The East Carolina University Board of Trustees University Affairs committee met on Thursday in the Main Campus Student Center room 249 to discuss prevalent issues and find ways to improve the university.
Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson said he is no longer the acting Provost and welcomed Grant Hayes as ECU’s acting Provost.
Mitchelson said the first-year applicant rates have increased as compared to past years. However, despite the increase in first-year applicants, there has been a decrease in transfer applicants.
“I don’t want to be Carolina (UNC-Chapel Hill), but I like NC State, but we are a fantastic university that provides access to first-generation college students, students of color, low-income students and a lot more selectivity, that’s the way I think about it,” Mitchelson said.
While admission is high, Mitchelson said this isn’t going to change because ECU prides itself on allowing students from all backgrounds a place to study and be themselves.
ECU denied 4,000 high school and transfer students who applied, Mitchelson said. He said ECU is still trying to get away from the stigma that it’s an “easy” school or a party school, but it is a school that can pride itself on allowing all students from various backgrounds to have the best possible education.
During the discussion, Clint Bailey, director of marketing strategy, presented undergraduate recruitment and discussed how ECU was in the top three for bringing in the largest freshman class. While competing with NC State, among other schools, for the highest acceptance rate, ideas are marketed to students early and follow them in the recruitment and admittance process, he said.
“We deliver quality content and it is on target to who the recipient is and where they are in their process,” Bailey said.
To continue bringing in more students, Bailey said ECU is going to start marketing earlier than the student’s junior and senior years. The university is now starting as early as elementary school to promote ECU and in this way, they can start creating a goal for the future and competing with peers, he said.
Bailey continued to discuss marketing strategies and went in-depth regarding targeted communication. Targeted communications that the marketing department at ECU has been practicing are recruiting people through academic sites such as AP, ACT and SAT, he said. When they purchase the names from these academic sites they start sending them emails about different events going on for them on campus, Bailey said.
Stephanie Whaley, assistant vice chancellor and director of Admissions, presented alongside Bailey discussing recruiting students earlier than their junior senior years of high school.
“We are going to start looking younger so instead of junior/senior, it’ll start sophomore year but also starting in the elementary/middle school ages,” Whaley said.
Personal recruitment is the next step in recruiting students because more students respond better to coming to the campus and taking a tour, Whaley said. Another way ECU works to recruit prospective students is through high school fairs, off-campus recruitment events and admission counselors across the state, she said.
For the remainder of the semester, the ECU counseling center is no longer accepting appointments because it is completely booked, Virginia Hardy, Vice Chancellor Student Affairs, said. With depression and anxiety being number one coming into the clinic, the university is trying to find a way for students to still help the help they need, Hardy said.
BOT member Max Joyner spoke on cases of the mold in residence halls on campus, but Hardy said this is getting cleaned and will be discussed at the next board meeting in December.