Pushing toward enrollment growth
Calling full time enrollment growth that leads to retention and graduation “the best and healthiest way to recovery,” Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ralph Rogers and Senior Leadership Team colleagues are embracing strategies for successfully advancing Purdue Calumet.
Shortfall, strategic plan frankly discussed
Rogers, Chancellor Thomas Keon and Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Ken Johnston, at a campus Open Forum March 22, discussed Purdue Calumet’s $3.5 million revenue shortfall, as well as 2013-18 strategic plan initiatives for enabling the campus to attract and retain more full time students.
Rogers announced reductions of nearly 50 positions over the next 18 months in Academic Affairs. The cuts include limited term lecturers, clinical, partially retired and other non-tenure track instructional positions—both filled and unfilled—and staff members of the Academic Learning Center, which will close June 28.
The cutbacks will help position the campus to study and implement growth plans and strategies, according to Rogers.
Academic program analysis
The next step, academically, he said, “is program analysis. We will be analyzing where we need to grow and where perhaps to cut back. Some of our numbers are telling me we have some programs that are overstaffed and others that are understaffed, inhibiting (enrollment) growth.”
Rogers said he anticipates such analysis impacting academic programming for the 2014-15 academic year.
Additionally, he indicated he plans to initiate conversations with colleagues at other northwest Indiana universities to explore the prospect of collaboration regarding low enrollment degree programs.
Focus on what ‘we seek to become’
Reflecting on Purdue Calumet’s continuing transition from a community campus to a regional university, Chancellor Keon introduced the new, 5-year strategic plan by encouraging faculty and staff to focus on the Purdue Calumet “we seek to become, rather than the one we used to be.”
As for the aspirational Purdue Calumet, he said it should be more student-centered, warm and friendly, and a provider of programs that are preferred and desired over those of competing universities.
“We need to reach out to more and better students,” he said. “But we need to do so in such a way that they want to come to Purdue Calumet and stay here.”
In his fiscal report, Johnston re-iterated the importance of increasing our current enrollment shortfall.