New dean meets and greets faculty

Kelly Wilkinson, dean of Williamson College of Business Administration, talks about finding ways to improve student success.

By Elizabeth Coss

Dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration Kelly Wilkinson held a meet-and-greet event for faculty and staff Feb. 11 following her employment at Youngstown State University. 

The event started with Wilkinson speaking to the crowd about her background and led into her addressing ideas for student success. 

“We all are working toward one goal: it’s student success,” Wilkinson said. “I think everybody understands that and everybody understands their role and I think that’s the beauty of it all.”

Wilkinson also spoke on the importance of improvement and how the college can better serve everyone who attends and works there.

“Let’s not let good get in the way of better,” Wilkinson said. “Let’s ask why. Let’s ask why or why not, because this is an opportunity.”

At the end of the event, Wilkinson opened the floor. The largest discussion was the drop in enrollment YSU has recently faced. 

“We have to be mindful of our budget, and we’re good stewards of that,” Wilkinson said. “Doing nothing gets nothing done. And it doesn’t help the students and it doesn’t help facilitate anything we do.”

Shelley Blundell, associate professor of journalism and communication, believes the decline in enrollment isn’t something unique to the university and has spent time researching at-risk students. 

“A lot of our academically adverse students are first generation students or students who come from minority populations that are historically disadvantaged, and I believe YSU needs to do a better job of providing support and assistance for those students in particular,” she said. 

Blundell also expressed her thoughts on Wilkinson tackling enrollment.

“Dr. Wilkinson has a mammoth task ahead of her — as does the entire university. It’s no surprise that we are all facing the enrollment cliff,” Blundell said.

John Rossi, a senior lecturer in the marketing and management department, thought the openness Wilkinson offered through the event for faculty was important. 

“She was open to listening to questions, some of those were of concern because many people haven’t met her since she arrived on Feb. 1,” Rossi said.  “It was a great opportunity to have her introduce herself collectively to the entire faculty at the business school.”