JPBC Minutes: September 29, 2022

8:30 – 10:30 a.m., Virtual Meeting via Teams

Attendees

Voting Members
  • Martin Abraham
  • Sondra Aman  
  • Mike Andriatch
  • Austin Busch
  • Frances Dearing
  • Michael Doyle
  • Kristin Hartway 
  • Tegan Hughston
  • Meghan Irving
  • Yin Liu
  • Jose Maliekal
  • Jason Morris
  • Carl O’Connor
  • Heather Raczkowski
  • Janet Roy
  • Mark Stacy
  • Elliot Weininger 
  • Katy Wilson
Non-Voting Members
  • Bob Cushman
  • Eileen Daniel 
  • Damita Davis
  • Crystal Hallenbeck 
  • Mike Harrison
  • Cathy Houston-Wilson
  • Sara Kelly
  • President Macpherson
  • Darson Rhodes: Co-Chair
  • Kevin Rice
  • Taneika Thompson 
  • Melissa Wight

Regrets

Voting Members
  • Tom Hernandez 
Non-Voting Members
  • Karen Riotto
  • Jim Wall: Co-Chair

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

Approval of the Minutes

Dr. Rhodes asked the committee to review the minutes from the September 15, 2022, meeting.  Ms. Aman motioned to approve the minutes; Mr. O’Connor seconded the motion.  11 members voted to approve the minutes.  Therefore, the minutes were approved.

Announcements

The following announcements were made:

  • Tegan Hughston was introduced as one of the Undergraduate Student Representatives.
  • We still have one Undergraduate Student Representative position open. BSG is very close to identifying who that may be.
  • On October 6, the Liberal Arts Building will be renamed in honor of Fannie Barrier Williams.
  • Homecoming/Family Weekend is next weekend.  There are many events to attend and come together as a campus.

Undergraduate Admissions Update

(Note:  Presentation is available on Teams)

Mr. Wyant presented an update on Undergraduate Admissions.  The following questions, answers and discussion points occurred during the presentation:

 

  • Clarification was requested regarding the admit type for first-year students characteristics and whether it was only regular admits or included all first-year students.  It was stated that it includes all first-year students.
  • The question was raised regarding if the composition among first-year students is changing in terms of the proportion of regular admits.  It was stated that admit type percentage has remained fairly level over the past few years. 
  • The question was raised regarding what the cause of the decrease in the percentage of first-year students from Monroe County.  It was stated that the university centers are reaching down further in the applicant pool and that is behind the decrease in the percentage.  It was added that SUNY is working on an enrollment plan for the system.  One thing the comprehensive colleges have asked for is the doctoral colleges to take a more national view for their recruitment.  This request is not in the plan yet.  
  • The question was raised due to the concern over costs to the students that if there is a way to better package our financial aid to compete more effectively with the comprehensive colleges.  It was stated that in reviewing the students that have chosen to go to other colleges due to cost, it was because they chose a SUNY that was closer to home to commute to or a private institution that could provide a better financial aid package. It was added that there will be a marketing campaign focusing on the cost-conscious students and their influencers.  The billboard part of this campaign focuses on scholarships and with our large investment in scholarships three out of four students can get scholarships.  The television campaign is focused on affordability.  We will be assessing what is successful with these areas of the campaign.   
  • The question was raised if we would be better finding ways of increasing our applicant pool instead of focusing on the number of students in the melt figure as increasing the pool may help us lower the melt number.  It was stated that as we are trying to grow the first-year enrollment.  We are looking at many sub populations because the competition it so steep, we need to identify multiple pockets that equal a greater sum.  This way we are taking a macro and micro approach.  We do need to increase our overall deposits to offset any losses we have.  Right now, any student that cancels has a great impact on us.  We do a great job getting students to deposit, but then they leave whether it is one month later, over the summer or they deposit early.  One population that we are looking at are the students that deposit early.  The students that deposit in October and November, we have to hold them for tens months.  We are trying to create some engaging communications with them.  Once they deposit, they are removed from the traditional communication plan and are in the enrolled student communication plan.  We need to engage them in a unique way.  
  • The question was raised regarding if we are going to new areas to recruit transfer students, such as New Jersey where the in-state tuition is higher than our out-of-state tuition.  We were the pioneers in reaching out and recruiting students which gave us a sizeable amount over our sister institutions.  They are catching up with their transfer student numbers, so it may be time to look elsewhere.  It was stated that we are reviewing that information not just for transfer students, but at the out-of-state first year undergraduate level as well.  We invested in our out-of-state tuition scholarship this year and we are trying to get into additional markets.  The New Jersey Community College population is intriguing, it is just a matter of if they are willing to relocate.  If we look back at the transfer melt data, many of the transfer students are looking for flexibility in their programming whether it be online or in-person.  As we look outside of our local area, we need to think about ways to be inclusive to those groups that are coming from a distance, whether it is our completion programs and other items that are coming online will help and will arm us with more tools in our toolbox as we market ourselves.  It was added that there is a discussion at the SUNY level regarding out-of-state tuition match for some flagship institutions. 
  • The suggestion was made regarding the transfer student melt numbers and the issue regarding program delivery format.   As a campus, we should be rethinking the program delivery and that may be an issue and not just demographics.  We may not be supplying what the market wants.  It was stated that we are looking at degree completion programs in partnership with our community colleges.  This is a good market to continue our focus on.  If we look at by program it is easier to market it, locate a specific group of students and to track it.  At this point, we are not seeing our in-coming freshman wanting fully online programs.  So, we want to get our students on campus and give them the residential experience.
  • The question was raised how the question regarding program delivery is framed to the melted students.  It was stated that we provide open ended questions, and the response isn’t just program delivery, it is course flexibility for the transfer students. Some of these students are working adults or post traditional students who are looking for evening or weekend classes.   
  • The question was raised regarding where the best place is to spend money for recruitment given the decrease in the number of local students.  For example, SUNY Geneseo is funding several bus trips from high schools to their campus.  It was stated that Undergraduate Admissions visits primary high schools at least three times a year.  We attend the Rochester Area Colleges College Fair.  Also, we complete high school visits.  In addition, we go back for decision days at the local institutions. There is also the Advisory Council where we meet with the local school counselors twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.  There is a lot of that goes into recruitment dollars and spreading it out.  The name-buy program and now we have 52,223 graduates in our system right now.  That is close to double what we were at last year.  We invested heavily in juniors last fall and we saw a spike in our visits with the juniors in the spring.  We have an amazing viewbook that is going out to all prospective students.  We are close to attending 1,000 college fairs and high school visits this fall which is almost back to pre-pandemic numbers.  It was added that items that were looked at during the SUNY enrollment meeting.  One was community college auto transfer opportunities.  They are reviewing if there is a way to auto admit transfer students from community colleges to certain four-year institutions.  The complexity is do they do it by region or program.  The other item being examined is auto admission program from high schools to community colleges.  Regionally, we are looking at all the neighboring high schools to pilot a program.  Dr. Kelly sent an email to the principals introducing herself and welcoming their partnership.  In addition, shared updates regarding the free application program, the scholarship program and our new program promoting free tickets to events on campus for prospective students and their families.  So far, the communication has been positively received by the five districts that it was sent to.  At least one school sent it to their seniors and their families.      
  • It was stated that SUNY has invested in recruitment, enrollment and retention initiatives.  The College was offered $500,000 and we have submitted a plan to SUNY.  We are waiting for our plan to be approved.  The plan included name buys, out-of-state and transfer scholarships.  All the items we have wanted to do, we will now be able to this year.  If we can show proof of success, we will be able to ask for the funds again in the future.  
  • The concern was raised regarding the possibility that Undergraduate Admissions is not resourced as well as they need to be due to departments having difficulties in reaching admissions staff and getting assistance.  It was stated that all areas of the College are experiencing the staffing concern.  Right now, it is a timing issue because many of the staff are on the road recruiting students.  If there is ever a delay in receiving information, individuals were encouraged to call Mr. Wyant so the query can be addressed.  It was added that there have been discussions about how Admissions can have coverage for all the activities and events on the road and still have more staff in the office.  Plans are being developed to include having Alumni and other individuals involved to help with coverage so that we can have a presence on campus while still doing the main work of recruiting students.   
  • The request was made to address the lack of understanding from some people regarding how general education works with recruiting students. 
  • The question was raised regarding what is SUNY Central leadership response on the enrollment decline especially at the community colleges.  It was stated that SUNY has announced within the last month that the individual that conducted some enrollment management work with SUNY Oswego which resulted in a huge jump in their numbers, has been brought him to lead an overall SUNY enrollment plan goal.  It was added the Brockport agreed to pilot initiatives and collaborate on various areas.  
  • The suggestion was made to communicate to the campus community the change in the Residential Scholars Award for next year from 98 GPA and above to 96 GPA above.  This award theoretically provides free housing for the first year.  With parents and students being very cost conscious, this would be important information for the college community to know and pass on to others. 
  • The question was raised regarding the enrollment projection and if the variables and calculations are being examined due to the projection being so far off this year.  It was stated that the projection was impacted by the pandemic, but we are seeing a rebound now.  The projection in the past had been within half a percent of the actual enrollment.  The calculations are mathematically and there are conversations at the program level with different chairs and coordinators regarding what is being seen in the marketplace.  With the Strategic Enrollment Management, there is more of a focused perspective because we are meeting weekly and looking at key enrollment indicators.  There are a lot more variables being considered, and this should get the projection more closely aligned to the actual enrollment number.  
  • Mr. Wyant and the Admissions staff were thanked for their tremendous work over the year to bring in this great class.

Graduate Admissions Update

(Note:  Presentation is available on Teams)

Mr. Harrison presented an update on Graduate Admissions.  The following questions, answers and discussion points occurred during the presentation:

 

  • The question was raised regarding what proportion of graduate students are from areas outside of Monroe County and is this number growing over the years.  It was stated that the exact statistic was not presently available, but the number is growing largely in part to the online component.  The number of students enrolling in the online programs is not exclusive to students that are out of the area.
  • The question was raised regarding what the top two or three graduate programs that will be growing in over the next few years or are growing now.  It was stated that in terms of the programs that are offered at Brockport the ones that are growing the fastest are linked to professions in the helping fields.  Growth is a relative term.  For example, Nursing has grown significantly, but they have limitations on how many students they can accept.  Some of the growth has been in applications, but not necessarily in enrollments.  The new Masters in Public Health is expecting growth.  This program was approved mid-cycle, so it did not have the benefit of a full cycle of recruitment.  Also, there is growth in the education programs particularly the teacher preparation programs.
  • The request was made for the list of the Combined Degree Accelerated Path Programs.  A link was provided for the list that is located on the web.  
  • The request was made for information on the out-of-state recruitment for graduate programs to be shared and what the online tuition rate is as it is different than in-person. It was stated that historically there has not been out-of-state recruitment and have stayed within NYS for recruitment.  Marketing of graduate programs has also focused in state historically.  There may be opportunities to look out-of-state to do more of that.  There is differential tuition at the graduate level.  There is in-state, out-of-state, online and there are some programs that have a different tuition rate than others.  For example, Masters in Business Administration has a different rate.   For a majority of the graduate programs the in-state tuition rate per credit is $471.  The online tuition rate per credit is $565.  The online rate is only charged to non-resident students enrolled in exclusively online programs.  In-state students are not paying more for online programs.  The out-of-state tuition rate per credit is $963.  It is a significant discount for a student that is out-of-state to enroll in one of our exclusively online programs than if they came to do an in-person program.  

JPBC Working Group

Dr. Rhodes stated that there will be a working group to work on part of our charge that indicates that JPBC should propose recommendations that ensure the campus does not operate under a structural deficit.  The group will be compromised of voting members that are not on Cabinet or Deans.  This is due to Cabinet members and Deans are already heavily involved in the budget process and this will allow for different perspectives.  Ultimately, the working group’s recommendations will come back to JPBC for review before moving to Cabinet.

Strategic Plan Assessment Update

Dr. Rhodes stated that the Strategic Plan Assessment Committee is chaired by Provost Abraham.  They meet on a monthly basis.  Dr. Rhodes serves on the committee to represent JPBC and EHHS.  They met last week and were broken into smaller working groups to get started on some pieces to systemize the process for collecting data relative to the revised Strategic Plan. 

Additional Items from the Committee

President Macpherson shared the following items:

 

  • The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee has begun meeting.  Damita Davis is serving as the Chair of the committee.
  • There will be a forthcoming announcement regarding the Campus Climate Survey that will open in November.  Members were asked to spread the word and encourage campus community members, including students, to complete the survey.  The data is important to the College’s planning process.  

The following additional item was discussed:

 

  • Members were reminded that tomorrow is Green and Gold Friday and encouraged to wear their Brockport apparel.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:17 a.m.

DR/JW/mw