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Faculty Senate looks for ways to reach out
Presentation on Generation Y targets interaction with students

By Jillanne Johnson
Staff Reporter

Learning to understand the values and attitudes of the next generation is key to reaching students as individuals, said Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, Thursday during a Faculty Senate meeting.

Mills presented a study of Generation Y, those students who were born in 1982 or later, to the faculty representatives. His presentation included an analysis of the personalities and behaviors of the newest students on campus.

“Generation Y is socially responsible, finds it important to stay connected to others and is tolerant and accepting of difference,” Mills said during his presentation.

Mills said the experiences and education of the freshman class create many challenges for faculty. These students entered TCU this fall with high ambitions but unrealistic ideas about how to reach their goals, he said. They also have more access to knowledge but understand less about how their academic careers connect to their real lives than before, he said.

Because this generation values relationships more than those before them, faculty need to increase the individual interaction with students, Mills said.

“TCU needs to respond by enhancing academic engagement, addressing high risk behavior and preparing students for life after graduation,” Mills said.

Several faculty expressed concern that the current reward system valued their research and teaching and did not provide incentive for service. “The faculty reward system is set up for academic disconnect,” Andy Fort, professor of religion, said.

Chancellor Michael Ferrari said some points will be resolved in current issues like core curriculum reform. Others will need to be addressed as other issues are resolved.

In other business, Art Busbey, associate professor of geology who chaired the Computer and Technology Committee, briefed faculty on the presentation he made to the chancellor Dec. 7, 2000, concerning the university’s needs and priorities for technology.

Top Priorities
Some of the top priorities of the Computer and Technology Committee, which included faculty, staff and students are:

- building a centralized technology fund to help in fund-raising issues
- revising the Intellectual Property Rights policy to specifically relate to electronic ideas
- expanding the use of student ID cards to other, possibly off-campus venues

Jillanne Johnson


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