Dr. Keith E. Whitfield arrived at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus on August 24, 2020 to begin as the university’s eleventh president. He quickly elected to launch a campus-wide listening tour to gain an understanding of stakeholder perceptions regarding key opportunities and challenges facing the university.
During the first ninety days of his new administration, President Whitfield held thirty-eight sessions to which nearly 500 people attended. The attendees included:
- 123 students over a total of 12 sessions
- 118 academic faculty over a total of 12 sessions
- 74 classified staff over a total of 6 sessions
- 164 administrative faculty over a total of 5 sessions
- 23 community members over a total of 3 sessions
Each listening session was scheduled for an hour in length, with the first portion of the conversation focused on identifying and describing the areas in which the respondents felt the university is performing well, and the second portion of the conversation focused on discussing areas for improvement.
As a result of the restrictions on large meetings due to the health concerns related to the COVID-19 virus, the majority of the sessions were held virtually. Those held in person were limited in capacity and socially distanced. The participants were advised at each session that the conversations were not being electronically recorded or videotaped and that notes were being taken in order to prepare a report at the conclusion of the tour.
Stakeholders across the university were invited to submit their comments through an online survey if they were unable to participate in a listening session. These comments were recorded and incorporated with the feedback of attendees.
Using the online and verbal feedback, common themes were extracted and developed. Statements from participants were then summarized and organized under these themes, with reference to the originating stakeholder group(s). Statements that are not attributed to a particular stakeholder group were expressed in some manner across all groups.
This report summarizes the outcome of the listening tour conversations and identifies the key areas of discussion.