Over the past nine years, The Grace E. Harris Leadership Program has developed seven projects commonly grouped under the topic Student Engagement. The projects reflect different approaches to school spirit generation, student retention, student mentoring and student financial aid. Of the seven projects that our team reviewed, six were implemented or partially implemented. It was not uncommon to see GEHLI team ideas incorporated into unrelated University initiatives, basically achieving the goals of the project, but without the team involvement.
VCU Libraries’ student full-time equivalents and budget are lower than its peer institutions in the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, resulting in a significant lack of funding for student workers. The initial project goals were 1) to identify which steps the VCU Libraries could take to resolve this problem and 2) to investigate if this problem were university-wide in scope.
The purpose of this project was to see how many projects were actually implemented fully throughout the years of the program. The group members contacted others who they personally knew on the project teams of six prior projects that related to VCU Infrastructure (VCU Internal Alignment projects). Interestingly, in many cases these alumni volunteered input and constructive feedback on the institute as well.