Administrative turnover: Addressing understaffing challenges
The rate of administrative turnover at Brandeis is something this board finds concerning; many staff and administration members have come and gone after very short tenures.
Often, this means that responsibilities and titles get mixed up in the frenzy of people trying to cover projects that were not originally their responsibility — or positions are left open, meaning that the work just isn’t getting done.
This can be very confusing for students, as they are left confused as to who to contact when the person they originally were supposed to reach out to no longer works at Brandeis.
This can and has led to miscommunication, as we wrote about in a previous editorial when rooms were triple-booked for club events. Members of this board have experienced this issue themselves.
In the beginning of this academic year, we were told to keep an administration member cc’d on all of our emails with the administration, only to be informed by them that they would no longer be working at Brandeis at the beginning of this semester.
There are a number of departments that this board can substantiate that are understaffed or have a high turnover rate, including staff in the library’s Robert D. Farber University Archives and Special Collections, University Events, academic advisors at Student Support Services, the library’s Communications Department and the Director of the Intercultural Center, who have all arrived and left the position within about two and a half years.
This instability can leave students frustrated as they outlast the staff that is supposed to support them, and they have to go through the process of waiting for the next person to be hired, trained and situated.
Many important administrative roles experienced high turnover, including Student Support Service Program academic advisors, which is problematic given that it’s a federal program meant to help low income and first generation students. Not having a familiar face is the opposite of helpful when adjusting to the University.
Other gaps in administration are shown in the Student Accessibility Support office, and empty positions have yet to be filled which is problematic considering the massive effect this can have on student lives and quality of living.
While the work that these faculty and staff members carry out is greatly appreciated, this instability and lack of training for successors can complicate things for students.
This seems like a major issue since there also seems to also be a high turnover rate amongst faculty, if adjunct professors are included and this board believes should be, as some adjunct professors have been teaching here for a number of years.
This seems to be a problem with school finances of the school as we have anonymously been told that many of the staff left due to not being compensated fairly.