President's Newsletter July 2014

Important Updates
 

Budget & Enrollment

Struggles to regain market share in the School of Graduate and Adult Education (SGAE) combined with heightened competition for first-year students led to a challenging 2013-14 fiscal year. Financial results from the past year (ending June 30) are being finalized, but it is clear that despite revenue shortfalls we will meet our financial goals thanks to proactive planning and targeted cost reduction efforts.

To ensure a sound financial plan for 2014-2015, for the first time in recent memory the proposed budget assumes decreases in full-time undergraduate and adult enrollment. This reflects the challenging climate for all higher education institutions, fueled by the declining number of high school graduates in the Mid Atlantic region and increased competition for adult students. It also positions us better to achieve, and hopefully exceed, these goals.

As of mid-July, we are on track to meet our lowered enrollment goal for new first-year students, with positive projected quality and diversity indicators, though transfer students are lagging behind goal and far more financial aid has been expended to meet the demonstrated need of incoming students. As was the case last year in mid-summer, returning student numbers are currently tracking ahead of goal. Important work remains to sustain that progress during July and August by the Retention Council, the EPC, the academic deans and department chairs. New SGAE programs (on-ground and online) should serve to improve enrollment, and there are already some encouraging signs of improvement.

As you know, because of enrollment uncertainty, we have deferred a decision on salary increases until fall, although we already have confirmed that health and all other benefits will continue at no increased cost to employees for 2014-2015.

I will update you on all this at the State of the University and also suggest some new multi-year steps designed to address the enrollment and related challenges facing most of private higher education.

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president's newsletter july 2014

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