Faculty asked to study, weigh in on enrollment management

Enrollment management task force members

  • Jonathan Sturm, task force chair and professor, music and theatre
  • Brianna Burke, assistant professor, English
  • Veronica Dark, professor, psychology
  • Arne Hallam, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Kendall Lamkey, professor and chair, agronomy
  • Frank Peters, interim chair, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering
  • Kevin Schalinske, professor, food science and human nutrition
  • Ann Smiley-Oyen, associate professor, kinesiology
  • Sriram Sundararajan, professor, mechanical engineering
  • Kimberly Zarecor, associate professor, architecture

In his Feb. 9 presentation to the Faculty Senate, President Steven Leath talked about a faculty task force charged with studying enrollment issues and developing ideas and solutions for managing increasing student numbers.

Leath said he wants a faculty perspective on what options might be considered if ISU doesn't get "significant new resources." Examples he gave include:

  • Raising admissions standards
  • Raising tuition across the board
  • Establishing larger differences in differential tuition across expensive programs
  • Recruiting fewer Iowa students and more nonresidents

"If there's ever a chance to see the value of shared governance, this ought to be it," he said. "This [would be] a substantial change in our philosophy, if one of these would pass. This has to be a thoughtful discussion, over quite a while."

Funding falling short of growth

Leath told senators that he has talked with the regents and legislative leaders about the need for changes if there are no new resources to apply toward continued growth.

"The interesting dynamic that most people didn't think about is that, if we were to raise admissions standards and our [price], it would create a noticeable difference in the public universities in the state of Iowa," Leath said.

"It would definitely create a difference between us and UNI when one school is much harder to get into and more expensive. But, I met with [UNI president] Bill Ruud and Bill is OK with that. He needs to grow his student body and he thinks that it would be to UNI's advantage. It doesn't mean we should do it, but I do want the faculty to weigh in on this."

Raising admissions standards

Leath said higher admissions standards would need approval from the regents, but not the Legislature.

"Whether we should do it, and how we should do it, and should it even be differential -- it's a really difficult problem to work through, and there's probably no solution that we're all going to be thrilled about," Leath said. "I'm not recommending any of them. I'm not any happier about this than anyone else."

Faculty task force

Senate president-elect Jonathan Sturm is chair of the task force, which will seek input from many campus councils and committees. He urged faculty to submit thoughts and ideas for consideration.

"This task force will work best if we have a wide variety and large amount of input from faculty," Sturm said. "Otherwise, you're going to have suggestions to the president from just this many people."

Senate president Rob Wallace said the task force will submit its report to Leath in May or early June as an "advisory document."

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