Greetings! Another month has passed and spring is just
around the corner. Writing this report on a monthly basis has made me an
even greater admirer of my friends in the newspaper and media business
who write under daily deadlines. All of us on campus are extremely busy
this time of year and sometimes it is difficult for me to find time to
do solid thinking and good writing among all the meetings, conferences
and events. So, this month I am submitting a report that includes good
information from our enrollment management team.
Chelsea Clinton’s Visit
First, I want to commend Tom Moore, Rick Stripling and the Student
Affairs staff for pulling together a nice event for hosting Chelsea
Clinton on approximately 24 hours notice. Around noon last Saturday I
received a call from Robert Evans, Executive Director for Governmental
Relations, asking me to call Attorney General Dustin McDaniel if we were
interested in hosting Chelsea the following day around 3 p.m. for a
"meet and greet" and question and answer session. I called Dustin and
told him that it would be a privilege for us to do this, but warned him
that students would be scarce in the Student Union on a Sunday
afternoon. He then asked me to call Brett Kincaid, a Clinton Campaign
political director in Arkansas, who would do the advance work for the
visit. Brett was already in Jonesboro seeking a place to hold the event
and I suggested the Heritage Plaza Lounge on the third floor of the
Student Union. He liked the site, and I immediately put him in touch
with Rick Stripling to arrange the logistics. I then called Lucinda
McDaniel, our ASU System General Counsel, to make sure that there were
no restrictions on our hosting a political event, and she assured me
there were not. (Of course, we will need to do the same for other
presidential campaigns in either party if requested.) To make a long
story short, there was a large crowd of people
(the Democrat-Gazette estimated about 300)
to welcome Chelsea "home," local and Little Rock media sent teams
to cover the event, and our students, staff, faculty members and friends
from the community who attended felt fully engaged in our exercise in
presidential democracy that occurs in this wonderful country every four
years. In addition, our University received priceless publicity around
the state and beyond as a result of this event being held on our campus
so soon after the South Carolina primary.
Enrollment Management Strategies and Success
We are blessed that our enrollment figures are up for the spring
2008 semester. The 11th day unduplicated headcount is 10,369, compared
to 10,007 for spring 2007. The associated FTE counts are 8,172 for 2008
compared to 7,823 for 2007. The increases of 362 headcount, and 350 FTE
students bring us to an all-time high for a spring semester. We
appreciate the hard work of our entire campus community, and especially
our enrollment management team, in achieving these numbers.
Technology is also playing an increasingly significant role in
enrollment success. A powerful tool used by the Admissions Office is the
Azorus Campus Manager, a web-based recruitment software that produces
e-mail campaigns, hosts the Power Up student portal, manages
postal mailing, promotes events, and coordinates event registrations.
The Virtual Advisor software enables students to ask questions 24/7 and
eCampus Tours software allows prospective students and their families to
sign up for campus visits directly on the Admissions home page.
Also, ASU is making efforts to increase the visibility of our
graduate programs by stressing the quality of programs, the variety of
opportunities, and their affordability. ASU now has a profile at
GradView.com, GradSource.com, Peterson’s online (for the Ph.D. in
Molecular Biosciences already online and listing
for the Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences ), GradSource magazine,
American Model United Nations Conference Program, and regional
university publications on graduate fairs.
Moreover, new graduate programs are being added in disciplines with
high student interest. The Master of Engineering Management program was
approved by the ASU Board of Trustees at its December 2007 meeting.
Enrollment may begin as early as Fall 2008 depending on approval by ADHE.
Other programs expected to begin enrollment in the near future are the
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) (first cohort in Fall 2009) and the
Masters in Social Work (MSW) (Spring 2009).
A new initiative to enhance ASU’s international recruitment and
retention is well underway. An international recruiting DVD is being
developed, agencies are being retained to assist in recruiting, and the
International Programs staff is being reorganized and expanded. We also
will upgrade our international website, an essential component in
effective international student recruiting.
In addition to using well-qualified and scrupulously honest
international agents and agencies, the University will send more of its
own international recruiters overseas to participate in student
recruiting fairs and agency/agent fairs. Emphasis will be placed on
recruiting from countries that have substantial numbers of students
attending institutions of higher education in the U.S. such as India,
Japan, Turkey, People’s Republic of China, and Saudi Arabia.
We have begun work to re-establish a program for English as a Second
Language (ESL) and will seek accreditation for the program through the
Commission on Accreditation of English Language Programs. This program
is critical to the success of international students. In addition to the
ESL program, special efforts will be made to help our international
students achieve the same level of academic, social, and personal
success as our students from the U.S.
Under the guidance of the Student Retention and Success Subcommittee
of the Enrollment Management Committee, the following steps have been
taken to keep the students we currently have while actively pursuing new
- Expanded the academic advising structure through
broadened advising training opportunities;
- Recognized faculty who provide outstanding advising service to
- Identified long-standing academic policies and procedures that
hinder academic success and recommend changes to minimize or remove
many enrollment obstacles;
- Established four-year degree plans for all majors;
- Strengthened the academic component and advising role during New
- Implemented mandatory first-year experience course "Making
Connections" and increased co-curricular first-year student
- Created and implemented mentoring program for all first-time,
first-year students on academic probation through 25 sections of
- Increased learning assistance opportunities in math and science
courses through increased tutorial hours; and
- Established an Early Alert Program to provide a formal means of
referral for students in academic distress.
In the coming months, the Division of Student Affairs’ Enrollment
Services area plans to work closely with each college to implement steps
to boost the conversion rate of current applicants and admits to
enrolled students. The current number of first-time freshman applicants
and admits are significantly higher than in previous years.
Thanks are due to the entire campus community for all their efforts
on behalf of our students. Have a great month!
Robert L. Potts