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Articles: Enrollment & Retention

Douglas A. Hicks is senior advisor for academic initiatives and professor of religion, and former provost and dean of the faculty, at Colgate University. Suzy M. Nelson is vice president and dean of the college at Colgate University.

In recent months, students have confronted problems such as climate change, race relations, social class inequity and sexual violence with protests at colleges across the country. It’s a chaotic process, and how an administration responds to a protest is vitally important to a school’s ability to alleviate the issues that spark it.

Names like Harvard, Princeton and Stanford are the academic equivalent of Rolex, Tiffany and Mercedes. Other schools have to market themselves. So more of them are advertising these days—but some, paradoxically, seem to do it without much use of what is presumably their stock in trade: expert knowledge.

Fans pack the University of Kentucky arena for every basketball game, keeping ticket revenues high. (Photo: UK Athletics)

As one would expect, successful athletic programs benefit their college or university in a number of ways—particularly in the admissions arena. They raise public awareness of the school, reaching prospective students who may not otherwise have heard of or looked at the university, says Scott Verzyl, associate vice president for enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions for the University of South Carolina.

Digital signage has come a long way in the last decade, and is increasingly utilized in higher education. Universities are an ideal place for digital signage, offering a variety of different venues for unique content including dining facilities; faculty and staff offices; faculty, staff, and student lounges; health clinics; gymnasiums or sporting arenas; theaters; classrooms; and student residence halls.

C. Kevin Synott is a professor in the Department of Business Administration at Eastern Connecticut State University.

How many alcoholic drinks do you think the typical female or male college student consumes each week? Clarifying misperceptions may result in fewer alcohol-related problems on our campuses.

Spectrum perspective: The New Brunswick campus of Rutgers will soon have two new buildings, one for the day program and another to provide housing for its participants.

A groundbreaking facility in development at Rutgers University will provide adults with autism opportunities to work on campus and live in apartments alongside clinical staff and graduate students.

Artificial intelligence has come out of research labs and onto college and university campuses to aid students and faculty. It remains in the very early stages of making education more effective, accessible and affordable—but it’s beginning to transform learning environments and campus services.

The traditional MBA, the flagship of graduate business education for more than a century, is losing ground as applicants increasingly turn to online degrees and specialized master’s programs in business-related fields.

Located in downtown Leesburg, Florida, Beacon College—the nation’s first accredited four-year-degree-granting institution for students with learning disabilities—has brought a century-old train station back to life as a student center. Students can socialize or workout in the 3,400-square-foot space.

CHALLENGE

Beacon College’s enrollment grew from 185 students in 2013 to more than 220 last year to 285 this year. The institution anticipates a total of 500 students in the next few years.

There are some 4,140 colleges and universities in America. If each spends an average of $50,000 per year in presenting speakers and lecturers--this becomes an annual investment which exceeds $200 million. In the campus public speaker marketplace, the majority of presenters receive fees and compensation of about $10,000 per engagement. Some receive $25,000+ and some earn $3,000-$5,000.

James Scannell is president and Jennifer Wick is vice president of Scannell & Kurz, a higher education enrollment consulting division of Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Student retention, persistence, success and graduation remain top-of-mind issues for higher ed leaders amidst the advent of the College Scorecard, the push toward 60 percent of high school graduates earning college degrees by 2020, and families’ familiar concerns about return on investment.

Carine Feyten, the chancellor and president of Texas Woman's University, says security will become a recruitment issue for students and their families.

Carine Feyten

Chancellor and president, Texas Woman's University

Topic: Safety and security

The U.S. experienced a decrease in million-dollar donations in 2014. (Click to enlarge)

At least 1,831 gifts of $1 million or more—a total of $24.5 billion—were given to charity across eight international regions in 2014, with higher education remaining the top recipient.

Yet it’s a decrease from 2013, when 1,995 donations worth $26.3 billion were reported.

Nearly two-thirds of higher ed readers surveyed expected a major renovation project to be launched or completed in 2016.

Picture it: Faculty no longer get their own offices and libraries have vanished. Dorm rooms come standard with private bathrooms and maid service, and terrazzo tile has replaced carpeting as the new standard flooring across college campuses. Sound ludicrous? Maybe not.

Most colleges and universities will continue to face financial hurdles, and although there is much crossover, certain issues will be more or less of a concern based on the size of the university and its student population. One thing is true across the board: Student expectations are changing.

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