By now, many have heard the news of the downsizing efforts at Castleton University. This whole thing is pretty concerning, especially as a student. At one point, I even had to consider my future as a Spartan because of this. The lack of communication and detailed information is frustrating.
On our first break of the new semester, I was extremely disappointed in hearing the news about Castleton University’s “restructuring plan” – from my uncle.
Not only was I informed that my college will be taking on some cuts, which seem to be pretty important cuts, but I did not even hear it from the college itself first.
It was in the news.
You would think that CU would at least inform students first so they would not have to be sucker-punched by a news article.
I heard no rumors of this, no signs, no gossip, nothing.
I was simply relaxing at home on vacation when my uncle dropped the news on me. I checked my Castleton email to see if I had missed anything, but I had not. They did not tell the students anything before it was announced.
Nothing at all.
Instantly, I had so many questions. Why is this happening? Are we really that unstable? It was very unsettling.
So, I read the article from the Rutland Herald. It was a lot more than I expected. Layoffs, removal of job positions, and even cuts in majors. At this point I was extremely concerned. What if they remove my major? Or my friends’ majors? When I chose CU, I thought it was a pretty stable school. I guess not.
Finally, once we got back from break, the students got the email that I was waiting for. It was really a lot of information that I already knew, and it seemed pretty sugar-coated.
However, the heading of the attached press release intrigued me. It stated, “Castleton to Restructure for Future Growth.”
Okay, so in the future we’ll grow, but what about the current students? How much will this impact us? As we were completely blindsided by all of this in the first place, it begs the question of whether or not current students will be hurt for the benefit of the future. I almost feel like we’re being left out to dry.
And although I’ve read several articles, the email, and the press release, so many questions still linger. We still wonder if our major will still be here. If our major is cut, will the school let us finish our degree? Many students have close bonds with certain professors (you know, our FYS advisors). Will they be laid off? It is extremely unfair. We should be informed of any new information about this immediately. The students are paying a lot of money to come here. I, personally, chose this school not because it was affordable, but because I loved the school. But now, there seems to be a lot of trust issues. If the restructure has been discussed for a while, why was I not informed that some majors might be cut when I chose to become a Spartan?
But my biggest question is this: Will we actually grow in the future? If this plan does not work, and if enrollment keeps trending downward, we may have to make more and more cuts.
What will happen then?
If we are going to keep losing programs and staff members, students have to be concerned about their future here. I certainly am. I don’t want to be three years in when suddenly my program is gone. This instability of our university is very nerve-racking. I should not feel this way when I have to spend all this money to go here, especially when I could have paid less to go to a more stable school.
I also know that it is not just me. A lot of students are concerned. Every one I have talked to about it has expressed the same questions. There are a lot of rumors, a lot of suspicion, and many unsettled students. This has to change.
We need answers. We need more details so the rumors can end. I want to know now what could be happening. I want to know now what my future looks like here at Castleton. I sure hope the schools sends out weekly updates or something like that. The communication between the administration and the students must be better from here on out, or else the frustration will keep mounting.