On February 15, the Local Campus Committee Final Report was sent out to staff, faculty and students at UNB Saint John.
Three major issues are highlighted in the report; There are programs suffering from lack of resources, there is a perceived lack of faculty engagement in the recruitment process and finally there is lack of program knowledge among advisors within UNB Saint John’s campus.
The lack of program resources is most likely due to a number of reasons, including but not limited to enrollments, or that the program, like Electronic Commerce, has been neglected in terms of updating curriculum.
This is a perfect time for the university to drop those programs, and to allocate those funds to programs that are popular, such as philosophy or english, but are in need of those resources.
For instance, according to degrees.ca, popular programs for university students include Psychology and Education and, according to the Local Campus Committee Final Report, the former program will only have one faculty member who will administer it.
Wouldn’t it be a more beneficial to move resources from undersubscribed programs, such as Tourism, to Education, and to find another faculty member to help administer the program, providing the breadth and depth of learning that universities are known for?
The LCC Final Report also cites a comment that there is a “lack of faculty engagement in the recruitment process,” followed by another anecdote that there is, “lack of program knowledge among the (academic advisors) spoken to.”
While there are many from faculty that are engaged in the recruitment process and many academic advisors who are at the top of their game when it comes to program knowledge, these comments bring up very serious fundamental problems for the university.
It is abhorrent that ANY advisor is un-educated with regards to programs that they advise on for the university. Students depend on advisors to decipher the increasingly complex requirements of the university. Some advisors need to, it seems, be counseled as to what they need to know to be successful and helpful to the students they are supposed to be helping.
It seems to me that if someone is not qualified as an advisor if they can’t provide the proper information, advice, and direction to a student who may be curious as to what each program offers, how to navigate towards an outcome which involves a shiny piece of UNB letterhead, and where he or she fits into the community.
Finally, why is the entire faculty not fully invested in the promotion of their workplace? It seems counter productive to me to be a member of an esteemed institution, yet not be proud enough to put some time into promoting the very institution which pays one’s salary. It is appalling that some professors and staff of the university seem to be showing a lack of initiative to bring in students, who are the main reasons why the university exists.
This report has pointed out some very serious problems in the culture of the university, specifically its attitude towards students. I applaud the inclusion of these comments in the report and hope that administration takes necessary action.