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Monday, April 18, 2016

Update on retention, marketing, and climate survey

Dear colleagues,

As we near the end of the semester, it is that busy and exciting time of year. So many things have been going on it is hard to cover them all but I want to share a few with you.

On April 10, the impressive student award nominees and winners were celebrated and they never fail to amaze me. Speaking of award winners, LSBE financial markets junior Travis Eisenbacher not only won UMD student employee of the year but he also won Minnesota's student employee of the year. Read about his story . Our dance team took second place at nationals. And our engineering students showcased their PyroGlove Air Force invention project to local media.  Yesterday, I saw an outstanding UMD theatre production of Spring Awakening and you can watch the show trailer. There are several other fine arts performances and additional campus events over the next few weeks, and I encourage you to support them.

There has also been a lot of activity and progress with our faculty administrative restructuring task force.  I expect to receive their recommendation this week and will communicate more about that after I've had a chance to review their recommendations.  

Retention Update
Speaking of students, I'd like to share an opportunity from our Strategic Enrollment Management committee and encourage your participation. Visit the SEM website to learn about their call for grant proposals to support action items aligned with improving student success and retention. Your efforts in this area will help us achieve our goal to increase first to second year undergraduate student retention from the current 76% to our goal of 80% by Fall 2018. Proposals are due May 2.

I also want to thank everyone involved in helping to create and implement action items as part of our retention efforts under the 4-Pros framework . There is a lot of impressive work being done to strengthen student success and I look forward to continuing to watch these and other initiatives unfold. Please take a few minutes to review the SEM retention action plan and if you have questions, ideas, or would like further discussion please contact Mary Keenan.

Marketing Update
Along with retention and recruitment comes messaging. As you know, we are working on a new UMD marketing campaign to replace Those Who Can, Duluth. The University Marketing and Public Relations office in conjunction with Admissions has been working with an advertising agency to develop three potential concepts for our new campaign. Efforts have been underway all semester and some of you may have already seen the creative concepts.

At the moment and for the next couple weeks, the team will continue to share and collect feedback on three different marketing concepts.  Both prospective and current students along with faculty and staff will be involved in this process. Some of you have been in discussions about this already and the rest of you will be provided an electronic survey with the creative samples for your feedback. You are our brand ambassadors and we need your input and support in this effort.

Climate Survey - Save September 13
As well, I wanted to put a date on your calendars for the Fall.  The Campus Climate Survey Working Group has been working on plans to share the results of our campus climate survey.  We have flagged Tuesday, September 13 as the date to conduct two sessions for students, faculty, and staff to learn and discuss the results.  More information on time and location to come.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the nice weather.  


Lendley C. Black