July 13, 2016
From the Provost’s Desk: Enrollment Management Task Force Report available
For the past several years, we have engaged in important conversations about the ever-increasing role tuition revenue is playing in our changing funding model. As public funding for higher education has decreased, K-State has become more highly reliant on tuition and fees revenue as well as philanthropy to advance our university. Presently, our undergraduate student enrollment is the main driver for financial growth. Relying solely on successful undergraduate enrollment growth each year is unsustainable moving forward.
Last fall, President Schulz, Vice President Bosco, and I appointed an Enrollment Management Task Force to set enrollment goals and objectives for Kansas State University for the next five years. The task force also was asked to develop recommendations on how best to allocate resources to support future strategic growth.
The Task Force submitted its recommendations in May. The report outlines a series of guiding principles to be considered in further development of a strategic enrollment plan. These principles are presented in four areas: new markets, undergraduate enrollment, graduate enrollment, and financial considerations. The Task Force made clear that "bold action" is needed now. The recommendations also addressed the need for taking a more data-driven approach in developing future enrollment strategies with careful analysis of potential return on investment.
On behalf of General Myers, Vice President Bosco, and myself, I want to thank the Task Force members for their hard work over the past year. I know it wasn't easy. The Task Force grappled with complex, but necessary, issues and have provided a framework for us to use as we move forward with determining enrollment strategies that speak to advancing K-State's future. Thanks go to:
- John Buckwalter, professor and dean of the College of Human Ecology, co-chair
- Derek Jackson, assistant vice president and director of housing and dining, co-chair
- Andrew Bennett, professor and department head of mathematics
- Don Boggs, professor and associate dean of academic programs in the College of Agriculture
- Doris Carroll, associate professor of special education, counseling, and student affairs
- Ethan Erickson, assistant vice president for budget planning
- Robert Gamez, senior associate director of student financial assistance
- Michael Herman, associate dean of the Graduate School
- Michael Lynch, associate vice president for student life
- Sue Maes, dean of K-State Global Campus
- Molly McGaughey, senior associate director of undergraduate admissions
- Marcelo Sabates, associate professor and associate provost for international programs
- Timothy Steffensmeier, associate professor and department head of communication studies
- Joe Tinker, vice president for the Student Governing Association and new graduate in psychology
- Mary Tolar, director of the Staley School of Leadership Studies
The Cabinet recently reviewed and discussed the Task Force report with the co-chairs. Pat Bosco, Carol Shanklin, Sue Maes, Marcelo Sabates, John Buckwalter and Derek Jackson have been asked to take the next step in defining an enrollment plan by developing specific action proposals consistent with the framework provided by the Task Force. Their goal is to have a report with proposed actions by the beginning of the fall semester.
Moving aggressively with further strategic enrollment planning and new enrollment strategies is critically important to ensure K-State continues to thrive, not just survive, as a university as we adapt to "the new normal" of the changing funding model in public higher education.
Thanks for all you do!