ATLANTA—Georgia State University’s Timothy M. Renick, vice provost and vice president for enrollment management and student success, has been named by Washington Monthly magazine as one of the country’s 16 most innovative people in higher education.
In its 2016 college rankings edition, the publication cited Renick’s work in nationally recognized student success initiatives that have boosted student graduation rates, eliminated the racial achievement gap and helped students avoid spending financial aid money on classes that don’t count toward their degrees.
The university now confers 30 percent more bachelor’s degrees than it did five years ago, and confers more bachelor’s degrees to African Americans than any other college or university in the United States.
“Tim Renick is richly deserving of being named one of the most innovative people in higher education,” said Mark Becker, president of Georgia State. “He and his team are leading the nation in developing and implementing programs that truly move the needle on student success. Their work is changing the higher education landscape by demonstrating that students from all backgrounds can achieve success at rates much higher than historical levels. While the results we have produced at Georgia State have been unprecedented, they are reproducible elsewhere and establish a new model for the 21st century.”
Renick has spearheaded several efforts that have become national models for student success, such as Georgia State’s GPS Advising System. Using predictive analytics, the system identifies when students are at risk of veering off track academically and sends a warning to the student’s academic adviser, who reaches out to get the student back on track.
The advising system also helps to keep students from taking a class that does not fulfill a requirement for their major. Last year the system helped 2,000 students avoid taking the wrong class, saving valuable time to graduation and money from their financial aid packages.
Other efforts include Panther Retention Grants, small grants of a few hundred dollars to help students close financial gaps to pay for the semester, as well as the Summer Success Academy, which supports incoming freshmen who may need help in the transition to the college classroom.
Washington Monthly also ranked Georgia State 19th among 303 institutions in the number of Pell grant recipients graduating with a college degree. A part of federal student financial aid, Pell grants are typically awarded to low-income students.
The magazine recognized Becker last year as one of the 10 most innovative college presidents in the United States.