Last Thursday University officials announced the delay of the class registration process by one week. Citing concerns of over-concentration of certain time slots, administration officials felt students deserved more time to peruse a significantly changed schedule of classes before registration begins. With a revised schedule still missing, the entire situation reeks of University bureaucratic ineptitude.
This page understands that running a top academic University in the midst of substantial construction and rapid campus expansion is difficult. Such construction, however, should not be used as an excuse for poor management and planning in academic affairs. In addition to the current registration debacle, administrators delayed announcing the final exam schedule to the point where many students are now forced to purchase more expensive travel arrangements.
Attempting to use construction and a new table of class times as an excuse for such delays is unacceptable. The University should have factored such considerations into their preparations to lose large blocks of classrooms during campus expansion. To partially remedy the situation, administration officials should be clear with students about when they should expect to receive an updated schedule of classes. Doing so will allow students some semblance of an ability to gauge when they might be able to plan for next semester.
Coupled with the final exam schedule mishap, this situation is indicative of poor overall University customer service. The University has taken a step to improve this by creating a department of customer service to be headed by former CLLC director Andrew Sonn. It must ensure this does not become merely a ceremonial post, but rather a position with real authority to cut through GW’s bureaucracy to the benefit of the student body.
The GW administration has a serious credibility problem when it comes to planning and addressing general student needs. It is imperative that administrators work diligently to provide students with an updated schedule of classes as soon as possible in the short term, while working to alleviate the University’s sometimes overwhelming bureaucracy in the long term.