Catching Up, and Thoughts on Enrollment Management

I hope spring break gave you the opportunity to get away, do something relaxing or interesting, or perhaps just get caught up. Even if classes aren’t in session, we all know it’s sometimes more like “spring catch up” rather than spring break. Speaking of catching up, I need to correct an oversight from the January newsletter. Andrew Dolby’s $1,000 from the Virginia Society of Ornithology was inadvertently omitted from the list of successful external grant applications. Deborah O’Dell is working with Andrew as a co-investigator on a project to study enzyme immunoassay quantification of heat Shock Protein 60 and its application to avian conservation biology. Congratulations, Andrew and Deborah!

In response to the governor’s higher education budget and incentives, competitor schools like the University of Virginia and The College of William and Mary have decided to increase their freshmen enrollment.  They are seeking a bigger piece of the pie that is the well-prepared student.  Managing the enrollment process in order to find students who will thrive in the challenging yet supportive atmosphere here at UMW is a major task for us, and one made more challenging by our competitors’ decisions to increase the sizes of their first-year classes.

In another week or so I expect to name the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and Student Services, a position vacated by Martin Wilder when he became Chief of Staff.  While this position is important, no individual, committee or department is solely responsible for achieving enrollment goals.   ALL OF US have critical roles to play in securing the best students.   Our admissions professionals tell me that when we get prospective students to campus it is often the “touch” or interaction with the faculty that seals the deal.  Faculty attendance and departmental participation in open house and discovery day events is crucial.

I ask that all of us continue to play a role in shaping our student body.  In a related story, you will read about how we have also restructured the Office of International Academic Services into the Center for International Education.  Dr. Sainz and staff will be tasked with securing quality study abroad opportunities for our students and increasing international student enrollment.  We need to make every effort to secure strong students in order to achieve President Hurley’s announced vision of making UMW the best liberal arts and sciences university.

I am confident that when potential students know who we are, and understand our values, we will continue to attract and graduate the educated and caring citizens that are our hallmark.

Leave a Reply