Truman State University announced a realignment of Residence Life and more into the Student Affairs department, to hopefully enhance student experience and retention.
The University announced this change to the community through an email May 27. The email states Student Life will focus on elevating and enhancing the student experience.
Several departments will be combined to form the new Student Life. These departments include the Bookstore, Campus Recreation, Citizenship and Community Standards, Student Health Center, University Counseling Services, and Union and Involvement Services. These departments will be under Student Life because they have a strong impact on the student experience.
Residence Life will be moved from the Student Affairs department to Enrollment Management and Marketing. The email states this change is because of the important role that Residence Life has in student recruitment and retention. Sodexo is also moving to Enrollment Management and Marketing because it is closely connected to Residence Life.
The Career Center will move from Student Affairs to Academic Affairs. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Student Access and Disability Services Office will also move to Academic Affairs.
The email highlights that no staff will be let go because of the new change
“This is a realignment of reporting lines, no positions are being eliminated,” the email states.
Janna Stoskopf will be the Dean of Student Life, a new position created for the Student Life department. Stoskopf was previously the vice president of Student Affairs for three years.
Stoskopf’s primary goal for the fall semester is to enhance student engagement on campus.
“We have come off a difficult year with COVID and this is a prime opportunity to really reimagine what student engagement looks like at each point along the student’s academic journey,” Stoskopf said.
With Student Life being created, some reporting lines will be realigned. Some departments will now have different supervisors. This change seeks to increase the effectiveness of these departments.
Starting July 1, some departments that reported to the Division of Student Affairs began to be supervised by other University faculty members.
“For example, Residence Life and Dining Services, based on the important role they play in recruitment and retention are now supervised by the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing,” Stoskopf said.
The reorganization of departments is because of the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. The new plan focuses on eight foundational metrics which will be furthered by the realignment to Student Life.
The eight foundational metrics are enrollment goals, retention rates, graduation rates, campus climate – inclusion and diversity, academic performance, first destination rates, alumni satisfaction and institutional effectiveness.
The foundational metrics are supported by three overarching commitments in the Strategic Plan: organizational excellence, student success and achievement, and professional and societal impacts. The Strategic Plan has three initiatives based on the three commitments: enrollment initiative, advising initiative and campus climate initiative.
Stoskopf said the departments within Student Life are meant to promote a healthy environment and lifestyle for students. Mental health and substance abuse and misuse are areas of focus for Stoskopf.
“I will now have opportunities to be more intentional with programming and prevention efforts that help students understand low-risk behavior vs. high-risk behavior,” Stoskopf said.