Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s President visits the Prescott Campus for Open Office Hours with Faculty, Staff, and Students
On Nov 8, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. sharp began the open office hours with the University President P. Barry Butler. The campus had been notified for days prior, including the day of, about the event. Since the Office of the President was making all attempts “…to meet with as many people as possible,” it was made clear ahead of time that conversations were to be no longer than 10 minutes each. The open office hours were to take place at the Hazy Library & Learning Center, in Room 219 on the second floor.
The day of the event saw many students in line waiting for the open office hours before Dai Ibrahim ’21, who is studying Software Engineering and Simulation Science, Games, and Animation, could arrive to assist with the event. She was tasked as President Butler’s assistant, which meant “that [she] took student and faculty names down on the sign up sheet…and made sure no one took more time than the 10 minutes allocated.”
According to Ibrahim, it was “good for the most part.” She says that it was “popular” and that the “people that signed up got their time with Dr. Butler and it went smoothly.” One issue she identified was that it was said that “there was no appointment necessary and then [had] a sign up sheet.” This made a few students upset, according to Ibrahim. Her suggested solution was that “next time they should hold longer office hours or have Dr. Butler come in more often.”
When asked about future visits to the Prescott campus, President Butler said that he is “scheduled to preside over the December 14th commencement.” However, when speaking with Vice Chancellor Dr. Capron, it was mentioned that President Butler also holds open office hours over Skype. According to President Butler, “This allows those who cannot attend in person to connect.” Butler’s next virtual Skype office hours are yet to be announced.
Regarding the open office hours here on campus, the university president said that he “enjoy[s] holding office hours for students, faculty and staff when [he] visits the Prescott campus.” According to Ibrahim, she “was able to get more students to talk to Dr. Butler than the ones already scheduled.” This proved to be quite the informative experience for President Butler, as he “developed a better understanding of student concerns, career goals, extracurricular campus activities, and most importantly, their pride in Embry-Riddle” through these conversations he had.
As for future visits, along with what was mentioned above, President Butler has expressed that he “plans to continue the practice on future visits to the [Prescott] campus,” excepting his visit for the Fall Commencement. He expressed that these office hours are “simply an opportunity to get to know [students, faculty and staff] better” and that he continues “to be amazed at the accomplishments of our students.” It was suggested by Ibrahim, his assistant for the day, that “next time they should schedule more people in the two hour period.” She said that “many of the students that got to talk to Dr. Butler mentioned that he seems to really care about the issues they brought up and that their experience was positive.” It was nice to hear these sentiments echoed. We eagerly await when he will hold another in-person open office hours session next.