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New counseling option draws concerns from faculty senator

The University is preparing for the summer and next academic year with numerous updates to not only the campus but services provided to the campus community. 

The Faculty Senate held an organizational meeting on May 7 to discuss the upcoming academic year. The meeting brought attention to numerous issues that affect faculty and students. 

A subject of interest, for students and faculty alike, that surprised members of the Faculty Senate is bringing new mental health services for the campus community. Aaron Irvin, professor of history and at-large senator, said he discovered this after examining how the Racer Experience fee was being used. 

“The Racer Experience fee was actually supposed to be used for counseling and none of it actually seemed to be used on student counseling,” he said. “The question was, ‘Where did that money go?’” 

From Irvin’s investigation, he found that the fee was supposed to be used to fund counseling services. Only $30,000, out of $1.2 million, of the fee was used to provide a full-time counselor position that has remained vacant the entire academic year. 

According to documents provided by Irvin, the University is signing a $275,000 contract with a private company, TimelyCare, to begin using counseling services provided. The company is meant to be an extension of pre-existing counseling services, not a replacement. This new contract will increase the Racer Experience fee by $50.

The Senate also discussed new construction and parking spots. Construction is expected to begin late summer on the new nursing building, and renovation will begin on the Oakley Applied Science Building. 

In tandem, this eliminates around 150 parking spots and shifts parking over to other lots. Thomas Powell, parking advisory committee representative, discussed eliminating some student-specific parking lots and shifting it to faculty-only parking. 

The map view of how parking zones will change during construction this summer. The white box is where the construction will take place, the blue boxes represent faculty parking only and the purple boxes represent student parking. (Bri Hunter)

“It’s going to be crazy, the students lose (lots),” he said. “There’s going to be an increase in spots available (for faculty), but students will have to walk further and plan ahead.” 

Senators also heard about a recent market salary study regarding faculty pay. The Evergreen market survey was conducted to determine if the University is competitive in market salary. Melony Shemberger, faculty regent, said more details were to come at the next Board of Regents meeting.

“The Board of Regents will need to approve the employee compensation review study, as well as the salary roster for the next fiscal year,” she said. “This is going to be more elaborate, in which (faculty will see what market value shows for someone’s position and years of service).” 

The next Board of Regents meeting is June 7. 


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About the Contributor
Bri Hunter
Bri Hunter, Chief Copy Editor
Bri Hunter is the Chief Copy Editor at The News. Hunter is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in media production. She also is a service member in the Kentucky Army National Guard. Outside of work and college, Hunter enjoys weight lifting, riding motorcycles, camping and reading a good book while drinking a solid cup of coffee.

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