Seeking Input on Final Recommendation of Advising Redesign

redesign-update5The PSU Academic and Advising Redesign Workgroup will present their final report and recommendations on the next steps for advising on Thursday, November 10, 10-11am and 1-2pm in SMSU, 209M. I encourage everyone interested in this topic to RSVP and attend the event and to read the report to be released at the event and subsequently posted on the Redesign Project website.

The Redesign Project is designed to increase PSU student retention and completion rates, improve the student experience, and make advising more rewarding and effective for both professional advisors and faculty.  It is intended to create a unified advising framework to increase student self-efficacy and a sense of agency, as well as improve the experiences of academic and career advisors. It aligns with PSU’s Strategic Plan, Goal #1: Elevate Student Success, Initiative #3.1: Increase advising capacity, revitalize advising systems and improve the visibility of student support services.

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Visit to Japan Discovers Strong Interest in Community-Based Learning

japan-2In March, Public Administration Professor, Masami Nishishiba; CUPA Dean, Stephen Percy; Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice Provost for International Affairs, Margaret Everett; and I traveled to Japan. Our trip was a busy and productive one – we visited six universities, one foundation, and one government office for the purpose of discussing new or expanded partnerships with PSU.

What was striking about this visit was the high interest that Japanese universities have in PSU’s greatest strength—community engagement. I asked Stephen Percy and Margaret Everett to write a guest blog about the connections made.

By Stephen Percy and Margaret Everett

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New and Revised: PSU’s Integrated Planning of Enrollment and Budget

IPEBEven though the start of the fiscal year is six months away, budget planning for Academic Affairs is in full swing for FY16-17. I hosted an OAA budget open forum on November 18 as an opportunity to reflect on FY14-15, take stock of our current fiscal year performance and trends, and describe the FY16-17 process.

I have hosted open budget forums on a quarterly basis starting in Fall 2014 and will hold forums again in Winter and Spring 2016. The November 2015 forum presentation and all past forum presentations are available on the Academic Affairs website.

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PSU’s New Approach to Advising: ‘Siri, Where is my Degree Map?’

Each student takes their own unique path towards their degree and each path is marked by a series of decisions: What should I major in? How long will it take to earn a degree? What courses should I enroll in? Can I afford it? What is a good work/school balance?

These are complicated questions that can be very stressful for students. Making the wrong decision about registration can set students back months and cost them a significant amount of money. When students are faced with an unanticipated change to their plan, whether that is a change in course availability, or a change of major, students are forced to revisit many of the same questions.

Our PSU students have told us they want to understand the full implications of a degree choice and know that their decisions align with their academic, career, and financial goals. As part of our reTHINK PSU efforts we are looking at ways to integrate our planning and advisement tools with student- and advisor-facing systems.

PSU at APLU National Competition
PSU was one of six universities selected to pitch an innovative idea to reform advising at the national Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) meeting. Each institution had five minutes to convince a panel of judges that their pitch was worthy of a $100,000 prize funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation and the Lumina Foundation.

And, guess what?

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Reflecting on Academic Year 2014-15

PSU Logo

We cannot let the summer go by without reflecting on some of last year’s challenges and accomplishments. This blog post will not capture all that happened, but set the stage for the year ahead.

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More Success on PSU’s Textbook Affordability Initiative


PSU is making progress on our work on textbook affordability– one of a number of reTHINK PSU initiatives to reduce costs to students. My previous blogs on this topic provide context of how this work makes a huge difference in affordability and the quality of materials available to students.

Our work on textbook affordability began with Provost Challenge project #111. It was our first coordinated effort to develop publishing support services for the creation of open textbooks. Support for faculty included the creation of book cover templates; ISBN registration services; and established print-on-demand services with a third-party vendor – Lulu.

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PSU Attends Gates Invitation-Only Event

interaction-mainIn early September, PSU participated in an invitation-only Seattle event sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)—Interaction Effect 2015. We were invited in recognition of the work we are doing on reTHINK PSU and the Transformational Planning Grant we received last year from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and Urban Serving Universities (USU). A select group of 60 other institutions and systems joined us – small colleges, public research universities, historically black colleges and universities, state systems, community colleges, and regional colleges. Each university was allowed to have only two representatives: Vice Provost Sukhwant Jhaj and I represented PSU.

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