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K-State Today

March 14, 2016

Student Life Programs Merger Work Group meets, invites suggestions

Submitted by V.P. for Student Life and Dean of Students Pat Bosco

The first meeting of the Student Life Programs Merger Work Group was Feb. 25. Stephanie Bannister, associate director of Housing and Dining Services, is chair of the work group, and Greg Eiselein, professor of English and director of K-State First, and Heather Reed, assistant vice president for student life, are subgroup chairs.

The purpose of the work group is to help Vice President and Dean of Student Life Pat Bosco plan for the late summer retirements of longtime, valued student life administrators, Mike and Judy Lynch. The work group is charged to provide recommendations for a short-term plan to Bosco by April 4 in three areas:

  • Begin replacing the University Experience courses, where appropriate, with CAT Communities for all Division of Student Life programs for the fall 2016 semester. Plan the merger of the Academic Assistance Center, Plan for Success, Pilots, and any sophomore initiatives under student life into one program to be rebranded as one and under one director. Eiselein and Bannister lead this task.

  • Bring all tutoring services currently offered by the Division of Student Life into Holtz Hall with new delivery methods, training, marketing and increased cooperation and communication among the other tutoring services on campus. This means collapsing tutoring currently offered by the Academic Assistance Center, Educational Supportive Services and Pilots under one director. This will include a space utilization plan in Holton and Holtz. Reed leads this task.

  • Begin discussion of how the merger of the aforementioned Division of Student Life programs and the consolidation of tutoring within the division could lead to the development of a framework for a comprehensive freshman-to-graduation initiative, focusing first on high-risk students, and then developing a universitywide program for all students. To provide this first step in collaboration between academics and Student Life and to give this potential framework momentum, Eiselein will co-lead this subgroup with Bannister.

The work group welcomes the university community to participate by providing input on these recommendations. A link to a Qualtrics survey will be available in coming weeks on the Vice President for Student Life website. Please take advantage of opportunities to offer suggestions and to keep up with the group's work.

During this process, the day-to-day activities of Pilots, Plan for Success and the Academic Assistance Center will remain under the direction of Mike Lynch and Judy Lynch — both will serve as consultants for the work group.

Other members of the group include academic representatives, Student Life staff, student leaders, a Faculty Senate representative and a University Support Staff Senate representative. The work group assignments:

Rebranding of current first-year offerings and merger

  • Greg Eiselein, lead, English professor and director of K-State First
  • Lou Benjamin, associate dean, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Don Boggs, associate dean, Agriculture Academic Programs
  • Kiley Moody, coordinator, New Student Services
  • Rebeca Paz, coordinator, Pilots Program
  • Scott Voos, coordinator, Plan for Success
  • Zelia Wiley, interim associate provost, Office of Diversity

Tutoring and space utilization

  • Heather Reed, lead, assistant vice president and director of Office of Student Life
  • Jackie Anders, administrative officer, Student Financial Assistance
  • Kimberly Dierks, coordinator, Tutoring Services
  • Jan Elsasser, assistant vice president and director of Technology and Information Services
  • Kathy Greene, director, Educational Supportive Services and McNair Scholars
  • Andy Hurtig, student body president
  • Mary Vanier, special assistant to the vice president for student life
  • R.J. Youngblood, teaching technician and Pilots lab coordinator

Freshman to graduation initiative

  • Stephanie Bannister, co-lead, associate director, Housing and Dining Services
  • Greg Eiselein, co-lead, English professor and director of K-State First
  • Andy Bennett, professor and department head of mathematics
  • Gary Clark, associate dean, College of Engineering
  • Emily Lehning, associate vice president and director of New Student Services
  • Joe Tinker, student body vice president
  • Allison Wheatley, assistant dean, College of Arts & Sciences

Special thanks to Bannister, Eiselein, Reed and all members of the work group for their support and leadership. If we are to make further progress on our goals of increasing our retention and graduation rates, we must find new and innovative ways to guide students through their entire university experience to graduation and placement. Let's collaborate to strengthen and improve as a university community.