October 13, 2020
We are emailing you as the Co-Chairs of the Student Experience Working Group. As called for in SU’s Strategic Directions 2020-2025, we are charged with identifying those elements of the student experience outside of the classroom where SU can make systemic changes to enhance the overall experience of our students. We are looking at all aspects of the student experience, from positive to negative, discovering what is already being addressed by standing committees and groups, and making recommendations for specific areas of improvement, innovation, and potential collaboration. Our work is shaped by SU’s Strategic Directions Goal 2 “Strengthen Professional Formation,” Goal 3 “Enhance the Student Experience,” Goal 4 “Support the Success of Our Community,” and Goal 5 “Reposition for Change.”
We recognize the robust commitment of our SU community to the SU student experience, as framed by our shared mission. It is crucial now, more than ever, both because of our Strategic Directions and the rapidly evolving higher education landscape, that we think of systemic and holistic changes that can be prioritized for the most immediate and long-term benefit of our students: past, current, and future. We are committed to making this process transparent and thorough and invite your participation. There will be opportunities in coming weeks for you to engage with us and connect us with students as we move forward.
The Strategic Directions clearly call us all to center inclusive academic excellence in order to better serve the changing needs of all students, especially those who are underrepresented, marginalized, first-generation, or differently-abled. We need to thoroughly examine policies, practices, and procedures that may be rooted in oppressive systems and rethink them with an anti-racist lens.
The first stage of our work included inviting campus partners into exploratory mapping exercises. The next stage is identifying the key aspects of the student experience where the University has the opportunity to make the highest positive impact through systemic innovation and reimagining. We look forward to diving more deeply, in the third phase, engaging with multiple student voices, campus partners, and external benchmarking partners and stakeholders around those identified aspects.
Thank you for being a part of this process. We look forward to engaging with you in the coming weeks, and through the first part of 2021. Please visit our website at: https://www.seattleu.edu/strategic-planning-council/student-experience/ to learn more about our work and find opportunities to engage further. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or ideas that you have at this time related to our charge.
Joe Cater, Michelle Etchart, Hilary Flanagan, Joelle Pretty
Co-chairs Student Experience