RCM prompts colleges to recruit

Kelly Petryszyn

Recruitment and retention could lead to higher revenue

Each college is now focusing more on recruitment and retention under the university’s proposed new budget model.

Responsibility Center Management will transfer control of budget management from central administration to individual colleges. The revenue a college receives under RCM depends on its enrollment and state funding.

“RCM is trying to give us an opportunity to make a difference in revenue,” said Yank Heisler, dean of the College of Business Administration. “(It) used to be in someone else’s mind; now it’s in our mind.”

Because colleges are more in charge of their own revenue and revenue comes from the tuition, the next step is simple: Retain and recruit. More students equals more revenue.

“If we can get a bit more revenue by getting more students, it’s worth it to invest more,” Heisler said.

To make this possible, Associate Director of Admissions Mark Ledoux said the admissions office is working more closely with the colleges. Admissions is providing each college with admission and enrollment numbers every few weeks.

The deans are adjusting their recruitment and retention efforts.

“Provost Frank asked to put a higher priority on recruitment and retention,” said Jeff Fruit, interim dean of the College of Communication and Information. “In the past, our academic units took a passive approach to recruiting. We are taking a more proactive approach to recruiting.”

The information below is what each college is doing to adjust its recruitment and retention efforts under RCM.

Also included are projections of surplus or deficit had the university been operating under RCM during fiscal year 2008, according to the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

$466,671 positive

The college has increasing enrollment, said James Dalton, dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, in an e-mail.

He said the college will continue to have a high degree of one-on-one meetings with high school students and parents. Historically, the college has a high record of retaining students and will continue to focus on doing so.

College of Arts

$1,168,258 negative

The college will continue to maintain good retention rates by giving individualized attention to students through advising and instruction, said John Crawford, interim dean of the College of the Arts, in an e-mail.

All schools within the college are actively recruiting, he said. Instructors are visiting high schools to recruit students. The college invites prospective students to performances, exhibitions and student shows.

And several schools, such as fashion and theatre and dance, are recruiting students with Facebook pages.

College of Arts and Sciences

$197,560 negative

The college is redoing its efforts to visit the communities, as well as directly contacting students who applied to Kent State, said Tim Moerland, dean of Arts and Sciences. They’re also visiting high schools.

When looking for prospective students, the college is recruiting students who help meet the university’s agenda of inclusion and diversity, he said.

Sandra Morgan was recently assigned to oversee recruitment and outreach efforts. She has been in the role since the beginning of the year.

To retain students, the college is encouraging attendance.

“I can’t say this loudly enough or often enough: The best thing you can do is show up,” Moerland said.

College of Business Administration

$1,032,489 positive

“We are very much more tuned in,” Heisler said. “We’ve got to do a better job.”

The college will enter into the admissions process more thoughtfully. It will put more into admissions, scholarships, enrollment, selling, marketing and a much higher level of interest in tracking enrollment numbers.

In the past, the college has not spent as much time making contact with students it is recruiting as it does now. Currently, there are more students talking to students, he said.

Retention numbers for the college are not as good as other colleges, Heisler said.

To improve, the college will emphasize student opportunities such as advising, clubs and a learning community that are available.

The college plans to develop a follow-up plan to the 15th day statistics.

“We need to dig away at this and focus on what we can do better in our retention efforts,” he said.

College of Communication and Information

$1,078,456 positive

“The college is really scrambling to find better and smarter things to do on recruiting and retention,” Fruit said.

The college hired marketing coordinator Jennifer Kramer to help marketing efforts toward recruiting.

Now, the college has students contacting other students on Facebook. Faculty are making phone calls. There is more follow-up overall with the college’s recruitment efforts. There are more targeted letters, more tours and invitations.

Also, the college has revamped the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Web site to make it more user-friendly for prospective students. When recruiting students, the college is looking for diverse and high-ability students.

“The smart thing to do is to keep the students you’ve got,” Fruit said.

College of Education, Health and Human services

$133,041 positive

RCM has prompted faculty to get more involved in recruitment and retention.

“Under RCM, a good portion of the revenue will stay within the college, so there’s an incentive,” said Daniel Mahony, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

The college has sent letters and e-mails and hosts admitted student receptions. There has been high retention in the college.

Faculty are more actively involved in developing programs, such as distance learning. Faculty have done this already. They are involved in developing programs, finding a target audience and delivering the program.

College of Nursing

$1,212,974 negative

Laura Dzurec, dean of the College of Nursing, said she would like to see an increase in enrollment, but the college can only accept 80 percent of qualified applicants because of lack of space in the program.

To bring in more students, other programs are being offered. An accelerated online program for registered nurses who have associates degrees and want to get their bachelor’s degree is now available. The program started in January and has about 60 students enrolled.

College of Technology

$131,865 negative

The college would like to grow its numbers on the Kent campus. It has the capacity to handle more students, so “we want to be able to use it,” said Verna Fitzsimmons, interim dean of the College of Technology.

She said RCM will have a positive effect on the college’s recruitment and retention efforts.

“RCM may push us to do a better job at this,” Fitzsimmons said.

The college will continue its e-mail campaigns to provide information to prospective students.

To retain students, the college has focused on advising to ensure students get through college in four years.

Fitzsimmons said it is important to keep currently enrolled students happy with their education because they will tell their friends and family, and “that’s the best recruiting tool we have.”

Contact student affairs reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].