If three departments with a focus on students come together, one would hope it could be done in such a way to only strengthen all three.
In light of the current budget crisis, the Help/Success Center, the Center for Life Sciences and the Undergraduate Retention Program are being combined into one Academic Support Center.
But the painful side effect is that two directors and many other people will lose their jobs in the merger. The new ASC will have as a director one of the three directors from the old centers, but this leaves two people without a job and one person doing three jobs at once.
Whomever is chosen will be doing not only their current job, but the job of two other directors running two other organizations. They will have to learn not only two new jobs with two new organizations but head up a new presence on campus and establish that new organization’s goals.
With the decreases in staff, it seems inevitable that the focus on students, these organizations always placed such a high value on, will suffer.
In addition, these three centers made valuable contributions to the campus and, since the purpose of the merger is to save money, we can only assume that combining three centers into one with less staff and less money will spread resources so thin as to inevitably reduce the effectiveness, to some extent. With less money, it doesn’t seem possible that there will be enough resources to support all the resources currently provided.
But despite the seemingly depressing outlook, the editorial board maintains hope that it could work. Obviously, there will have to be adjustments, but with a good, central location and a talented (albeit reduced) staff, hopefully the new ASC can forge a new resource on campus.