As President Smith continues to immerse himself in the Eastern Michigan University community, one of his recurring goals is to listen -- to faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community supporters -- to learn more about Eastern's history, strengths, challenges, and opportunities. As part of this process, President Smith will hold a series of "listening sessions" during the 2016-2017 academic year.
Discussion of the recent incidents of racist vandalism on campus is certainly welcome and encouraged. These sessions have been planned for some time, however, and are intended to focus on a variety of short- and long-term issues. First, broadly speaking, President Smith is eager to hear directly from various stakeholders about their concerns and hopes for Eastern; simply put, he wants to hear what is on the minds of members of the Eastern community. Second, and more specifically, President Smith is eager to focus the University's Strategic Plan to develop specific goals for the campus in several areas, including retention and degree completion, diversity and inclusion, academic program development, internationalization, efficient resource management, and community engagement. Ideas in other areas also will be welcomed. The listening sessions will hopefully generate ideas from campus stakeholders about how best to develop specific goals in these and other areas.
The President will hold six listening sessions around campus at different locations over the next two months. Each of the sessions will be open to all employees. (Separate from this initiative, the President is conducting outreach to student leaders, alumni, and the community). Each listening session will last approximately one hour and will begin with short introductions. The bulk of the hour will be for attendees to express their thoughts on any topic, particularly the University's future opportunities and suggestions for focusing the Strategic Plan's themes.
Schedule of Listening Sessions:
Session 4: January 17, 2017 2:00 p.m. 217 Porter
Session 5: January 18, 2017 10:00 a.m. 114 Owen
Session 6: February 3, 2017 10:00 a.m. Student Center Auditorium