President's Message: Focusing on Strategic Enrollment Management
Dear UHD Community,
During my recent Report to the Community, I addressed the University of Houston-Downtown’s enrollment. UHD’s strategic efforts in the areas of student success have produced great results with graduation and retention rates significantly improving. Although we’ve made gains in student success, our enrollment has remained flat. This is especially so at the undergraduate level where over the past three years, we have dropped almost 10 percent in semester credit hours.
UHD’s enrollment growth is a critical issue as 2018 approaches. The legislative base year begins in summer 2018 and extends through spring 2019. It is imperative for the University to increase enrollment, while not sacrificing our advances in student success, during this period to remain eligible for performance-based funding. This is a relatively short time frame, so it is crucial that we focus our energies on strengthened enrollment management strategies heading into 2018.
To ensure that enrollment goals are met, the Office of the President will award new grants to each of the five college deans. These one-time grants are intended to directly increase spring, summer, and fall 2018 enrollments and student credit hours. The deans will administer the funds at their discretion to incentivize programs and activities that increase the college’s enrollments, especially at the undergraduate level. Additionally, I am restructuring staffing in key enrollment-related areas to allow greater focus on strategic enrollment and growth activities.
As of today, I am naming Dr. Tomikia LeGrande as vice president of strategic enrollment management to oversee initiatives aimed at growing the University’s enrollment. These include increasing new student populations and identifying new target markets. Dr. LeGrande also will partner with UHD’s colleges to increase advising, enrollment and student persistence to graduation. She will also continue to lead another priority that is significant to UHD, namely the multi-year PeopleSoft implementation project. She will, of course, continue to serve as a senior member of my leadership cabinet.
To allow for Dr. LeGrande’s added focus on strategic enrollment management, Samuel Santos, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, will report to Ed Hugetz, interim senior vice president for academic and student affairs.
UHD continues to gain traction in many areas. We’re coming off a record fundraising year, and our campus is growing. Good things are happening at UHD, but there’s more work to be done. This realignment is one step toward ensuring that our University continues its success well into and beyond the next legislative session. I am confident that we can meet the enrollment target outlined in the recently revised UHD Strategic Plan, which is to reach 15,400 students by 2020.
Realizing this goal will be a team effort, and I know that we have the right personnel in place to achieve this next milestone for UHD.
Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz