Eastern Michigan University continued its search for a new Associate Vice President of Student Life on Wednesday in the Student Center. The final candidate, Timothy Wise, shared his ideas to advance EMU’s student support system. The other candidates, Calvin Phillips and John Berry, already presented their vision for the school.
Wise has a B.A. in Psychology, a M.S. in Counseling and Human Systems and Ed.D. in Higher Education. In total, he has 33 years of experience in education.
Wise said he is passionate to give the students the proper building blocks to succeed.
“Students have to integrate two ways into your university: socially and academically,” Wise said. “Failure to integrate either way can lead to drop out.”
Wise shared his ideas of structure and multiple communities that the school can add to, to create unity and cooperation while supporting the needs of every student across campus.
The approach Wise suggested would bring help directly to the students. Past plans he enacted include bringing tutors to the residence halls, creating multiple centers for different cultures and using social media to keep students involved in the campus in their personal lives.
His plan also includes the idea that all levels of students need campus support. According to Wise, many campuses have orientation for incoming freshman, but do not use as many resources to aid transfer students and graduate students. He believes that the higher the challenge, the more support students need to succeed.
Wise also brought a real world mentality to the conversation by touching on the post-recession student. Wise says that many students drop out of college due to financial hardship. Enrolled students often are in need of financial aid or at-risk loans, and students need to learn fiscal responsibility to have a firm grasp on student loan debt.
According to Wise, his student affairs vision is “collaborate, coordinate, integrate.”
He will do that by using staff to coagulate with students and grouping students together by their similarities. This will create a strong foundation to keep students involved and thriving in campus life.
Wise’s plan for evaluation and implementing change at Eastern is to take a first year assessment of programs and institutions, then lay out a blueprint for success. By his fifth year at his former institution, Wise said his plans were fully integrated into campus process. However, he strongly implied that every campus is different.
According to Wise, learning outcomes take time and a lot of thought into how to make a plan work for the student body.
Dar Mayweather, Coordinator for the Center of Multi-Cultural Affairs at EMU felt that Wise has incorporated a lot of programs and services for his former schools given his credentials, and is curious what his success rate would be based on “the similarities between their student population and our student population.”
Wise said he wanted to get back into a good university that has challenges and that has a strong concern for student success.
“I’ve got the ideas, and I’ve got the experience, but it has to fit the culture,” Wise said.
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