“We didn’t have a specific plan at the time, so we had to go by `rule of thumb’. ”
This statement by GW Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz sums up what many students believe is the motto guiding GW’s administration. It was used to explain why the University still does not have a coherent funding plan to match its ambitious technology goals. It seems that back when our administrators were deciding on a tuition hike, and justifying this hike to students with comprehensive technology improvements, they were unprepared to deliver. As if that weren’t bad enough, the administration’s new strategy is to threaten students with higher tuition any time improvements are requested. A nice one-two punch below the students’ belts.
The recent reaccreditation team said that while GW’s technology plans are “sound”, it seems insufficient funds exist to cover the cost of modernizing our technology infrastructure. These changes would place GW in line with many other universities that are riding the crest of the technology revolution, instead of treading water in their wake. But this brings up a troubling question. If a 6.9 percent hike, with a $200 “technology fee,” was not enough to bring GW up to par with other universities, why did no one tell students? Why did we have to wait for outsiders to tell us all this while those responsible for our education remained silent?
Another question that comes up is: Where exactly is all our money being spent? If administrators don’t know where they will find the funds necessary to pay for all the technology improvements, how will students know that they are getting their money’s worth? In a democracy, the government’s budgeting process is open to the public’s scrutiny. In the oligarchy known as GW, students are told to just suck it up and accept the decisions made by the folks in Rice Hall, and those trusted with making competent decisions while sitting on the corporate boards of various companies. Is there a sincere desire for student input and respons?
So what should students do? They should call Rice Hall and demand that their voices and opinions be heard. Commencement was referred to by our president as not being “a big enough item standing by itself.” Perhaps the 3,000-plus students who will be graduating would differ with that opinion.
Here’s a challenge to students: If you want the best and brightest in the GW administration to know how you feel, let them know. Call 994-6500 and tell them what you think of Commencement, the technology lag and anything else that bothers you about how this corporation/university is run.