Kirby Student Center Annual REport 2015-2016

"Kirby Student Center is the intersection of three great things: a quality education, great friends, and a feeling of home."
Matt Strub, Kirby student employee and all-around tech genius

What has our year been like? It's hard to explain what happens in Kirby day in, day out. Let's take it down to basics.

Center [sen-ter]: noun.
  1. Geometry. The middle point.
It's hard to argue that Kirby Student Center is anything but the physical center of the UMD campus. 2015-2016 was the first academic year living in our completed first floor renovation, a project that made Kirby so much more than a hallway: Kirby is now a destination for teaching, learning, relating, and communicating between all the citizens of our campus community.

2. a point, pivot, axis, etc., around which anything rotates or revolves. The sun is the center of the solar system.

Kirby may not have its own actual gravitational field, but we certainly do attract activity. Our spaces were reserved for 19,500 hours of student organization meetings, departmental events, and community functions this year, generating more than $75,000 in revenue that we used to improve our facility and our programming to better serve our favorite universe: our students.

3. the source of an influence, action, force, etc.: the center of a problem.

With all due respect to the dictionary, Kirby isn't the center of a problem. We're the center of the solution. Our programs, like Greek Life and Kirby Leadership Institute, equip students to become effective citizens in our world. And when it comes to campus questions, our staff is dedicated to helping find answers. In addition to our primary mission of student support, Kirby staff takes on additional responsibilities in the division of Student Life and beyond. We serve the campus community in a variety of ways, including campus governance, commissions, and advisory boards.

We are proud to share our accomplishments over the past year, and we look forward to an equally exciting and productive 2016-2017.


Kirby Student Center serves the needs of the campus and community by providing involvement opportunities, services, programming and facilities that promote and strengthen the student learning experience, and that support the goals of the division and the University.


Student development






We will be the true center of campus: the place where students, staff, faculty and community will meet to learn from each other and share experiences in inclusive, innovative and inspiring ways.



Provide relevant and dynamic programming.

Provide excellent and responsive services.

Provide vibrant and innovative facilities.

Clarify goals and priorities within Kirby Student Center and from senior administration in the Division of Student Life.

Action Steps:

  • Define who is our priority;
  • Determine a way forward within those priorities; and
  • Delineate our scope of control.


KSC staff developed a presentation for administration seeking clarification on goals, priorities, and challenges. We await a decision from senior leadership to develop a new framework for revenue generation and campus/community relationships.

Going Forward:

Revenue generation concerns were addressed in KSC’s 2016-2017 Student Services Fee presentation. This item was rolled into the 2016-2017 strategic plan with more concrete action steps and assessments. We will need partnership and support from the Division of Student Life in addressing priorities, goals, and frameworks.

“I worked with staff from Kirby Events and Conferences to reserve Griggs Center and coordinate a surprise birthday party for my wife this spring. I must admit, I was a bit overwhelmed with the idea of trying to orchestrate this party but the staff at Kirby were really helpful and walked me through each step. In addition, they provided helpful suggestions in planning the party which worked out well.”
Dr. David Worley, Director of UMD Health Services and birthday enthusiast
Build a brand promise for Kirby Student Center.

Action Steps:

  • Develop better internal communication within the department;
  • Demonstrate the impact of Kirby Student Center to the division; and
  • Devise new ways to encourage student engagement through targeted programs/services.


Internal communication improvements and role clarifications have led to positive results on the Employee Engagement Survey. Engagement data from the 2015 Employee Engagement Survey indicate two related areas of strength: Clear Expectations & Feedback; and Clear & Promising Direction.

Demonstrating the value of Kirby Student Center should be a department-wide initiative. Creation of a specific plan was put on hold while we continue to seek clarification from senior leadership on priorities and scope of control.

Going Forward:

Every KSC staff member will contribute to the development of the brand promise plan in the 2016-2017 academic year. Development and implementation of the plan will be a regular topic of discussion at staff meetings, and contribution to the plan is one of the mission-driven goals in each employee’s performance appraisal.

"Being the KLI Intern was more than a job for me. It was--and is--where I have met so many incredible and captivating individuals who have compelled me to go further and reach farther for my goals in life.”
Nikolas Shun, former KLI intern and current leadership all-star
Deliberately "feed the spirit to fuel the work" within the Kirby Student Center professional staff and student staff.

Action Steps:

  • Identify and implement ways to improve the work experience; and
  • Integrate personal passions into job functions.


Employee engagement data show fewer comments of concern about respect, recognition, and effective work environment. Data from the 2015 Employee Engagement Survey show areas of strength in Respect & Recognition; Authority & Empowerment; and Support & Resources.

Going Forward:

The KSC staff will engage in team development opportunities once per semester. Employees will be encouraged to attend professional development opportunities that develop their interests in order to add new dimensions to their work.


Engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences. Kirby Student Center professional staff members understand the many connections between guiding our student employees to be dependable and professional and their ability to be highly functioning future employees and citizens. And we take that seriously.


We used the Student Life Professionalism Rubric to assess our 37 student employees on four characteristics: dependability, demeanor, appearance, and work relationships.

In comparison, we had more students who were rated Accomplished and Advanced using this same rubric in our 2014-2015 assessment results. Based on that rate of success, in 2015-2016, we instituted higher evaluation standards within our rubric to better capture accurate results. We also facilitated open feedback sessions with our student employees at the end of fall semester to collect qualitative information about professionalism, and how we might better support our student employees.

Going Forward:

We will use the data from 2015-2016 to make well-informed decisions about our student employee training topics and methods for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017. Based on assessment and feedback session results, we will implement a more comprehensive student employee training program including input from all professional staff members, and also add in a new spring semester student employee training session.

"I have the pleasure of not only experiencing Kirby as a student, but also as an Intern. I get to work with wonderful people each day, and feel the welcoming atmosphere that Kirby provides each and every person that walks into the Student Center.”
Rachel Kraus, Kirby administrative intern and utility infielder

Student Activities

Kirby Student Center serves as the hub for student engagement on campus. From Star Wars Club to Gamma Sigma Sigma to Kirby Leadership Institute, we provide every kind of support to our student organizations:

  • Administrative: Kirby staff work with student organizations to manage finances, comply with UMD and other regulations, and promote events.
  • Advisory: Beyond general advisement available to all student organizations, many of our professional staff members serve as advisors to large student groups like the UMD Statesman, Greek Life, Kirby Program Board, and more.
  • Community: Every one of the students that walks through our doors deserves to have an ally and an advocate. Our staff regularly attends diversity and inclusion seminars, and we're engaged citizens off campus to broaden our understanding of the student experience beyond College Street and St. Marie. Back on campus, Kirby staff members are regularly tapped to participate in important campus conversations as a representative of the student voice--an honor and a responsibility we take very seriously.

Events & Conferences

Need a place to get together on campus? Chances are, you'll do it in Kirby--and we'll be happy to have you. Providing service from before the reservation to after the reception, Kirby Events & Conference staff broadened their skill sets and built new on- and off-campus relationships with important stakeholders.

  • Significant conversations between UMD Dining Services and Kirby resulted in the creation of a new and exciting collaborative program: Kirby Student Center Catering & Event Services. A Chamber of Commerce-sponsored reception and campus open house introduced our new shared identity and raised awareness of our extensive capabilities to both UMD and community clients.




Clarify goals and priorities within Kirby Student Center and from senior administration in the Division of Student Life in significant areas of focus:
  • Advertising;
  • Pricing strategy for UMD departments;
  • Service levels;
  • Policy & practice in working autonomously with community;
  • Priority for student room rentals, with external groups and UMD departments as secondary priority.

Action Steps:

  • Draft a proposal addressing areas of focus for associate vice chancellor and vice chancellor
  • Meet with administration by November 15, 2016.

Desired Outcome:

  • Clear direction from administration regarding areas of focus.
Build a brand promise for Kirby Student Center.

Action Steps:

  • Mid-year update meetings and annual performance appraisals will include discussion of identified opportunities to enhance Kirby's brand promise; and
  • Every six weeks, a staff meeting will focus on strategies to build brand promise.

Desired Outcomes:

2-3 further action steps will be identified to build on brand promise in important areas:

  • Events & conferences;
  • Facilities;
  • Student employment;
  • Leadership;
  • Communication;
  • Marketing;
  • Programming; and
  • General services.
Deliberately "feed the spirit to fuel the work" within the Kirby Student Center professional and student staff.

Action Steps:

  • Team development activities;
  • Facilitate 3 training opportunities per year for each member of the staff;
  • Encourage professional and personal development through interaction with supervisors; and
  • Identify and integrate personal passions into daily work.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Annual team development and renewal;
  • Wider training opportunities;
  • Flexibility for professional and personal development; and
  • Integration of individual personal passions into work.
Center [sen-ter]: noun.

Synonyms: 1. Heart.

Beyond budgets and objectives, beyond registrations and programs, beyond facilities and events, Kirby Student Center is the heart of the student experience at UMD. We are the physical heart of campus, the place where students, faculty and staff go to rejuvenate, to reflect, and then to engage throughout the halls of our campus. We are the heart of involvement on campus, the place where Bulldogs come to expand on their classroom experience and learn to feel the pulse of their world. And we are the relational heart of campus, where our community meets for the conversations that are the lifeblood of the college experience.

The Kirby Student Center staff was, as always, honored to serve our campus in 2015-2016, and we look forward, as always, to continue to serve as UMD's heart.

Created with images by Pezibear - "heart wooden heart stones" • Pezibear - "heart wooden heart stones" • Victoria Reay - "Stones" • Victoria Reay - "Stones" • Victoria Reay - "Stones" • cocoparisienne - "folding rule tape measure measure" • HA! Designs - Artbyheather - "Vintage Ledger" • Pezibear - "heart wooden heart stones" • Victoria Reay - "Stones" • Victoria Reay - "Stones" • Pezibear - "heart wooden heart stones" • SBSTNC - "Heart" • Senad_D - "h5" • markito - "heart symbol red" • Pezibear - "heart wooden heart stones" Definition and synonyms from

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