Wright State University

The Guardian

Office of Student Activities to reorganize

Kristin Baughman, Editor-in-Chief

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Of the many changes announced during the recent approval of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, it was confirmed the Office of Student Activities, Campus Recreation and the Student Union will be reorganizing.

Eric Corbitt, director of Campus Recreation and the Student Union, will be the new director for the Office of Student Activities, according to Dr. Gary Dickstein, interim Vice President of Student Affairs.

Corbitt will be more involved in campus programming. “I’m excited about that a lot,” Corbitt said. “It’s just a little bit easier when you’re under the same supervisor, to have more consistent goals and priorities.”

The main priority is making a smooth transition, according to Corbitt.

“The staff down there [the Office of Student Activities], I have a ton of confidence in, I’ve worked with them for years. I think that’ll go well.”

The offices and budgets of these departments will remain separate.

With these programs working more closely together, it can create efficiency when planning for events. Despite the reorganization, this will allow for students to still receive quality programs and services.

“Anytime you have a reduction in your budget remediation process, my philosophy has been in leading the division, to balance having to keep a sufficient amount of operating dollars and a sufficient amount of people power to use the tools [operating dollars] to do the job to help our student be successful,” Dickstein said.

Now there is a need to look forward to see what is going the division of student affairs will look like in the future. According to Dickstein, this is an opportunity for growth.

“I know that we’re not going to be able to do all the things we’ve been doing,” Dickstein said. “Maybe we shouldn’t have been doing some of things that we were doing, maybe they weren’t as great as we thought they were. As we enhance our assessment, and really try to understand, are we doing what we set out to do?”

In this reorganization, five positions were eliminated between the three departments.

Dickstein is optimistic this will promote collaboration between organizations.

“This is exactly the time where people need to come together as a community and say ‘let’s all share our resources and let’s figure out a way how we can get the best bang for our back by pooling our resources,'” Dickstein said.

The reorganization process has started, and should be finalized by September. There are still roles that need to be assigned.

“Ultimately, I take full responsibility for making the decisions of what was the final budget that was submitted to the budget office, because ultimately, it’s on me,” Dickstein said. “It’s important to note every director had multiple opportunities to provide input.”

This included multiple open forums, some exclusively for staff, and those open to the students.

“This whole thing was done, when I say the whole thing I mean the university’s process, was done pretty quick.”

The reorganization of these departments were announced prematurely by CFO Jeff Ulliman at the presentation of the budget on June 8.

“It was a mistake and shouldn’t have happened,” Dickstein said. “Examples were being given, it in no way shape or form, crossed his mind that it would then reveal to people that they were going to lose their jobs. That was not a realized consequence at all. If it was, I can 100 percent guarantee you Jeff Ulliman never would have said that.”

“I felt, and still feel, terrible. That is not how we should be treating people. But, having said that, people are human and we make mistakes.”

According to Dickstein, it is important to acknowledge how difficult this process is.

“When you have your friends and your colleagues losing their jobs, and for me, having to ultimately some decisions about whose livelihood I’m going to have to end. It is agonizing,” Dickstein said. “It keeps me up at night, it wakes me up in the morning thinking about it. It makes me sad somedays. Having a conversation a person about losing their job is terrible, it is the most difficult, worst thing I’ve ever done in my career. Everybody needs to know that.”

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Wright State University
Office of Student Activities to reorganize