Welcome to 2012, the Year of the Dragon, in Chinese culture. Dragons are driven, unafraid of challenges, successful, willing to take risks, and passionate in all that they do. The qualities of the dragon are not unlike those of our university community and ones that have taken us to where we are today and will continue to propel us toward our vision of becoming a premier liberal arts university.
Due to these shared qualities, this year we submitted to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WV HEPC) our fall 2011 census information that indicates many successes were achieved. We experienced a headcount (HC) increase of 3.8 percent and full-time equivalency (FTE) of 2.4 percent. Of degree-seeking students, 32 percent, or 1,275 students, utilize on-campus housing. West Virginia residents comprise 60 percent of Shepherd's population. Overall this fall, degree-seeking enrollment went up, university retention increased slightly, graduation rates reached their highest level in university history, selectivity improved yet again, and full housing capacity was attained.
However, with successes come challenges and questions. With our immediate enrollment goals achieved, it is time the Shepherd community begins to look ahead. President Shipley began the discussion at the Fall Assembly by providing facts, challenges, and questions around next steps. This was followed up by my annual presentation to the Board of Governors in November with the same questions. This will culminate in a campuswide retreat during this spring semester.
Enrollment is the beneficiary of a collegial, dedicated, and collaborative faculty, staff, and administration who believe the idea of working together toward a common vision, key factors in making Shepherd a great place to work. Additionally, alumni ranked their relationships with their faculty, staff, and fellow students highest among their favorite memories of their time at Shepherd. The sense of community and the importance the community places on relationships is very evident at Shepherd. By working at Shepherd University, you contribute to the strengthening of these relationships that make up the warmth and beauty of our campus community.
Thank you for making Shepherd University what it is today and shaping it for tomorrow!
Enrollment Management Committee: