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An Enrollment Update from J. Michael Thompson, Associate Vice President and Vice Provost of Enrollment Management

Office of the ProvostSep 14, 2016

As you are aware, Pacific is facing enrollment challenges this semester. We originally projected enrolling 1,125 new freshman and transfer students for the fall term. We are anticipating enrolling about 230 fewer undergrads than had been projected for the budget.

There are three factors that affected our fall enrollments:

  • Enrollment Management made the decision to develop its own recruitment campaign and applications and discontinue its longstanding contract with Royall for that work;
  • The Office of Undergraduate Admission had neither the fiscal nor personnel resources to execute a new strategy in a timely way. The new tactics to recruit students were not as successful as planned. In addition, a failed search for a new head of Undergraduate Admission during the recruiting cycle resulted in vacancies impacting the new approach to market; and
  • The University of California, Pacific's largest competitor, made an unanticipated decision to admit more than 9,300 additional California students for the fall semester, directly impacting our applicant and confirmed pools.

In response to these three factors,

  • We are intensifying our student recruitment and engagement approaches and have re-engaged Royall for comprehensive services. They assist Pacific in contacting thousands of sophomores, juniors and their parents in addition to supporting our application generation and processing efforts. Our partnership with Shorelight will ultimately result in a steady growth of international students that will enable us to build a global learning community.
  • The Office of Undergraduate Admission is undergoing a reorganization and the campus is currently conducting a search for an Assistant Vice Provost and Director of Admission.
  • We are beginning to implement the Strategic Enrollment Plan - its eight core strategies will guide Pacific's enrollment over the next five years. Many areas of the university will work together to help implement the plan.

All of us at Pacific share a commitment to our students, and the entire community can help attract prospective students to Pacific and ensure their success. Here are just some of the ways that the undergraduate Admission office is going to ramp up its support to prospective student audiences:

  • Identify collaborative and community-focused yield opportunities
  • Form partnerships with high schools and community colleges
  • Serve and support students with excellence
  • Share your school's success stories
  • Celebrate successes of all kinds (student, alumni, faculty, staff)
  • Welcome families and visitors
  • Seek opportunities for collaboration

This coming year, University leaders and I will be reaching out to the Pacific community to help in specific ways that will support our recruiting efforts and student success initiatives. We also will be seeking input and suggestions from you via a SharePoint site regarding tactics for implementing the Strategic Enrollment Plan's eight strategies. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me or Arnaldo Rodriquez to discuss ideas you may have or ways you can help. Coming together to support our students with excellence will ultimately improve the university's reputation and build our pipeline of prospective students.

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