9P3 Creating and Building Relationships within the Institution
Western includes representatives from all employee groups in important discussions. Institutional committees consist of representatives from faculty, staff, and students. For example, the membership of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC) consists of the President; vice presidents; the college deans; the presidents and vice presidents of the Faculty Senate, the Staff Association, and the Student Government Association; the Dean of Student Development; the Director of Athletics; the Director of Human Resources; and the Risk Manager. This group facilitates communications within the institution, and evaluates and recommends proposals for change.
Western builds several kinds of relationships within the institution. Faculty-to-faculty relationship-building includes new faculty orientation and
mentoring. Faculty members build relationships through common content interests, teaching in learning communities and colloquia, and through project and committee work. Programs such as
orientation, learning communities, honors symposia, undergraduate research, courses, and advising enhance faculty-student relationships. Students build relationships with each other through residential life and learning communities, as well as in classrooms, through coursework and performing groups, and participation in co-curricular activities.
An example of a collaborative effort supported by both students and employees is the “Big Event Community Service Day,” a campus-wide community service project for which students and employees volunteer at several locations in the St. Joseph area. This all-day experience provides Western’s students and employees with a greater understanding of community service and leadership while providing several not-for-profit social service agencies with needed assistance.
Western works collaboratively with organizations and businesses that provide services to its students. Relationships with the Barnes and Noble Bookstore and ARAMARK campus dining services are two examples of relationships that result in expanded student services and an enhanced campus experience. ARAMARK conducts an annual student survey and incorporates the student response in collaborative planning with the institution. The Barnes and Noble Bookstore gathered information obtained from national student focus groups to institute changes in procedures.