For my last blog this academic year, I thought it beneficial to engage in a reflection with PSU’s President Wim Wiewel for his last year at PSU.
Wim Wiewel has served as PSU’s president since 2008, guiding the university through a dramatic period of growth, accomplishments, and increased independence. In this Vlog, I ask Wiewel questions about PSU’s successes, what we could have done differently, and future directions.
Technology is ubiquitous in our learning and work environment. It is good to take a pause and assess how our students access and use technology to enhance their learning experience. Our Chief Information Officer, Kirk Kelly, recently shared with the President’s Executive Committee and the Academic Leadership Team survey results of PSU student technology use.
In this guest blog, Kirk shares the results in order for us to be responsive and better understand student behavior and needs.
Professor Brad Hansen, Presiding Officer of the Faculty Senate, and I share a common goal of increased participation and collaboration between faculty, administrators and our board of trustees to support student learning and success.
I invited Brad to write a guest blog on this subject:
This definition of shared governance was proposed by Gary Olsen in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
“Shared governance is a delicate balance between faculty and staff participation in planning and decision-making processes, on the one hand, and administrative accountability on the other. It has come to connote two complementary and sometimes overlapping concepts: giving various groups of people a share in key decision-making processes, often through elected representation; and allowing certain groups to exercise primary responsibility for specific areas of decision-making. The key to genuine shared governance is broad and unending communication. When various groups of people are kept in the loop and understand what developments are occurring within the university, and when they are invited to participate as true partners, the institution prospers. That, after all, is our common goal.”
In this Vlog (video blog), we acknowledge the significant role that philanthropy plays in the success of our students and faculty and in advancing PSU’s mission and purpose.It is through the generosity and support of friends and donors of PSU that we can provide student scholarships, endow professorships for faculty, and fund centers and programs.
The vlog features a discussion between Professor Rob Gould, PSU Foundation CEO and President Bill Boldt, and me, highlighting the valuable philanthropic work at PSU.
Please contact your dean or appropriate vice president if you wish to get involved in fundraising, or to become a donor.
It is a tradition to start the new academic year with our Faculty and Staff Convocation (video). Faculty Senate Presiding Officer, Professor Brad Hansen, kicked off the September 21 event with a welcome speech.
He recognized the contributions of Professors Gina Greco and Bob Liebman, our most recent past presiding officers, Faculty Secretary Richard Beyler, and the approximately 60 Faculty Senators. He spoke of the recently formed task force to examine the feasibility of teaching intensive faculty ranks, the implementation of Post-Tenure Review, the newly formed Academic Quality Committee, and an adhoc committee on Liberal Education.
Professor Hansen let the audience know that the Senate will engage in work related to the Strategic Plan and that they look forward to working more closely with our Board of Trustees.
Goal #1 of PSU’s Strategic Plan is to Elevate Student Success. The first initiative is to put students first by reducing the cost of completing a PSU degree.
I blogged two years ago about how the cost of course materials impact the cost of a degree. At that time, the College Board estimated the 2013-14 cost for textbooks and supplies for the average undergraduate to be $1,207. That cost increased to $1,298 for FY 2015-16. In some cases, the cost of course materials exceeds a course’s tuition.
Student advising is one of a number of factors that impact student success. PSU faculty and professional advisors use different advising models depending on the school/college/department. Several years ago, PSU added a number of professional advisors and saw an increase in the retention of full-time freshmen. Our retention rate, however, declined the past three years. It is time for us to reassess our advising model in response to the changing demands on students, and implement what we have learned from new, national, high-impact practices.
Over the next 18 months, PSU will be engaged in projects that increase advising capacity, revitalize advising systems and improve the visibility of student support services. I asked Sukhwant Jhaj, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success, to describe some of the advising redesign work underway.