Schroeder deserves thanks for leaving his mark on MU

During the break, Charles Schroeder resigned as vice chancellor for Student Affairs to begin teaching graduate students in the College of Education. We have worked closely with Schroeder for some time and feel well-qualified to comment on some of the contributions he has made to MU.

Schroeder was committed to providing the most effective and beneficial experiences for students. To help staff members improve and focus our efforts, he would often ask, "What would students miss if this (activity, service, program, etc.) didn't occur?" We thought it would be worthwhile to ask, "What would MU students have missed if Schroeder had not been vice chancellor?" Students would not have had the opportunity to:

&bull" participate in Freshman Interest Groups, which have changed the way we advise and enroll students in their first semester and which have increased the number of students who have a positive first semester. Research suggests this is essential to helping students stay at MU and has increased graduation rates for FIG students.

&bull" live in a sponsored learning community or residential college. These programs have helped students find others who share common academic interests and have increased the opportunities for students and faculty members to interact in informal settings outside the classroom.

&bull" participate in some of the new traditions on campus, such as the freshman convocation and picnic, the Tiger Walk through the Columns and Fall Welcome. Schroeder understood that providing traditions helps students develop a sense of identification with a university, feel like they are a part of something and find a place where they belong.

&bull" work together as Greek students and demonstrate their commitment to their fellow students to create a socially dry housing policy. Universities around the country have found that when there is less alcohol consumption, membership increases as does the caliber of person who seeks out membership in a fraternity.

&bull" be exposed to our institutional values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence nor would the institution likely have undertaken the effort to identify and articulate these values.

&bull" learn about, gather and celebrate the accomplishments of our African-American heritage at the new Black Culture Center nor soon enjoy the comprehensive services of the new Student Success Center on Lowry Mall.

Schroeder would be the first to recognize that none of these accomplishments were solely his responsibility and that they could not have been achieved without the tireless and dedicated efforts of a multitude of students, staff and faculty members, as well as the support of other senior administrators. However, we also recognize it was his leadership, vision and dogged determination that helped MU students enjoy and reap the benefits of these programs and services. For that, we believe, the MU community and particularly its students, who were always first and foremost in his mind, owe Charles Schroeder a well-deserved, "Thank you."

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