UNK Student Recruitment Efforts Intensify for Spring Push

Glennis Nagel

More high school seniors will want to wear “Loper Blue,” if the Recruitment and Admissions Enhancement Team (RAET) has their way.

Stemming directly from the Regent-led strategic planning process and UNK’s now finalized strategic planning document, the team has been charged by Chancellor Doug Kristensen to  “maximize student admission and matriculation while maintaining university admission standards.”

In announcing the new planning approach, Chancellor Kristensen summarized his thoughts about the kind of institutional commitment it will take to succeed in the critical areas of recruitment and retention: “No kind or amount of reorganization can, by itself, generate energy and produce outcomes,” he said.  “Particularly in the areas of student recruitment and retention, everything depends on what people do, together.”

The 29-member RAET team, now headed by Dr. Ed Scantling, dean of the College of Education, is working together to complete five or six short-term student recruitment initiatives between now and May 1, and they are asking the rest of the campus to join in the effort.

“We want to mobilize the campus,” Dr. Scantling said. Dr. Finnie Murray, senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs/Student Life, recently appointed Dr. Scantling to head the RAET team.  (Another team to improve student retention is being headed by Lois Flagstad, dean of campus life. The Columns will report on the retention group in a later issue.)

“We want to make a difference in the decision making process of 18-year-olds, and spring is the critical time,” Dr. Scantling said. “By this time, most seniors have their choices narrowed down to two or three institutions, and we’re trying to encourage a few more to wear Loper Blue.

“Campus success is based on the quality and quantity of students who come to UNK,” he said. “It’s time for action. It’s past the time of just talking. Everyone needs to roll up his or her sleeves and participate.
“If faculty have ideas, and they want to participate, they can join the committee, or they can contact anyone on the committee with their ideas,” he said adding, “I don’t think people have to wait until department chairs or directors ask them to get involved.

“We’re looking for the best and the brightest new graduate and undergraduate students, and we’re looking for volunteers who are willing to do things from sending text messages to prospective students to helping ‘seal the deal,’” Dr. Scantling said. “It’s amazing how little it takes.”

According to Dr. Scantling, these short-term initiatives are just the first step. “Ultimately, one of the responsibilities of the team will be long-term planning to develop an on-going series of initiatives,” he said. “The long-term plan will need to mesh with our strategic plan, our mission and the Varner Hall Framework.”  The short-term initiatives are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks and will be supportive of the on-going and intensive marketing and recruiting efforts of the Office of Admissions and the Office of University Relations.
Members of the RAET team include: Dr. Lois Flagstad, Student Life; Dr. Kenya Taylor, Graduate Studies and Research; Dr. Bruce Forster, Business and Technology; Dr. William Jurua, Fine Arts and Humanities; Dr. Frank Harrold, Natural and Social Sciences; Dusty Newton, Admissions; Mary Sommers, Financial Aid; Rick Larsen, Residential and Greek Life; Jerry Fox, International Education; Linda Johnson, Graduate Admissions; Juan Guzman, Office of Multicultural Affairs; Dr. Gary Davis, Honors Program; Mary Daake, Academic Advising, Curt Carlson,  University Relations; Kim Schipporeit, Student Records and  Registration; Kathy Livingston, Institutional Research; Deb Schroeder,  Information Technology; Larry Riessland, Finance; Janet Wilke,  Library; Brandon Benitz, Student Life; Dr. Carol Lomicky,  Graduate Studies, Research and Distance Education; Gloria Vavricka,  eCampus; John Horvath, Distance Education; Jim Rundstrom,  Alumni Services; Jon McBride, Athletics; Nathan Jessen,  graduate student representative; and Cody Sasek and Eric Seitz,  undergraduate student representatives. — G.N. with C.C.