Lincoln University in Missouri is looking to make several updates for its academics both in classrooms and virtual learning. Get the full story from Ryan Pivoney at News Tribune.

Lincoln University’s new academic initiatives and classroom technology upgrades are still in development, but the university may be moving forward with a change to the campus residency policy.

In preparation for the final Board of Curators meeting of the calendar year, the Lincoln University Board of Curators Academic and Student Affairs Committee met Tuesday to discuss academic affairs with Jennifer Benne, interim vice president for academic affairs and provost, and Zakiya Brown, dean of student success.

Benne said LU has some new academic programming in the works, but it remains at the department level as faculty and staff are working out details.

The School of Business, for example, is looking at a market analysis report produced by Hanover Research, an outside research and analytics firm the university hired in 2020 to conduct multiple studies, including a regional and state market analysis of business programs offering certificates and bachelor’s degrees.

The School of Business is considering where to expand its offerings and will use the report to focus those efforts, Benne said.

After a department approves its plan for academic programming, it goes to the LU Faculty Senate to approve new courses and degree options.

The committee will get an update from the School of Business at its next meeting.

Classroom technology was another topic of discussion for the committee Tuesday.

Lincoln has convened a faculty committee to assess current classroom technology and sent a small group of faculty and staff to Columbia College to tour its classroom technology.

“Much like us, they have many small classrooms and a few larger classrooms, so we were able to look at some of the different ways that they’ve organized the technology in their classrooms to accommodate HyFlex learning, where you can have simultaneous in-class and remote instruction,” Benne said.

She said Lincoln is still planning how to equip classrooms with similar technology.

Curator Stacia Bradley Brown, who chairs the committee, suggested the technology upgrades could help attract more students looking for remote options.

“We think there’s a variety of different ways that it can be used to help us gain students,” Benne said.

On the student affairs side, the committee approved a recommendation to update the University Rules and Regulations as it relates to campus housing.

Lincoln’s policy requires students living on campus to be full-time students taking at least 12 credit hours.

Zakiya Brown has suggested the university lift that requirement to allow graduating seniors to live on campus, even if not taking the full-time course load of 12 credit hours.

The move would also require the university to create a Residence Life Review Committee to review any appeals students would make to housing requirements.

Lincoln’s residence halls are around half full this year.

“Dean Brown recommends it, President (John) Moseley recommends it, so I’ll agree with them,” Curator Terry Rackers said.

The suggestion now goes to the full Board of Curators for approval at its next meeting Nov. 11.

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee is also looking to the future.

As Lincoln conducts its search for a permanent president and provost, Stacia Brown asked that all academic and supporting campus departments create a status update to provide the president once selected.

The reports would provide quick information about each area of campus, such as strengths, weaknesses, goals and targets, wish lists and budgets, and would need to be completed prior to Feb. 10, when the new president is nominated.