The number of community facilitator resignations this academic year has been alarming. This poses a problem for GW students because the lack of a full staff of CFs makes the living and learning environment that is essential to their academic success difficult to develop or maintain.
While the reasons for CF resignations are sure to vary, they can be boiled down to one; the job description for a CF is not transparent. This allows the Community Living and Learning Center to delegate any responsibility of any volume to CFs they desire, regardless of the responsibilities’ relation to fulfilling the objective of the CF position, and still claim that the delegated responsibilities are within the CF job description. CFs become frustrated by the volume and nature of the responsibilities they are delegated and resign.
While CLLC makes every effort to replace CFs who resign, it is merely a short-term solution that involves high transaction costs. The most efficient way to maintain a full staff of CFs is to create a structure that will ensure they are assigned reasonable amounts of responsibilities and that the natures of those responsibilities relate none other than to the objectives of the position.
The fore mentioned structure needs only to consist of two items; a simple and transparent job description derived from a focused list of objectives for the position, and a system that holds CLLC accountable for its behavior. While a transparent job description would only generate reasonable volumes of relevant responsibilities, it will not ensure that CFs will not be delegated responsibilities not generated by the job description. A system that holds CLLC accountable for its behavior will; only with this system in place can CFs refuse responsibilities that are not within the job description.
This structure is not already in place because CLLC has been incapable of producing it. The only way this structure can be implemented properly is through the use of an outside consultancy. While making CLLC competent enough to implement the structure themselves through staff changes would be ideal, it is impossible. For the individuals who would need to be present on this staff, by nature of labor markets, are outside consultants. It might be useful for CLLC to note that students and faculty can be considered outside consultants.
Until this structure is in place, stable staffs of CFs will not exist to develop and maintain the living and learning environments essential to the academic success of GW students. And as we approach the end of the year, the cost of resigning falls and the responsibilities delegated to CFs mount. The age of CF resignations is still among us.
-The writer, a community facilitator in the Dakota, is a senior majoring in economics.