Organization lacking, 'go-to-guy' unclear
April 6, 2007
With the quick changes among administration, and the fine lines between positions becoming even thinner, students may find it difficult to figure out who to talk to if a problem arises.
If a student fell ill, who should they talk to when concerns about falling behind in classes come about?
At most schools in the UW System, a position of dean of students has a presence on campus. This person is available for students to go to if they have concerns about their personal academic performance, courses in general, or the conduct of their peers.
However, at UW-River Falls, dean of students has been vacated and now the position has been dropped all together. As reported in an earlier edition of the Student Voice, the responsibilities of the dean of students have been divided up amongst other administrative jobs.
This leaves us wondering, who do we go to when we have a problem?
Currently, students who seek advice involving a disciplinary action should go to Gregg Heinselman of student services and programs.
In our situation, though, this causes a conflict of interest since Heinselman is also the faculty advisor for the student senate, and it is a student senate member that we wish to discuss.
Shouldn’t there be a more clear and concise path for any student to follow?
As in most institutions there should be one person whose main concern is the students. This role shouldn’t conflict with another position at the University.
It seems unwise to have any faculty or staff member be listed as the “go-to guy” when they’re involved in another student organization. Though everyone would like to believe that conflicts of interest won’t arise within their student group, what happens when it does?
Since it is safe to say that not every student at UWRF reads this paper, we looked at this issue from the viewpoint of a standard student.
The first step was to look at the undergraduate catalogue under “General Administrative and Policy Information.”
According to this section, Blake Fry is that so-called “go-to guy” since he is listed as the dean of students.
This would place any student in a little predicament since the Web site isn’t updated and neither are the undergraduate catalogues. Students are sent in one direction, but end up a dead end searching for a nonexistent position.
The lack of clarity is a great cause for concern for students.
Hopefully students will seek out the advice they need through their academic visors or the former dean of students, Blake Fry, at least until some of the proverbial kinks are ironed out in the administration.