Why I’m here

Hi! I started this blog because I work at Western Governors University (WGU) and am unable to vent my feelings of frustration anywhere else.  You see, at WGU if you say anything slightly negative or critical, management will help you find your way to the unemployment line.  Like many of my co-workers, I’m finding it hard to find another job right now, so venting at work is not an option.  I know many of my current (and former) co-workers are just as frustrated as I am, so I think this blog will serve as a safe place for us to “have a say” in a retaliation-free environment.  So, I invite everyone to read and post – students, current and past employees and yes…even management.  If anyone from management finds their way here, please feel free to post.  We won’t retaliate against you because unlike you, we believe every side/opinion should be heard and considered.



13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Monte on January 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Thank You! I to have had issues with this very thing. It seems as nothing that is said is ever taken into account, and transparency is not an option. I truly love working with students, and know from experience that WGU has a great model for the masses and I would attend WGU even if I didn’t work for them. Unfortunately the employees treatment is completely the opposite of how the students are treated. Mentors bend and stretch to make it a pleasant experience for the students, yet management treats mentors as a number, with unequal treatment. Sooner than later the poor treatment of mentors will infiltrate the effectiveness of mentors and will in turn affect the University in a negative fashion. WGU treats some with flexible means, because they will do what ever they are told, whether they agree or find it ethical in nature, but for others, no consideration of the individual situation is given. As stated in the original post, speak up and you will be retaliated against.
    WGU wants to be a great place to work, but they aren’t even in the ballpark, and won’t be until they treat employees as employees and not a number.


  2. Thanks for the being the first to find me Monte! I appreciate your feedback. Yes, I too see that with WGU it is an “all or nothing” mentality – you either do everything they demand of you (without question) or you are an outcast. I find those people who are “all in” frequently have very specific reasons for working at WGU – they have special needs children, elderly parents, live in rural areas, etc and must work from home. They are so afraid of losing their jobs, they must commit everything. Unfortunately, this frequently means giving up their ethical or moral beliefs. I find this disturbing.

    I have one co-worker that was working 60+ hours per week because her manager wanted “more call time” and “higher KPIs” (even though she was already a top performer). The woman was growing so frazzled and stressed she didn’t know what to do (especially when she was time and time again, told to make sure her notes indicated students were working when in fact…they weren’t completing anything). I asked her if she found it ironic that her boss and the university required her to give so much, but asked the students to commit so little. The students didn’t have to return her calls or complete any school work. If she tried to push them at all, they would just ask to be moved to another mentor and it would be approved. Honestly, not only would it be approved, but she would be punished for their request. I told her she was giving up her life (20+) hours per week and her moral beliefs for nothing in return – not for her benefit nor for the students. The only people benefiting were her manager and WGU.

    So, yes, I agree with you, that probably, very, very soon, the negative treatment of mentors (and others) will further permeate and destroy the university. That is a travesty for those students that are respectful and work hard AND for those employees that are honest and true to their morals and ethics. All will be caught in the collapse.


    • I totally agree with what you are posting, I was wondering how WGU expects to achieve a “best places to work” by cutting 20% of its mentor population (see my post from glassdoor.com)? Before I left 20% of the population would have been roughly 100 mentors being let go….knowing that 1 in 5 of your co-workers are going to be fired is not a way to become a best place to work.

      I find it odd that a conventional ground-based university student would spend an average of 12-18 hours a week in the classroom, yet some of my former students at WGU spent less than 4 hours a week studying yet still passed the assessments.


      • Posted by MAC on January 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm

        Plus, the whole 20% thing shows either a fundamental misunderstanding of basic statistics (in any group being measured there will always be a top and bottom 10, or 20 or whatever percent), or on a more cynical note, the belief that all student mentors are basically expendable and replaceable. Either way, it promotes an unwillingness to share our successful practices with others, lest they be the next in line to beat our stats. I reject this and do my best to make sure that I share any trick, important information, or way to navigate the bureaucracy, with all of my teammates. Call me naive, but I think cooperation and communication with those we work with makes us all better at our jobs, and is more enjoyable, to boot.

  3. Posted by Jawabi on February 1, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    The bottom-line is that they keep signing up students and many employees are just happy to have a job. Many may be unaware of the duplicity of management. So, I don’t think WGU will face any kind of reckoning for a long time.

    They keep it this way by purging those who dissent. Even though a person has many years of experience and loyalty, they are shown the door if they dare to question or express what is perceived as a complaint. Those who are left just shut up and take it.

    I have worked for a GPTW company and cannot imagine WGU coming even close with the current management style, the deaf ear that is shown to employees, and the lack of ethics and trust.


    • Posted by Atticus on March 1, 2012 at 6:58 am

      that is so perfectly and beautifully spoken that I will not infect it by adding anything. This is perfect truth.


  4. Posted by Atticus on March 1, 2012 at 6:56 am

    You are so accurate! I have worked here for over six years, and I am “middle-aged”. i can tell you that I have never ever been treated like a “busboy” since I was in jr. high school. I have an incredible student load, and Im not “new” so I have students who are in their tenth terms and having all sorts of life curve balls being thrown at them. It is NOTHING like when I was a new mentor and had students on fire…now, all my students are aged and keeping them accountable is like PULLING TEETH.

    If you are considering WGU then know that this movement is based upon FEAR. They want the new to boost their “places to work” goal, and so if you have been here for a few years you’ll be chewed up and spit out.


  5. Posted by FURIOUSstudent on July 3, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Your experience as a staff member is felt by students, particularly me.
    If you disagree, try to give your side of the story, it is unheard and not considered and falls on “policies”. Well, it is all up to interpretation when policies are written in such a way that leaves a lot to the imagination. Staff say one thing and do other; attempts to build relationships, how when you have a concern are quick to treat you as second class. It is unbelievable to me that a University with such a low retention rate (key) would not be supporting their staff or students and LISTENING to the problems and open to solution and feedback for improvement. People will be discouraged to work for them or attend school. Yeah tuition may be inexpensive and promote themselves as a school that works with a working professional In achieving their goals. They treat you like gold to start a propgm, once you have commited to tuition payment- personal funds or student loads, the they are I. Control. Decisions made about you work are made independey of and bassed opon information gather without assistance

    In a infuriated!

    please respond so we may be able to talk in detail


  6. Posted by wguleaks on September 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I share your frustrations and am here with you.

    Please check my WordPress site, as I plan to not be as nice as you have been. Maybe in the future we can combine our efforts.




  7. Posted by newstudent on September 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    All your negativity is off putting to a student who is in the enrollment process. Every one has a choice, if you don’t like your job… find a new one. I am going to school so that I have that choice as well. Scaring away potential students with your ranting won’t help you keep the job you have.


  8. Posted by Somebody at wgu on November 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    well I am a grad from WGU and I seen what you guys are talking about there is bleed through to students. WGU needs do something about management. It’s crazy.


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