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EDITORIAL: Students need to make their voices heard at the next academic organizational review forum

Susan Grettenberger, professor and director of the social work program asks questions concerning student success on Oct. 6 in the Park Library Auditorium.

At 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10 in Charles V. Park Library Auditorium, the Academic Organizational Review Committee will host a second open forum. This forum gives students and faculty another opportunity to be updated on suggestions made and engage in the academic review process.

The goal of the organizational review process is to increase student success and improve the efficiency of CMU. Ian Davison, senior vice provost for academic reorganization initiative, said any approved change has to meet these four criteria.

First, any organizational change must have a clear rational. Second, changes must have defined metrics related to strategic plan goals. Third, the change must consider costs. Fourth, the change must consider the impact on the entire university.

Davison is still taking suggestions and comments.

Three committees have been appointed by Davison and President George Ross. The committees are tasked with overseeing the academic structure review process and make suggestions as to how the university will accomplish the goals set forth in the 2017-22 academic strategic plan, “Advancing Excellence.”

There are 31 people staffing the committees. Thirty are faculty and staff — only one is a student.

Anna Owens, the president of Student Government Association, is representing all 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Yes, Owens is the voice of students, but she can’t accurately convey our concerns and fears if we don’t voice them. She needs our input and involvement.

Attend the forum and make your voice heard.

Last time, faculty and staff expressed their concerns about the transparency and aggressive timetable the university is pursuing.

At the previous forum, J. Cherie Strachan, a professor of political science and public administration, said, “If you really were considering what your faculty were doing on a day-to-day basis, and you really wanted our input, you would give us time to be thoughtful and deliberative.”

We know faculty and staff are concerned, but students have yet to say anything.

During the forum in October, only faculty and staff were present. The only students there were Central Michigan Life reporters.

Any approved changes will affect every student, especially freshmen who will feel the most immediate effects. Even non-traditional students who spend five or six years on campus will feel these effects too.

There’s so much this reorganization will affect in students’ lives. It’s too important to stand back and be in the dark about this.

It’s November — the process deadline is January, so there’s not much time left.

Students need to make their voices heard in this process.

We urge you to be at Park Library Auditorium at 1 p.m. Nov. 10.