destinationuncWelcoming admitted students during an Admissions' event last month.

Throughout the academic year, we have been focused on rethinking how to better serve and support our students.

Last fall, I announced that we had engaged Huron Consulting Group to help with our strategic enrollment management and student success work. We sought their specialized expertise to help us develop an integrated approach that addresses the entire student lifecycle — from recruitment through graduation.

I am pleased to announce that we have finished the planning phase of this work and will be turning our attention to implementing the plan. We will direct our efforts toward four broad strategic priorities:

  • Aligning admission efforts to recruit and enroll students we are well-positioned to support
  • Growing transfer enrollment
  • Integrating all of our efforts to partner with students to ensure their success
  • Deliberately engaging and coaching students with the greatest risk of attrition

This week, a draft of the plan was presented at the President’s Leadership Council. Throughout April, we will engage campus in discussions, beginning with Faculty Senate and followed by town hall meetings as implementation gets underway. The full plan will also be shared in UNC Today when it is finalized.

The Strategic Enrollment Management steering committee, co-chaired by Interim Provost Theo Kalikow and Admissions Director Sean Broghammer, did a great job producing the plan and providing opportunities for campus to be involved. Over 140 faculty, staff and students provided feedback that informed the plan. Thank you to the committee members for their service and to campus for participating.

As we move ahead, Professor Joan Clinefelter will join Sean to co-chair the implementation committee, which will convene an action team for each of the four priorities and coordinate their efforts. It is critical that we move quickly to begin implementation, so we have asked Huron to help with this work while our new provost transitions to campus. Specifically, we have asked Huron to help us build our capacity for ongoing implementation of the plan and to advise us on operational and structural changes that will better serve students and reduce costs.

We have agreed that the cost of this work will not exceed $425,000. This is a significant investment that we expect to yield measurable returns. Moderate annual increases in new freshman and transfer enrollment coupled with increased retention over the next five years could generate $7-$10 million more in annual net tuition revenue by 2023.  

Moving forward with strategic enrollment and student success is an urgent matter that will require campus-wide involvement to be successful. Recruitment, retention and student success are everyone’s responsibility. The need to address our stagnant retention and graduation rates goes well beyond the positive financial results. Even more important, we must live up to our promise to the students who entrust us with their academic success. I am optimistic that we will rise to the challenge for the benefit of our students and our university and look forward to continuing to work with you on this endeavor.

Rowing Not Drifting,

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Andy
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