President shares pizza, plans with students
University President Milton Glick talked with students about rising grade-point average requirements, ways to attract them to campus events and new methods to collaborate on student recruitment at the first Pizza with the President event of the Fall 2007 semester Sept. 24 at the Jot Travis Student Union.
Students asked Glick about 15 questions during the 45-minute event in the Wolf Perk coffeehouse. Glick joked that it was a rare opportunity for him to eat pizza, as it is not a part of his regular diet. He also mentioned that he is looking forward to the University's Saturday, Sept. 29 rivalry football game versus UNLV at Mackay Stadium.
"I'm looking forward to a demonstration of good sportsmanship," Glick said of the sometimes heated battle for the Fremont Cannon trophy. "I'm hoping UNLV fans and administrators will go back to Las Vegas saying, "They really know how to do it right up there."
"I hope our crowd will be like Nebraska's was on Sept. 1 (the Cornhusker fans in Lincoln are famous for their loyal and loud support, but also for cheering opponents after games)."
Business management senior Matt McGovern asked Glick for advice in handling a weekly schedule that includes 55 hours of work and 15 semester credit hours of classes.
"I'd suggest meeting with our financial aid counselors to see if there is any help available to you," said Glick, who has served as president since August 2006. "Finish your degree. On average, every year you take beyond four years (to earn a degree) costs you about $28,000 in earning power."
In responding to one question, Glick addressed what it takes to create a fun, enlightening and attractive place for University students to learn, what he likes to call a "sticky campus."
"The Joe Crowley Student Union programming will create a sticky campus, where students spend more time on campus," he said of the 167,000-square foot building opening in mid-November. "Greater engagement leads to student success. Lectures and performances there will result in greater engagement and learning. You don't just learn in the classroom."
Senior journalism and fine art major Andrea Tyrell, a Las Vegas resident, asked Glick how the Nevada System of Higher Education's approval of increased grade-point average requirements for the Fall 2008 semester will affect the University's goal of increasing student enrollment.
"We'll do it by working harder," Glick said. "That's usually the way to create success stories. The task force will help (the University has convened a task force comprised of faculty and staff looking at how to improve student retention rates). Although they'll raise the grade-point requirement (a 3.0 weighted average for core courses in English, mathematics, natural science and social science), we'll also be allowed more flexibility.
"Through special admissions, we will be able to look at students who, for example, have extraordinary talent in playing the violin, those who may have overcome adversity in their lives or been helping their family financially by working."
The president said working with high school counselors to identify more students of color interested in enrolling at the University may be a step to creating a more diverse campus.
"In some cases, some students are being tracked into non-college-going programs," he said. "Our job is to make sure they know what to do to be ready (for University admission). At Hug High School (located just northeast of the campus in a diverse area of Reno), we are matching 600 students with 600 mentors. We'll start early with them as sophomores. We need to watch them early and often."