Colorado State University-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare discussed the future of the Wolf Creek Project, the initiative to increase semester contact hours and ongoing efforts to increase enrollment when she addressed the Associated Students’ Government on Nov. 7.
The decline in enrollment this year has played a part in the shelving of the Wolf Creek landscaping project. The proposal would cost close to $1 million and with fewer students on campus, Di Mare said the university would not proceed with the project.
The funds allocated by the university for Wolf Creek will be used to help with recruitment and retention of current students as well as other vital campus initiatives. Di Mare said monies from the ASG that were allocated for the project would remain in the bank for future projects.
If enrollment numbers improve significantly in the future, the Wolf Creek project may be resurrected and students would have input in the process at that time.
Di Mare discussed issues surrounding the initiative that would increase the existing 15 week semester to 16 weeks. There has been an investigation into the current number of instructional hours and there is a possibility that some classes fall below the required number. If this is found to be true, the university must correct the discrepancy and comply with federal law. A full report will be available as soon as the investigation is complete.
Recruitment and retention was a focus of Di Mare’s address to the ASG. She outlined the many plans the university is working on to increase future enrollment.
Scholarships have been repackaged into five different categories, and so far, this has been a successful effort with the number of applications jumping from 29 last year to 243 this year.
This is the first year that CSU-Pueblo has done serious advertising, which includes billboards on I-25.
There is a plan to work with area high schools to encourage students to take college classes before they graduate. This concurrent enrollment will bring future students onto campus earlier and will help CSU-Pueblo be more competitive.
REV 89’s recognition by Billboard magazine as one of the top college radio stations in the country will be a huge publicity boost, according to Di Mare. She compared it to $1 million worth of free advertising for the university.
The efforts to retain current students have been very successful this year. The number of first year freshmen continuing into spring has doubled and Di Mare hopes this trend will continue.
Breakfast with the President is scheduled for Wed. Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. in the Aspen Room of the OUC. Di Mare invited all to attend and said she hopes to have updates on the semester hours initiative to present at the event.
ASG President Vanessa Emerson elaborated on Di Mare’s discussion, saying there are several smaller ideas being considered by the University Leadership Team.
In addition to the 16-week proposal, changes to summer semester schedules and the addition of community time were examined. During the community time, no classes would be in session and students would be able to freely participate in campus activities. Events would be scheduled during the community time to maximize attendance.
Emerson also said a two to three year schedule was discussed. The schedule would lay out what classes will be offered each semester in subsequent years which will make degree planning easier.
She said that all of these changes are in the discussion phase and there will be continued deliberation.
Vice President Michael Weiner reported on the Health Advisory Committee. He said that nursing students are required to have a tuberculosis test and the on-campus health center is out of the vaccine, which is on backorder. Students are being sent off campus to get the test and the cost is significantly higher. The committee is concerned that students should not be required to pay the higher cost and will be looking into solutions.
Weiner also said that flu shots are still available at the health center.
Work on issues such as biweekly pay, the organization of a housing advisory committee and changes in the strategic plan are all ongoing and no further information was presented.
The next meeting of the ASG will be Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. in the OUC Room 201. Attendance is open to all.