If you haven’t yet met Dr. Nagi Naganathan, interim president of The University of Toledo, you’ll have your opportunity soon.
Naganathan — who prefers that students call him Dr. Nagi — launched a new initiative this semester called Walk with the President. His goal is to make himself accessible to students so that they feel comfortable speaking with him.
“Many students are uncomfortable approaching administrators; I want to change that with this initiative,” Naganathan said. “Getting to know the students on a more personal level makes it easier for me and our leadership team to improve our students’ experiences at UT.”
So far, the interim president has sat at a lunch table and conversed with the students in the Student Union, visited the Student Activities Fair and student organization meetings, attended and spoke at a Student Government meeting, and participated in the car bash on Centennial Mall.
“The goal right now is two-fold,” said Clayton Notestine, president of Student Government. “Give students a chance to interact with the president to provide feedback and, more importantly, give President Nagi a chance to hear from students directly.”
Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in front of Mulford Library on Health Science Campus, Naganathan will hold his next Walk with the President. All students are welcome to attend this walk and pick up a healthy snack to go afterward.
“It’s important to me that I make myself available to all students, no matter which campus they frequent,” Naganathan said. “I feel all of our students deserve to have their voices heard, and I want to go and meet them at campus locations their class and study schedules require them to be at.”
Students who cannot make the Oct. 1 Walk with the President need not worry; Naganathan plans to continue this initiative throughout the year with new locations and times so that he can reach as many students as possible.
“The walks are incredibly valuable for me, personally, because a lot of UT’s issues or areas of improvement require natural conversation,” Notestine said. “Eating lunch with him, talking about why I like Centennial Mall, and speaking for myself as myself — it has been more rewarding and effective than any formal complaint or letter I’ve made.”