Grand Rapids Community College is preparing a proposal that will again be presented to the Board of Trustees to acquire close to $100 million for campus renovations.
The article, “Board asks for additional funding,” on page one of this issue, said the school is planning to use the money to improve two on-campus buildings, a campus pre-school program and different technological issues at the school.
Although the plan has already gotten support from some members on the Board of Trustees, the plan still needs the final vote of approval before it can be placed on the May ballot to be voted on by the public.
When Faculty Association President Fred van Hartesveldt was interviewed about the topic, he voiced support for the plan but also pointed out a flaw within it.
“I do feel that the college needs capital improvement,” van Harteveldt said. “However, I can’t say that without in the same breath also saying I would still like to see the college hiring more full-time employees.”
The two biggest stories within the last year in relation to the school have been about the school’s lack of hiring full-time faculty members and this recently proposed plan.
If the school wants to provide a solution for both issues, it needs to combine the two ideas.
Before the plan is again presented to the Board of Trustees, the school needs to step back and re-evaluate its goals. GRCC and its administration needs to remember that the school is first and foremost a place of education.
Grand Rapids Community College should be providing students with the best education they can get for a low cost, and in order to do that, the school needs to make sure they have full-time faculty in place to be the educational help the students need.
The improvements to the buildings that have been proposed would be amazing, and when complete, it would give GRCC a more professional look that it has been lacking.
That said, what good is a beautiful school with its long, elegant hallways if there is a lack of full-time faculty.
The time has come to look at the proposed plan and make the changes that need to be made. If the school is willing to ask Kent County for $100 million for structural improvements, then it’s time the school finally swallows its pride and does what is right for the students.
For the sake of the current and future students, finally do what should have been done years ago and reverse the trend by hiring more full-time faculty.
Do what you feel needs to be done with building renovations but also do what’s right for our students: give them more full-time faculty.