I've been a staff member here at SIUE for over 2 years now. I haven't stayed because the job pays well, or because of the great benefits, but because of the opportunity to help students going through college. But anyone who has worked someplace for a time quickly begins to notice the issues that are most prevalent, and the university has many that threaten the future of SIUE as a whole.
While students continue to navigate the challenges of the growing world, from surviving classes to taking on debt to pay for college, the faculty and staff of the university are constantly finding themselves at odds with the actions of the administration that they report to. Just recently, steps were taken to consolidate all email inquiries to a singular office, rather than the schools themselves, which has created concerns that many students will fall through the cracks due to lack of competent response time for questions. Similarly, the online catalogue of programs and courses was updated with a new look and navigation scheme. Unfortunately, the site has now become a nightmare to navigate and some of the links and information are either outdated or mislabeled. In the School of Nursing alone, all profile links for our undergraduate programs direct people to a single program, rather than their respective sites. Also, the link for our undergraduate applications for the programs have been removed, thus leaving our team at a loss for how prospective students will have to apply online.
These are just a couple of the issues that seem to stem from a larger problem that the university faces. The administration is in an unorganized tailspin to try and update the image of SIUE, without putting thought into what the ramifications of these decisions are. Most of these acts are spurred on by financial hardships and "less than ideal" enrollment numbers. Rather than shifting into a crisis mode and planning a sustainable initiative to address these issues, it appears that their is more concern for perception, such as the large rebranding campaign that is being advocated for. Meanwhile, services are being dissolved, workers are concerned about issues such as lack of retention and burnout, and fees for students are increasing.
What is worse is that, in my few years of working here at SIUE, I have come to the conclusion that directly appealing to those in charge does little to address the issues. I have made my concerns known to individual administrators before, and they have been brushed of or forgotten.
This is why I wanted to appeal to any students or employees that have noticed similar troubles in the university: Please do not let these things go unmentioned. Deep down, we all want SIUE to be a place where students can prepare themselves for the future. But at the rate things are going, that desire to facilitate knowledge and understanding may be in serious jeopardy.
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