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A September update from President Marrero

September 6, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

September is here and we are well into the fall semester marked with the official start of football season. It was awesome to see all of our fans, students, our Southern Pride Marching Band, National Champion cheerleaders, and Eagle Football team celebrate our first home victory of the season against Morgan State.  Next is Nebraska…Go Eagles! 

Off the field, as updated in my State of University address, we continue to work every opportunity to support our fall semester enrollment.  This has been a full-on effort to ensure we maximize our enrollment and limit our projected decline.  We appreciate everyone’s help allowing students to enroll through the first week of classes and a special thanks to our faculty and departments for developing additional courses for the mini-mester that begins in early October. Final enrollment numbers will come in mid-October and we will share an update with the university community at that time.

As you know, enrollment is tied to budget, and we are currently moving through our budget prioritization process for Fiscal Year 2024. This month we will be prioritizing our projected reduction scenario, evaluating our needs assessment, and identifying where redirection opportunities exist. We will then begin crafting initial drafts of the institutional budget narrative for our annual submission to the University System, which is due November 14.  It is my goal that everyone is aware of each step in this process.  We will share information via Faculty Senate, Staff Council, campus email and website posting; and you should also receive information directly from your supervisor and/or divisional vice president.  Please let us know if you have any questions throughout this process.

As we actively plan for our future success and alignment to market, I have tasked a group of almost 30 faculty and staff members from across the university with developing a short-term and long-term plan, aligned with our strategic priorities, to ensure the future growth and vitality of the Armstrong Campus in Savannah.  The Armstrong Task Force, co-chaired by Dr. Scot Lingrell, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dr. Carl Reiber, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, will work alongside the Strategic Enrollment Executive Council to reimagine all aspects of the Armstrong Campus to enhance future enrollment and campus success. The task force will rely heavily on data, with a charge to think differently. Enrollment Management leaders recently completed an exhaustive analysis of trend enrollment data at the program level to gain a better understanding of what enrollment changes occurred pre- and post- consolidation at each of our campuses. 

My charge to the committee is to rely on this and other data to do two things:

  1. Quickly develop and highlight 4-6 academic programs that can be marketed and used to increase enrollment for fall 2023.
  2. Develop a long-term plan to differentiate the Armstrong Campus as a unique and critical component of Georgia Southern University that will serve the potential enrollment markets and geographic area it serves. This could include academic program development, methods of delivery, innovation in instruction, student services, student engagement programs, and all other services impacting student enrollment and success.

To actively communicate our process and to garner your feedback and ideas, please visit this website for information: https://president.georgiasouthern.edu/armstrong-task-force/

Finally, as we communicate our belief in the transformational power of educational attainment, we need to also articulate the return on investment our graduates will experience — earning well over $1 million more during their lifetimes with a bachelor’s degree than without one!  Earning a degree, whether directly out of high school or as a non-traditional adult learner, is clearly a worthwhile investment.  Last month, the University System launched a new website, Georgia Degrees Pay, providing comparative information on cost of attendance, student success indicators, and annual average salary earnings by academic discipline one, five and ten years after graduation.  Georgia Southern has a great story to tell with overall cost, graduation rates, and earnings of its graduates.  But we know we can do even better… 

With the launch of our new career-ready initiativeReady Day 1, our goal is to embed career preparation throughout the academic enterprise with the goal of preparing students to be ready for the workforce on day one! Through high-impact practices, career-readiness competencies, and career assessment tools that keep pace with market expectations, we will equip our students to be successful beyond our doors!

Sincerely,
Kyle

Last updated: 9/12/2022