President Welsh hosts roundtable discussions

BY VERONES PADILLA

SC Staff Writer

As part of the Strategic Planning efforts, President Marcia Welsh hosted a series of roundtable discussions from January 29 to January 31.  The discussions were open to all members of the ESU community.

Student Senate President Justin Amann outlined the efforts to advertise the Strategic Planning discussions.

“All of social media was utilized—the official ESU Twitter and Facebook— and we utilized our Senate social media as well. Furthermore, emails and alerts were sent frequently, as well as signage around campus promoting these opportunities to provide thoughts,” said Amann.

The roundtable discussions were held with the help of Ann Duffield, a private consultant of Ann Duffield and Colleagues.

Duffield leads a group of retired University and College Presidents who put together research and strategic plans to improve a university’s overall environment. He served as the discussion’s monitor and facilitator.

Those who attended the roundtable included members of academic departments, different areas of student support services, the rec center, custodial services, and food services.

The discussion began with 2 questions: what part of the strategic plan resonated with people and where can the plan be improved?

The overall theme of the discussion came back to a few key concepts. The push was to provide tactical ways to open the lines of communication between students, faculty, and staff.

Stories of faculty and staff feeling disrespected by students and students feeling written off or underestimated by faculty and staff provided insight of campus life.  Each group wanted to see more from the other.

The staff and faculty wants the student body to know, they do in fact care about student success.  The students on campus hope that staff and faculty know their experience and expertise are valuable to them.

When asked how these small changes could be made, one idea reached the forefront—accountability for all.  As one member of the discussion said, “learning does not just happen in a classroom.”  The panel emphasized the importance of common courtesy and engagement.

The strategic plan will include ways to open up the lines of communication.

Ideas for student mentoring programs were discussed.

The office of Counseling and Psychological Services provided statistics and demographics of ESU’s student body and pushed for professional development for staff and faculty to provide the tools needed to reach today’s students.

The strategic plan is to improve the institution.  The goal is for ESU to provide a challenging and modern education to students, a positive and rewarding workplace for staff, and an opportunity for innovative research and instruction for faculty.

Email Verones at:

vpadilla@live.esu.edu

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