Another semester is in the books at Murray State University. As we look ahead to 2018, Matt Markgraf speaks with President Bob Davies, reflecting on the Fall semester and efforts underway in the upcoming year. They recap the commencement ceremony last weekend, discuss a recent student engagement survey, describe 'aggressive' enrollment efforts and partnerships in Europe... and some New Years resolutions.
On Fall commencement, Davies congratulated the commencement of graduates, including 855 degrees conferred and the relatively high number of people who choose to walk across the stage. "It's a testament to the feelings that the students have had about Murray State and what they were able to do here," Davies said. One student in particular couldn't make it to the ceremony due to a recent accident. See our story about Darlene Raye Jackson (who was a student worker at WKMS) and was delivered a special ceremony by Davies and other faculty and staff.
A new "Pay it Forward" program had students donate food to the campus food bank instead of paying a parking ticket. Here's a video about the program. "This program just has really taken off so much so that they've been able to keep the food pantry stocked for the entire semester," Davies said, reducing the need for students to go to the community Needline. Davies said that offering a program where students can help other students through a good deed is more valuable than the lost revenue from fewer parking fines.
The 2017 National Survey of Student Engagement is available to read online. Murray State scored ahead of benchmarks overall student satisfaction. The survey offers a deep look at how students at the freshmen and senior levels feel about the university and their experience. Davies said the data will be used in university planning efforts.
Davies discussed enrollment efforts, as outlined in a recent Board of Regents meeting. He detailed 'aggressive' efforts underway to increase undergraduate and graduate enrollment. Some of the effort involves a new scholarship offering. He also detailed a recent trip to Europe, developing and expanding partnerships with universities in France, Spain, Germany and other countries. Also, he described meeting with Murray State students currently studying in Regensburg, Germany.