Students weigh in on Innovation Task Force

University President Steven Knapp announced a plan last Friday to increase GW’s investment in academics and research by $60 million per year over the next five years. He also launched a task force to solicit suggestions from students, faculty, alumni and other members of the GW community to help make this happen.

The president, along with other University officials, will look for ways to save money by launching the Innovation Task Force, designed to evaluate the University’s budget and ensure funds are being used in the most efficient ways.

Students and professors interviewed said the funds should go toward student financial aid and building renovations that, in the long run, will help GW rise in nationwide rankings.

“Having spent time at top-tier universities, I am happy to see efforts being made to elevate GW’s status,” said Dr. Denis Cioffi, an associate professor in the decision sciences department. “Clearly we should be spending our money efficiently, so as to obtain the greatest benefit.”

Many students interviewed said GW should cut back on expensive events like Colonial Inauguration and focus more on actual student needs like on-campus jobs and Gelman and Eckles library renovations.

“CI is such a waste of money. The students are already coming to the school, why are we spending money to wow them?” sophomore Laura Nichols asked. “GW seems to focus more on spectacle rather than substance.”


Students speak out on the Innovation Task Force

“It’s a good idea to spend money towards research and academics. It will go a long way towards making GW a prominent research facility. I haven’t noticed any programs that are lacking funding, you kind of have to make do.”
Margaret Christenson, sophomore, international affairs

“[Colonial Inauguration] is such a waste of money. The students are already coming to the school, why are we spending money to wow them? GW seems to focus more on spectacle rather than substance, which just goes with the reputation of the school.”
Laura Nichols, sophomore, english and anthropology

“I’m not a good student but how can I be a good student with Gelman? I would hate to be a music student paying $55,000 with the music department.”
Renwick Milligan, senior, political science

“I think they should use the money and make more jobs on campus so students don’t have to volunteer.”
Abdul Fofana, senior, psychology

“They should put money into attracting better students, smarter kids that will make the school better.”
Hassein Nouri, second-year graduate student, School of Business

“In the long run it will make GW a better school. People will walk out with degrees that are more powerful, which will make alumni give back and increase our rankings.”
Michael Nouri, second-year graduate student, School of Business


This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: (Oct. 23, 2009)

The Hatchet incorrectly stated the name of Michael Nouri as Michael Norton.

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