Academic advising at the University of Central Missouri will have a new home next fall, and most of UCM’s printing will be outsourced.
The UCM Board of Governors approved these actions in a teleconference May 30.
The contract to renovate the space in the Elliott Student Union, previously occupied by the University Book Store, into the new Success Advising Center was awarded to Reasbeck Construction Inc. at a total cost of $693,875. Funding for the project will come from enrollment management reserves. Provost-Chief Learning Officer Mike Godard said initial estimates for the project were in excess of $900,000.
Godard said construction will begin in the next couple of weeks and is projected to be completed by the end of August. Between the start of the fall 2018 semester and the completion of the Success Advising Center, the current advising centers will remain operational.
According to a document provided by Godard, the caseloads for academic success advisors will be under 300 students next fall. He said under the current advising model caseloads can be 500 to 750 students.
The Success Advising Center is part of the new Student Success Continuum designed to help in the university’s goal of increasing retention to 80 percent; the university’s retention rate is currently about 72 percent. University President Chuck Ambrose said each 1 percent increase in retention represents about $800,000 for the university. The increase in revenue associated with the increase in retention is expected to help cover the one-time cost of construction.
The new advising model will provide more holistic advising in a centralized location, allowing students to get the assistance they may need without having to go to several different offices.
Ken Schueller has been named the director of Academic Advising. He formerly served as director of the Gateway Advising Center. Additionally, Paula Brant, Natalie Peirce, and Kristin Salas have been named as senior success advisors.
Godard said he doesn’t think it will take long to begin seeing positive results from the new advising model.
“I think it will take us a semester to work the kinks out, but I honestly believe we will start to see some immediate benefits to our students,” he said. “I anticipate a modest increase in retention from fall 2018 to fall 2019, with a more pronounced increase from fall 2019 to fall 2020 when things are fully implemented and operational.”
The board approved the recommendation to outsource printing, something Amrose said the university has considered since 2011. The university will use Neal/Settle Printing Inc. and Printlynx for high-quality materials and more complex jobs. Smaller and less complicated printing jobs will remain on campus.
The director for the Center for Print Production, Dave Barabas, is moving into a full-time faculty position. Six filled positions have been eliminated because of the outsourcing. A print production coordinator position has been created.
Executive vice president-COO Roger Best said the new contracts for more complex printing jobs will generate savings of up to $250,000 annually.
The new printing contracts will begin July 1. Best said all of the CPP employees have been notified and are eligible to apply for the print production coordinator position.
In other business, the board named executive director of administrative services Susan Brockhaus to serve as the university’s treasurer.
Through the university’s reorganization, the associate vice president of finance position was eliminated on May 17. Toni Kreke had served as the university’s treasurer in that position.