A feedback forum was held on Wednesday, May 9, to discuss the draft of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. David Christy, provost and vice chair of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, held the forum along with Kenya Lee, the committee’s interim chief of staff.
An email was sent out to Baruch College students, but only one student attended the event.
The goals of the draft are to uphold Baruch’s commitments to excellence in teaching, learning and scholarship opportunities, regularly review and renew the curriculum, increase students’ engagement, degree completion, post-graduation success, diversity and inclusion and, lastly, to enhance faculty and staff satisfaction and engagement.
In order to increase student engagement and degree completion, the draft stated that all Baruch College students should have access to the personal, academic and professional support services they need to thrive and be successful. Razieh Arabi, accounting student at Baruch, said, “This is key. This right now is what’s actually missing.”
When she asked what programs are going to be put in place to achieve this success, Christy and Lee said the specific programs are not yet certain.
“This is a goal. But we don’t know how to best accomplish it. Over the next five years we want to try many approaches and see what actually works,” Christy said. He added that what works for some students might not work for others.
Lee asked Arabi what her experience has been in the classroom. Arabi said that while the professors do their job relatively well, a lot of self-teaching by students is necessary in her accounting classes, and she wishes her professors would teach more effectively in lectures. Christy responded by saying accounting is extremely difficult because of its competitive environment. The biggest major at Baruch, it has about 650 students graduating from the major every year.
Arabi is a second-semester transfer student who received her associate degree before entering Baruch. She stressed that it has been a struggle for her academically to come in with an associate degree, saying it might have been easier to transfer after only one year.
She also noted, as a mother to a son in elementary school, that learning at Baruch is fostered mainly for younger students rather than older adults.
The draft also said the college wants to develop a virtual “one-stop shop” for student services such as advising, career services and financial aid. When asked what this would be like, Lee said improvements to the college website are still in the works. Christy said students shouldn’t have to log in multiple times and all the services should be available through one portal.
Christy concluded the meeting by talking about the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. He said back then, the main goals were to improve online courses and create a more global Baruch, prioritizing inclusion and cultural understanding. In the plan’s final year, Christy said that “there is more concern than ever before to hire a diverse group of faculty.”
The final version of the plan will be posted to the Baruch website by the end of June.