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12/22/15 - A Message from the President and Provost

Posted: 12/22/2015 5:10:00 PM

December 22, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

We committed to you last spring and again this fall that we would share the feedback we received from the recent focus groups, and we are pleased to begin doing so today. These sessions reflect a total of 18 hours of direct feedback and data from your adjunct faculty colleagues on how we are doing and how we can improve going forward. It isn’t always fun or easy to ask someone to tell you how you can improve, but it is through this honest dialogue and feedback that we learn and move forward rather than staying complacent. We ask this of our students and, accordingly, demand it of ourselves.

Last week, we met with the focus group facilitator to hear what she learned from all of you who openly shared your thoughts, feelings and experiences about our Webster. We need some time to fully digest everything that was shared and are committed to doing so.

Beginning in January, we have scheduled three Town Hall meetings in Winifred Moore Auditorium on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday, January 15, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.

These meetings will give us an opportunity to work together to look at major topics that came out of the focus groups.

What we heard from you – key themes:

Overall, participants in the focus groups appreciate Webster’s small class sizes, facilities and technology, diversity, social responsibility and the flexibility to teach as they see fit.

As for improvement opportunities, we heard the following key themes from you:

  • Leadership and working relationships: you would like improved two-way interaction with other faculty, Department Chairs, Deans, and members of the Administration.
  • Communication: you would appreciate more direct and regular communications from campus leaders as well as opportunities to meet with them.
  • Workload, resources and training: you would like more support (meeting space with students, learning and professional development opportunities, and resources for students, etc.)
  • Compensation: you believe that while Webster is competitive in the marketplace for adjuncts, there is more to be done in terms of professional development, timing of class cancellations, access to supplies, timing of appointment letters, etc.

Finally, thanks to all of you who took part in the focus groups. Regardless of whether you participated, your continued involvement is very important to us as we work to identify specific actions to pursue based on your feedback. In the meantime, please watch websteradjunctinfo.org for information updates. This website is designed to meet your information needs and respond to your questions.

As we continue the journey for improvement for Webster University, we hope that you will make plans to attend one of the Town Hall meetings.

Thank you and have a happy and safe New Year.

Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, Ph.D.               

Julian Schuster, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President 
Chief Operating Officer