Student Life Program Review Schedule
The Division of Student Life at PLU recognizes the importance and value of regular program review as an essential component of a dynamic and responsive practice and culture of assessment and continuous improvement. While program review is relatively new to the division, Student Life educators have engaged the process fully to inform improvements and enhancements to student learning and experience, as well as used learning from reviews to affirm priorities, create efficiencies, and situate PLU’s work in the larger higher education universe.
Next steps are to engage the cycle of program review more fully by formalizing expectations for program review self assessment reports and use of standards, such as CAS; responding in writing to program review recommendations; providing regular updates on progress on recommendations and related action steps; and ensuring that reviews are scheduled on an every 5-7 year timeline, unless directed differently by accreditation or constitutional requirements that may be specific to an area.
PRIORITIES & EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES - CLICK TITLE TO EXPAND
Athletics Priorities & Highlights
Campus & Outdoor Recreation Priorities & Highlights
Campus Ministry Priorities & Highlights
Recommendations from Fall 2019 Campus Ministry Review:
- Roles within Campus Ministry staff:
- Clarify the relationship between the work of the University Pastor and the Director of Multicultural Outreach & Engagement as collaborators within Campus Ministry.
- Make sure each member of Campus Ministry team is able to articulate PLU’s Lutheran identity as part of our educational framework.
- Clarify relationship between Campus Ministry and:
- Director for Congregational Relations
- Student Religious Clubs
- Campus Ministry Council
- Continued prioritization around Campus Ministry having both Lutheran roots and interfaith engagement.
- Expanding Campus Relational Ministry – including supporting other faculty and staff in providing spiritual support to students.
- More presence (could be student workers) in Campus Ministry’s physical space.
- Re-vision University Congregation
Link to Spring 2016 Congregational Relations Review:
Campus Restaurants Priorities & Highlights
- Continue to work on consistent program execution
- Addition of Get app with associated student ability to customize orders
- New healthy and fun items, including new stations, added to expand options and variety
- Continue AYCTE as part of meal plan and add variety to rotation
- AYCTE will return in fall 2021, as public health directives allow dining venues to expand dining opportunities
- Increase meal plan education for students and their families
- Updated meal plan “how to” accessible on web page: https://www.plu.edu/dining/meal-descriptions/how-to/
Campus Safety Executive Summary
This Executive Summary is designed to highlight key findings and recommendations from our review, but is not a comprehensive summary of our work. We invite our entire PLU community to review this report in detail and identify ways that you can participate in building a safer, more inclusive campus. There is a role for everyone in this work. Some recommendations emerged repeatedly from different aspects of our work, and thus are repeated in different sections. In this report, “review team” refers to the 8-member group who facilitated this review. “Review participants” refers to members of the PLU community who provided information to our review team, either through survey responses, focus groups, interviews, or anonymous feedback forms.
This review was called for as one of PLU’s Seven Actions for Institutional Equity and Anti-Racism at PLU, and is part of the review cycle in the Division of Student life. Our charge called for an equity-minded approach, which required us to center marginalized perspectives as part of our process, detailed in Section II of this report. In doing so, we learned the different ways minoritized community members experience safety on our campus, and developed a nuanced understanding of the steps PLU needs to take to create a sense of safety and belonging for all PLU community members.
We also learned that a safe campus requires participation from every individual and office on our campus. In particular, Facilities Management, Human Resources, Information and Technology Services, Student Life, and University Relations have a role to play in supporting Campus Safety and safety on campus in general. With leadership from President’s Council, the University must develop a strategic plan for collaboration between these and other offices as part of a community-engaged safety model; the role of the existing Safety Committee in this work must be clarified. Individual students, staff, faculty, and administrators can and should support the safety of those around them, and should be given the information and resources necessary to do so. Sections III and VI provide additional details.
Our community’s perception of safety is closely linked to our perceptions of our neighbors (Section IV), about whom we heard wide ranging views from review participants. As part of our mission of care for our community, it is essential that University Relations develops and implements a strategic plan for building relationships with our closest constituents, the Parkland community, through an anti-racist and equity lens.
Campus Safety, despite an inhospitable office, limited resources, and dramatic turnover in their work force, has demonstrated their ability to deliver services that our community values and utilizes extensively, such as building admits and escort services. The 24/7, 365 availability of Campus Safety has resulted in a dramatic expansion of the scope of their work during the pandemic, which has strained their resources even further. Survey and focus group responses show that most review participants have a high degree of satisfaction with and gratitude for their interactions with Campus Safety, an affirmation of Campus Safety’s recent efforts to center customer service in their work. We recommend that Campus Safety continue these customer-service oriented efforts by revisiting protocols for less frequent, but more serious calls for service; continuing and expanding implicit bias and inclusivity training and policies; considering alternatives to the utility belt worn by Campus Safety officers; and developing and communicating clear internal (within Campus Safety) and external (PLU community) systems for reporting grievances. Sections V, VII, and VIII provide additional details.
We found campus wide confusion about Campus Safety’s responsibilities, training, staffing, and relationship with Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD). We recommend that Campus Safety collaborate with Student Life and Marketing and Communications to develop clear and regular communication with the entire PLU community about Campus Safety’s work, and the rights and responsibilities of individuals participating in a safe and inclusive campus for all PLU community members.
The current scope of Campus Safety’s work combined with a contracting budget is unsustainable. The dissolution of the Campus Concierge and the Center for Community Engagement and Service, in addition to the pandemic, has led Campus Safety officers to become, in the words of one officer, a “jack of all trades.” Alarmingly low staffing levels and a reduced budget has forced Campus Safety into a range of unsustainable and unsafe practices, including but not limited to sending student officers to patrol alone, limiting or abandoning security camera monitoring, and postponing essential technology upgrades to our card-swipe access system. The President’s Council must take action to more strategically and sustainably distribute the work required to create a safe and inclusive community.
Campus Safety’s office space is hard to find, unapproachable, cramped, and in disrepair. Dysfunctional bathroom facilities, temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, and flooding are just some of the challenges the department has faced. In addition, recently installed campus maps incorrectly locate Campus Safety in the Anderson University Center, which would be a more appropriate, visible, and welcoming location for their work.
Given the disproportionate impact of police presence on communities of color at PLU, our relationship with PCSD does not align with our University mission or strategic plan; however we cannot recommend the immediate end to our contract with PCSD because the University is ill-prepared to manage the safety of our community without outsourcing some of that work. We also found among our community widespread misinformation and lack of information about PLU’s contract with PCSD, which limited our ability to learn from review participants. Thus, the University must take immediate action in educating our community about our contract with PCSD, and, with strategic vision from President’s Council, convene a working group to assess the viability of alternatives to our current contract.
We detail our current relationship with PCSD, and multiple alternatives to this relationship in Sections IX and X of this report; we hope PLU community members will take time to read our work. We anticipate polarized responses from our community to this issue and to our review, and we ask you to acknowledge the complexity of these issues and the diversity of perspectives in our community as you consider our findings and recommendations.
This review revealed a PLU community that is committed to our collective safety. It will take coordinated and strategic leadership from President’s Council to channel that commitment into a functioning, sustainable, community safety model that involves and serves all members of our community.
While we offer detailed recommendations to guide President’s Council and others in this work, we also highlight 5 Priority Recommendations which are detailed in Section XI of this report:
Five Priority Recommendations:
- New location for Campus Safety Department. (Section VI)
- Adequately resource Campus Safety, specifically providing a pay increase for professional staff and funds for training. (Sections VI and VIII)
- Given the disproportionate impact of police presence on communities of color at PLU, our relationship with PCSD does not align with our University mission or strategic plan. Develop a community-engaged process to make decisions regarding PLU’s contractual relationship with Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, namely the Director of Campus Safety and off-duty deputies at PLU. (Section IX)
- Adopt a model for safety at PLU that includes the whole community, delegates certain responsibilities by role or department, and clarifies the role of Campus Safety as part of a comprehensive institutional commitment to safety. (Sections III, V, VI, and VII)
- Develop a vision for PLU’s relationship with Parkland. (Section IV)
Center for Gender Equity Priorities & Highlights
Conference Services Priorities & Highlights
Counseling Center Priorities & Highlights
Progress on three priority recommendations:
- Staffing: Secure resources to promote or hire a dedicated Director for Counseling Services
- Dedicated Counseling Services Director position re-established in spring 2018 and position filled beginning in summer 2018.
- Expand staffing and/or mental health resources to meet specific student mental health needs and service demand.
- In January 2020 launched LuteTelehealth that expands access to mental health resources for all PLU students and includes on demand and on-going counseling, psychiatry, health and nutrition, and medical services.
- Expand Counseling Services staff professional development with a specific focus on intercultural capacity and multicultural competencies.
- Secured dedicated funding that will support this specific on-going learning beginning in spring 2021.
Diversity Center Priorities & Highlights
Family Orientation Priorities & Highlights
Health Center Priorities & Highlights
Housing & Residential Life Priorities & Highlights
Lute Welcome (NSO) Priorities & Highlights
Office of Accessibility & Accountability Priorities & Highlights
Student Engagement Priorities & Highlights
Student Rights & Responsibility Priorities & Highlights