Staff Editorial: Thumbs Up / Thumbs Down

Sequester

Whether you blame the White House or Congress for its inability to cut a deal over the sequester, the federal government got orders Friday to shave $85 billion from its budget. Luckily, GW is prepared to absorb the effects of the shrinking federal funding: The University saw a 4.6 percent increase in research dollars this year and has a significant amount of cash on hand in case of any cuts in federal funding. This means the University will likely be more insulated than other institutions of higher education.

GW Law School

Former GW Law School Dean Paul Schiff Berman took a new position last November as vice provost for online education and academic innovation. Faculty told The Hatchet in February that there was friction between Berman and professors, who were on the verge of conducting a vote of no confidence against the dean.

The professors did not indicate any problems with Berman’s initiatives. Rather, they were concerned by the lack of dialogue between the dean and the faculty and his supposed unwillingness to collaborate on major initiatives.

Regardless of the accusations and tensions, unrest in the law school can only harm students. Whoever the University chooses as the next leader of the law school, we hope he or she will make a more concerted effort to maintain a dialogue with faculty.

Career Center

The University Career Center is in the midst of an overhaul, focusing on reaching out to more employers to recruit GW students.

The combination of new programs and the hiring of Associate Assistant Provost Rachel Brown, who started overseeing the department last month, are encouraging. While past students would have benefitted from these ideas, it is a promising move for future students.

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Search

The names of individuals who could soon head the University’s largest college are being kept under wraps. After initially announcing that the six candidates to replace Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Peg Barratt this May would hold public meetings, administrators reversed course.

It is understandable that the University wants the process to remain as confidential as possible during the early stages so that applicants will not feel as though their current positions are in jeopardy. But setting a precedent of decision-making in secrecy is harmful to the community, especially since candidates have been disclosed in the past dean searches.

It’s a shame that the University has decided to forgo transparency in this decision because all students – save for the select few who have been privy to private meetings – will not have the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the candidates or voice their concerns before a final decision is made.

This editorial was updated March 4, 2013 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly stated that the sequester entailed $85 million in cuts. That number is actually $85 billion. We regret this error.

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