Open-door policies will no longer be only for professors starting next week.
University President Joanne Glasser will open her door and her ears to any and all concerns students feel need to be brought to her attention.
Speaking on her behalf, Assistant Vice President for Communications Shelley Epstein said deciding to open the president’s door was initially Glasser’s idea.
“Students sometimes drop by her office on a day-to-day basis,” Epstein said. “She tries to make time for them, as well as respond to any e-mails students send her. For President Glasser, communication with students is really important and she is committed to one-on-one meetings with students.”
Wednesday will be the first day for Glasser’s office hours from 4 to 6 p.m. in her office in Swords Hall. These one-on-one meetings with Glasser are slated to happen once a month.
These meetings are only open to students, not faculty or staff.
Epstein said there would be no list of “off-limit” topics up for discussion with Glasser during her office hours.
“The president’s portfolio is totally broad so she might be just another outlet for students with concerns or in need of help,” he said. “She is there to talk about what the students like and want to talk about.”
While Epstein said he was unsure about other universities’ policies on meetings with the president, said he thinks Bradley is among a very small percentage.
“I suspect there are not many universities where the president is willing to open his or her door to the student population,” Epstein said.
Glasser hopes this invitation, as Epstein called it, will encourage students to raise their voices to be heard about concerns. While Epstein said he recognizes the fact that meeting with the president one-on-one can be slightly intimidating, he said he hopes this will make it more of a friendly ordeal.
“She wants students to know they are welcome into her office,” Epstein said. “I have heard her say on many occasions that she would rather spend time with her students than anyone else on this campus. This is a labor of love for her.”
He also said the reason she is here doing what she is doing is because she cares for the students and the concerns they have.
“Glasser has said to me before that this school is about the students because without students, you can’t have a university,” he said. “In a sense, I would say she believes that every student is her student in a way.”
Epstein said she is doing just fine despite her recent breast cancer diagnosis and has yet to miss a day of work because of treatments.
To keep this as informal and casual as possible, students will not have to make appointments to meet with Glasser. Epstein said depending on numbers, there may be a sign-in sheet to accommodate all the students who want to talk to her.
“We could have 30 students walk in the door, or we could have 300 students come in,” Epstein said. “At this point, it is just hard to tell what the reaction of the students will be to this.”
However, with her involvement in student activities on campus, student reaction seems to be one of hope for a good turnout.
Junior secondary English education major Casey McGowan said meeting with the president is something that a lot of students will be willing to do.
“It’s a good way for her to get student perspectives on issues that affect them,” McGowan said. “She will also be made aware of issues that students seem to be the only ones to deal with on campus.”
While McGowan said she would still feel a little awkward going into her office and talking one-on-one, she said she believes Glasser has made a great effort to try to gain the trust of students.
“She’s a driving force on campus because as soon as she got to Bradley, she started making changes that have been beneficial for the campus and the students,” she said. “Her involvement with students makes her seem more concerned with the students and what they do rather than just staying in her office and not interacting with anyone.”
Although McGowan said she couldn’t think of any concerns she would like to make Glasser aware of, Epstein said the president is ready and willing to hear any and all concerns.
“President Glasser hopes this idea will be more than just people stopping in to use this as publicity,” he said. “What she wants most is the interaction with her students.”