The head of public higher education in Mississippi is launching a listening tour at campuses across the state. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.
Mississippi's Institutions of Higher Learning Commissioner Al Rankins says he will spend his first hundred days in office meeting with students and university constituents. Listening sessions will address a number of concerns including on-campus operations, student achievement and the role IHL plays in helping universities advance.
Rankins says he is no stranger to the system but this tour will give him a fresh perspective.
"I was educated in this system and worked in this system at three different campuses so I understand the unique challenges and the needs that exist across the system so I think it only helps inform my decisions and help me be a better commissioner for this state," said Rankins.
The tour includes all eight public universities, their satellite campuses and the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Today is the first stop at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
Academic advisor Jacqueline Certion says one concern that may come up is the student-to-teacher ratio at Ole Miss.
"We're looking at maybe some classes where you may have 100 to 200 students in a classroom lecture-style. When the classroom is too large, some students feel like they can't engage," said Certion.
Certion says many of her upperclassmen are excited about the opportunity to voice their concerns with IHL Commissioner Rankins.
"I tell students all the time that they have to take ownership of their academics and this is probably I think one of the best ways they can do that is to let their voice be heard and like you said to get a clear understanding of how it all works," said Certion.
More information on the tour is online at mississippi.edu/tour. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.