Administration does listen to the UH community

by Glenn Freedman

If you've ever wanted to tell UH administrators what you really think about student services, about how the university communicates with its students, its staff and the community, about the changes you'd make if you were in charge, here's your chance. If you are one of the 5,000-plus students, faculty or staff members receiving an opinion survey from the Gelb Consulting Group, please take the time to fill it out completely. Give us your honest, thorough opinions.

The findings from this survey will be very important in helping UH refine and define its direction and create a better service-oriented environment on campus.

Earlier this year, the UH System Board of Regents contracted with Gelb Consulting Inc. to conduct marketing research at the four UH System campuses; these surveys are part of that effort.

Surveys have been distributed to all faculty and full-time staff and a cross-section of students. The 1,600 student surveys are being handed out during specific classes by the colleges. The number each college receives is based upon FY95 graduation rates and are being proportionally divided among undergraduate and graduate students. Phone surveys are also being conducted with UH alumni and other important constituent groups.

You may have participated in a student survey process conducted by Gelb last summer. The results were so informative that we commissioned a more comprehensive view of student perceptions and opinions based on students surveyed during the regular academic semester, then combined them with the summer session findings.

As a result of your ideas and informative suggestions last summer, new counselors were added; a more coordinated enrollment management process was created, with Ed Apodaca hired to lead UH's efforts; campus beautification was undertaken; the Scholarships and Financial Aid office has improved its services; students were added to a variety of campus committees; the Visitor's Center was renovated; and the OneCard system is coming soon. Your ideas do count.

I want to salute the cooperation of the colleges in the distribution of these surveys. It has been a significant undertaking, especially for the larger units, in view of the short turn-around time we have for the student surveys.

I urge the faculty to reserve a thoughtful moment or two from their already overcrowded end-of-semester schedules to voice their opinions and return them to the Gelb Group in the postage-paid reply envelope included with each survey.

Results from the Systemwide survey will be shared with the campus community in university publications and on the UH home page on the Internet.

And when I say we want to hear your opinions, I really mean opinions you might have about how things can be improved or enhanced. If you write it, we will listen -- that's a promise.

Freedman is UH executive associate vice president and interim vice president for University Advancement

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