Smooth moves change opinions
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 22:09
Just as PUC students must adjust to new classrooms at the beginning of every school year, professors must also adapt to different office locations due to moves that took place over the summer.
Academic Facilities Director Michelle Grant said approximately 200 faculty and staff offices were relocated during the moves this summer.
“Due to growth on campus, several of the academic departments had become decentralized with office assignments scattered between buildings. Some of our programs and schools had faculty working in up to three separate buildings,” Grant said. “The moves located faculty together by assigning adjacent office locations within their departments.”
Grant said PUC is dealing with a shortage in office space.
“Historically, academic units were using different criteria for the allocation of office space,” Grant said. “This new plan allowed us to ensure that all tenure & tenure track faculty were assigned a private office and allowed the university to implement standards for the allocations of office space that were consistent for all units.”
According to Grant, another reason for the move was the deterioration of the Gyte Annex building, which she said is difficult for PUC to maintain. Grant said the moves allowed 37 faculty and staff members to be relocated out of the Gyte Annex.
One of the moves that took place was the relocation of the department of foreign languages and literatures from the third floor of the Classroom Office Building to the second floor of Gene Stratton Porter Hall. Several faculty members, including French Professor Jin Lu, have changed their thoughts about the moves since they first heard the plans.
“Faculty members, through the PUC faculty senate, have expressed grave concern about the decision-making process regarding office moves and the manner in which the decision was communicated to impacted faculty members,” Lu said. “After the Senate meeting, I think communication was improved and efforts were made to accommodate many of our requests.”
Lu said even though their offices were moved to Porter, most of their classrooms remain in Gyte and CLO.
“I personally do not mind walking around the campus and carrying all the stuff when I have classes back-to-back, but the department heads are in a better position to assess the collective impact of the move,” Lu said. “One thing is sure though. I no longer run into my students like before because they tend to be in other buildings than Porter.”
The nursing department also moved from Gyte Annex to the third floor of CLO. Consequently, the mathematics department offices remained on the same floor, but were resituated. Associate Professor of Mathematics John Coffey moved down the hall in CLO to Room 364 this summer.
“The hard part [about the move] was packing stuff and getting moved out,” Coffey said. He added he found the move helpful because it allowed him to clean out things he no longer needed, such as his old calculus and statistics books, which he donated to charity.
“It was a good housekeeping experience for me,” Coffey said.
Associate Director of Facilities Operations Karen Sullivan said there are no moves scheduled for any departments in the future. As for the future of the Gyte Annex, Grant said the goal is to replace it with a proposed Emerging Technologies Building. She said it is unknown when PUC will receive state funding necessary for the building.