Budget Cuts Affecting Every Department on Tech’s Campus

Everyone is feeling the crunch of hard economic times, including many departments on Tech’s campus like International Student Affairs. “When you don’t have much, there is not much to cut.” Said, Director International Student Affairs, Charles Wilkerson when asked how the recent budget cut affected his department.
The office of international affairs deals with the legalization and documentation of all international students, this job has become more tedious and thorough since the events of 9/11. Tech Hosts 300 international students from countries like; Saudi Arabia, India, China, Korea, and various others. This is a huge undertaking for such a small office with only three employees. MTSU has the same number of international students, but a staff of 12 to handle all legal issues.
Since there are only three full-time employees in the International Student Affairs office, the department was able to hire five student employees. Three were from work study and two paid employees to help with filing, organizing, and printing forms. Since the recent budget cut, the extra help was one of the first to go, with a drastic cut in hours for the part-time student employees. Wilkerson also used to send post cards and Tech info to families in places like Japan and Korea in hopes to bring more interested international students, but at 95 cents a postcard that was also cut.
Wilkerson is thankful his office didn’t have a large budget to begin with because even though they had to make some cuts the International Student Affairs department was not as affected as others.
The International Community hospitality organization and the office of International Student Affairs will host the annual international banquet. “The banquet is held to honor the International Cookeville Hospitality Association,” Said Wilkerson ” It is a way for the international students to thank the host families.” The banquet will be held at six o clock on February 21 in the RUC multi-purpose room. There will be entertainment from various countries, food, prizes, and games. There is a shortage of Cookeville host families and would love to welcome more, so if you or anyone you know would be interested in being a host family or would like to learn more about it contact Dr. Theresa Ennis at Tennis@tntech.edu for more information.