University Dialogue explores different strategies to attract more students and money
MONICA SZACKAS — News Editor
There were a lot of questions and concerns about passing additional faculty positions brought up at the University Dialogue hosted by Stanley Battle Monday, Oct. 24. The positions could not be filled earlier because of complications with the Information Technology office, according to Battle.
“It doesn’t help when we don’t have enough money,” said Battle to 51 members of the Southern community, “and lets be honest, we don’t have the money.”
There are 32 faculty positions Battle said are being approved along with 27 staff positions. He also said the president’s cabinet is looking into an additional 10 faculty positions that will be tenured.
The faculty brainstormed different strategies on how Southern could make more money and increase enrollment, to the cabinet. Aliya Amin, international student advisor, said Southern should consider advertising and reaching out to international students. She also voiced her concern for current international students and students who will attend Southern in the future.
“We need to have a program for international students coming in that have a language barrier,” said Amin.
Marianne Kennedy, interim provost, said creating a bilingual program would cost extra money for the small amount of international students that attend Southern, but she also said the program was a good idea and will be a possibility considered by the cabinet.
“If we want to recruit international students, then that will definitely be something we would look into and that could be a strategy,” said Kennedy.
Emmanuel Emenyonu, chairman of the accounting department, asked questions addressed to Battle and his cabinet about breaking down the barriers between Southern and other universities.
“How can we increase Southern’s presents on other campuses?” said Emenyonu. “How do we improve communication with other faculty and staff on other campuses? What are we doing to relate to them to know the transfer disabilities? How do we break that wall? We are a blended family.”
According to Kennedy, Southern has worked closely with Gateway Community College for a few years. Southern and Gateway have a program called United Family, which consists of course credits that transfer over for graduation.
“We can certainly do more,” said Kennedy in regard to reaching out to different campuses around the state to unify transfer credits.
Some faculty, like Susan Cusato, professor and chair of science education and environmental studies, were concerned for low part-time and summer enrollment. Kennedy said the budgeting committee is looking into one short-term strategy to offer discounts this summer.
Kimberly Crone, associate vice president for student affairs, said the department has been and continues to reach out and reconnect with students that have left Southern and transferred to another institution. She said they send their hopes that the students are happy, but if they were not then Southern would be happy to have them back.
“If there is something you think we can do to save our students let me know, whatever it is, whether its financial, residents or anything,” said Crone to the audience around her.