SU 2.0: Reimagining the Student Experience
We Are Growing Student Retention, While Enhancing Our Collaborative Workforce
This is an especially challenging time in American higher education in which the traditional business model is no longer viable. Susquehanna University is in a hyper-competitive market, and much like other colleges and universities, faces a geographic redistribution of potential students and an impending national decline in traditional-aged students. To guarantee sustained prosperity, Susquehanna must execute on its strategic plan emphasizing a student-centered experience built on institutional strengths that allows for a barrier-free navigation of the college experience, more meaningful student employment, and better career pathways for staff.
Many of our campus administrative structures were developed 60 and 80 years ago and do not align with the needs and experiences of contemporary students. We must transform how we do our work to respond to our dynamic environment, improve the experience of our students, encourage persistence, and enhance the employment opportunities of our colleagues.
The disruption of the pandemic has forced us to review and revise many campus practices, and the work of the CenSUs task force has also affirmed the necessity of institutional transformation to meet the needs of today’s students. Against this dynamic backdrop, we will work throughout the coming months to review and rethink how we do our work together so that by the Fall of 2021 we will:
- Provide a more integrated, personalized, and efficient student experience using journey mapping, process mapping, and design thinking.
- Incorporate universal design into campus planning, building design, and classroom and work practices.
- Eliminate redundant and unnecessary activities that compete with institutional priorities.
- Implement inclusive campus practices and policies that recognize the unique characteristics and needs of all members of our community.
- Eliminate inclusion barriers that are hidden by traditional cultural practices.
What to Expect
A key initiative arose from the strategic planning process: reconstituting Susquehanna’s business model as one that empowers us to collaboratively ensure we deliver a student-focused model that effectively recruits, serves and retains our students. While the Strategic Plan serves as the framework for this initiative, we have invited Kennedy and Company, a consulting firm, to help move our vision forward. Most of their work will be conducted virtually, including:
- Focus groups
- Journey mapping
- Design thinking
The following timeline illustrates this process.
Two steering committees have been created to work closely on this project and collaborate with our consultants to:
- Advise how our administrative and academic structures should look in this changing landscape.
- Advise on the mechanism we should adopt to design and adjust our programs to our strengths, and develop adjacencies that highlight the cross-functional approach to our programs and services.
- Advise how to leverage technology based on our lessons throughout the pandemic.
Alissa Packer – associate professor of biology
Jennifer Asmuth – associate professor of psychology
Nicholas Clark – associate professor of political science, director of public policy, department head of political science
Emma Fleck – associate professor of management and marketing, department head of management and marketing
Amanda Lenig – assistant professor of art & design
Monica Prince – assistant professor of English & creative writing
David Richard – professor of biology
Laurence Roth – professor of English, co-department head of English & creative writing, director of jewish studies
David Steinau – associate professor of music, department head of music
Kathy Straub – professor of earth & environmental science, department head of earth & environmental science
Shan Yan – associate professor of finance and analytics, department head of finance and analytics
Coleen Zoller – professor of philosophy, department head of philosophy
Jennifer Bucher - vice president of human resources
Michael Coyne - executive vice president
Danielle Brown – assistant provost for institutional effectiveness and strategic initiatives
Reuben Councill – senior associate director of transfer admission
Jill Franklin – assistant director of leadership and engagement / greek life
Sharief Hashim – director of athletics
Virginia Motyka – senior director of the center for academic success
Dale Ovelman – associate director of facilities management
Alison Richard – registrar
Justin Rummel – assistant vice president for student financial services
Jennifer Servedio – chief information officer
Michaeline Shuman – assistant provost and director of career development