The Ball State board discussed the reasons for an roughly 8% drop in freshman enrollment for the 2021-22 school year at its meeting on October 1. Paula Luff, vice president for enrollment, planning and management, said students were unable to visit campus in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic when deciding whether to go register for fall.
Indiana has experienced a decline in total tertiary education enrollments over the past five years. Among the students who have been accepted and enrolled in Ball State for fall 2021, a higher percentage of people of color and Pell Grant recipients make up the new freshman class.
To recruit current high school students to apply to Ball State, Luff said the university will implement a common app by 2023 and increase its social media presence to expand the reach of the campaigns.
Ro-Anne Royer Engle, Vice President of Student Affairs, also announced that the Admissions Office is hiring six new positions, including Director of Communications Strategy, Content Marketing Specialist, Latinx Recruiter, Deputy Director of L guidance, an undergraduate Slate coordinator and a financial aid associate. director of systems and technology.
Directors also heard from Alan Finn, Vice President of Business Affairs and Treasurer, about the offers for the Brown Family Amphitheater. The initial budget of $ 3.15 million was approved in December 2020. However, the project exceeded its initial budget by approximately $ 1.5 million.
Supply chain issues made it difficult to complete the amphitheater, Finn said. Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2022.
“There have been product shortages, there have been price increases and there have been labor shortages, so it is possible that some of them are short-term impacts,” Finn said. “We’ve kind of rebased on the cost of some of these things.”
Despite the problems, Finn said it was the “right time” to start building the amphitheater.
Administrators also announced an exit survey designed to collect feedback from students who transfer or choose not to return to college. The university has a contract with HelioCampus, Inc., a company that analyzes data collected by higher education institutions.
â€œThe data is there, and it’s about organizing it into appropriate reports that will guide decision-making,â€ said Susana Rivera-Mills, rector and executive vice president for academic affairs. “HelioCampus will certainly complement what we’re already doing, but will take us to that next level so that we can be very focused and very specific on what we’re going to do next.”
Rivera-Mills said the data collected by the university and analyzed by HelioCampus will be used to set up initiatives that will support students during their first six weeks on campus.
At the Academic and Student Affairs Committee meeting, Paaige Turner, Dean of the College of Communication, Information and Media (CCIM) announced that the journalism department will be renamed the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication. The Department of Telecommunications is also renamed the Department of Media.
â€œThese visionary innovations reflect what we have always done and always will do to prepare our diverse students for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives,â€ said a video presented at the meeting featuring several current students. “Our college has been and always will be about passion, purpose and progress because at CCIM we fly.”
Turner also said that CCIM will launch a three-year marketing campaign to educate new students about the value of CCIM degrees.
The Board of Trustees also heard a presentation from the Muncie Community Schools (MCS) from the Chairman of the Board of Directors of MCS, James Williams, the Director of Public Education and CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski and the Dean of the College of Teachers of Ball State, Anand Marri. Williams said MCS enrollment increased for the first time since the 2006-07 school year.
MCS also recently handed out salary increases and bonuses to its teachers, and launched an MCS-Ball State Connections program that pairs every Ball State college with an MCS school.
â€œSince our university’s historic and innovative partnership with MCS began in July 2018, there have been many positive results in our city‘s public schools,â€ said Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns. “These results – from stabilizing enrollments to increasing teacher and staff salaries to maintaining a balanced budget – demonstrate that MCS remains on a path of positive improvement and that we are building a bright future for the children of Muncie and our community. “
Finally, Mearns reflected on the state of the university’s vaccination rates. He said that as of the week of September 27, more than 75 percent of full-time employees said they were fully immunized and about 70 percent of students in campus classes, including more than 75 percent of those living in university residences. , indicated that they were fully vaccinated.
â€œIt is thanks to our high vaccination rates and their collective compliance with our university’s mask protocol, and our other health and safety protocols, that we were able this fall to provide a dynamic on-campus experience for our students. students, faculty and staff. “Mearns said.
The next board meeting is scheduled for December 17th.