With the University of California facing the influx of an additional 64,000 students over a 12-year period, a systemwide task force today (Thursday, May 17, 2001) unveiled a report on ways campuses can bolster and improve student services.
"Campus organizations that provide services to students play a vital role in supporting the academic success and enhancing the quality of life for all UC students," said Winston C. Doby, the chair of the task force and UCLA's vice chancellor for student affairs. "These services are essential to the success of a public research university, as they influence academic and personal development by creating bridges between what students learn in the classroom and how they apply their knowledge on campus and in the broader community."
Doby presented the findings of the report, entitled "Future Vision: Student Services at the University of California," to the UC Board of Regents during its regularly scheduled meeting at UC San Francisco-Laurel Heights.
In an effort to provide critical support for students' matriculation, academic achievement, personal development and quality of life, the report identifies urgent needs in the area of student services, makes recommendations and in some cases identifies current best practices that will help campuses rethink and improve the way these services are provided. Some of the areas of need identified in the report include childcare, student housing, career planning and technological infrastructure.
In addressing these and other critical needs, the report recommends that the university:
- Develop a new framework for delivering high-quality student services that is student-centered, comprehensive, compatible with other campus units, and adaptable to evolving and diverse campus needs.
- Emphasize the values associated with the delivery of student services by taking into account the increasingly diverse student body, building systemwide technological tools and soliciting the input of students and other stakeholders.
- Increase cooperation and seamlessness in providing services and share examples of best practices on campus, such as the UC Berkeley Disabled Students' Program, which streamlines the monitoring and provision of campus services to disabled students, or the Career Services Center Web site at UC San Diego, which individually assist students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and recruiters with career information.
Given the efforts of the task force, Doby said that he was hopeful "that the University of California will be well positioned to serve future students without compromising quality or affordability." In his briefing to the regents, Doby additionally stressed the need for increased support for student retention -- an area not specifically addressed in the report.
The student services task force was composed of representatives from UC campuses and the Office of the President, and was appointed by Provost and Senior Vice President C. Judson King in fall 2000 at the request of UC President Richard C. Atkinson.