Provost hears out student’s academic problems

On Thursday, Provost David Hood sat down to discuss academic problems with students and potential solutions at Minnesota State.

Hood said the monthly conversations were started after Hood met Student Government President Emma Zellmer as a way to have authentic dialogue with students. 

‘I asked [Emma] to come up with some suggestions on how we might facilitate conversation and we landed on coffee,” said Hood. “I think it’s been an amazing way for me to stay grounded and connect with students to understand their true experience.”

Thursday’s talk was heavily focused on students’ concerns regarding graduating on time and what obstacles can hinder that. Senior James Ziegeweid attended the meeting as a way to follow-up with a concern at a previous meeting. Ziegeweid mentioned faculty has not been submitting required textbooks on time.

“In our last meeting, we kind of talked about that and asked him if you’d be able to more or less send that out and make sure that that was being enforced,” said Ziegeweid.

Senior Tyler Pickel raised awareness about the aviation program limiting course availability, making it difficult for students to graduate on time. Pickel said speaking with the provost is important for letting students get to know higher faculty. 

“I’m sure there’s some schools where you have no idea who your provost is, and they aren’t ever out and about outside their office,” said Pickel. “The fact that Provost Hood is even willing to make his face known, sit in a public area and receive criticism and complaints is amazing.”

Hood said having these discussions ensures everyone’s voice counts.

“I think it really reinforces that MSU is a community. If we’re not connecting with them intentionally all the time, then we could very easily lose touch,” said Hood. 

Ziegeweid said that being able to speak with the provost is an opportunity to share his perspective and to be heard by individuals in power. 

“It almost adds more of a human element to them because oftentimes, we think of them as just individuals who are at the top of the university and are just kind of making the decisions, but having actual input from students is something that’s so beneficial and overall is really great for the university,” said Ziegeweid.

Coffee with the Provost meets the third Thursday of the month, alternating between the CSU Lounge areas located by the Student Government office and the LGBT Center from 2-3 p.m. The next meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 16 outside the Student Government office. 

Header photo: Provost David Hood (far right) listens to students concerns related to the university. These monthly conversations were started as a way to have dialogue between faculty and students. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Emma Johnson at

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