President Schulz, Cutting Programs Is A Mistake

President Schulz, Cutting Programs Is A Mistake

Fixing WSU's fiscal health means nothing if you hurt your students in the process.

I am a die-hard Coug. The second I laid eyes on this campus, I knew it was going to be my second home. I am in my fifth semester here, and I could not be happier with my school.

Until I got an email from the Office of the President, Kirk Schulz.

"As you know from my communications during the past year, the University has been spending more money than it has brought in over the past four years."

I read the first few lines and almost tapped out of the email. These things happen all the time, right? Schools are always spending more money than they should, especially with new buildings being put up on every empty hill.

But something caught my eye further down the page.

"While we are working hard to minimize the impact of these cuts on students, faculty, staff, and the community, difficult decisions must be made. And while our personnel are the University’s most valuable resource, salaries and benefits make up approximately 85 percent of the budget."

Ok...budget cuts are one thing, but cutting personnel is a huge decision. It makes sense that 85 percent of the budget is salaries and benefits.

Here's the thing. A school is only as good as the instructors. You can have all the high-tech facilities and fancy buildings you want, but all that means absolutely nothing without faculty to lead and guide students. Ultimately, we are here to learn, not to check out the new napping pods and meditation rooms.

I kept reading the email and stopped short. I reread it several times to make sure I was reading it correctly.

"In its seventh year, the Performing Arts program has provided outstanding entertainment and arts for the University and the community. It has contributed significantly to the cultural richness of our community. However, ticket sales, grants, and gifts are not enough to keep it financially viable. More than $1.6 million in funding from University reserves has been used to support the program since its inception. This approach is simply not sustainable given other pressing budget challenges we face. Unfortunately, this means that positions will be eliminated when the Performing Arts program is ended at the close of this performance season."

Why is it that whenever a shortage of money is discussed, the arts are the first to go? Sure, STEM programs are important and we need doctors and scientists to survive, but what about our artists? What about the students who spend countless hours in Daggy perfecting scenes, running lines, and learning choreography? Why are they not important?

Last year, I was cast in the WSU Performing Arts' production of She Kills Monsters. It changed my life. I met people who will be my friends long after I graduate. I learned more about myself than sitting through biology ever could have taught me. I got to share something important, something magical with the rest of the world and it was amazing.

President Schulz, you want to take that away from us?

I don't understand.

Performing Arts isn't even the only area being destroyed.

"Temporary employees in the Office of Multicultural Student Services and in the Office of Equity and Diversity have been funded for multiple years using University reserves. Several two-year temporary positions were established to support an increasing number of diverse students. However, no permanent funding was designated at the time of their creation and no permanent funding has been identified since then. Again, a difficult decision is required since we cannot continue to fund these positions from our reserves. As a result, we will not be able to renew several temporary employment contracts."

Can someone please explain to me how cutting positions that increase the diversity on this campus is a good thing. A "difficult decision?" Please.

The icing on the cake. This is what really got me.

"These decisions are painful. They will disrupt lives, and the consequences of eliminating and reducing positions will ripple throughout our community. But as much as I and members of the leadership team regret the necessity of these actions, they must be taken in order to restore the University’s overall fiscal health."

Wait. So, you're telling us that these are decisions that will ruin lives and hurt the community...but don't worry, this will help our fiscal health?

I don't think so.

You are hurting your students. You are ruining a community that has worked so hard to make a name for itself. You are eliminating positions that exist to make WSU the school it claims to be. Improving this university's fiscal status means nothing if this is your solution.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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7 Reasons Why Being An Education Major Is The Best Decision You Can Make In College

Everyone has pride in their major, but us education majors are ones to beat.


Before and throughout college, I changed my major roughly five times. It was such a tough decision for me, but I finally landed on the perfect one for me and that was education. Here are the reasons why being an education major is hands down the best:

1. We get to help others 

A huge reason I stepped into this degree was because I knew I would get to make a difference - small or large.

2. We play a big part in how the future will look like 

Did you ever think about that? Teachers get to help shape the kids of the future by how the classroom is run.

3. Studying education makes you appreciate education 

I have always loved school, but not as much as I do now. I have found a strong passion for education and the value it holds.

4. We get to be role models 

Some of those kids who walk through the door won't have anyone at home rooting for them, or they will, but your encouragement and push will help drive them to succeed.

5. We get to create a fun and effective learning environment 

I have learned what I do and do not want my classroom environment to be just through the teachers that I have had.

6. No one can do my job without the teaching license 

This for me has created job security knowing that no one can take my job without also having gone through the education, student teaching, and testing that I have.

7. Teachers will ALWAYS be needed 

Education will never go away, so neither will we as teachers.

I am honored, to say the least, to be able to be a teacher one day. It is something that I cherish and will work my hardest at being one of the greats.

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