The Student Association welcomed both David Gibson, director of computing services, and Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, to their Wednesday meeting.
Gibson came to hear SA’s feedback about the myACU portal.
“We’re trying to figure out where to go with portal.” Gibson said. “The easy option for us is to just keep doing what we’ve always done, but what we’ve been trying to do is to get with some student groups and specifically ask you what works with the current environment.”
Congress members voiced several suggestions of how to improve myACU. Proposals were given such as gaining the ability to customize each page, adding an intramural or calendar section and changing some design elements.
Members also were made aware of features available on the page that they had not previously known. Executive secretary Katherine Handy suggested a day of freshman CORE classes be dedicated to familiarizing students to myACU features.
“We tell students about features that they didn’t know and they’re seniors. I think that would be very useful for the students,” Handy said.
Gibson said he had heard that some students thought the webpage was overloaded with information and links. Congress members, such as Foster Science representative Bo Braddock, disagreed.
Braddock said, “I like it. It’s simple. It doesn’t blow me away, but it gets the job done.”
Next, Dr. Schubert made a surprise appearance and invited Congress members to ask him any questions they had.
Executive president Connor Best inquired about Dr. Schubert’s stance on hiring faculty outside of the Church of Christ denomination especially in the midst of the university’s search for a new provost.
“Heritage and the history of this institution are pretty important, and we don’t want to arbitrarily dismiss or minimize the impact it has when we begin to think about maybe moving away from or changing some of the guidelines,” Dr. Schubert said. “I’m in favor of more flexibility, but in exactly what form that would take I’m still trying to get to a place where I have an opinion on what that looks like.”
Freshman president Rodney Johnson asked Dr. Schubert to describe his vision of the future of ACU.
“I buy in pretty heavily to the idea where there truly is a world class academic excellence combined with Christ-centered environment that is intentional about building the faith of its students and helping them better and more clearly understand who Jesus Christ is and how he’s called them to live their lives,” said Dr. Schubert. “I think we’re uniquely positioned. I want us to be the best in the world and combining exceptional academics and a Christ-centered environment. My vision is building on quality, attracting a world class faculty, which part of that pertains to the additional flexibility beyond hiring Church of Christ, and positioning the university to be a national presence.”
Dr. Schubert also said it was a possibility ACU might be moved up to Division I but would have to wait until the middle of May before NCAA decides whether to extend the invitation to ACU.
Dylan Benac, Admin. Building representative, respectfully made a suggestion for Dr. Schubert to become more connected with students.
Benac said,”In the end, you are the face of ACU, and one thing I hope for is that ACU students know you for more than just the president of ACU.”
Dr. Schubert noted some things, such as dedication to his family, that limited time spent with students but appreciated the constructive criticism.
“I have a great desire to have a whole lot more interaction than I’m having, and I’d love any ideas SA has that help me to be more engaged,” Dr. Schubert said. “I’d love nothing more to have the kind of scenario you painted.”
Congress members proposed that Dr. Schubert could either lead a Chapel forum or open his door one day each semester for students to ask questions they might have about the university.
Dr. Schubert concluded by telling Congress relationships with the student body made his job worth it.
Dr. Schubert said, “The best part about this job is being able to get to know you guys.”