Getting out from behind the oak desk
EWU presidential candidate Timothy Mescon believes engaging students during registration creates success
EWU presidential candidate Tim Mescon addresses the forum audience at Showalter Hall Auditorium.
Eastern Washington University presidential candidate Timothy Mescon spoke at a May 29 public forum and, among other things, he shared some of the unique aspects of what has transpired under his leadership at the Columbus, Ga. school.
The school that was founded less than 60 years ago in 1958 and has an enrollment of about 8,300 is proud of an aggressive international recruiting effort that has focused largely in India and China but is pointing to Great Britain, he told the audience.
Mescon is not welded to his desk in the president's office and boasted of having made some 100 visits to high schools in his region which borders Alabama.
He's helped oversee what he termed a "rapid response" approach to registration in order to keep potential students engaged and apt to follow through with the process. The system includes monitors like those found in some waiting areas that contain student names and allow them to follow progress to the next step.
With close proximity to the Army's Fort Benning, Columbus University has a notable ROTC program, and in fact have the No. 1 ranked cadet in the nation enrolled. And while the school does not have a football team, they do have a rifle team that recently produced a pair of Olympic athletes.
Mescon's school prides itself by offering some 20 club sports and has recently added five intercollegiate sports, Mescon said.
In faculty-related questions, Mescon said he's a proponent of scholarships that encourage faculty research and has encouraged the school to recruit young faculty to the school located in Columbus, a city of nearly 200,000.
The school has improved student housing in a number of ways with new facilities that will add 500 freshman beds. But one of the things Mescon was especially proud of was the school selling a previously university-owned dorm to a private sector company that will operate it.
The proceeds will go toward retiring existing debt in student housing as well as helping fund new construction.
Another leap forward in student housing, Mescon said, is the integration of new software that helps better determine compatibility among roommates.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.