This year’s State of the College speech was a marked improvement from last year’s, where President Sopcich admitted he could “hear crickets.” The college isn’t out of the woods yet: we still saw a decline in enrollment and the budget is still a concern.
One concern is the college investing money into programs like “FitBit,” a wellness program to improve the fitness of faculty and staff. As adults, we understand whether or not we need exercise, and we have free access to a high quality gym on campus. While many faculty and staff positions aren’t getting filled, some of the current employees are enjoying a sponsored step-tracker. It shouldn’t be the college’s job to hire such as service for its employees.
Expenditures should be used to optimize departments and improve technology. The second segment of the State of the College presentation focused on the achievements of our baseball team, debate club, model United Nations program and culinary team. These are all extra-curricular activities that are mentored, organized and supported by their departments. Some have felt their budgets squeezed this past year.
After the presentation, faculty, staff and board members commented that the segment on the students’ achievements was their favorite part. If we have spare funds for “FitBit,” that money should instead be invested in the organizations and extra-curriculars that attract and retain students. Because their success is the real indicator of the state of the college.