As part of her promise to hold listening sessions for different segments of the Utah State University community, USU President Elizabeth Cantwell traveled to the Southeast portion of the state to hold these listening sessions at USU Blanding, USU Eastern and USU Moab. Cantwell visited USU Blanding and USU Moab on November 15 and USU Eastern on November 16.
Cantwell also was treated to campus tours to familiarize herself with these campuses and meet with leaders and community members.
“These listening sessions are, for me, part of trying to understand the uniqueness of each campus,” Cantwell said during her visit. “By understanding these differences, I can work along with our state Board of Higher Education and our Board of Trustees, so that we can perfect our capacity to serve.”
As part of these listening sessions and roundtable discussions, President Cantwell focused on the three questions she posed to the USU community when she initially announced her listening tour in August:
- What’s the greatest untapped opportunity that you think we have?
- What are the greatest risks that you worry will put us off course?
- What is the one thing you worry no one has had the confidence to tell me as your new president that you think I need to know?
During the sessions, community members were able to discuss and actively engage with questions about opportunities, challenges and institutional priorities and will have the opportunity to provide insight, assist in the development of actionable strategies, and contribute to the advancement of university goals and vision. Cantwell will use the answers to these questions to help understand where USU currently stands and how to help guide the university where it needs to go to thrive as a modern land-grant university over the next 50 years and beyond.
“If we measure each community the same way, we will not meet the needs of the individual communities of Utah,” Cantwell told participants. “It takes constant conversation.”
Cantwell listened as community members, students, and USU employees discussed things that they thought may benefit the university, or potential roadblocks that may derail progress. Some of these discussions included the need to promote technical education, better educating students on funding opportunities, childcare options, research opportunities, expansion of graduate school offerings, modernizing the educational delivery and approach, partnering with local industry and many more topics.
Cantwell also highlighted that those who were not in attendance, or who did not ask their questions publicly, could still submit their answers and concerns online. This can be done by visiting www.usu.edu/president/transition.
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