The University Record, April 26, 1999

Views of students, staff also sought

Interim LS&A Dean Pat Gurin's year of outreach has not been limited to faculty. She also has been listening to students and staff members.

She has met with staff in 10 units and a series of focus groups for staff members has just been completed. Results of those groups will be shared at two meetings for LS&A staff next month, one of which will be attended by incoming Dean Shirley Neuman. These focus groups "also were positive and thoughtful, and raised concerns about a number of issues," Gurin says. "The staff are very committed to the College."

She describes meetings with first-year students in six residence halls as "superb, each discussion excellent. The students speak movingly of class size, quality of instruction, and the inconsistency among different sections of the same class," she says. She also has held open office hours for students.

"The challenge for the College," Gurin says, "is finding ways to improve the quality of the first year of the educational experience. It is time to pay serious attention to the first year, a project that will require considerable analysis and planning.

"At the end of my year," Gurin adds, "I'm impressed with the commitment, thoughtfulness and eagerness to share responsibility on the part of faculty and staff in continuing to work to enhance the College's excellence."