The President’s Ear



There is no better way to have your voice heard on campus than going straight to the President. Luckily, University President Rebecca Chopp has student drop-in hour every Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. This time is allotted for students to raise concerns, ask questions, or just say “hello.” Since the drop in hour was initiated in 2002, Chopp has talked with students on issues ranging from dining halls to housing and even a lack of classes. “A lot of students come in just to tell me how much they love Colgate, and it’s great!,” Chopp said jubilantly. Food is one of the major concerns that students have brought to Chopp’s attention, as well as the Greek house acquisition process. “We needed to clarify facts and refute rumors,” Chopp said. “A lot of students have wonderful ideas on how to better Colgate, and that is why drop-in hour is so important,” Chopp said. A major issue of discussion during this week’s hour was the recent decision to deny Professor Tomljanovuch tenure. Chopp said that the matter is confidential and she cannot comment about this sensitive topic, just as she cannot comment about one student to another student. Last week’s Maroon-News article mentioned “reevaluating the tenure process,” but in order for Colgate to do that, the process must be explained so that students understand how it works. Chopp emphasized the fact that student evaluations are taken very seriously. However, the faculty at Colgate and the professor’s peers matter equally. For a faculty member to receive tenure, s/he should excel in teaching, scholarship or research, and service. In order for Colgate to consider the reevaluation process, “we must first understand the processes set by faculty and reviewed by faculty,” Chopp said. Chopp is more than happy to give students a copy of the guidelines for reappointment, tenure or promotion, and encourages students to visit her office if they have any questions or concerns. Since Chopp was introduced as University President, Colgate has changed dramatically in terms of “strength and being up to date In the 21st century.” Chopp notices that students are developing a lot of new interests and becoming more well-rounded, not only in academics but in extracurricular activities as well, particularly in the arts and the media. The biggest concern that she has as President, is to “make sure Colgate has the available resources for facilities and financial aid” for the students,” Chopp said. “Colgate is at an incredible time in its history where opportunities outweigh the problems,” Chopp said. Every school has its own pivotal moment, and this is Colgate’s pivotal moment. Applications have increased 20 percent this year, and now the challenge is for Colgate to keep up the opportunities not just for incoming students but for existing students as well. The major changes at Colgate that Chopp has seen are the “seriousness about diversity, residential programs and support for students in their different options under the Colgate umbrella.” There is a renewed commitment to the sciences, from the Case renovation project, the technology center at the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop), to the new Ho science center to ensure that students have access to proper resources. Chopp does not boast about her accomplishments, but since she was inaugurated, the number of athletic championships has increased. “I must admit I do deserve credit for that,” she jokingly said.