As the new Assistant Dean of Student Success Assessment and Strategic Initiatives, I wanted to take a moment to share some of my current ideas for student success strategy.

by Renata Opoczynski

I am delighted to share that earlier this month I was offered and accepted the role of the Assistant Dean of Student Success Assessment and Strategic Initiatives.  I am appreciative of the search committee (who asked some of the toughest questions I have been asked in my job search process!) and the process of applying for this new position that helped me think critically about MSU’s needs in relation to student success strategy and assessment. I wanted to take a moment to share some of my current ideas for the student success strategy side, but as always, I am eager to hear your thoughts and feedback.

1) I plan to expand my commitment to ensure student voices are involved in deliberations and decisions related to student success by building strong relationships with student groups. I am eager to build on APUE’s relationship with the Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU), Council of Racial and Ethnic Students (CORES), and Council of Progressive Students (COPS), and establish relationships with other student groups on campus through regular meetings, getting feedback on policy drafts, and two-way communication on needs related to student success.

2) I am committed to hearing from students; I want to work to be proactive, not just reactive. I see my role as an advocate for needed changes in policies and procedures to ensure changes to policies will have limited disruption for students and to enhance student success.  However, I think it is also important that we begin to explore the experience of students proactively and promote changes or enhancements that will increase student success and close opportunity gaps. This can entail deep exploration of the student experience through interviews and focus groups, and through collaboration across the institution so that student concerns and ideas are heard by relevant stakeholders no matter where the feedback may have originated.

3) Finally, I hope to create more collaboration and communication across the diverse units on campus that are focused on student success.  Too often we have duplication of efforts or inefficiency because we are not aware that someone else is working on a similar or identical initiative. I hope to bring back some form of the student success leadership group and begin talking about how we can create better communication and collaboration across all of campus as it relates to student success.

I look forward to working with you all in this new role and, as always, welcome any thoughts or feedback you may have!