Unclassified professionals, staff confident in Golden — for now

Some senators at Tuesday’s joint unclassified professionals and university support staff meeting spoke highly of University President Jay Golden.

Senators discussed their experiences thus far with the new president, as well as experiences they had with the previous administration.

“I’m gonna tell you, I don’t feel like it’s a smokescreen,” UP Senate President Julie Scott said in response to a senator who asked whether Golden will continue keeping them involved in university decisions. 

Scott continued to laud Golden for his commitment to giving staff a voice in the decision-making process.

“I don’t recall that being done all the time — of us getting a voice,” Scott said. “That’s step one. It hasn’t happened before in my time at Wichita State that we’ve been brought to the table so frequently, and so early and often in the process, and he is continuing to repeat that.”

Scott has been at the university for 13 years.

Randy Sessions, university support staff senator and technology manager for the university police department, also voiced his support for Golden.

“One of the things that I’ve noticed with Golden, before he even took — well, way before he even took official office — he was making his rounds around campus,” Sessions said. 

“I am very optimistic that he is going to do what he says he’s going to do.”

Sessions said Golden is on campus early in the morning to have breakfast with students, and he doesn’t leave until 10 p.m. 

“This guy made himself sick because of his 18-hour days,” Sessions said. “I think he wants to be here, and he wants to facilitate changes.”

Sessions, who previously served as the university support staff president, has been at WSU for 34 years.

Sessions recalled his previous experiences advocating for staff under former University President John Bardo. He said there was a lack of transparency in the decision-making process.

“It took a couple years, that everything that we asked for under Bardo was given to us as classified, now USS staff,” he said. “Not going to say Bardo was perfect, because as things progressed after that, there was a lot of lack of transparency that has gone on on this campus.”