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Faculty / Staff Conversation - Session 13

STRENGTHS

  • Beautiful place with a wonderful quality of life
  • The “Western Way”

WEAKNESSES

  • poor student academic performance and lack of student confidence
  • need new blood at the University
  • small-town; isolated; provincial 
  • low morale; lack of community
  • lack of transparency in administration
  • lack of appreciation of employees
  • lack of vision and mission; if we don’t know the vision, we can’t tell our story
  • naming of Bardo Arts Center caused resentment and loss of funding
  • too much focus on ecology to exclusion of other sciences

WHEN YOU LOOK AT WCU TODAY, WHAT COMES TO MIND?

  • The communication from the top – down seems radically different now.  One faculty member stated that he received a personal voice mail and a hand-written note from the Chancellor.  This is the first communication from Chancellor’s office he has had in his years at Western. Mrs. Belcher has also taken the opportunity to send Sympathy cards, Get Well cards, etc.  This is a good first step and is necessary re-build morale.
  • The students’ attitude is “this is just Western.”  Students do not feel that they deserve to be challenged.
  • Larger classroom sizes are tough on faculty and that they feel buried in work.

ENGAGEMENT

  • Engagement is not clearly defined; the goal is unclear; whom do we want to serve?
  • Difficulties with transportation to get students to an off-campus destination.
  • External relationships need to be repaired between the University and community. 

WHERE DO YOU SEE WCU IN TEN YEARS? 

  • Programs being allowed to develop without administrative favoritism
  • Hard to tell since we don’t have a vision
  • More rigorous without “dumbed down” courses
  • Improved morale and empowerment of students, faculty and staff
 

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