvious error in how this was gone about was the lack of faculty input. At no point in the decision-making process were faculty given a voice. Professors, administrators and other employees will obviously be affected by the change in their own professional and personal lives and, therefore, their opinions should have been requested. That the trustees omitted faculty views as they decided to alter the schedule is an obvious snub and a troubling indication of the current faculty-administration relationship.
Students, unlike the faculty, were included in discussions about the schedule change. Nine students are on the trustees’ Subcommittee on Student Affairs that met two weeks ago to discuss cost-cutting measures.
However, the fact that President Beck and the board of trustees thought that nine students would be sufficient to speak for the whole student body is surprising. What is perhaps more disconcerting is that these students were not selected randomly, but instead were mostly hand-selected by current LUCC president James Duncan-Welke.
We understand that Duncan-Welke was simply fulfilling a presidential duty and that these students were never meant to be a random sampling of the student body, but we feel that for so momentous a decision, a greater proportion of the student body should have been represented.
While we understand the administration’s reluctance to issue a campus-wide survey or take other action of a similar logistical difficulty, we believe a fairer and more balanced approach could, and should have, been taken.
Whether the inclusion of the nine students was merely an appeasement or an actual sign of good faith towards the student body, it is impossible to surmise how much these nine students’ opinions affected the board of trustees’ decision.
The Lawrence community would have benefited from greater circumspection and more careful deliberation as the schedule change decision was made, as the change will have greater ramifications for the students, faculty and staff than the trustees may have realized.

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