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FRESHFARM workers ratify union agreement
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 15, 2024

Granberg outlines alumni engagement, access to education, research as priorities

University President Ellen Granberg highlighted her priorities as part of a national tour to fundraise and strategize.
Karsyn Meyerson | Staff Photographer
University President Ellen Granberg addresses students and families at the Presidential Conversation in Lisner Auditorium in September.

Updated: Oct. 2, 2023, at 5:44 p.m.

University President Ellen Granberg outlined priorities for her tenure, like improving access to education and career services and encouraging research, at a GW Together event Saturday.

Granberg held a Presidential Conversation in Lisner Auditorium during Alumni and Families Weekend as part of GW Together, her national tour to speak with alumni and donors to leverage goals for GW’s future. Granberg, who began her term as University president July 1, said the University’s membership in the Association of American Universities, participation in volunteer opportunities like the Welcome Days of Service and proximity to government institutions distinguishes GW from other universities nationwide.

“As a president here, part of my job is to be a catalyst for all of that possibility,” Granberg said at the event. “To help our community to leverage our proximity, our pursuit of impact and our people and to ensure that we are marshaling the resources we need, creating the infrastructure we need and ensuring that the members of our community have the support they need to truly make a difference.”

Attendees asked Granberg questions about her plans for the University’s future, GW’s position in national rankings and the arming of some GW Police Department officers this fall.

Granberg said the University would benefit from more alumni participation in donations and student mentorship. She added that alumni can attend the regional GW Together events to converse with her and other GW community members about how to improve the GW experience.

Alumni and donors gathered in Philadelphia last month for the first GW Together Presidential Reception and Granberg will meet with other community members in Denver, Chicago, New York City, Miami, Palm Beach, Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle from October to March.

“At whatever level you have time and interest and resources, really what we want is we want you connected,” Granberg said.

When asked what plans she has to improve GW’s rank in the U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best national universities, Granberg said she will not tailor University priorities to receive a specific position in the rankings. She added that her priorities for improving the University’s graduation and retention rates and reducing student debt align with the criteria to move up in the rankings.

She said the University has remained “stable” in the rankings because U.S. News grouped GW together with other universities for the No. 67 spot. GW fell from No. 62 for the 2022-23 academic year to No. 67 for the 2023-24 academic year in the rankings, tying with Universities of Massachusetts-Amherst, Miami and Pittsburgh and Villanova and Syracuse universities.

“In this particular year, I would say that was a victory, although I fully understand that students looking at potential schools don’t think like that,” Granberg said.

When asked whether officials will reassess GWPD’s plan to arm supervisory officers with handguns, Granberg said she and a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate’s Physical Facilities Committee will assess the efficacy of arming GWPD officers after phase two of the “hybrid” arming plan, in which four lieutenants will start to carry firearms in October.

When GWPD Police Chief James Tate presented the implementation plan to the Student Association, Faculty Senate and Staff Council last month, he said the four lieutenants will start to carry firearms in late September. It’s unclear when the four lieutenants will actually start carrying firearms.

She said officials held forums with students, faculty and staff to review the arming plan after phase one, which involved equipping Tate and Captain Gabe Mullinax with 9 mm handguns. She added that officials are forming an independent review commission of students, faculty and staff to review incidents of misuse of a firearm. Officials announced last month that the committee will include two students, three faculty members and two staff members.

“We’ll assess the effectiveness of the performance, the individuals participating and make sure that all the training is working the way it’s supposed to,” Granberg said. “And then we’ll decide at some point when the final stage of arming will take place.”

This post was updated to correct the following:

Due to an editing error, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Granberg wants to use the University’s membership to the AAU, volunteering and proximity to governmental institutions to kickstart the beginning of her tenure. Granberg said these examples represent GW’s strengths as she begins her tenure. We regret this error.

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About the Contributor
Ianne Salvosa, News Editor
Ianne Salvosa is a junior majoring in journalism and international affairs from Lake Saint Louis, Missouri. She is The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editor for the Administration and Finance beat. She previously served as an assistant news editor for the Administration and Finance beat and a contributing news editor for the Academics and Administration beats for Vol. 119.
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