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Delta State rolls out new online concierge service for students

By March 28, 2024Students

CLEVELAND, Miss. — Delta State University is introducing a new online service called “Ask the Okra: A Campus Concierge” as its new five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The service was rolled out during a recent event on campus. DSU faculty and staff members serving on the QEP committee were available to answer questions and explain the new service.

Associate Professor of Biology and QEP Director Dr. Tanya K. McKinney said, “Ask the Okra is a one-stop shop for students to connect to campus resources. It is a streamlined process where they do not have to go from one office to another to take care of any business they may have. We are meeting the students where they are, online. If a student is employed, or has limited time for any reason, they no longer must take their lunch hour or time off work to come to campus to take care of something.”

The service is a live chat that allows students, staff, faculty, and community members to ask questions, and there will be a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions. The service will be officially launched in 2025, with current efforts focused on training the Okra by compiling lists of questions from departments around campus.

“Right now, what we are asking everyone to help us train the Okra,” said McKinney. “We are collecting information, asking every unit on campus about the questions they receive the most, and asking students, faculty, staff, and community members what questions they would like to ask the Okra.”

The QEP was presented to Delta State faculty and staff of the university during the latest town hall meeting conducted by Delta State President Dr. Daniel Ennis. He said, “This service is intended to be transformative of the student experience. Within three years, we will wonder how we got along without it.”

For accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), universities must have a QEP that (a) has a topic identified through its ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes; (b) has broad-based support of institutional constituencies; (c) focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success; (d) commits resources to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP; and (e) includes a plan to assess achievement. SACSCOC is an institutional accreditor for quality assurance in higher education. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among its members in the United States and international institutions of higher education.

For more information about Ask the Okra, visit A link to the video of all town hall meetings can be found on the DSU President’s Office website at