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Nov. 20, 2017 La Grande, Ore. — Strategic enrollment management proved to be the focus during Eastern Oregon University’s governing board meeting Nov. 16 on campus in La Grande.
Board members received a breakdown of enrollment statistics for this term that tracks changes in demographics, academic programs and modalities. Each of the university’s three colleges presented action items to expand retention efforts, extend marketing reach and increase accessibility for transfer students. These objectives support enrollment goals at EOU, which aims to serve 2,500 students on campus and 5,000 online by 2029.
Executive Director of Regional Outreach and Innovation David Vande Pol said his division will leverage EOU’s numerous regional centers, a unique asset of EOU, for maximum impact on online and transfer enrollment. On-site advisors across the state are re-imagining their roles as recruitment and retention specialists, since they guide students from application through to graduation. Pathways for transfer students from community college to university, like EOU’s Fast Tracks, are part of crucial conversations in Oregon’s legislature as universities and community colleges discuss closer partnership to serve students. Vande Pol chairs a House bill committee regarding treatment of transfer students and application of their credits.
Vice President for Student Affairs Lacy Karpilo led discussion of on-campus recruitment plans. Karpilo pointed out a number of strategies to manage enrollment in the coming year, including targeted communications, hand-written cards, high school visits from current students, and personal phone calls. EOU admissions counselors conducted 178 high school visits and attended 95 college fairs last year.
She emphasized that all members of the EOU community have opportunities to contribute to recruiting efforts. Karpilo’s role in strategic enrollment management includes establishing a team that will meet weekly to analyze current data and explore new options to engage students “from inquiry to alumni.” The team hopes to increase enrollment by at least 5 percent in fall 2018.
Board Chair David Nelson said the stakes are higher than ever for public universities, as each institution competes for students, funding, faculty, and other resources.
“We are in a period of change,” Nelson said. “We’re an education enterprise in a highly competitive marketplace. Strategic enrollment management must be the primary focus if we are to grow in all areas.”
Additional discussion topics included an update on the board’s self-evaluation process, approval of EOU’s core themes and current budget, and passing a 3 percent increase in presidential compensation. Members also discussed the economic impact of upgrades to Community Stadium and EOU’s track facility, and approved $1.1 million in state loans for the project.
President Tom Insko offered comments on fall achievements, including faculty research, student-athlete recognitions, new administrators and work on updated policies. ASEOU President Daysi Bedolla joined representatives of University Council and Faculty Senate to provide a shared governance report. Vice President for University Advancement Tim Seydel presented the institution’s annual report and briefed the board on legislative happenings.
Visit eou.edu/governance for more information about governing board activities.
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