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Provost to create groups to focus on retention

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, January 25, 2013

Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 17:01

The provost is taking steps to improve student retention by creating teams to focus on student needs and concerns.

These groups are going to come from the Retention and Student Success Summit and are going to be for members to examine the first to second year retention rate issue, which is currently 75 percent according to Marc Manganaro, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Manganaro said the timeline for creating the work groups is a fast one. He hopes to have the groups established soon after the next summit meeting, which will be held Feb. 1.

“I hope by the end of the semester the work group will have plans to put into effect for the new academic year,” he said. “This is about the success of our students, but as well as our budget.”

Manganaro plans to send an email to the Loyola community asking for volunteers and nominations of people who should be or want to be a part of these work groups in addition to members of the Retention and Student Success Summit.

“There is a cross section of people who play a vital role in retention, and my idea is to create a standing committee on retention and work groups who can focus on specific issues and who can come up with some conclusions about what we should change or keep the same,” Manganaro said.

Manganaro said the summit met at the end of the fall semester. According to Manganaro, there was a great exchange of ideas.

Khaled Badr, SGA president and student representative for the summit, believes that the summit is proof the university is working hard to address student concerns and making student life better.

“I truly believe that the Retention and Student Success Summit will be effective in addressing student concerns because the approach is right; the summit's goal is to focus on student success and improving the quality of student life and learning. Once that has been established, retention will take care of itself,” Badr said in an email.

According to Manganaro, the university has an idea, developed from analyzing statistics and surveys, of what is meeting student expectations and what is not.

“We do student satisfaction inventories to see whether students are happy or unhappy with things ranging from the food to the residential halls. We’re dividing those concerns into about seven work groups who can come up with some conclusions about what we should do differently and what we should keep doing the way we’re doing it,” Manganaro said. “We need to focus on not only the issues but the successes as well.”

Some students, such as music industry junior Colleen Mayfield, don’t necessarily agree that the university is working hard enough to keep students.

“I don’t see any effort being made by the university, it doesn’t seem like they are attempting to keep students happy,” Mayfield said. “Especially the first year when it is so hard to find your niche in the university.”

The Retention and Student Success Summit is made up of 21 faculty and staff members from deans to student affairs representatives, as well the student representative, Badr.

Hannah Iannazzo can be reached at

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3 comments Log in to Comment

Alum 2007
Sun Jan 27 2013 17:58
You have a good point. The prices have gotten ridiculous. If you're going to charge near-Ivy League prices for an education; you better have an Ivy League reputation. And we just don't have that.

I've been out of school six years and only once was a potential employer impressed with my degree. Even though the education is quite good, a Loyola education doesn't hold much clout outside the non-profit and Peace Corps world.

If Loyola wants those students to pay higher prices, they better offer a better product. And that might involve doing things like being more involved in the business community and making sure that a Loyola degree has value in the workforce......rather than the policy of the past few decades, turning away millions from industry donors and preaching that anything less than working for charity in Ghana is evil. Just a thought.

We have the education level of an institution like Tulane. What Loyola needs to answer is why don't we have the reputation of a Tulane? If you're going to charge very high prices, you need a reputation to match it.

Sun Jan 27 2013 15:35
Maybe that was a big issue in the past, but I don't think that the majority of people leave for academic reasons.

Friends of mine who dropped out or transferred left because of the increasing cost of Loyola. The overall cost of Loyola rose by 10K/year during my four years of attendance.

Alum 2007
Fri Jan 25 2013 13:26
Let me just mention the elephant in the room here: drugs and alcohol

After freshmen year, a LOT of my friends didn't come back because they partied too hard. I don't know a single person who left because they didn't like Loyola or because the cafeteria food was horrible or their dorm room wasn't modern enough.

Loyola is a fairly difficult school. That's a bad characteristic to have with a party problem. If Loyola had a party problem but low educational standards, retention would likely be a non-problem (ex. Ole Miss, or pretty much any major state school in the South). I'm not saying we should lower standards, but that's what I see as the problem.

Alum 2007

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