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Student Success and Satisfaction

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To:                  University of Vermont Faulty and Staff

From:              Jane Knodell, Provost and Senior Vice President

Subject:           Student Success and Satisfaction Initiative – Invitation & Update

Welcome back for the Spring, 2011 semester!  In my September, 2010 letter to you I discussed several initiatives that were either on-going or would be implemented during the fall semester to move us toward development of a comprehensive, integrated Student Success and Satisfaction (SSS) Plan by the end of this academic year.  I am writing to update you on our progress, invite you to presentations from our retention consultants, and map out the road ahead. 

Invitation to Retention Study Presentations – Thursday, February 10

We contracted with an enrollment management consulting firm, Art & Science Group, for a comprehensive retention study including data collection and analysis, and recommendations to help advance student success and satisfaction at UVM.  On Thursday, February 10, as part of the collaborative effort that will be necessary to develop a comprehensive SSS Plan, I invite you to attend a presentation by the Art & Science Group consultants that will include a review of the data and analysis, recommendations for improvement strategies, and provide opportunities for your feedback.  There will be three presentations that will all include the same information but will be focused at specific audiences to make the best use of our time (each presentation is just 1.5 hours, and there is a great deal of data and analysis that will generate discussion). If you cannot attend the presentation for your group, please attend the third session that is open to everyone.

Presentation 1: 10:30am – Noon in Memorial Lounge, Waterman

For: Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans, Vice Presidents, Directors of Student & Campus Life, Enrollment Management, and the Diversity and Equity Units

Presentation 2: 1:00 - 2:30pm in Memorial Lounge, Waterman  

For: All faculty. In particular, I hope Faculty Senators, members of the Faculty Senate Committees and Department Chairs will attend.

Presentation 3: 3:00 - 4:30pm in Livak Ballroom, Davis Center

For: Open session for all students, faculty, and staff

In addition to the above presentations, the consultants will be having lunch with student leaders.

The consultants presented their draft analysis and recommendations to the Vice Presidents and Deans on January 20, 2011. Their data prompted lively discussion among the participants and fell into three main categories:

  1. Information that validated previous analysis and recommendations in the May, 2010 First-Year Experience (FYE) Report.
  2. Information that can be integrated into on-going initiatives such as General Education and activities of the schools and colleges.
  3. Information that raises other critical questions we must address to enhance SSS. 

They also provided some interesting recommendations we can consider as we develop and implement our Student Success and Satisfaction Plan.   

You can be certain that the consultant’s final report will not sit on a bookshelf.  Following the February presentations, I will work with the Deans, Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Student Government Association and Vice Presidents to identify priority areas on which we should begin work before the end of this academic year.  In some cases, the data, analysis and consultant’s recommendations will be forwarded to standing groups, including the General Education Joint Committee, the First-Year Experience Advisory Board, and the Curricular Affairs and Student Affairs Committees of the Faculty Senate.  We will continue to engage and involve students as we further analyze the issues and develop action plans.  Although we will defer some issues until next year, we will develop a comprehensive strategy for moving forward and continually assess our efforts along the way. 

SSS Website

We have established a website, http://www.uvm.edu/provost/studentsuccess, which provides information on the work of a number of on-going committees related to the Student Success and Satisfaction Initiative, including the General Education Joint Committee, the First-Year Experience Advisory Board, the Residentially Based Learning Task Force, and the Retention Study, as well as the completed reports of the Student Employment Task Force.  The site also provides links to existing programs and new initiatives in our schools and colleges or in central student support offices.  I urge you to review the website and the superb work that is occurring across campus that builds on the outstanding efforts to enhance the student experience that have been in place at UVM for many years.

As we continue to enhance student success and satisfaction at UVM, the SSS website will become our primary means to keep you informed about our ongoing planning and implementation of this important initiative. 

cc:       Board of Trustees

            Faculty Senate

            Staff Council

            Student Government Association

Last modified January 28 2011 12:01 PM

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