Strategy 2025 Documents

Student Strategy Session Recap

Both undergraduate and graduate students attended the April 11 student listening session on Zoom. Facilitator Kathy Wilets, U of U Health director of media relations & content marketing, opened by explaining that the university is gathering data to inform the strategic plan and that student feedback is crucial in this process. The purpose of the session was to listen to students’ experiences at the U. The attendees then broke out into an undergraduate group and a graduate group.

Undergraduate Group Discussion

Undergraduate students highlighted the U’s location as a major draw. They love the outdoor
recreational activities and campus involvement opportunities. Some students want enhanced weekend and session break activities to reduce feelings of loneliness among the predominantly commuting student body. They noted that high housing costs in Salt Lake City pose financial challenges and may deter prospective students. Students value the diverse student body and the exposure to a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds. They would like to see the university facilitate more discussions to share their perspectives with each other.

Some students cited positive interactions with faculty as a highlight. Online class options are valued for their flexibility. Students suggested increasing online class offerings in the summer to expedite graduation. They pointed out some departments like Art & Art History are underfunded and said a lack of sufficient staffing hinders the U’s efforts to pioneer new research areas. The campus could benefit from more interdisciplinary collaboration, such as business courses for art majors. Students with dietary restrictions cited limited food options and called for improved food quality and diversity. They named accessibility issues in buildings and inadequate parking for those carrying heavy materials as additional concerns.

Students praised career success coaches for the support they provide. They value internships for gaining real-world skills, and they want better communication regarding internships and research opportunities from the first year. They also want clearer guidance on student support services. Students suggested that the university give each student a “road map” that clearly outlines successful pathways.

Graduate Group Discussion

Graduate students reported connecting with peers was a highlight of their graduate experience. They value the ability to engage with different perspectives in their cohorts. They named belonging, innovation, research, quality, value, breadth of programs, and leadership opportunities as differentiators and key values that should define the institution. They emphasized the importance of having a welcoming, safe environment for students from marginalized groups but felt the U no longer prioritizes this value.

Graduate students named school/work/life balance as one of their biggest challenges. Opinions varied on graduate programs’ accommodation for responsibilities outside school. Nursing was praised for its flexibility with family duties, while the MPA program is tailored to working professionals. Competitive programs were seen as less accommodating. Some students praised faculty and preceptors as a highlight of their experience, while others noted inconsistent quality among faculty teaching and mentorship abilities. They suggested that the university provide resources and training while onboarding new faculty.

Students value interdisciplinary collaboration but said opportunities are rare. They suggested the university offer courses that combine disciplines, especially those that interact in the professional world (i.e. social work and medicine). Some students felt the U provides good career and professional development support, but many felt there is a lack in career services for graduate students. At the end of the session, students praised the university for giving them the chance to share their views and called for more opportunities to engage with university leadership.

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