The University of Texas at Arlington
The Administrative Council met Tuesday, February 6, 2000 at 2:15 p.m. in the University Center Concho Room. President Robert E. Witt presided.
Enrollment Update. Dana Dunn, Vice President for Academic Affairs, gave an update on enrollment for Spring 2001 semester. She stated that, even though the official enrollment would not be available until after the 20th class day (the 12th of February), by all indications, this semester should be the fifth consecutive semester of enrollment increases.
Enrollment Management. Mary Ridgeway, Vice President for Undergraduate Affairs and Student Affairs, introduced the Interim Director of Admissions, George Norton. He then briefly presented new enrollment management procedures that UT Arlington has implemented. The most substantial change is that UTA has shifted to a data-based decision making process, on the recommendation of Noel-Levitz, the consulting firm that has been working with the administration for several months. Another model now being implemented is the “funnel” admissions process. The key to success with this method is to analyze and enhance the conversion rate at each point in the funnel. With this process, the recruiter now competes against him/herself to improve admission rates. Recruiters are also now e-mailing and inviting new applicants to the university to participate in campus programs. The Interim Director is planning meetings with Deans to describe the new recruiting procedures.
Mary Ridgeway then announced that improvement had been noticed in the area of student retention. Data show that with new programs in place, there is now an 85% retention rate between year 1 and year 2. In addition, Arlington Hall residents taking part in the Honors College have a 97% retention rate. 92% of the Maverick Scholars participants have returned in the Spring with an overall average GPA of 2.54. The successful Gateway Program, with 190 students in the Fall, has seen 128 students return for the Spring (67%).
Dr. Ridgeway then announced that after finishing 25 years of service, she is going to be in a new role for UTA in the Fall 2001. Resigning from her Vice Presidential appointment, she will become the Director for Community and Service-Learning Programs at UTA. In this role, Dr. Ridgeway’s mission is to continue building ties within the community, as well as “to enhance student learning, foster civic responsibility, improve civic literacy and assist with meeting community needs.”
President Witt gave a brief report on the Legislative Session. The UT System is campaigning for a tuition increase and there is a feeling of optimism that it will be approved. The general mood in Austin is supportive of higher education, but questions are being asked about why the cost of education has increased so substantially. Dr. Witt will be spending two or more days a week in Austin during this legislative session. The University is also represented by Director of Governmental Relations, Kate Kettles, who will be spending a great deal of time in Austin.
The recent fire on campus was a lesson for us all. Fortunately no one was injured and there was very little damage done to the building. However, the realization that 8 buildings on campus had no fire alarms has resulted in immediate action. The Fire Marshall has recognized that UT Arlington has gone beyond their recommendations to assure safety. New alarm systems are being installed as an ongoing project. In addition, there are now patrols in place in the buildings where there is not fire alarm coverage. President Witt has asked for funding from the UT System to offset the additional costs. In the meantime, the departments on campus have been asked to take a hard look at areas where materials have been stored. Representatives from the Physical Plant are cleaning out these areas and disposing of the unused materials.
From the floor, a question was asked about PUF funds being diverted. President Witt answered that no legislation had been introduced regarding PUF funds. In addition, the highly emotional issue of health insurance benefits for K-12 teachers and university faculty and staff is receiving considerable attention.
Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.
Recorded by Jackie Stempel