University President Joanne Glasser said more than 100 students have visited her over the course of three office hour sessions, and the turnout has exceeded initial expectations.
This past Monday, Glasser opened her office doors for the last time this semester to hear from students who had concerns, suggestions, or even just a friendly hello.
“For me, it’s just a tremendous experience to get to know more students with these office hours because that is where my passion is rooted,” Glasser said.
Initially, the office hours were an idea of Glasser’s in early February. Seeing how often students would drop by her office on a daily basis, Glasser would try her hardest to meet with the students or get back to them in a timely fashion.
Since that didn’t always happen, the idea of giving students an open forum to discuss campus issues with her was conceptualized.
“I don’t want my students to feel that I am not accessible on campus,” Glasser said. “I think having the office hours gives students a venue they may not know is available to them, knowing that I am willing to listen to any concerns, ideas, suggestions and to know that they are important to me personally. It sends the right message to students across campus and those looking at attending Bradley.”
She said she has seen many students on more than one occasion to follow up on a previous concern brought to her.
“One of the best opportunities I have is to talk to students that are graduating this year and have them express how quickly the four years here have gone by, almost nostalgically,” Glasser said. “However, it gives me the chance to ask them, as graduating students, what I can do to better serve the current and future students of Bradley, how I can be a better president for the university.”
One of the most important things she said she has heard from students is a need for more on-campus jobs during these tough economic times.
Glasser said she had one complaint from a student which was fixed almost on the spot during the last session. She also receives invitations to events.
The Association of Latin American Students came to her with an opportunity they wanted to pursue, and Glasser said she was able to help them get to a conference in Chicago.
“While many issues, both academically and personally, I can follow up on directly, I do have the ability to put students in touch with the right person to field the question or concern of the student,” she said. “I think being able to resolve and follow up on the issues brought to my attention is the most important part of this experience.”
Since coming to Bradley, Glasser said she has tried her best to make herself known on campus by attending as many student events and activities she can.
Where the faculty’s job in the classroom is to make Bradley a unique experience, Glasser said she thinks it is her job to make the rest of campus stand out in the collegiate world.
“We offer a personalized, customized experience here at Bradley and in order to do that you have to be able to walk the talk,” Glasser said. “I think as we continue to develop the academic reputation on campus, continue to develop the family and community feel on campus, it will make Bradley stick out both in Illinois and across the country. The more I can get involved in the lives of our students, the more it will make Bradley the very special place that I know it is and I know it can become.”