By Obadete Ferko
On Oct. 22, 2015, President Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson hosted an open meeting from 11 a.m. to noon in the MSU Alumni Auditorium.
The meeting opened by discussing the initiatives he mentioned on his opening day address and gave a brief overview/progress report.
Hawkinson said, “I meet with the departments and alumni every day, also with the mayor of Kutztown. I am in a constant state of movement to learn about students and constituents.” President Hawkinson stressed that you can follow the progress week by week; he said, “There is place for talking and a place for action.”
Briefly explaining the progress report on the new initiatives, some points Hawkinson discussed were about new scholarships for
high achieving students, also pilot testing a bus route from the Kutztown Bieber Bus Terminal to Reading, Pa. that will pick up students of minorities but will not be limited to other students, which will open more opportunities to future students and there is plans to expand to Allentown, Pa.
Also on the topic of student success, President Hawkinson mentioned incentives for transfer students with an associate degree to receive a $500 book award.
Hawkinson went on to discuss that on Jan. 1, 2016, there will be a new look to the university website. This includes more space and news briefs. He said, “Since my start in July, there have been changes on the website like the new added program of distinction that is highlighted on the site as well still keeping students to the page. I also have added new PR and marketing campaigns as well to help promote the university in many ways.”
By this point, students were eager to have some of their own concerns answered by the president.
Students that were apart of political science club asked questions about future polling stations for students with upcoming elections, such as “How far is the nearest polling place? Why isn’t there a polling place on campus accessible to students?” Hawkinson replied with reassurance that polling stations are easy to go to with the closest one at the Zion Church in Kutztown.
One of the most debated topics at the meeting was a group of library science majors who are facing moratorium. They explained why their major should stay at KU.
One student said, “ the library science major here is the only one left in the state, which will really bring other students to this school. Why take it away when there are so many possibilities for us? We have added a minor to the program in the last two years also.” Hawkinson explained how it is a tough time for a lot of universities with budget cuts and low enrollment rates for certain programs. He left the topic with these words of hope “reinvent yourself, find your niche.”
Hawkinson’s open meeting helped provide insight to what goes on behind the scenes at KU.
Be sure to look out for all the upcoming changes and updates on the initiatives.