Student Feedback – “Our Voice Counts”
Dean Grover’s “Our Voice Counts” program for soliciting student feedback has been an instant success. Through his visiting classes and providing a web site for student comments and suggestions, Fogelman College students feel empowered to help improve the College. Excellent suggestions are flowing in and being acted upon!
One such suggestion is that the College institute a system of online chats for each course offering through which students can, for example, ask professors questions, continue discussing cases that were introduced in class, and clarify class work with each other. Another suggestion is that the College standardizes where and how faculty post materials online (there are currently several options and no uniformity among the faculty on this matter.) Yet a third suggestion is that the classroom building has more power outlets to accommodate the increasing use of laptop computers among the students. Overall, we intend to take the good learning environment that we have and make it even better by assuring that our professors are being as effective as they can be in the classroom and coordinating their office hours with the students’ schedules.
Students will also have the opportunity to become more active in the College with a new emphasis on undergraduate clubs and student activities/initiatives.
Enhancing Faculty and Staff Involvement
Dean Grover has instituted a regular series of faculty “coffee hours” plus large-scale faculty meetings in which he gathers with faculty to “hear their voices.” In addition to an outlet for faculty comments, these meetings have developed into highly productive brainstorming sessions. Among other outgrowths of these meetings has been a move towards melding the efforts of Fogelman College administrators and professors for the greater good.
A variety of topics and suggestions have come up in these meetings. One topic was a discussion of community service. Many Fogelman College professors, contribute to the community through investing their spare time in a wide variety of community service activities. For example, Dr. Satish Mehra serves as an advisory board member of the World Cataract Foundation (WCF.) He has also been invited to join the board of the International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF) which is a worldwide organization based in Memphis. In one of the brainstorming sessions, such activities lead to the idea of committing our Customer-Driven MBA students to community service projects as a way to embed them in the community and encourage them to make Memphis their permanent home. Another idea that was put forth was to develop “project courses” in which students gain real-world experience by doing projects for local companies. Dean Grover will talk to as many people in as many forums to gain maximum traction in the FCBE student, faculty, and staff communities.
The College is in the process of increasing faculty involvement in the school’s decision making process by developing several new, targeted faculty committees. Examples include an ad hoc committee on end-to-end MBA program customer service and a committee to study revamping the selection criteria for the annual Suzanne Downs Palmer awards program. The plan is for all of these new committees to report into the college’s existing Continuous Improvement Committee. The meetings of all of the committees will be carefully structured for maximum effect with meeting goals, agendas, follow-ups, and takeaways.
The College’s (non-faculty) staff plays a critical supporting role in the school’s efforts to serve its constituents. The staff will have a new found voice in quarterly meetings with the College administration.