Presidential retreat tackles student service issues
Archived article from Dec 15, 2003
By Richard Gorman
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- Locate all student services in a single geographic area so students can take advantage of “one-stop shopping.” Alternatively, group the financial aid office, registrar’s office and the cashier near a bus stop. Students requested extended office hours at least one night a week.
- Appoint a university ombudsman to represent student concerns.
- Institute a financial incentive system to recognize and reward excellent service in faculty, staff and service functions.
- Provide a mid-semester orientation. Many students either miss orientation or are so overwhelmed by the size and complexity of the university and their college that they don’t derive full benefit from the present orientation program. Establish a peer-mentoring program so freshmen can benefit from experienced upperclassmen.
- Create advisory groups for all student service organizations to handle feedback.
Ruben will evaluate the suggestions and schedule follow-up meetings with service providers and students to develop an action plan to be presented at a second Presidential Retreat in the spring.
“We are determined to address these issues,” McCormick told the audience. “This is not a one-shot deal. It represents the beginning of a concerted and comprehensive effort to address these issues.” He further promised to develop “an accountable process for following through on the concerns you’ve expressed.
McCormick said that he was “particularly impressed” by the extent of the concern over academic issues. “This emphasis upon your academic needs was something I had not expected. I, and the deans who are present, will have to raise those questions with our faculty. Those issues, too, will receive our concerted attention.”
Administrators attending the retreat will review the recommendations and develop a plan. A second presidential retreat will be held early next semester with students, administrators and faculty. “I give you my word that we will not fail to take advantage of what we have learned from you this afternoon,” McCormick said.
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