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President Timur Strives to Prioritize Student Engagement on Campus

Jessica Piland

In June, FGCU welcomed its fifth president, Dr. Aysegul Timur, who was confirmed at a Board of Governors meeting after a nearly year-long search. Timur is making history as the university’s first female president, and has spent the summer preparing for students to come back to campus. 

One of her goals is to make students see her as approachable and available, ready to be a resource to them as they journey to graduation. She spent countless hours this summer meeting with students, walking around campus and attending student-led events. 

“I’m meeting with them in Einsteins. I’m meeting them in SoVi. I am meeting them in [the] library so when I’m walking around, they know that they can talk to me and they can share with me their experiences,” she said. “I think that is something that benefits our students very much so they have direct access, direct communication with me.”

Another way Timur is working to gain perspective on what students are asking for and need on campus, is by establishing a close relationship with the Student Government president and vice president. She values making student voices heard when making decisions, and sees shared governance as a direct route to ensure that happens. 

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“It is very important that the president has a very close relationship with the student government. It’s about the shared governance guide. It’s about how we are collaborating on policy or practices or anything that we can improve to serve our students better,” she said. 

Working to identify any issues collectively with the student appointed advocates, allows them to work through any rising concerns as a unified front. 

“She’s not just getting my input about what students care about. She’s actually going out and she’s talking to regular students everywhere,” Student Government President Emory Cavin said. 

The SG president and vice president also see her vision to become more involved as a way to get a feel for what students really need in the FGCU community. 

“To me, it’s very important that I get the direct information from our students building that kind of a channel,” Timur said.

There have been many student-led activities that Timur attended over the summer and in the first weeks of class. She finds it important to show students that she supports them in and out of the classroom. She is looking for channels of communication with students to see how they can influence those outside of FGCU. 

“So, to me, being among students is really understanding the expectations of the new generation, or new ways of things happening, like how much AI is integrated in our lives, how it’s changing the student lives, like how social media has changed the communication in our lives,” she said. “And the same way I’m looking for those types of conversations with our students that we can make a bigger impact.”

When encouraging new students that they made the right decision in choosing FGCU during changes in Florida’s political climate, Timur offers reassurance that the university has offered a quality education to its students since its inception. 

“We are one of the really innovative universities to prepare our students for not only today’s workforce, but also the future of work. I assure all our incoming students that they will be receiving a quality higher education that their degrees are valuable, they become a lifelong learner. And with that degree, they will be successful in their personal and professional lives,” she said. 

Timur encourages new students to see the FGCU community as a family, and made the effort to spend time during move-in passing out water bottles to the incoming class and their families. 

“So with that, I think one thing I really want to assure all students that they are in the right place, and we are investing in them, and they’re investing in us and they will graduate,” Timur said. 

Moving into a new place and being a freshman in college is something that Timur recognizes can be hard for many incoming students. She ensures that FGCU offers the resources to help in case any student should start to feel lonely or in need of help, all they have to do is reach out and ask. She encourages any student to get the help they need if they find themselves having a hard time adjusting to new circumstances. 

“I want our FGCU students, especially our freshmen, to know they can reach out to faculty and staff any time. I know that some students may feel lonely, that they feel they do not belong here, or that they want help with finding their way,” she said. “We cannot help them if they don’t reach out. They can come to us, always, to discuss how to get involved, and we will do what we can to connect them with career opportunities. We want to hear directly from them.”

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About the Contributors
Abigail Muth
Abigail Muth, Eagle News Editor-in-Chief
Abigail Muth is a senior studying journalism and was a transfer student from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Abbey was born and raised in the Cleveland area and wanted to be a teacher until her sophomore year when she discovered a passion for writing. Her dream job would be to write features or shoot documentaries for companies like National Geographic or Patagonia. Abbey is passionate about the outdoors and traveling and hopes that one day she will be able to incorporate those things into her career. When not editing or writing stories or responding to emails, Abbey can be found reading on her lanai or walking her puppy on the beach!
Jessica Piland
Jessica Piland, Eagle News Photo Editor
Jessica Piland is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. She found her passion for photography during her senior year of high school after shooting some film for fun with her grandfather’s camera from the 80s. In addition to her work as photo editor for Eagle News, she works as a staff photographer for FGCU Athletics and is a photography intern with the University Marketing and Communications department. As she enters her third year as photo editor, she is excited for the fun stories, campus events, and breaking news that Eagle News will be covering!

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