Mostly faculty and staff, along with a small number of students, filled the McFadden Science Lecture Theatre Oct. 4 for Texas Wesleyan President Frederick Slabach’s Open Forum. Slabach answered questions and comments that were inserted into a suggestion box prior to the forum’s beginning before fielding questions from attendees.
These are the questions and comments members of the Wesleyan community had for Slabach as well as his response:
1st comment: Website states that 82 percent faculty have Ph.Ds which seems low against that of comparable universities.
Slabach: Provost Allen Henderson double-checked the figure and found it accurate. No response given to the number being low.
2nd comment: Moving to the applytexas.org application process could increase ease of applying to university and increase applicants. It’s also easier and more well known than internal application process.
Slabach: Wesleyan is now listed in applytexas.org and will continue to use internal applications.
3rd comment: Money used on needless branding could be used to give faculty and staff raises.
Slabach: “I agree that we need to give raises if money is available,” Slabach said. “But I disagree with the premise [of comment].” Marketing campaign is designed to increase enrollment and will be very productive, Slabach said. Wesleyan is a tuition-based university. Slabach also cited TCU’s new billboard that reads “smaller classes so minds have room to expand” and said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
4th comment: The unmanned welcome desk in the administration building could set a bad first impression.
Slabach: Although there are signs directing students to the appropriate office, administrators are considering accepting volunteers to occupy the desk.
5th comment: Wesleyan needs more events and activities for students on campus.
Slabach: “I agree,” Slabach said. Social rams have organized a number events which have been very well attended. “[There’s an] uptick that I can see and feel,” he said.
6th comment: Something must be done to restore morale to staff and faculty after no raises given.
Slabach: “We hope that everything we are doing will add morale,” Slabach said.
7th comment: Wesleyan needs to reinstate swim teams.
Slabach: The athletic director is looking into new athletic programs while university officials see if new programs could have a net positive effect on tuition revenue. A wide range of sports programs are being considered.
8th comment: General Education Courses need to be reinstated into the morning time slots, functioning like a “de jour university” has instructors squabbling over classrooms.
Slabach: Provost Allen Henderson is looking to resolve the scheduling conflicts.
9th comment: Adequate funding needs to be provided for sports now that Wesleyan has joined the Sooner Athletic Conference as other programs are far more well funded.
Slabach: Officials have reviewed the potential cost effect of joining the SAC and have determined it will not increase costs. “It will likely save us money because of reduced travel expenses,” Slabach said.