Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A tale of two campuses

While a top University of Akron officer was explaining  how the school was desperately trying to reverse its enrollment losses with initiatives short of a national military draft, rival Kent State University boasted  of continued growth.

KSU's latest numbers in the Beacon Journal reported a record high of  3,045 new enrollees for the spring semester, numbers that have grown for seven consecutive years.  Total population for the school's  seven regional campuses in 2015 was 41,005. The school  attributed some  of the good news to an increase in international students.

Meantime, Crain's Cleveland Business carried a less  positive picture  by Lawrence Burns, UA vice president of advancement,  that set out several channels for the school's efforts to recruit students - including having some of them urge their off-campus friends so set foot in a Zippy classroom.  The whole tone of the Burns article seemed to say,  "We're doing the best we can, folks".

Crain's article noted UA's enrollment  was down 600 from March a year ago.

One factor in the decline, Burns said, could be negative media reports from faculty, contributors, alums   and others  while  the campus turmoil  has grown since the arrival on campus of President Scott Scarborough in June 2014.

What Team Scarborough has yet to acknowledge is that  you can't  fix UA's image problems with feel-good public relations, trustee silence, nor students asking their friends to join as if it were a fraternity or sorority.

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