Student opinions vary on CEU/USU merger
With the merger between the College of Eastern Utah and Utah State taking shape, many students have been increasingly concerned about what the future holds.
"When no one knows what's going on, neither do I.They have to stop and realize what this (the merger) will do in the short term and not just the long term," said CEU student, Scott Zaborski.
For many, the college offers multiple appeals, by providing a more personal learning environment with small classes and good student-teacher interaction. At the same time the school offers a local option for cost-effective higher education. However, the merger will affect all aspects of CEU, including the students; who have a diverse range of opinions on the subject.
A common frustration felt by many at CEU is a lack of solid information. Although many specifics are still up in the air, some students feel that more details could be made available, especially concerning tuition, course offerings and degree programs.
"All I'm saying is that we're confused and it seems like they're trying to keep us in the dark. How much is everything (tuition) going to cost?" asked Mae Goss.
Aside from questions about the merger, support for it is mixed, as some students think it is the wrong direction for the school, while others were in full support. However, others were in full support. However, all who were questioned agreed, that they wanted the students and the community to benefit from the change.
"I support the merger 100 percent," said Nathaniel Behn, a CEU student who is studying history. "A bigger school means more students, more opportunities and it will be really good for Price's economy."
One universal concern among students is the concern about the future as far as teachers go, because no one is really sure what will happen to instructors who are not full professors. Many of the students are unclear if instructors without a doctorate degree will be allowed to continue teaching once the merger is complete.
"I'm concerned about what's going to be taken away, because they already took some degrees away, so it's weird that they say they'll offer more. It makes me nervous," said Nicole Smith, a business major who is also an ambassador.
Some students who are school ambassadors said that they've had a hard time trying to recruit new students, because of a lack of information. One area where they expressed difficulty occurred when they tried to answer questions about what the school will be called, and whether the current atmosphere will be maintained.
"I hope that we don't lose the small classes and the one-on -one attention, because the identity of CEU is really like a big family," said Ms. Smith.
CEU's identity is a significant aspect of the concern, because many students indicated that a major appeal of the school is its close-knit community and sense of professor involvement. However, other concerns in terms of identity center on the school name and mascot. Devin Latu wanted to know if CEU students would be given access to USU football games. Others were more concerned about what the school's mascot would be.
"I think we should be called the Begals; you know, a combination of the Eagles and the Bulls," said Mr. Zaborski.
Next week, the board of regents task force in charge of dealing with the details of the merger will meet at CEU and discuss the draft memorandum of understanding they have been working on. That meeting will take place at the Blanding campus on Monday at 10 a.m. Then that afternoon the task force will be on the main campus in Price at 4 p.m. in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center multi-purpose room.
The public is invited to attend the meetings, and citizens are urged to comment on the MOU before it is presented to the board of regents on Dec. 11.