Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Student Retention

From the Democrat Gazette:

[Trevor Francis] now oversees the new Office of Graduation and Retention at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, taking on his role in September and meeting with faculty members and administrators to brainstorm ideas to improve the university's 62.3 percent six-year graduation rate.  
Francis, who ears a yearly salary of $88,000, began working at the university as an academic adviser in 2004.  When it comes to leaving school, student experiences "are so unique and so complex that, at any given time, it can be for a number of reasons," he said...His office includes an analyst able to crunch the numbers for academic departments and present reports in an understandable format, Francis said.  Much of his time has involved meeting with leaders of academic units about ways to improve student outcomes..."I can come in and offer advice and sort of help them compare and contrast what best practices are at other institutions and what seems to be working there," Francis said.

Here is some advice of my own about how to retain students, and you don't have to pay me $88,000 for it: Fire Francis and his staff and use the money to lower tuition.  You could also just not give any student a grade lower than a 'C.'  I didn't even have to attend a single brainstorming meeting or get up to date on the latest "best practices" for that one.

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