Shaping Our Future

Campus Experience and Residence Life

Create a more vibrant, diverse and student friendly campus that will enhance our campus experience and the quality of student life, and will contribute to attracting and retaining students that are best able to benefit from Southwestern University's academic mission.

Much attention is paid to campus life at Southwestern University. We recognize that the quality of a student's life on campus not only affects recruitment and retention, but also has a significant impact on his or her academic success. On a residential liberal arts and sciences campus like Southwestern, experiences must be provided for a diverse group of students. We pride ourselves on Southwestern's ability to provide students with a personally fulfilling experience in the academic realm as well as in the area of student life. This strategy calls upon us to enhance our student life program and build an enriched campus environment, including both programming and facilities.

Areas for Action:

A. Enhancement of Campus Activities and Residence Life

  • Continue to build a thriving intercollegiate athletics program, expand intramural and recreational activities, and enhance our recreational facilities and equipment. We are committed to ensuring that the athletics program is in keeping with the culture of Southwestern, and we expect that action on this priority will serve to enrich our campus life, enable a strong athletics program, promote the health and well-being of our students, and contribute to student recruitment and retention.
  • Further develop the existing group of excellent student activities. Build on successful campus wide social events/ programs, student-initiated organizations and events, and religious activities. Utilize existing space in ways that will enhance student life; create a venue for over-21-year-old student events; and determine how best to capture our Greek Life potential.
  • Commence building a stronger Residence Life program. In focusing on student satisfaction and retention, improve the staffing of first-year residence halls and find creative ways to build community, including the development of special-interest housing designed around areas closely related to the academic core.

B. Planned Growth of the Student Body

  • Increase the number of students at Southwestern by approximately 250 FTE over five years through targeted recruitment of first year, transfer and international students and by significantly improving student retention. Ensure that growth is carried out in ways that are true to our Core Values and that enable us to enhance both our academic mission and overall campus experience.
  • During the first half of the 10-year plan, while efforts to increase Southwestern's visibility are still under way, focus on targeting regional transfer students and increasing retention in order to maintain the high academic quality of Southwestern's students. During the second half of the plan, as the fruits of our visibility campaign are realized, broaden the recruitment targets to include national and international first-year and transfer students.
  • Monitor the growth process to be sure that class sizes remain at a level that provides students with high quality faculty-student interactions in and out of the classroom. During the first few years of the plan, assess how the growth of the student body affects the quality of the student academic experience and the quality of student services. Then, in the second half of the plan, act on those needs by increasing tenured and tenure-track faculty and staff as needed. Ensure that student population growth contributes to the financial support of the academic mission.