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Fall Student Services Update

If you missed the update this fall, held on September 22, 2010, you don’t have to miss out on the important information thanks to your intrepid Communications Committee reporters.

Mark Pagano, Dean and Professor of Continuing Education

Dr. Pagano reported on the recent Accreditation process. While the report isn’t yet final, it should be within a few days. The Higher Learning Commission accreditation team had a lot of positive things to say about Purdue, and the only challenges they noted were ones that were already noted in Purdue’s self-study. Find out more about the entire process and read the self-study here: http://www.purdue.edu/accreditation/.

Howard Taylor, Recreational Sports Center

The new RSC looks like it will be pretty spectacular, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2012. In the meantime, the current facilities will all be available until January. At that time the new Turf Recreation Exercise Center (TREC) will open as a temporary facility while the main building is renovated. Most work is expected to be done by August 2012, at which point the TREC will be recreated as a permanent space for rugby, lacrosse, ultimate Frisbee, and other sports during the winter months. The construction is primarily financed through student fees that will increase over three years starting next fall. See a virtual tour here: http://www.purdue.edu/recsports/about_us/rsc_renovation/virtual_tour.php.

Dr. Christine Ladisch, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services

Dr. Ladisch updated us on the progress of the new college, which will admit its first students next fall. At this point no decisions about updated curricula have been made but teams of faculty and staff are hard at work. The college expects to open several new buildings in the next two to three years, including the first building in a new quadrangle that will be created on the corner of University and Harrison streets.

Joyce Hall, Executive Director of Financial Aid

In this especially interesting presentation we learned that the U.S. Department of Education is conducting undercover investigations of financial aid departments at institutions across the country. It began by visiting 15 for-profit institutions and found that all of them at least made deceptive statements to students, and four actually suggested to federal employees posing as students that they falsify information on their FAFSAs. To learn more about the investigations and see examples of the video evidence, visit this website: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-948T. Since the DOE is planning to start visiting non-profit institutions in the near future, advisors have even more incentive to forward student inquiries directly to the financial aid experts in DFA.

Dr. Melissa Exum, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Exum introduced herself and told us what she has been up to during her first few weeks at Purdue, which is mostly getting to know the campus and its students. She meets with students or attends events every Monday and Wednesday evening, even if it means taking a nap before heading out later than non-students are used to being anywhere other than curled up in bed or on the couch. She said she is asking a lot of questions and getting many different answers; one example that she shared was prompted by students: Why does Purdue have evening exams? She said that if you leave a conversation with her unclear about how she felt, she was most likely the victim of a body-snatching. Dr. Exum seems like she will be a great advocate for Purdue students and a wonderful addition to the university administration.

Jesse Raney, Asst. Dean of Students and Director of the Disability Resource Center

Jesse is also new to Purdue and asked for help if we come across her on campus and she looks lost. She talked about the kind of conversations we can have with our students who need or use the DRC’s services. While it’s inappropriate (and illegal) to simply ask a student if he or she has a disability, we can certainly ask struggling students if there is anything we could do to help them, and the DRC program specialists will encourage their students to self-disclose to their advisors. She also told us about a peer-mentoring program that would be a volunteer opportunity for upper-classmen who have experience working with the DRC. Check out the following website for more information: http://www.purdue.edu/odos/drc/peermentorprogram.php.

Bob Heitert, Director of Administration, University Residences

Bob told us about three changes we need to keep in mind when communicating with prospective students this fall. First, we need to replace the word “application” with “contract.” The process is now one step only; when students “apply” for housing they are actually signing their housing contract (although incoming students who contract with housing before the May deadline can cancel their contracts up until the deadline). Secondly, the priority deadline is really just a deadline. Students are only guaranteed a space in University Residences if they contract by the deadline. Finally, the deadline itself has changed from May 1 to May 5. The new deadline will give those students who accept their offers of admission at 11:59 PM on May 1st time to take care contracting with housing, no matter what day the 1st falls on during the week.

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