Holz-Clause: Effort underway to revamp admissions approach to an ‘enrollment management’ model

    Preliminary on-campus and online enrollment numbers for 2019 spring semester at the University of Minnesota Crookston show a 130-student decrease from 2018 fall semester, UMN Crookston Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause announced Thursday.

    Spring preliminary total enrollment is 1,704 students, with 995 online and 709 on campus. While Holz-Clause indicates much of the loss is due to graduating seniors, she acknowledged in a campus-wide email that the drop from fall to spring was “greater than we anticipated though not entirely an outlier.”

    Looking to 2019 fall semester, Holz-Clause says early projections to a total enrollment of 1,841, which compares closely to the fall 2018 enrollment of 1,834. But, she adds, online growth will continue to be looked to minimize the impact of declining on-campus enrollment. And on-campus student brings in more revenue to the campus through their full-time status and their living on campus, the chancellor points out.

    Holz-Clause stresses in her email, as did Communications and Marketing Director Elizabeth Tollefson to the Times on Thursday, that a strategic visioning effort specific to revamping the UMN Crookston Admissions Office into more of an “Enrollment Management” model is underway. Also part of that effort is changes to student orientation and the addition of a first-year experience course aimed at improving student retention and graduation rates. Still, Holz-Clause points out, the goal of those efforts will be slow and steady growth, and that it will take several years before enrollment growth closes current revenue gaps. Most budget reserves have been used up, the chancellor adds.

    Now, she says, it’s about dealing with the current reality on campus.

    “In working to address these budget challenges, we are beginning conversations across the campus to determine how to deal with our reality. In the next few months, we will be reaching out to hear from you and gather your ideas. We will need to provide our budget to the Cities by mid March, so we need your good ideas and thoughts,” Holz-Clause states in her campus-wide email. “In tough budget times it is important to remember that everyone of us needs to do what we can. And while looking for ways to cut, also look for new relationships that can be forged to bring in more students and more resources.

    “While this budget situation is a challenge, it is not insurmountable,” the chancellor continues. “Together, we will turn this tide and get there. We Northern Minnesotans  are tough, tenacious and determined.”