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Lack of space results in shared offices among staff

By Paris Franz, For The Miami Student

Due to campus renovations and department growth, a lack of space has caused some professors to share their offices.

Richard Campbell, chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film (MJF), said his department, located in Williams Hall, lacks office space.

"I have faculty in Bachelor that we don't have room for over here [in Williams], and then we do have some faculty that share offices," Campbell said.

Campbell attributes the lack of space to two main causes: the widespread remodeling and building taking place on campus and the growth of his department. The large amount of remodeling on campus displaces faculty while departmental growth strains limited resources.

"I think certainly our department is growing - we're a large department with lots of faculty and we just right now don't have room," said Campbell.

However, Campbell also said the university was very considerate of their space issues and has allowed the department to perform renovations specifically meant to address the lack of office space.

"The college was very supportive and helped us; we built, remodeled three or four offices over the summer and built two new offices [in Williams] out of existing space," said Campbell. "I put in a request and the Dean's office helped us do that."

Journalism instructor Dianne Gebhardt-French currently shares her office located in Williams Hall. Sharing an office has not been an issue for her, she said.

"I don't think there are effects on my productivity because my office mate doesn't use the office very much," Gebhardt-French said.

However, Gebhardt-French said this may not be the case for everyone. She noted that her personal background in journalism has made her an ideal candidate to share an office.

"I have worked in newsrooms with dozens of people," said Gebhardt-French. "So I think my unusual background has made me a good person to share space, because I worked in newsrooms where I didn't have an office."

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According to Campbell, MJF is planning to perform more renovations next summer to alleviate the need for office space.

MJF is not the only department to have space issues. Physics professor Samir Bali said the Department of Physics is also short on space.

"I mean, clearly, there is never going to be a situation where there are just spare offices," Bali said. "And so, we have ... a 'suite,' because then there are two or three people who will be in there at a time."

The Department of Physics recently moved from Culler to Kreger Hall the summer of 2014. While Bali appreciates the office space in Kreger is larger than that in Culler, he does not believe a need for office space was the main reason behind the move.

"I don't think it's because of office space that we moved," said Bali. "It was urgent to upgrade the research labs, and urgent to also upgrade the teaching; the way we teach those rooms had to be better."

Herbert Jaeger, chair of the Department of Physics, agreed his department's primary reasons for moving to Kreger were the needs for laboratory space and better technical building structure. However, the need for office space was considered during the renovation of the building.

"We have office spaces for people who are retired, we have office spaces for people who are temporarily here for maybe a year or so," Jaeger said. "So we tried to look forward and anticipate what will happen."