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ChancellorJuly 27, 2023

Enrollment, Planning on Chancellor's Mind

Happy Wednesday. I am writing to provide you with a very brief campus update.

Enrollment: As you can imagine, we are keeping a watchful eye on enrollment for fall 2023. Although our day-to-day enrollment is very volatile and open to dramatic change based on registration events and faculty/staff availability, we have experienced a small but encouraging increase in registration for our first time freshman. Also, we anticipate an increase in housing occupancy and meal plan utilization. This is great news for two main reasons: 1) Research shows that students who live on campus are more likely to be retained and graduate, and 2) students who live on campus are more likely to participate in student engagement and development activities which contributes to a vibrant campus environment. 

Mane Event (New Student Orientation): We have one remaining Mane Event on Friday, July 28.  We are expecting hundreds of new students and their families again this week, so let’s all do our best to ensure that the campus looks great and that we are prepared to welcome them. 

Despite the rain last Friday, we had 216 students and 168 guests on campus for Mane Event. Thanks to all of you for your hard work to provide a great experience for all of our guests and new students. I want to give my thanks to all of our employees who welcome and work with new students and their families at these events.

Summer Work Schedule: Our last week of the summer work schedule is July 31-August 4, and our last half-day Friday for summer will be on August 4. Beginning on August 7, we return to our regular schedule with offices open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday. I appreciate all of the flexibility this summer schedule has afforded our employees and look forward to continuing our summer work hours in the future.

Facility Damage/Water Intrusion:  Recent strong storms have caused us to experience problems across campus. Few buildings have remained completely dry, and we have spent quite a bit of time and money on leak repairs and water cleanup.  I extend my gratitude to employees in Plant Operations and SSC for their hard work and long hours in our facilities this summer. I also am grateful for the employees who helped with office cleaning and water extraction.  If you notice any type of water leak in a facility, please contact Plant Operations between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 479-788-7171 or the University Police Department between 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. and on weekends at 479-799-7140. We want to repair leaks and clean up water in our facilities as quickly as possible to avoid further damage.

Chancellor’s Cabinet Retreat: For the past two days, members of the Chancellor’s Cabinet have participated in our annual planning retreat. I want to extend a big thanks to Provost Shadow Robinson and Institutional Research Director Brett Arrington who arranged for our campus leadership team to learn from a team from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education about ways to maximize productivity formula funding. Bottom line: The majority of the funding is based on student recruitment, retention, persistence, and timely credential completion. We have several new strategies to consider which may increase our funding.

Yesterday afternoon, we heard from the five Higher Learning Commission Criterion Committees about the evidence they have collected to begin writing our institutional self-study report. The HLC reaffirmation visit will be held in February 2025, and the committees have been working intently for the past year to compile assurance evidence and begin drafting portions of the report. You will definitely hear more about this over the next year.

Today, I met with the cabinet members to review all of the strategies in the UAFS 2023-28 Strategic Plan to document tactics and key performance indicators to be analyzed. We also discussed annual reports made to the campus community about our priorities and progress toward our strategic plan goals. The plans will include resource requests which will guide the UAFS Budget Council as they consider future resource allocation.

As we concluded our planning today I realized how ready I am to bring faculty and students back to campus for fall 2023. We are busy preparing for your arrival and excited about some of the changes and investments we have made to ensure a great semester for learning and working at UAFS.

Highest regards,

Terisa Riley


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