SG Update 03/01
by Anika Talia Griffiths | published Mar. 13th, 2019
Ellen Granberg, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, gave a presentation to Student Government (SG). It highlighted what she had done so far in her six months as provost, and what changes she plans to work on while addressing student concerns.
As provost, Granberg is the chief academic officer of RIT. Her focus for the whole university can be divided into three categories: student success, academic quality and academic reputation. When addressing student success, she looks at graduation rate, retention rate, career success and diversity and inclusion. Academic quality includes instructional quality, experiential learning, research programs and graduate education. Finally, academic reputation depends on rankings, how we compare to our peer set, national awards we receive, alumni evaluations and accreditation.
During Granberg’s first six months, she communicated with various faculty, staff and other members of the university to gain an understanding of what academic concerns should be primarily addressed. She has been involved in the search for new deans including the currently-ongoing search for the College of Art and Design’s (CAD's) new dean. She has been collaborating with President Munson and the university’s administration on the infrastructure of the strategic plan, while personally working to expand the infrastructure of online education programs. She is also working to address unfunded enrollment growth within the university.
Granberg’s primary goal as provost is to improve the student retention and graduation rates. She hopes to increase the graduation rate from 70 percent to 78 percent by the year 2025. To do this, she is identifying curricular building blocks to student success, which vary by college. She is also collaborating with academic affairs, enrollment management, student affairs and the diversity and inclusion office to address the retention rate.
For the next one to two years, the provost is also prioritizing faculty, facilities and resources. She hopes to recruit and retain top faculty who range in ethnic, class and collegiate background while also showing gender diversity.
Questions for the Provost
After Granberg’s presentation, she took questions from the present senators and Representative Student Organizations' presidents.
When asked about the plans for the Wallace Center, Granberg responded that as a result of books being checked out less and less, the purpose of libraries are shifting toward serving as a study space. Therefore, fewer used books will be moved to an off-campus facility where they can still be checked out by students using a shipping method. Popular books will remain shelved in Wallace for easier access to students. Granberg ensures that Wallace will not lose study space. The fourth floor cannot legally be used for classroom space due to fire safety codes, so it may be transformed into a temporary swing space for faculty and grad students working on long-term projects.
When asked how she plans to improve art spaces, rather than simply create new ones, Granberg responded that many spaces within CAD will be improved since they are not as conducive to creativity as she would like them to be. However, she will wait until the appointment of a new dean before making decisions on how to go about CAD renovations. Also, “provost classrooms” will be renovated to match the pedagogy style of the subjects being taught in them. Some rooms in the soon-to-be-built Innovative Learning Complex will also have designated art spaces.
When asked about how she plans to work with global campuses, Granberg responded that she wants to increase faculty collaboration across the global campuses. She also hopes to increase the number of students moving between the different campuses.
A response has been given to the petition asking for the weekend retail shuttle schedule to be extended to Friday nights. Facilities, Parking and Trasnportation (FPAT) Committee Chair Frankie Albin has ensured that the shuttle schedule is now extended for students.
Another petition demanded changes to the shuttles as well, asking that they be equipped with bike racks. FPAT responded that bike racks will be added to shuttle buses over the upcoming summer.
FPAT also gave a response to a petition asking for more outdoor garbage cans. The response states that a number of garbage cans will be brought back after the weather gets warmer.
Finally, there has been a joke petition asking to zero index the floors in B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. The response, given by tech committee, stated that this cannot be done since it doesn’t align with the rest of the university’s floor plans.
SG is partnering with the Rochester Brainery in April to host an art show. Follow-ups on this will be given soon.
The week of March 3 is ALANA week. There will be events taking place each day of the week for students to participate in.