Advertisement

Chat about the new KU year with Marlesa Roney, KU's vice provost for student success

August 15, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Marlesa Roney

Marlesa Roney, KU's vice provost for student success, will take questions from LJWorld.com commenters. KU students head back to class on Thursday. Roney will provide advice about how to help students hit the books and get the year off to a good start.

Moderator:

Hi. This is your moderator, 6News Director Cody Howard. Our thanks to Marlesa Roney, KU's Vice Provost for Student Success for joining us today.

Marlesa Roney:

Thanks very much for the opportunity, Cody.

Moderator:

Please tell us a little about your office and how you work with students.

Marlesa Roney:

I am in my 5th year as Vice Provost for Student Success at KU and in this role provide leadership for KU's comprehensive student services - 20 units in all and approximately 900 employees. My colleagues and I provide a variety of different services for students - from admissions to financial aid, residence life, student leadership development, career services, dining services, recreation, advising, writing services and many others - through technology, in groups and individually. Our goal is to help students accomplish their goals and dreams both in the classroom and out of the classroom.

birdie:

Why are there still dorms on campus that are not hot spots for wireless internet access? This is a barrier to student success.

Marlesa Roney:

Technology certainly does play a crucial role in student success and it is an ongoing challenge to provide the tools students need. The cost is the current barrier for providing wireless access to all of our residence halls. We are exploring alternatives with our students and hope to be able to identify and implement solutions in the near future.

KU_cynic:

Many other professors and I have noticed lately that members of this generation of students -- "generation whine" -- appear more pampered, less willing to work hard, and less likely to take accountability for their own success or failure than earlier generations of students. There has been much written in the popular press about this perception, with blame being attributed to everything from "everyone gets a trophy" youth sports to helicoptering parents to video games.

Is KU taking any steps to counter this alarming trend, for example by "boot-camping" new students to the rigors of college study? Or is KU itself an accomplice in accomodating this trend?

Marlesa Roney:

One of the best things about working at a university is that the student population always changes. Students in the 50s were different than the 40s and 60s and the were different than the 70s and 80s. I wouldn't say that any of these groups are better or worse than others - they're simply different, including our current generation of students.

As shared during KU's orientation programs, our basic philosophy in working with our students is that they are - or are becoming - independent, responsible adults. To the best of our ability, we work with students to encourage them to be responsible, to take initiative and to work hard to accomplish their goals. We also work with family members and encourage them to shift to a role of being a coach and facilitator rather than a "doer" if they have not already.

In other words, we do work hard to help students become responsible and accountable. For many, this is nothing new, and for some, these will be challenging new steps as they become independent adults.

The bottom line is that we do our best to meet students where they are, to encourage them to set goals and then provide support and service as students work to achieve their goals. The strategies and tools vary somewhat from generation to generation and student to student, but the desired outcomes are the same - responsible, independent adults.

Moderator:

What are a couple of the most common questions your office fields at this time of year?

Marlesa Roney:

This time of year, most questions focus on locations of various offices and buildings - particularly the Office of the University Registrar, the Office of Student Financial Aid and the Bursar's Office!

Moderator:

How is the new fixed-tuition plan being received this year?

Marlesa Roney:

KU's new Four-Year Tuion Compact has been very positively received by students and their families. The ability to calculate the cost of earning a KU degree at the point the student enters the University is of great value to those who are paying the bill. Our student leaders (in particular, Steve Munch and Jeff Dunlap, former Student Body President and Vice President) did a tremendous job of identifying this as a critical need. It has been fun and satisfying to see such a positive response to this student-initiated program.

Moderator:

What concrete steps can the office take to help ensure incoming students become the responsible, independent adults you referenced earlier in the chat?

Marlesa Roney:

One of the first steps we take is communicating our expectations. Throughout New Student Orientation, students receive information about KU's expectation that they take responsibility for their education, that they will be held accountable for their decisions and that we expect them to be good decision-makers. Then we follow-through on those expectations by treating students with respect and as adults, and hold them accountable for their decisions. We also provide programs and services that provide assistance as students learn to become independent, responsible adults. By communicating expectations and following through consistently, we establish an environment that helps students understand what is expected and also provide the support they need to become independent adults.

Moderator:

That concludes today's chat. Our thanks to Marlesa Roney for joining us. Best of luck in the new school year.

Marlesa Roney:

Thanks again for the opportunity to join you! We're looking forward to the coming year!

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.