UT registrar and admissions expect smooth merge for studentsWritten by Tony Gonzalez | | email@example.com
Although a new registration system will kick in for UT students in 2008, enrollment divisions of the newly merged institution expect a smooth transition this fall.
“We want none of this to go bump in the night,” said Rob Sheehan, associate vice provost. “It really should be business as usual for the students involved.”
The main campus curriculum remains the same, but Larry Burns, vice president for enrollment, marketing and communications, said the merger put the university in a league with few schools in terms of professional programs.
“We’re pretty excited about being able to market the new university of Toledo,” said Kevin Kucera, associate vice president of enrollment services. “The breadth of curriculum really puts the University of Toledo in a pretty elite group of college universities across the country.”
Kucera said he believes new synergies between departments, such as between the law and medical schools, will attract stronger students during heavy fall recruiting. The university expects increased interest and enrollment, if not in August, by spring.
“The merger is enough in itself to get the attention, then we have to deliver the programs and the service,” Burns said.
But recruiters will not rely on merger attention.
“A lot of us right now, in particular the enrollment services area, now combined with marketing and communications, we are meeting daily to come up with new innovative ways to communicate with students,” Burns said. “Bringing together designers and PR people and recruiters has created a kind of exciting synergy and atmosphere within our institution.”
UT will present a new branding logo in August. Enrollment services have received a number of inquiries from new billboards and print ads.
Enticing new students
Burns said the college will pursue adult and transfer students with more resources.
“We want to re-emphasize transfer students,” Burns said, and cited a meeting with Owens Community College as early progress.
UT plans to offer more night and weekend classes for adult students, with a full slate ready in January 2007. Burns said the university will use scholarship funds to target Michigan’s Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.
“We’re going after those students. Being only five or six miles from the state border, our biggest populations are in Michigan,” Burns said. “Michigan was on the radar but now it’s a priority.”
With the new recruiting focus comes a re-dedication to serving students, Burns said.
“We want to be, in the very near future, the most student-centered university in the region,” he said. “I believe students will see a friendlier attitude.”
Burns said the university could surpass other colleges with similar course offerings in terms of serving visitors, students, and student families.
“I think we’re going to set the standard, there are other places that aren’t so student-friendly that sort of live off their reputation … we’re going to create a reputation,” Burns said.
University Registrar Lorinda Bishop said a single registration will be ready for January 2008. Until that time, returning students will enroll as in the past. The new system will incorporate distance learners as well.
This summer the College of Nursing converted to WebCT, an electronic learning systems provider, to match the main campus.
“As we merge you can imagine what it would be like to have learning modules at one place and students at another place,” said Susan Batten, undergraduate dean for the nursing program. “WebCT [is] online; easy to get into, there’s outside technical support. We decided to make the merge now.”
Batten said the university information services have, “knocked themselves out to make things smooth.”