Chancellor Meets With Students, Shares Questions, Answers and Ideas

Chancellor Steinmetz takes a question from a student.
Photo by University Relations

Chancellor Steinmetz takes a question from a student.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Chancellor Joe Steinmetz hosted a “Chancellor Chat” with students for about an hour Wednesday evening, Feb. 13, in the upper Hillside Auditorium. About 50 students and members of the campus community turned out for the event, obviously prepared with comments and questions and clearly interested in the answers.

“I was very impressed with the quality of the questions the students asked,” said Steinmetz. “They were straightforward and sincere expressing both praise and their concerns. It was my goal to be equally honest and transparent about what we are doing and why.”

The chancellor opened the session with a brief overview on four areas: student success initiatives, making the campus more inclusive, expanding the research mission, and the importance of Campaign Arkansas. He then asked students a few questions of his own – ranging from what they think the university is doing well to their biggest frustrations on campus.

Chancellor Steinmetz was frank. When asked why the administration was unwilling to raise student activity fees, he replied, ‘I can tell you, because I’m the administration. I’m the administrator who didn’t want to do it.” He went on to emphasize how important it was to him to keep the total cost of attending the university as low as possible.’”

Lexi Robertson, a junior and member of the ASG, gave the discussion high grades, and hopes it continues.

“I overheard many of my friends commenting on how glad they were that they were in attendance because they felt like their thoughts were truly heard,” she said. “I believe continuing this event will cut out the middleman between students and the answers they need. As issues arise, students will be able to attend these sessions and immediately have their questions answered.”

Students asked for more information about student success efforts, had questions about diversity and inclusion and wanted to know the reasons for several administrative decisions. Chancellor Steinmetz noted that the group was 18 minutes into the session before the first question about parking.

Future chats are planned, and Chancellor Steinmetz will continue to  host small groups of students for coffee and casual conversations several times a year. He also meets regularly with undergraduate and graduate student government representatives.

Ideas about how to improve campus processes, policies or procedures can also be shared directly with the chancellor’s office, just Share Your Idea.  

 

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

Mark Rushing, assistant vice chancellor
University Relations
479-575-5555, markr@uark.edu

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