Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II focused on the institution’s shift from surviving to thriving when he convened faculty and staff Jan. 6-7 for Spring Encampment 2020.

The two-day event officially began the second half of the academic year for Kentucky State. Encampment brings together Frankfort community leaders, faculty, staff, students and alumni in finding new and effective ways of developing ideas, pursuing innovative strategies and applying knowledge for the public good.

Seminar leader Tiffany Jackson, director of student financial wellness at the University of Kentucky and former Disney employee, spoke about creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for customers.

Jackson said having a positive experience comes down to three things: smile, listen and solve the problem.

“You work here and the students are your guests,” Jackson said. “They are here for four or five years during a time when they’re figuring everything out.”

President Brown gave a presentation entitled “Moving the Needle, From Surviving to Thriving” during the afternoon portion of Encampment.

“In order for us to move from surviving to thriving, three numbers have to improve,” President Brown said. “Fall-to-fall retention, graduation rate and the third-year cohort. We have got to get over these last hurdles before we are thriving.”

President Brown said Kentucky State has survived the worst of its moments.

“It’s a great time to be a Thorobred,” President Brown said. “This semester we’ll really see us move that needle. When we come back, we’ll be talking about from thriving to greatness.”

Kentucky State University faculty spent the second day of Encampment focusing on building from compliance to continuous improvement, with presentations focusing on a roadmap for institutional effectiveness by Dr. Joseph Silver from Silver and Associates and how to use assessment results in the development of successful grants by Dr. Jonathan Bostic from Bowling Green State University.