Call for Transparency at Washington Adventist University

Call for Transparency at Washington Adventist University

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Aaron Wilson started this petition to Washington Adventist University Board of Trustees and

We, the undersigned, wish to express our concern with the current series of events that have taken place at Washington Adventist University (WAU) in Takoma Park, Maryland.

According to the February 27, 2019 article in Adventist Today, the Administration of WAU plans to make cuts to faculty positions as well as discontinue several undergraduate and graduate degrees programs. These proposed changes have generated a great deal of confusion among students and alumni. Based on University generated communications, as recent as the November 29, 2018 Weekly Bulletin, the University’s overall numbers for enrollment are the highest since 2013. Although WAU leadership has characterized the article as inaccurate and misleading, the university has issued a statement about imminent cuts. This would suggest that there is truth in the article published by Adventist Today.

The proposed changes join a list of actions taken by the University Administration since 2008 that have resulted in numerous faculty and staff positions eliminated and the discontinuation of programs, such as respiratory care. Additionally, concerns have been expressed with a revolving door in leadership and departures of the Vice Presidents of Ministry, Student Life and Integrated Marketing and Communications.

These series of events have further made it difficult for university students and alumni to express confidence in the trajectory of the institution and may further discourage these individuals from supporting the institution in the future.  

We are asking that the Board of Trustees of Washington Adventist University do the following:

1) Halt any position cuts and/or program discontinuation until transparent discussion has taken place with University stakeholders as to the rationale and purpose.

2) Provide an open forum to students, faculty, staff and alumni by April 14, 2019 to explain the financial rationale for the proposed changes and to help stakeholders understand the University's priorities in budget allocation. 

3) Provide evidence that the University leadership is following best practices in extensive program review, reflecting the priorities of Vision 2025 and 2030.

We acknowledge that higher education institutions nationally are facing challenging times, but alumni and students also know that thoughtful, reflective collaboration can generate solutions that create ownership rather than division. We seek in the end to live to our university's vision, to bring competence and morale leadership to our communities.

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