TWU Strategic Retention Council
Dear TWU community,
I am writing to inform you of the creation of a Strategic Retention Council at Texas Woman’s University. Student retention and persistence to graduation have long been important metrics for evaluating universities, but in the current climate of accountability and funding considerations (e.g., performance-based appropriations), such measure of student success have become focal points for state and federal conversations about educational policy. Even the current draft strategic plan from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (60x30TX – 60 percent of “Generation Texas” will have a postsecondary credential or degree by 2030) focuses on the need for degree attainment, particularly among nontraditional and at-risk student populations.
The TWU Strategic Retention Council (SRC) will be a standing TWU committee, with cross-functional representation across the Divisions of Academic Affairs, Student Life and Enrollment Services. The composition of the SRC will bring together a diversity of perspectives of more than 20 campus leaders, including faculty, administrators, staff and students, to focus on developing actionable solutions to maximize student retention and success. As approved by the Cabinet, the SRC is given broad latitude to:
- examine data, patterns and outcomes impacting student enrollment, retention and success across any administrative or academic unit;
- recommend specific initiatives and actions to positively impact the ability of students to persist and reach graduation; recommendations requiring University support and resources may be forwarded to the Cabinet for consideration - other recommendations that can be implemented collaboratively within or among units may progress less formally by mutual consent of the affected units;
- develop procedures and/or provide oversight, as authorized by the Chancellor, for the evaluation of administrative or academic proposals, standards, and decisions that impact student success, enrollment and/or retention.
With regard to the latter responsibility, I am asking the SRC to work with the Provost’s Office to develop procedures for the submission and review of requests from academic programs to modify practices that directly affect student enrollment, retention and graduation, particularly those items that routinely fall outside the purview of the Graduate and Undergraduate Councils.
The SRC is expected to operate with utmost transparency through education of the University Community about their work, development of web materials, presentations to input bodies, schools, departments and other administrative units. In the coming year, I am personally looking forward to observing the work of this Council as TWU continues its momentum in supporting students and meeting the expectations of the citizens of Texas.
Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Texas Woman’s University
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