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KU President's Update

June 25, 2013

Dear KU Campus Community,

Significant progress is being made in our long-term efforts to improve enrollment. The purpose of this letter is to update you on that progress and to inform you how to stay involved in the weeks ahead.

I mentioned in the last update that we hired an independent consultant to review our enrollment practices and make suggestions for improvement. Williams & Company has done an outstanding job assisting the university in developing a plan and working with several of our staff members to carry it out. I will meet with the union representatives, University Senate officers, and ChairNet in the near future to review our plan and provide information regarding its implementation.

It is very clear that the health of our university depends on us executing an enrollment management plan that calls for us to proactively reach out to recruit and retain students who have the greatest possibility for success. This vital effort necessitates the establishment of a new Division of Enrollment Management. Many institutions across the nation, including several of our sister institutions in PASSHE, have already moved in this direction. The challenges facing higher education today --- from the economy to demographic changes to the public perception of the value of a degree --- are very real.

The next major step in the process at KU will be the search and hiring of a Vice President for Enrollment Management. This position will report directly to me and serve on Cabinet and will lead a well-planned, data-driven, highly integrated and continuously evaluated suite of enrollment initiatives. The objective will be to work closely with students from the pre-inquiry stage to graduation and post-graduation plans, with the goal of improving current and future enrollment and retention.

The new division will incorporate the Offices of Undergraduate, Graduate and International Admissions; Financial Aid Services; New Student Programming, Institutional Research, and the Registrar. The new division will also have overall responsibility for coordinating and assessing university-wide retention efforts.

Dr. Deryl Johnson, University Senate president and professor in the Communication Studies and Theatre Department, has agreed to chair the search committee for the Vice President position. Other members of the Search Committee are Ramona Turpin, Trustee, Dr. Anne Zayaitz, representing Deans Council; Dr. Rolf Mayrhofer, representing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Dr. Donna Steslow, from the College of Business; Dr. Debbie Lynch, from the College of Education; Dr. Edwin Nieves, representing the Department of Academic Enrichment; Elsa Collins, representing Cabinet; Bob Watrous, representing Academic and Student Affairs; Matt Delaney, from the Division of Administration and Finance; and Jennifer Umberger, representing the Division of Communications, Marketing & External Affairs. The search firm Witt/Kieffer is assisting with the process. The search committee will hold open sessions when the candidates visit our campus in August.

Since much of this will happen before the fall semester begins, I encourage you to monitor the Daily Brief and the new webpage we will be creating regarding candidate visitation dates (the web address will be sent via email to faculty and staff when it is complete). Given the importance of this position, we would like as much input from the campus community as possible.

In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy your summer and find time to rest and recharge. I look forward to seeing you at our Opening Day Gathering on Friday, August 23 at the newly-renovated Schaeffer Auditorium.


F. Javier Cevallos