contact within the colleges.
Other important continuing programs within the Residential Colleges include Debate j
Team and Academic Team competitions, Hanging of the Green, and All Campus Sing. Other `
initiatives include the First Year Leader Program, in which select Sophomore, Junior, and Senior
students help guide our freshman and transfer students through their first semester at Murray
State. They also help with our Passport to Success program, in which each residential college
selects cultural and other events across campus which first semester students are encouraged to
Plans to build a new residence hall for Clark College are underway, and the designs ·
support the needs of the residential college concept. Of particular importance is that the designs
include two larger commons spaces, as well as a general purpose room for collegiate meetings
and classroom instruction.
Finally, Dr. Muscio pointed out that the residential college system continues to stand as
an example that other institutions across the nation are using as a model as they seek to develop
similar communities within their schools. MSU has had visits and discussions with delegations
from the University of Mississippi, Morehead State University, and Bellarmine College. All of
these institutions are looking at Murray State as a leader in its residential college system.
Dr. Alexander summarized his report by laying out the challenges for our institution. As
you look to find a new President, many of these challenges we know very well, I have seen them
both from the view as a President and also as a higher education researcher.
· Enrollment and recruitment- we do more than any other university I have ever been
associated with in enrollment and recruitment. If we can get the students here, they will
see the benefits and understand the full potential of this great university. Students are
treated individually at Murray State.
• Improving Student Success - There are 600 public universities in the United States l
listed who have reported their IPEDs graduation rates. Murray State University ranks l 14
of 600. We are in the upper 28"‘ percentile in the United States in student success and
student graduation rates. It is hard to get there. It is even harder to still continually
improve upon that high ranking because 50 of those are flagship institutions. Improving
upon what we have been able to achieve is going to continue to be a challenge because
we are at such a high rate of success. Comparatively, we are where most institutions in
the United States would like to be with regard to student success. And it has become a
major national issue at the federal and state governrrrent level. Student success is now the
new term being used in higher education where graduation and completion rates are
compared as part of an ongoing comparison and part of the federal govermnent structure
and the new Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. We are hoping that they
incorporate in their comparison the amount of Pell Grant students that come into the
institution on the front end so they don’t just measure institutions on the back end.
Otherwise, you are going to have most institutions reducing their access and charging
more and serving less students to get their numbers up. This will continue to be an issue
and it involves everyone.
• Student Tuition and Fee Issue
We try to keep tuition low in an enviromnent where many institutions tum to tuition as a
first, second or third resort, not a last resort. As money becomes tight the student tuition and fee
issue in a state that has long had a tradition of keeping tuition low and the common taxpayers have
funded the higher education system predominantly and primarily will continually be strained.
This issue needs to be carefully assessed and watched as more tuition-based programs go into
effect both in tax credits, student aid, and all other kinds of tax tuition based support systems.
This goes back to our discussion every spring on net tuition which is starting to be calculated on
the federal level, What is the average net tuition that our students are going to pay? Not the
sticker price, but what is the average net tuition, taking out student aid, taking out tax credits and
everything else. Once again, this is related to the type of resources we have to attract and retain