Internal - Faculty & Staff

August 5 Community Meeting Recap

August 10, 2020

On August 5, we hosted a community meeting with President Wooten. In case you missed it, check out the recording of the meeting and the PowerPoint deck, along with some additional FAQs we didn’t have time to address at the meeting. Please send any additional questions to [email protected].

Additional FAQs from Community Members

Will efforts be made to keep parking costs similar despite monetization?
We don’t know what this partnership will look like, yet.  There are a variety of models to be considered when monetizing an asset like a garage. If we were to enter into an agreement with a partner, part of the negotiation will be parking rates – currently, our intention is to preserve discounted parking for our community.  All of the details are still to be determined, we are hopeful that this transaction will allow us the most flexibility to complete the One Simmons project in a timely and efficient manner! We’ll continue to provide updates as we have them.

How did you project $30 million for parking?
We have just begun the process of marketing the garage for lease.  We anticipate seeing initial offers within the next several months. Any projections at this point are completely preliminary.

With 2U revenue share at about 20% of the expense budget, how is value monitored on an ongoing basis?
Value in the 2U partnership can be measured in both financial and academic terms. For the online graduate program, which has been in place since 2014, there was significant growth through 2019, although there has been a drop off recently. There is much promise in the new undergraduate degree completion program that may begin as early as January 2021. In terms of the traditional undergraduate programs moving to the 2U online learning platform this Fall, that is all about quality delivery for our students. Simmons has chosen to make a significant investment in quality while freezing tuition at the 2020 academic year prices.

Do we have a partner who will use the residence campus in exchange for funds to build the new Living/Learning center?
We are continuing negotiations with a partner and are hopeful that we will have a final agreement in the coming months. However, we are still bound by confidentiality as to the name of the potential partner.

Are any of those positions taking pay cuts, in view of financial issues? Other big companies and universities have had top administrators do that.
The overall compensation of the executive team was reduced by 20%.

While we are 20% down on admin costs, as the permanent positions get filled, those expenses will increase, right?
Incorrect. The overall compensation of the executive team was reduced by 20% inclusive of the permanent positions to be filled.

Will 2UOS Essential be replacing Moodle?
2UOS Essential will not replace Moodle for Simmons. We have graduate programs that will continue to be hosted through Moodle and supported by Simmons’ Academic Technology Systems. For Fall 2020, all undergraduate courses will hosted on 2UOS Essential. 

Who are the Student Affairs staff for each class?
Corey Zohlman will be working as Class Dean for the Senior Class, Echelle Avelar will serve as the Class Dean for Juniors, and Michele Almeida will serve as Class Dean for Sophomores. Alicia LaPolla will continue to serve in her role as Assistant Dean of First-Year Programs and will work with First Years.  Michele Almeida and Susan Antonelli will serve as the primary support contacts in Student Affairs for graduate students.

How will Simmons be supporting Grad students?
We will continue to provide one-on-one guidance and advice to graduate students who have issues or concerns personally or related to their academic progress.  Further, we will provide information and access to campus resources and activities such as information about the SOS Fund, graduate student-specific programming, and health and wellness programming.

Does this LeadersProject then make the required PLAN leadership course possibly redundant?
The LeadersProject is designed to complement the leadership course.  Some of the concepts will be intentionally familiar to students.  Think of the LeadersProject as a lab for what students learn in their leadership course.  This is an opportunity for students to take concepts they have learned and bring them to life.  There are real-time opportunities for students to apply these concepts in student organization settings.  Finally, this is a chance for students to continue to think about their own personal leadership styles and receive one-on-one coaching about how they can develop lifelong leadership skills.

How will students access the LeadersProject?
The LeadersProject@Simmons will be rolled out via email and the Shark Sites (class pages) after the semester begins.  We will also recruit at the virtual Connections Carnival, our annual student activities and organization expo.

Will the First-Year Mentors receive a stipend?
They will. First-Year Mentors will receive hourly pay for their work.

Is there a way to celebrate faculty who retired this year? 
We can absolutely figure out a way to celebrate faculty who have retired. 

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