BY STERLING MCTEE
Drake has seen staffing changes consistently throughout the University’s history.
According to Denise Ganpat, the university generally takes care to ensure that students aren’t affected by staff changes. Drake “tries to shift responsibility…so that the students don’t feel the impact when there are openings,” Ganpat said, “I know that sometimes if it’s a very vital type of role, they can fast-track those positions to help them get filled even faster.”
Ganpat recently changed her position in the University, now working in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as an administrative assistant, after working in a similar role with Drake International for seven years. She said that the process of changing her position was a good one and that she is glad that she was able to move to her new job.
“As far as positions that open up, that doesn’t happen very often,” Ganpat said.
In these cases, most staff are satisfied with Drake’s procedures, and Ganpat noted that there weren’t any major staffing changes happening that she knew of. That being said, many students are aware of the staffing changes in the SJMC.
One professor, Dr. Lee Jolliffe, discussed how she has felt the impact of “the cut in the number of work studies allotted to…the journalism school.” Jolliffe made use of a work-study teacher aid for her largest class, JMC-58, which has 60 students.
“Some days are fine, but some days I can’t keep up with the questions students have when they get into individual issues trying to work with the software,” Jolliffe said. “So lacking a [teacher aide] I have actually hired someone and I’m paying her out of my own pocket because I think she’s needed.”
According to Jolliffe, who has been a professor at Drake for 23 years, the reductions started last year with the SJMC cutting work hours for student employees across the board. She said she doesn’t necessarily disagree with it, however, as she believes a lack of funding is likely the central issue behind the removal of these positions.
“Colleges are struggling to get students to enroll,” Jolliffe said. “I think it’s sensible, we needed to do it, we don’t want to run at a deficit.”
Some may argue that on one hand, Drake tries to lessen the impact felt by staffing changes. But others may argue that students were the first to be hit when these decisions needed to be made. It’s unknown if these cuts extended to other parts of Drake, or what future plans are being made regarding staff positions.
Neither the Associate Dean of the SJMC nor Drake Human Resources were available to comment.
ILLUSTRATION BY LASHA STEWART