STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State is anticipating a "manageable and planned increase" in enrollment this fall.
Recruiting efforts by the entire university community, from alumni throughout the nation to President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong's two-week tour of high schools during the spring, are among factors being credited with the anticipated enrollment increase for the fall 2007 semester compared to a year ago.
With one last freshman orientation session scheduled this summer, associate student affairs vice president Lisa Harris said the campus community can expect more students on campus when classes begin on Aug. 20.
"The Bulldog Nation has come together," Harris said. "Everyone understands that it's all our jobs to ensure successful recruitment."
Since becoming MSU president last year, Foglesong has said the land-grant institution needs to have a steady, incremental annual enrollment growth of about 300-500 students. In response, Harris and others in the Division of Student Affairs have intensified the recruiting of freshmen and transfer students as part of FutureState 2015, the university's long-term plan for enrollment, research, faculty, and economic development.
"We have realistic, managed growth that allows the university to handle enrollment increases," Foglesong said Tuesday. "Our plan ensures that we have appropriate faculty and other university resources necessary for student enrollment increases."
Mississippi State's total fall 2006 enrollment was 16,206, while its freshman class numbered 1,911. Official numbers cannot be released until after the semester's final enrollment day has passed.
Foglesong said many other factors are contributing to the institution's expected increased enrollment. He said a unified recruiting strategy is key to encouraging students to attend Mississippi State.
The institution's chief executive had special praise for two critical factors that have contributed to students' choice of MSU: alumni living throughout the country--and the world--who have been contacting potential Bulldogs, and the university's high-quality research and academic programs.
"It's hard to say 'no' to Mississippi State when students see everything the university offers students from academics to honors programs to leadership activities," Foglesong said.
Foglesong, a retired Air Force four-star general, also has initiated a leadership training continuum aimed at students from high school through graduate school. Other campus improvements include new residence halls, major landscaping improvements and a new dining services operation.
He said a final enrollment factor is the university's highly organized retention program. In 2005, the most recent year with statistics available, 82.4 percent of freshmen returned for their sophomore year at the university, which is among the highest in the school's long history, he observed.
NEWS EDITORS/DIRECTORS: Dr. Foglesong may be reached for additional comments at 662-325-3221.
For other information on recruiting and retention, contact Dr. Harris at 325-2279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.