Vice President for Student Affairs

Key Areas of Focus

Based on Student Affairs practitioner input and feedback from students taken during the Spring 2008 semester, five key areas were identified as pertinent and essential to consider in planning for the institution's next strategic plan when considering the student life experience. They are:

What follows are the overarching themes resulting from the committee's energetic work and some of the initial programs, projects and initiatives recommended to live into these themes as an institution. The collective theme that can be derived from the text to follow, points to what should be the obvious in working toward the success of every student:

"Those students who make the connections between what goes on inside and outside the classroom report a more satisfied college experience. … (Administrators) should make thoughtful, evidence-based, purposeful effort to get in each student's way. … to help that young adult evaluate and reevaluate his or her choices, always in the spirit of trying to do just a bit better next time."

- Richard J. Light, Professor Graduate School of Education at Harvard University from his book, Making the Most of College.

Focus Areas and Thematic Statements

Leadership and Character Development

Create a leadership programming model that is developmental so as to meet students at their different needs and consequently better equip them with the leadership tools and skills we desire Butler students to have upon graduation from the University.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Developmental Programming Model
    • Meet Students at their different needs
    • Not necessarily sequential
  • Program to a targeted audience
    • Create a fluid program where anyone could attend
    • Stand alone programs
  • Create something similar to a President's Leadership Academy
    • Leadership minor?
  • Create support for organizations (not just individuals)

Expand orientation in order to create a controlled forum for students to engage as peers, unite as a cohort, and become familiar with Butler culture as it pertains to being a contributing member with upstanding character and positive, quality leadership.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Too many student organizations (developed because everyone wants to be a leader)
    • These organizations often overlap in purpose and mission
  • Evaluate, Assess, Redesign Student Organizations
  • Better challenge students about why they want to be leaders
    • Help students identify what a leader is
  • Enhance orientation to help instill Butler culture (possibly add a day or include Summer Orientation)

Student Affairs needs to determine what to do with Orientation, as this is really not a function of Greek Life. Orientation, as a program entity, has its own set of CAS Standards and its own professional association within higher education; it can be a stand alone program that can include more related to the entire freshman year experience.

FYI - there are only 3 other universities that have paired Orientation with Greek Life: Millersville, Valparaiso, and Baldwin-Wallace (although web site was hard to follow, so theirs may be separate). Of the other ANAC institutions, Orientation is found in within these universities as follows:

Develop and implement a consistent and comprehensive leadership model.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Redefine Leadership as an institution
  • Create support for organizations (not just individuals)
  • More reflection
  • Develop experiential leadership programs
  • Create a Leadership Summit highlighting city resources
  • Provide more leadership skill development
  • Create forum for leaders across campus to come together on regular basis
  • Involve Advisors on a quality basis
    • Do more work to engage advisors so they have positive influence
    • Review advisor appointment process
    • Add an incentive program for advisors
  • Evaluate, Assess, Redesign Student Organizations
    • There are too many and they double dip from one another
    • Create a tiered support system within SGA

Create a scholarship program supporting students' development in the areas of leadership and service.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Enable students to facilitate students in leadership
  • Develop experiential leadership programs

Construct a facility supporting students' social, academic, and developmental programming needs-create a true student union with fluid space for students' study, programming, and social gathering.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Create more student organization and Greek organization space
  • Create centralized dining experience within Atherton. ARAMARK Dining Service is interested in partnering on cost for move to this operation.
  • Establish more "soft space" options in Atherton
  • Renovate Library to include additional soft space, group study space and space which promotes use by students for extended periods of time. Model libraries include Marquette University and Quinnipiac University
  • Convert ResCo dining operation into late night option for students

Foster collaborations between academic and student affairs in supporting student development as it pertains to leadership and character development.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Add curricular component for leadership
  • Restructure PuLSE Office
    • More emphasis on Leadership, less on programming
    • Evaluate team approach - maybe not the best for students (though good for professional development)
  • Extend Leadership development beyond PuLSE office
    • Should not be relegated to this office and this office alone
    • Other offices across campus should have responsibility for this development

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Service Learning and Volunteerism

Develop meaningful partnerships and relationships with Indianapolis service organizations in order to provide students with more quality and enriching service opportunities.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Smaller programs are often fragmented; want better integration of student groups
  • Developing working meaningful partnerships with area service locales

Develop comprehensive quality service and volunteerism opportunities to augment one overarching Butler experience (through education prior to opportunities and reflection following opportunities.)

Programs and initiatives:

  • More emphasis on reflection of service
  • More education about urban communities impacted by service learning opportunities
  • Smaller programs are often fragmented; want better integration of student groups
  • Create Butler experience, not just a myriad of isolated opportunities
  • More quality experiences

Develop resources to track, manage and assess service, service learning, and learning outcomes associated with experiential education opportunities.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Need volunteer tracking
  • A system of recording, reporting service
  • Track by individual student (are there incentives to report)
  • Develop Co-Curricular Transcript

Foster collaborations between academic and student affairs in supporting student development as it pertains to service learning.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Make minor changes to some of existing experiences so they may fulfill core requirements

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Greek Life and Residence Life

Develop and maintain marketable housing that is functional, appropriate, and safe to meet the needs of students.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Feasibility study re: renovation vs. replacement for the halls
  • Explore the possibility of themed housing: houses, units, etc. (including appropriate staffing, staff training and development, etc.)
  • Explore further expansion options for Greek organizations, both housed and unhoused (while still maintaining a Greek population of less than 50% of the all-campus population)
    • As Greek Life becomes a stronger program, in theory, more students will want to be involved, which gives rise to expansion
  • Residential spaces completely wireless
  • Collaboration with the library re: what students would want in a library renovation
  • Sprinklers in the Residence Halls and Greek houses.
  • Soft spaces in the halls (and on campus) - current space is not intentional but what's left over. All spaces need to be brighter, completely wireless.
  • Student Center vs. the current Atherton Union building (to a student, all spread out among different buildings makes no sense)

Explore opportunities to increase options for services and amenities through on-campus retail operations.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Amenities
    • Provide additional options for students to go to and simply "hang out" or dine/grab a snack. C-Club closes at 9:30 every night, so the only alternative for food and drinks is either to find a vending machine or go off campus. Retail outlet space needs to be explored, other food options (branded: i.e. McDonald's).
    • Explore late night options for ResCo.

Create developmental programming models within Residence Life and Greek Life integrating a wellness model focused on college student growth and development.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Developmental programming for both populations based on a wellness model

Further develop relationships with alumni/ae as a vehicle for fund-raising and volunteer opportunities.

Programs and initiatives:

  • Greek life: training for constituent alumni/ae (advisors, house corporations, house directors, future volunteers)
  • Communication with alumni/ae - BU Newsflash has stopped accepting monthly 'routine' news from Greek Life
  • Create additional opportunities to engage with Alumni Fraternal Boards with Student Affairs leadership and periodically with University President.

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Wellness

Develop and implement an all inclusive, campus wide Wellness program combining the Eight Dimensions of Wellbeing (intellectual, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, occupational, environmental and life skills) into a quality way of living thus promoting the lifelong process of becoming aware of choices and making decisions toward a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Programs and Initiatives:

  • Develop inclusive wellness programming for all students, faculty, staff and alumni with necessary funding to support existing wellness programs as well create new programs
  • Provide incentives of all varieties to students, faculty, staff and alumni such that a focus is given towards overall wellness and overall well-being. In particular, we support the better utilization of our current facilities and programs to promote wellness through more effective campus communication and integration.
  • Develop university collaboration to promote and support wellness to the "external" community, through development of partnerships and the offering of greater community-wide wellness programs. To help accomplish this we encourage the better utilization of the pre-existing Center for Citizenship & Community.
  • Foster collaborations across the university community supporting and promoting wellness programming and development i.e. College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Healthy Horizons, College of Education, Center for Faith and Vocation, Human Resources, etc.
  • Create opportunities for life skills development to better equip students for responsible and mature adult citizenship

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Diversity and Social Justice

Incorporate intentional, ongoing educational opportunities for all students that address diversity and social justice in more concrete ways.

Programs and Initiatives:

  • Revamp orientation session dealing with diversity, making concepts less abstract. Follow up with second semester session.
  • Create more "retreat" styled learning opportunities for students focusing on social justice and diversity issues

Broaden campus programming efforts to include various issues of diversity and support systems for various subpopulations within the Butler community.

Programs and Initiatives:

  • Develop a marketing plan for the Diversity Center, including the use of its physical space and programs
  • Emphasize varied programming from student organizations and the Diversity Center, dealing with more areas of diversity.

Explore options to meet the needs and address the issues of the large female population on Butler's campus.

Programs and Initiatives:

  • Create a Women's Center… could be adjacent to Diversity Center (Demia Center or Merrill Center)
  • Develop innovative strategies to increase awareness of diversity-related programs, services, and experiential educational opportunities within the Butler and greater Indianapolis communities.

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