CONVERSATIONS by pptfiles

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									                                  CONVERSATIONS
                                Friday, February 9, 2007
                              At Alfred Guillaume’s House

Peter Aghimien, Business and Economics
Ken Baierl, Public Affairs and University Advancement
Eileen Bender, Co-chair Self-Study Committee and English
De Bryant (Psychology)
Julie Elliott, Library
Alfred Guillaume, Academic Affairs
Pat Henry, Nursing
Randy Isaacson, Education
Neovi Karakatsanis, Political Science
Cynthia Murphy-Wardlow, Multicultural Enhancement
Mae Reck, Chancellor
Becky Torstrick, Co-chair Self-Study Committee and Anthropology
Dave Vollrath, General Studies

         This was the sixth of the campus conversations related to the Self-Study process.
This discussion centered on the theme of mission and identity. Vice Chancellor
Guillaume asked us to consider a number of questions. In light of IU’s Life Sciences
initiative, what does the future hold for IU South Bend. How do we see our university
now and what would we like to see in the future? What will be our strengths, priorities,
signature programs, hallmarks of excellence? How will we get there? He noted that we
have a stable leadership structure and new faculty bring new life into the campus every
year, but at the same time we are facing new constraints in terms of our budget and have
undertaken new strategic initiatives that will require resource commitments, such as the
expansion of our Elkhart campus. Eileen asked that the group consider a short time
frame: where do we want to be in five years?

         The group began by noting that we have achieved more diversity on our campus,
particularly among Hispanic students. But are we keeping these students once we get
them to enroll initially? We need to connect them to our campus and that has to happen
by connecting them to people on our campus. There was a brief discussion about
transfers but it was noted that our transfer rate is no different than most other IU
campuses—perhaps 10-15%. Our transition to a residential campus may decrease the
number of students who transfer because they want a residential experience. If we want
to be more diverse in the future, we will be attracting students who will come to us with
special needs. We should be developing programs that will meet their needs now.

        We discussed different ways we could structure the process of meeting student
needs. The hiring of our new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment
Management is one opportunity to bring in someone who might have expertise in
residential housing and programming for special needs students. Even our non-
residential students, however, have special needs and should not be ignored since they
will continue to be the majority of our student population. Advising and direct admits
was supposed to help with connecting students to people on our campus. We discussed
the U100 model and explored whether we could use a similar model—an introduction to
college life and work—in all disciplines. It’s possible to intervene with students
professor by professor, class by class but this does not allow us to see when a student has
a larger pattern of trouble with their studies. The Hanover College model featured in a
Chronicle of Higher Education article was discussed and we considered whether we
could put together similar intervention SWAT teams for our students. Many of our
students have social or financial problems that are not necessarily academic but that take
their toll on their academic performance.

         The discussion then turned to our vision of our campus as one in which students
are encouraged to get involved in undergraduate research. We noted we could put
additional resources into programs like SMART, although someone noted it’s not clear
that it’s a resource issue. There always seems to be enough money to fund all the
students who apply for SMART funding, so perhaps there are not enough students
seeking to be involved in research. There is a real issue of faculty time and energy—
faculty need to be willing to sponsor and support student research. There is also the new
issue of the IRB approvals needed and the roadblocks that can arise in that process. We
considered the possibility of building research more into courses, as requirements, so that
students can demonstrate as part of their coursework that they have acquired particular
skills. This would allow them to market these skills to potential employers as well.

        With the Life Sciences initiative, we can explore making more connections to the
IU Medical Center. Those connections have begun and the center’s director is very open
to connecting with our campus. It will be up to us to explore and make better use of this
possibility. There is interest in involving the center in some search processes in the
sciences occurring on our campus. We are doing a new student welcome for bilingual
students in pre-med and nursing where older students help them understand how to get
into the program. We might possibly be able to use some of the medical students at the
center to work with the junior and senior nursing and health students to encourage them
to complete their programs.

        Life Sciences could also be broadened to consider quality of life and its
importance in the economic development of our region. We have an untapped resource
in our international students and international programs. We should explore how to make
our global connections more accessible to our community and build on the presence of
our international students to explore how our community can globalize.

Notes submitted by
Rebecca Torstrick
February 14, 2007

								
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