University President George Ross sat down with 20 students Tuesday evening for dinner and a discussion in Merrill Residential Restaurant.
“I’ve been here about a year and a half now,” said Ross, who was accompanied by his wife. “I’ve always tried to come to the dining halls whenever I can, but with how busy I am this semester, I have to be more deliberate with my planning.”
The dinner was the second of four this semester where Ross talked one-on-one with students.
Ross shared his desire to boost the academic reputation of Central Michigan University.
“We (the staff) have to be more engaged,” he said. “I want to be known as a university that takes studies very seriously and always puts academics first.”
A major point of discussion was the four-year plans distributed to Honors students to plan their academic careers.
“It’d be really helpful to have one,” said Southfield junior Josh Finn. “I think it’s an awesome resource and should be available to all students.”
In addition to four-year plans, the presence of academic advisers on campus was discussed. Students recommended that more advisors be hired, especially during times close to registration.
“I believe if we hired a few additional people around registration time who are qualified in planning schedules, it would be a big help,” Ross said.
The president also emphasized the future of CMU depends on not only the staff, but current students and alumni as well.
“I use thoughts from students, alumni, faculty and staff when making decisions,” he said. “As we go through changes, I want to listen to everyone.”
Shelby freshman Emily White was happy with the relaxed environment.
“This was a great opportunity to see someone of authority represent the campus outside of press conferences,” White said.
As the dinner wound down, Ross encouraged students to speak up and voice their opinions about the university.
“I think it’s important that I capture the hopes and dreams of everyone involved with this university. In order to do that, it’s important that we’re all on the same page,” Ross said. “This includes students. I want to hear your voices.”
There will also be dinners at 6 p.m. Nov. 1 at Fresh Food Co. and 6 p.m. Nov. 8 at Robinson Residential Restaurant.