This is the first newsletter which will become part of the routine here at Expression. I will be writing to you all every two weeks to pass on news and communicate issues from the Faculty at large to the student body in order to facilitate a better and more regular line of communication between us.
As you are of course already aware, there have been a great many changes here at Ex'pression in the past year or so, and I feel that keeping the student body 'in the loop' is very important. So, I will endeavor to treat you all with respect, by being as honest as possible about what's happening at the college.
So let's get started!
Student Satisfaction Survey
A couple weeks ago, we asked you all to participate in a survey about your satisfaction with the school as a whole. Over about a week, we received responses from 54% of the student body – an acceptable number, but I'd hoped for better. A new goal for next time!
There were several key points that a large number of you agreed on: by and large, our faculty are doing a good job by being prepared for class, helping you to learn, and offering assistance. For example, 86% of you either agreed or strongly agreed that instructors seem knowledgeable in their area of teaching. Instructors are prepared for class according to 86% of respondents. 77% of you agree that when you have a problem, there is a representative for you to speak to. That's most of you, but I personally want to see that number go higher.
Most of you also seem to agree that the library (88%) and physical facilities (84%) are either good or great. That's excellent news!
There are some other areas which we clearly need to work on. The availability of equipment is not satisfactory to some of you, especially the Digital Filmmaking program. We were also surprised to note the low understanding/awareness of Career Services among the student body.
Those are two areas which we believe we can take immediate steps to improve. I am working with Brian Andrews and Elmo Frazer to budget for some improvements to certain Film-specific equipment. We are also working on a technical solution for the Equipment Room with the new supervisor, Alana de Ocampo, to make sure we are using our equipment as efficiently as we can. Alana is also arranging some repairs for several pieces of equipment – we definitely need to make sure the gear you all need is in working order!
I'll also take a moment to thank you all for your feedback. I know surveys are a bit of a hassle, but the data really helps us make decisions. Those of you who wrote extensive comments in the final two questions have given me some important insights into the current mood of the student body. I only arrived at Expression in January, so getting some of your input now has been helpful to understand where you are coming from.
Faculty & Staff Email Migration
This weekend, the Expression employee email system is going to move servers. We have a robust IT plan in place which should mean no interruptions to service, but just in case you are trying to get in touch with your teacher, it might be a good idea to check-in via Canvas or in person early next week.
Dean's List Pizza
Last week I got to meet a few of the folks who made the Dean's list over a slice of pie and talk about the good times they were having here at Ex'pression. It's always inspiring to me to see the achievements of our students who are tackling the challenges of a Bachelor's degree and really setting the standard. Hopefully I'll meet many more of you in those events! Congratulations once again to those students!
Animators will be happy to see new Xerox scanners in the classroom for 2D animation classes. These should be online within a week or two depending on delivery. Digital Filmmakers will be very happy to see two new Blackmagic 4K camera kits available in the Equipment Room. These will be available soon, pending delivery, training and registration with the ER.
Finals – GOOD LUCK! Study hard, pay attention to details, and show us what you've got.
1605 Schedules – These are almost complete. Keep an eye on your Portal pages.
Faculty Office Hours – Look out for a new routine for scheduling time with your teachers.
As always, I am available here on email or drop by my office if you have any questions, issues, or want to share good news!
Dr Adam Ruch