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Editorial Board

KSU administration says one thing, does another

Kent State needs to strategize in order to fill the $5 million hole in its budget. The members of the editorial board understand this.

However, the university’s decisions to deal with its deficit are a bit confusing. After official statements pointed attention toward cutting administrative positions in order to save money, a headline in Thursday’s Daily Kent Stater read, “KSU to change workshop credits.”

In February, the Stater reported that President Carol Cartwright felt reducing the number of administrative employees should take priority above making cuts to programs that affect students.

“The goal is to find more efficiencies in administrative areas so we can protect more academic programs,” she told the Stater.

This editorial board wrote last week that if cuts are to be had in administrative areas to find efficiencies, cuts should be had in executive offices as well.

In Thursday’s article, the area community learned that the university will cut workshops to add funds to its own budget. If students need an extra credit or two to graduate, they may no longer pay a small fee and rely on their tuition to pay the majority of their workshop costs. No, in Spring 2006, workshops will cost significantly more, and some may not be offered at all.

Interestingly, the new administrative policy that dictates this change in workshops was adopted in February of this year by the university’s executive officers — the same month in which the same executive officers told a Stater reporter that cutting academic programs would be a last resort and that cutting administrative positions would come first.

It’s disappointing to hear one thing from executive officers and find they’ve done something completely different. It’s disgusting, too.

This editorial board knows universities across the state are struggling, and we realize things will be cut. This specific slash, however, hurts not only students but specific schools and colleges as well.

It’s scary to read that the School of Journalism and Mass Communication will lose about $110,000 in money it usually makes with the workshops it offers. Questions abound. Will JMC be able to make up even half the revenue it stands to lose? If it cannot, what will the school do in the wake of losing thousands upon thousands of dollars?

It’s a nasty cycle. A school that loses money probably will find it has fewer resources to provide students with a quality education. It may lose professors. It may lose courses.

Ironically, relocating workshop funding from individual schools to the university budget will amount to a $1 million increase in revenue, something Administration Vice President David Creamer told the Stater would be used to reduce cuts made to academics.

How does one cut revenue from academics to make revenue for another budget in order to reduce cuts to academics? It’s very roundabout.

To appropriately address budget concerns, the administration of this university needs to be upfront with its audience about what it’s doing, and it needs to better plan out its actions. Right now, it seems they’re running in circles and running students, faculty and staff members in circles right along with them.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose members are listed to the left.