Recently, 16 students braved the poor weather to have pizza with me at an informal get-together. When we schedule these gatherings, the first 20 students to sign up can attend, and we have always been fully subscribed. As we share pizza and soda, I am able to listen and hear firsthand about what students value most about their Nichols experience, and ideas to improve the student experience. I consider these times as a way of keeping my “ear to the ground.” Based on feedback, we’re exploring ways to make the residence halls an even better “home away from home.”
I have learned some of the reasons why our students so value our faculty. I heard about an English professor who regularly sends encouraging and informative emails to students and addresses them as “Dear Learners.” And I’ve heard how an accounting professor makes the subject “fun” (some would say that’s a tall order).
As we persist in offering a student-centered education, I will continue to listen to our students’ ideas and concerns for the campus’s overall development.