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SUNY Oneonta Institutional Planning

Posts: 26
Darren Chase 2022-03-02T10:29:33-05:00

2/4 Dialogue Session Notes, President's Office

Feb. 4, 2022 Dialogue Session Notes:


  • How to best support students who have been in high school during covid.
  • How to adapt to the differences of Gen Z and how they engage in activities, look for support, etc. – different than previous generations.
  • Budgeting challenges for the first time in many years. This is new-ish for many – even those who have taught at Oneonta for about 10 years.
  • We used to be a college of choice – selective  - and attracted more students. But changing demographics and reputational damage has changed this.
  • Attracting and retaining talented faculty and staff.
    • And diversifying faculty and staff.
  • Many people in MOC and facilities are reaching retirement age – we need new people to train with these folks before they are gone.
  • Off-campus environment is not always welcoming to diverse students and employees.
    • The community needs to be at the table and we need to capitalize on already improved town-gown relations.
  • Students today see an education as a piece of debt, not an investment. How can we change that?
  • Junior faculty are hard to retain because of lack of child care or college-organize housing in Oneonta. Rentals for professionals is an issue – student housing has a strong hold in center-city.
  • People have received a lot of “no”s because of rules – we need to be more open minded to change if we can. Where can we start saying “yes”?
    • We need to be targeted in what we say yes to.


  • We’ve had an increase in first-gen students  - need time to devote to them and support them.
  • Should we define what “college of choice” means?
  • Work with the town to provide more support to diverse students and employees while out and about in the local area.
  • PRODiG is trying to attract a more diverse faculty, but we have to engage and retain them.
  • Parents of first generation, especially for those whom English is their second language, want to know there are people at the college who can understand them and help them in ways they understand – language.
  • We have savings  and reserves, and are getting HEERF money – what can we do with them if needed?
  • Opportunity of flexibility – we can take more chances on people who might do good things and trust them to be good stewards of our money.
  • Invest time and money into younger faculty and staff – provide staff development and opportunities to grow.
  • Identify the distinction between enabling creativity and expecting success and perfection. Failure is also ok – not every idea may go through, but they are still being listened to and tried or considered.
  • Student jobs can be a foot in the door to their futures, even if it isn’t related to their degree programs.  (example of students working in IT from many majors – but lots go on to work in IT professionally because of their experience in the part-time job on campus)
  • Other schools have “university internship” programs that capitalize on the opportunities for students to engage and grow right within the footprint of the campus.
    • The power of the alumni network – we have lots of examples of this happening organically in the past.
    • Can we use the experiential learning center to connect these experiences to the career development center/career preparation programs. Translate the skills they are building through research, travel, internships and on-campus jobs.
    • Does IT offer credentialing – is this an opportunity to do so?
    • Aside from internships or jobs, are there places/experiences on campus that we can involve students – eg: TAs grading tests would open up faculty to do other projects.
    • We have a rich array of experiences and opportunities already in our inventory – what barriers can we break down to get students to work on campus and not off campus?
      • Sometimes it is a pay rate issue – are there experiential learning things happening that could be lopped in and counted as work study?
      • We need more faculty and staff to find out how to get workstudy positions in their offices.
      • Faculty and staff need to know what opportunities are already being presented to students.
  • We have the opportunity for directionality, not just goals, but also roadmaps on how to get there – then measure success with mile markers along the way.
  • Look at “high impact practices” at other colleges – Stony Brook has some good examples. These experiences are disproportionally beneficial to underserved students. We already have the infrastructure in place with the exp. Learning center.
  • Microcredentialling across the board – relating microcredentials to skills and career paths.
  • Prior learning credit for experienced gained at these on -campus jobs. -MIT gives 12 credits in IT for students who get google certifications.
  • Microcredentialing wont necessarily attract students, but it will help them stay.
  • The student opinion survey is a good tool to identify areas to target.
  • SUNY BI is going to be helpful for planning – we didn’t have this 10 years ago.
  • The president has already scheduled community breakfasts with some local leaders -build from there.
  • Good town-gown relations helps retain good employees.
  • The health of the city is linked to the college & vice versa.



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