A series of campus conversations centered on four topics identified by Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher as areas of emphasis for the 2015-16 academic year will continue over a four-day period, Feb. 29-March 3.
Belcher, in his Opening Assembly address to kick off the school year, described the quartet of issues – increasing diversity on campus, preparing for a comprehensive fundraising campaign to boost scholarship dollars, enhancing the total student experience, and supporting faculty and staff – as central to WCU’s future success.
The series of discussions, open to all WCU faculty and staff, is designed to provide campus leaders with input, ideas and possible solutions from members of the university community on issues of diversity, scholarships, overall student experience and employee satisfaction.
While the university has made substantial progress on many elements of its “2020 Vision” strategic plan over the past three years, a handful of issues have proven more challenging and have risen to the forefront as WCU attempts to manage changing enrollment and demographic trends, increasing costs in higher education, and growing competition for top students, said Melissa Wargo, chief of staff.
Conversations are being held in three four-day sessions scattered throughout the academic year, with each of the four topics as the subject of an afternoon discussion during each session. Each on-campus discussion runs from 4-5:30 p.m. Previous sessions were held in September and November, with another one-afternoon event covering all four topics on Nov. 3 at WCU’s Biltmore Park instructional site.
The schedule for the upcoming session includes:
The total number of participants is limited to 40 at each discussion. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, but organizers will add other afternoon discussions if needed.
Members of the campus community also have an opportunity to submit comments online. To register or to submit a comment, visit the website collaborate.wcu.edu.
By Randall Holcombe