Have you ever had something important you wanted to bring to the attention of the President of your college?
Students, Parents and Alumni may try to contact their College President via Telephone, E-Mail or by Letter. Some students may even visit the President’s office. Unfortunately, the typical reply most people receive is silence.
Phone calls are usually not returned and there will be no reply to your e-mail message or letter. Too many College Presidents have no time for or interest in the things that students, parents or alumni think or recommend. However, there is one exception–major donors. If someone donates $10,000 or more, they may get a form letter or a message from a staff member. The fact that students are struggling to pay $80,000 to $250,000 for tuition and expenses may not be recognized as a good enough reason to listen to their concerns and suggestions.
When you try to contact your College President, you may find that they have surrounded themselves with layers of protection and security. Nothing much gets through. Only the official policy gets out.
Few College Presidents pick up their own office phones or reply to an e-mail message or letter. If by some miracle you get through to an assistant, you will quickly be shuttled off to “the person who handles that area.” With that, the assistant who works for that person will promise to leave a message for him/her. Of course, very often, you will never hear back.
In rare instances, there will be a college president who is different. Those College Presidents and some college leaders find ways to gather firsthand information. To hear from their students, they:
1. Designate certain days to field questions from students, parents and alumni
2. Make presentations to share information with students and then invite questions
3. Regularly attend athletic events and interact with students
4. Find time to visit the cafeteria, student center, dorms and library
5. Hold meetings to hear student likes, dislikes, concerns and suggestions
6. Regularly meet with student officers and representatives
7. Walk around campus to chat with students
8. Occasionally sit in on classes
Important Questions for Students, Parents and Alumni
1. How many hours each month does your College President devote to student contact? Est. 0 1 2 3 4 5 or more
2. Does your College President utilize the College Web Site, Campus Newspaper, Student Radio and TV Station and in person Presentations the keep the student body informed of current and future goals, activities and changes that will affect students? Yes No
3. Do you know any student who has spoken to your College President? Yes No
4. Have you seen your College President during the past year? Yes No
5. Should you expect your College President to interact with students? Yes No
6. Should your College President implement changes and improvements based on student input, comments and suggestions? Yes No
7. Do your top six or eight College Leaders regularly interact with students? Yes No
8. Do you believe that your College President and College Leaders are genuinely concerned about the students on your campus? Yes No
9. Does your College President have a reputation for being “Student Friendly?” Yes No
10. What is the one issue you would like your College President to address immediately?