Academic Affairs

Text: Provost's Perspectives, An Update from Provost Sheerer

January 12, 2017                                                            NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

Dear Colleagues,

Over the next few weeks and months, a number of meetings have been scheduled to discuss various aspects of the Strategic Plan for the university. Below is a partial list. The objective is to involve as many people as possible to review the established goals as stated in the plan on an ongoing basis. 

  • Monthly meetings on enrollment and recruitment
  • Monthly meetings on retention
  • Quarterly meetings on new programs
  • Quarterly meetings on research and grants
  • Quarterly meetings on community engagement
  • Meeting on assessment and success of ETEAL

Meetings with Department Faculty

The chancellor and I continue our visits to departments in every college. The discussions have been very productive, and we have been keeping notes on the issues and challenges beings raised. I will report summarily on the items that seem to be most frequently presented to us. Thus far, four key issues are: 1) heavy advisement;  2) the difficulty of advising students relative to the perceived complicated University Studies model; 3) the lack of oral communication as a key competency in the University Studies curriculum; and 4) technology needs including more bandwidth, Blackboard Collaborate and updated hardware in classrooms.

Melinda Anderson, Paul Townend and I are beginning to explore some best practice advisement models that might address some of the issues being raised. And, in relation to University Studies, Paul, Beverley McGuire and I will continue to explore ways to improve the University Studies challenges through the University Studies Advisory Committee chaired by Jennifer Horan in conjunction with Faculty Senate.

Insights from SACS Annual Meeting

In December, I attended the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' annual meeting to meet our liaison and get an update on current directions and emphases. One session was particularly interesting, and I have summarized some of the key points of the presenter below:

“Inspiring Your Institution to Transform Effective Elements of Leadership and Change Management” by Edward Burger, President, Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas

  • Changes in higher education include demographic changes; demands for access; demands for completion and accountability; new models of delivery and credentialing; and changes in financial landscape.
  • Institutional responses include a mission change; program expansion; department mergers; international partnerships; and new modes of program delivery.
  • Such changes are often quite substantive and require notification and approval of SACS.
  • As managers, we need to “get up on the balcony” and “down in the depths” to try to diagnose the institution. What complaints are being expressed? By what groups? Is there hoarding of information?

By the Numbers

The far right column reports the official fall enrollment (since GA has approved it).  We have also shown preliminary enrollment numbers for spring semester, courtesy of IRP and Admissions.

I wish you the very best as classes classes begin for the spring semester.


Marilyn Sheerer signature

Marilyn Sheerer Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs