Glenn Davis and Joe Whitehead share initiatives being taken across campus


Garrett Graybill, Reporter

Glenn Davis shared updates about three student success initiatives at the weekly Undergraduate Student Government meeting on Monday, Feb. 27.

The first initiative was a change in how the university communicates with students through email. The plan prioritized getting first and second-year students in contact with their advisors and registering for classes on time. 

To achieve this, the university has been halting as many emails as they can that aren’t related to that goal, allowing students to receive emails that are more personalized and actionable. 

“We found that more and more students were actually responding to those emails, especially our first-year students,” said Davis. 

Since the initiative, 92% of first-year students returned for the Spring which is up about 1.5% compared to the university’s three-year average, and 97% of those returning students were registered for classes within a week of their registration deadline.

The second initiative included a change to how early alerts are handled. In addition to a student receiving an alert from their professor, they will also receive a text message from an outreach coordinator allowing for a conversation to take place. 

 “As a result of faculty issuing those alerts in the fall, just under 1,700 conversations between outreach coordinators and students, whether by text or by phone, took place just this semester,” said Davis. 

The third initiative allows BGSU faculty to learn about, try and reflect upon some new classroom strategies through a 25-week-long online course. 

The course is a part of the Association of College and University Educators, which has led to more professors, especially those teaching first and second-year courses, involving more discussion and collaboration in their classes. 

Later, USG passed its third senate resolution, led by Damon Sherry, resulting in Election Day being recognized as a campus holiday. This will allow students to take the full day to vote or volunteer as poll workers. 

On Monday, March 20, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Joe Whitehead, spoke about a three-year program vitality analysis being carried out by the university to study retention rates and enrollment changes across all degree programs. 

The analysis started last year and will be complete at the end of spring 2024. 

Whitehead also brought attention to the importance of the new Radbill Center for College and Life Design in the mathematical sciences building, as well as the Kuhlin Hub for Career Design and Connections.

“We are focusing on the whole student and we want to provide you the tools to be successful not just here at BGSU, but successful in life,” said Whitehead.