Spring 1996, The Nudepaper


Editorial by Marlo Jacobson

I never thought things at Goddard could go downhill compared to the state of affairs when I first arrived here last fall. Apparently I was sadly mistaken. The worst part of all of this is that most of the destruction is going on behind the scenes in places we rarely go once we are here. Think for a moment back to last time you went to admissions or financial aid. I honestly can say my first semester I must have stepped into that office maybe twice, or at most three times. If there hadn't been so much dirt dug up after the resignation of Peter Burns we may have never seen what was going on.

Our president has circumvented the governance documents on so many occasions to serve his own goals without consent of the community. Miller and Cook were brought here without consent of the community and without CEC approval. Did President Greene even have the consent of the Executive Committee? Miller and Cook were presented to the Goddard community as agents of change and fiscal stability for the college. We were told that last fiscal year we had a shortage of enrollment and this is to blame for our deficit. This is not true.

The reason we had a budget shortfall cannot lie in admissions because the shortage in admissions projections was only $59,000. Some of this $773,000 shortfall can be attributed to the development office only hitting 40% of their projected income, to name only one place.

Admissions, financial aid, and the Admissions committee by the people who feel this change the most at the moment. Employees of admissions are now required to work longer hours with no compensation. The average day consists of one employee coming in at 8:00 AM and working regular office hours while the rest come in at 11:30 AM and work until 8:00 PM. On alternate days, employees work from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Now I ask you to take a good hard look at the admissions process as it was when I applied to Goddard. The requirements were heavy; I almost wish I had waited another year. For admission to Goddard you now only need a personal statement, application, and transcripts. No longer is it required to have an interview, an intergral part in the admissions and selection process that gives the perspective student and the interviewer a chance to take a good hard look at what they are getting themselves into. Letters of recommendations are no longer required.

All applications, once completed (which is not hard with so few requirements) are processed that day! When I applied here it took one week and that was pushing it. How can this be done? Simple, Admissions committee no longer meets as a committee.

Members are required to come to admissions once a day between the hours of 1:30 PM and 2:30 PM. This is the only time allowed for community input. If a member cannot be there to read files that day they never see the file, or have any say and those excepted or rejected that day. This goes against the ideals of collaboration and goes against the Governance documents (see page 16, see also Jan Donley's letter to Greene and Dysart, p. 4).

Next, we go to the working conditions in admissions and financial aid. The consultants really gave us a snow job when they talked about growth in the student population and never mentioned it would be implemented with such a strict authoritarian rule. I was told by a student working in admissions that one day Dysart (the first consultant working in admissions) witnessed some rather unruly admissions employees looking out a window together and stated to them that they could do that on their break.

When I wondered about the conditions in financial aid, I was told that allegations were made to Manuel O'Neill that he had an attitude problem and if and that if there isn't a noticeable change in his attitude, his contract will not be renewed. Manuel's contract is up in June.

When I wondered about the attitude problems I was told that on some level there was tension to be expected from all parties involved. After all the consultants have come in with a different paradigm than that of Goddard's, and the two will inevitably clash over and over again. The new paradigm is a traditional standpoint of "do as you're told and everything will be fine" (something we should beginning used to with Greene at the helm).

Manuel spoke candidly with me about his position in financial aid stating, "I still hold the title of director of financial aid but I make no decisions... that power belongs to Miller and Cook." We discussed new policies in financial aid such as the widely talked about $5,000 grant issued to all new students. A little-known fact about this grant is that it will be offered on a top of the usual Goddard grant and Goddard loan, and is renewable each year. The $5,000 Grant is only offered to on-campus students; RLO's receives $3750 and off-campus students receive $700. This means that incoming students will be paying less than the rest of the student population. Since Goddard has a tradition of not being able to hold onto returning students, I have to question the logic in all of this. I did, and was informed that the only tuition break that will be offered to returning students is $1,500 to full pay students (students who pay all tuition without any financial aid). This leaves out the bulk of students, who are on some kind of assistance.

I want to know what good will come of all of this. When students arrive here in the fall and are disappointed in the facilities and the lack of faculty, what are they going to have left?

We already can not meet the demands of the students as far as courses and programs that were promised. What do we really have to offer except lifelong friendships and good cafeteria food.

I just can't seem to find a silver lining here.