Never underestimate the power of a donut! That’s one of the many lessons learned at IUPUI’s Division of Undergraduate Education’s first Donuts with the Dean event, an informal gathering between University College students and Jay Gladden, dean of University College.
Over 100 students had the opportunity to stop by, grab a free donut, and receive a handshake or fist bump from Gladden, who was excited to have the opportunity to meet the school’s undergraduates. In addition to being able to ask the dean about University College (or the campus in general) and to offer suggestions or feedback to him, students also had the opportunity to hang out and mingle before returning to the fervor of midterm week.
One student, Mackenzie Barclay, had a chance to get to know the dean a little better, saying, “I had a great time. He [Gladden] asked who I was, what my major was, and what I was studying in my classes. Seems like a great guy.”
Donuts with the Dean plays into Gladden’s goal of “continuing innovation that leads to increased student learning.” Speaking to a large group of students that remained well after the donuts had gone, the dean offered encouragement to an undecided student, saying, “You don’t have to have a major, yet. Just say ‘I’m still trying to figure it out’ and that’s okay!” Since University College supports students before sending them off to their degree-granting schools on campus, this type of encouragement is the backbone of the success of the Division of Undergraduate Education and its programs.