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From the President

Focusing on Service

At a CCU leadership retreat six years ago, I announced to a group of 50 faculty and staff leaders that, together, we were about to lead a significant cultural shift at CCU. At the time, none of us knew exactly how it would take shape. But we knew this—CCU needed to become collectively focused on service excellence with student success as our ultimate goal.

That morning, I shared my vision and my intention: that this movement would ultimately become my presidential legacy.

We began work immediately on an initiative that would inspire our staff and faculty, empowering them with the knowledge and tools to positively change the way we serve our students and their families, our customers, and each other.

This year, we celebrated the five-year anniversaries of two innovative and successful programs that were born at that retreat. Feel the Teal and CHANT411 have served as catalysts for transforming our campus, and they are now key elements of the CCU brand.

Feel the Teal is a service excellence program designed to create a culture that makes everyone who steps on this campus feel welcome and know that this University cares about them.

During our Feel the Teal five-year anniversary celebration, employees were asked to share what the initiative means to them, and our people tell the story best.

• Katie Angulo, administrative assistant in campus and student life: “It’s important to feel the teal because we all are really here for the students. We have very genuine relationships with them. We support them. We have fun with them, and that makes us a family.”

• Steven Faulk, a fitness floor coordinator in University Recreation: “Feel the Teal has given students, faculty and staff the initiative to be that person who makes a difference.”

• Gene Ferich, facilities and grounds staff: “It’s the opportunity for everyone to come together and never have a ‘that’s not my job’ attitude.”

Shortly after Feel the Teal was launched, I realized we had a missing link in our service excellence efforts. We needed a one-stop operation that could help people find what they were looking for and get answers without having to go from place to place. We hired April Betsch to lead this initiative. The operation she and her team created, CHANT411, has far exceeded expectations. I even use it myself! The incredible feedback I am getting from parents and students proves that it has been beneficial for our student recruitment and retention.

Neil Raisman, the leading expert on academic customer service, recently called CHANT411 “the best student information center I have found on any campus.” Organizations from across the nation now look to CCU for guidance in launching service programs.

Feel the Teal and CHANT411 are now embedded in Coastal’s spirit and culture. I envision these positive programs as cornerstones for a lasting legacy of CCU service excellence.

David A. DeCenzo, President