Low budget impacts hiring at Simpson

by Victoria Jones

Simpson College is currently experiencing a hiring freeze due to budget restraints.

The short-term solution for this is to freeze the hiring of full time faculty, which gives the college time to sort things out. Long-term solutions are still being discussed.

“I have concerns [that] any type of long-term freeze would be difficult, but what it means is that we double our efforts in getting good students here and keeping good students here,” said Steve Griffith, senior vice president and academic dean.

According to Griffith, the college tries to estimate how many students it will have each year and then a budget is produced from that number.

“It’s just like your own family budget,” said Griffith.

Student enrollment this year is down for the freshmen class, which means the college is scheduled to spend more money than it is going to bring in.

Simpson hopes to get a larger number of students enrolled in the following years.

The positions currently open at Simpson are not for this academic year, but for next year. One of these positions is a part-time instructor of computer science.

“It is for an instructor to teach one evening course,” said Paul Craven, assistant professor of computer science. “Evening [and] weekend courses can have instructors assigned to them if there are enough students to allow the class to be taught without monetary loss.”

The majority of open positions for this year have been filled by visiting instructors with a one-year contract. However, this does not mean the professors will not have an impact.

One example is Scott Gehler, visiting assistant professor of biology for the 2010-2011 academic school year. It did not take long for him to make an impression on his students.

“He really would strive to make sure that the students were understanding the material he was teaching the class, and provided many outside opportunities to ensure that we were learning,” junior Tess Myer said.

Myer took advantage of those opportunities by attending every study session and making many trips to his office for extra help.

“Dr. Gehler had many positive characteristics, so when I came to realize that he was only contracted to Simpson for a very short time I was a little disappointed, because Dr. Gehler was one of those professors who tried as hard to help the students as the students tried to succeed themselves,” Myer said.