Eastern Library Renovations Continue

Workers have been diligent in renovating the space.
Workers have been diligent in renovating the space. Schleider Simon | The Waltonian
As some faculty, staff and students have noticed, construction is currently underway in the library for the purpose of supplying the two new hires with a work space. In addition, the Human Resources Department is relocating to the library as well.

Two Human Resources positions began on July 1, 2014, created by Dr. Kent Sparks, as the Vice President of Enrollment Management and his executive assistant. “The objective for the workers is to improve the enrollment at Eastern University,” claims Pernell Jones, the Vice President for Finance and Operations.

The purpose for strengthening enrollment is to “enhance the on-campus experience, [build] community, and [increase] diversity,” states Jones. This could be essential for faculty, staff and students because they are all a part of the community, as well as have diverse characteristics and contribute to “the on-campus experience”. “Stronger enrollments will also result in additional resources that can be used to heighten the quality of our academic and student-life programs, and improve the quality of our facilities,” states Jones. With more resources targeted towards enhancing the educational programming and the services, Eastern continues the movement towards advocating faith, reason and justice.

Four departments at Eastern University chose the library as the place of relocation. At first, finding space for the two new employees was the objective, but it changed to relocating the whole department. The library was the final decision of placing the Human Resources Department because it is more accessible for staff and faculty than their original location in Ott Hall.

On a more negative note, some space was taken away from the library and a classroom in Harold Howard Center. The periodical reading section was used to create space for the Human Resources Department. For purposes of space reduction the area will display 100 periodicals instead of 225 periodicals. The rest of the periodicals will be placed on the lower level of the library; if someone needs help finding periodicals, they are able to ask the library staff. Furniture that was in this area was moved to the upper level of the library. The classroom adjacent was also reduced in size to provide more space for the Human Resources Department. The department realizes the impact that the reduction of the library and a classroom has on the faculty and students. The faculty’s reaction to this decision of relocation has been noted by Walter Huddell, the spokesperson for the faculty.

The library makes room for new hires and the Human Resources department
The library makes room for new hires and the Human Resources department Schleider Simon | The Waltonian

The faculty can see how the relocation was helpful for the purpose of more accessibility. In contrast, they are worried that Eastern’s restricted space is slowly increasing. The replacement of the office space in a place other than a classroom and the library would have been ideal.

The process of informing the faculty caused concern. Huddell states, “I’m confident that our administration has heard these concerns and that they will do all in their power to work with the faculty for better solutions in the future.”

The relocation of the Human Resources Department to the library has positive and negative effects, but the overall intention is to enhance enrollment at Eastern University. Currently, the undergraduate retention rate is 80 percent, showing that most students who have previously enrolled have a reason to stay. There are 165 faculty members that will have better access to the Human Resources Department.

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