Monday, September 17

3:30 - 5:30 PM - Safe Zone Training Session for Faculty and Staff
Board Room, College Center 

7:00 PM - "Minnesota's Other Civil War: The Dakota Conflict of 1862" lecture presented by Stephen E. Osman, independent scholar, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Dakota Conflict
Hanson Hall of Science 102 

7:00 PM - "Families are Messy"
Free admission
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building 

Tuesday, September 18

11:30 - 11:50 AM - Tuesday Reflection - Michael Gerber, '13
Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall, 2nd floor

12:00 - 4:00 PM - ProFair
Pepsico Recreation Center 

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Tredway Library Prize Award Ceremony for 2012 Recipient Natali Bode
Tredway Library, South end, 2nd floor 

Wednesday, September 19

12:00 - 12:50 PM - Weekly Bible Study for Faculty, Staff, Administrators
"Adventures of the Promise", tracking God's promises to Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and asking how those promises intersect with our lives. Bring a Bible if you can. Bring your lunch if you wish.
Chicago Room, College Center 

8:00 PM - Heywire Fall Show
Free Admission
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building 

Thursday, September 20

9:00 - 10:00 AM - Coffee and Conversation
Community Engagement Center 

5:00 - 6:00 PM - Deans' Meeting with Department & Program Chairs
Wilson Center 

7:00 - 8:00 PM - River Readings at Augustana: Poet Carl Phillips, professor of English and African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, will read from his work. A reception and book signing will follow. Free admission
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building 

7:00 PM - Independent and International Film Series: "Run Lola Run (Germany)"
Free admission
Olin Auditorium 

Friday, September 21

4:00 PM - Friday Conversation - "Different experiences, different retention rates: Can senior survey data help us understand persistence?" presented by Mark Salisbury
3:30 PM -Refreshments
Wilson Center 

4:00 - 8:00 PM - Illinois Native Plant Society Annual Meeting
Hanson Hall of Science 

9:00 PM - Adam Kaul's band Subatlantic will open for Plume Giant in an all-ages show
Tickets are $6
Rozz-Tox, 2108 3rd Avenue, Rock Island, IL 

Saturday, September 22

8:00 PM - Illusionist Mike Super
Centennial Hall 

Sunday, September 23

No events scheduled

Volume 10, Issue 5 - September 17, 2012

This Week's Message

Good morning!

Just like most classes over the course of a term, the little world of institutional data ebbs and flows as intermediary dates and deadlines come and go.  One such moment comes with the 10th day snapshot.  For those who don't know, on the 10th day of each term, we take a picture of our institutional data and save it separately for a host of reporting and analytic purposes.  One important number taken from this snapshot is our annual 1st to 2nd year retention rate - the proportion of our freshmen who return as full-time students the next year.

Over the last ten years, this number has bounced around between just south of 88% and just north of 82%, with an average of 85.8%.  This year (meaning the 1st to 2nd year retention of our 2011 freshman class), we retained 84.4% of last year's freshman cohort.

Setting aside the initial reaction to that number, the real story lies in the context of three intertwined narratives.  The first is the degree to which that overall average differs from the retention rates of different subgroups such as lower income students, multicultural students, male students, or those who came to Augustana relatively less academically prepared.  The second narrative involves the degree to which the potential differences outlined above may contribute to a historical trend.  The third story - and what I would argue is likely most important in our continual efforts to reach our educational potential and live our mission as educators - is the deeper exploration to identify and address the factors that drive these differences.

This week, I'd like to share pieces of these three narratives in two different ways.  With the help of my little IR&A team, I'll host a Friday Conversation this week in the Wilson Center to talk about the story behind the numbers, both in terms of this cohort of students now in their second year at Augustana and in terms of the recent history of differences in retention rates of various subgroups of students.

 In addition, I'll explore data from the new senior survey to better understand how different types of students experience Augustana differently in my weekly blog Delicious Ambiguity.  We'll revisit these findings at the Friday Conversation and talk about them specifically in the context of student retention.

 I hope you'll join us at Friday Conversation and read Delicious Ambiguity this week.  I've ordered the southwest egg rolls.  It should be fun.

Have a great week,

Mark Salisbury