Enrollment Update

Dear members of the Loyola community,

It has been a little over a month since my last message about the enrollment projections for our incoming class. Since that time, the University has been working diligently to increase enrollment in order to reduce a projected budget shortfall. I am very proud of the efforts made to date and I thank everyone for their input and ideas, as well as for their hard work and dedication toward meeting this challenge. I must relay, however, that there is still much to be done to balance our budget.

First, I would like to recognize the work that has taken place recently to impact enrollment and address this budget challenge. Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Marc Manganaro and several members of the University community have come together in committees over the summer to address various enrollment and curricular issues. The University has also seen some restructuring in order to streamline and improve its recruiting and enrollment processes. Following Sal Liberto’s resignation, Roberta Kaskel agreed to serve as Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management while remaining in her role as Director of the Career Development Center. Liz Rainey, Director of Retention and Student Success, will now temporarily report to Dr. Thom Spence, Vice Provost for Institutional Research, Assessment, and Student Success. Carrie Glass was recently hired as the new Director of Financial Aid and is assisting us on a range of matters including recruitment and net revenue goals.

Our Enrollment Management team, Student Affairs representatives, and select faculty members have taken every possible step to enroll more students, personally reaching out to every admitted student as well as to all of those who have made deposits. I am pleased to report that headway has been made in increasing first-year undergraduate deposits to 655, up from 591 reported on May 17. However, as I mentioned in my previous letter, we do not expect to meet our enrollment goal of 875 new first-year students and are now looking at a more likely scenario of 600 first-year students after anticipated summer “melt.” On a positive note, College of Law enrollment has exceeded projections and is anticipating an incoming class of 205 first-year law students over an expected class size of 185. Deposits are also tracking favorably for the University to meet its goal of 130 transfer students this fall.

With our continued commitment to renew institutional aid awards to returning students, and a higher than expected yield of institutional aid for the incoming class, the institutional financial aid expenditures for AY 13-14 are higher than originally budgeted.

Considering all these factors, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jay Calamia has estimated a total budget shortfall of $9.5 million for FY 2013-14. As a result, we must consider several difficult options to balance the budget. The most immediate of these is a hiring freeze which takes effect August 1. Other options that are being considered include:

  • reducing the salary budget by voluntary retirement/severance plans
  • reducing some 37.5-hour positions to 30-hour positions, and some 12-month positions to 10-month positions
  • lowering employer-paid fringe benefits
  • taking an additional draw from the endowment.

To balance the budget, it is likely that we will utilize several of the options above. These options will be implemented throughout the upcoming fiscal year. The University will hire a compensation benefits consulting firm to provide guidance in changes to employee benefits and voluntary retirement packages.

In looking to the future, a committee of University leaders has been formed to guide and monitor enrollment management issues for the short- and long-term. This committee, chaired by Dr. Manganaro, will be working closely with Enrollment Management on issues such as pricing and setting enrollment and net revenue targets. The University will also hire a national enrollment management consulting firm to assist us in these efforts as well as on all phases of enrollment management including marketing, admissions operations, and financial aid leveraging.

Loyola is not alone in facing reduced enrollment and budget cuts. Much of the recent national discussion concerning higher education has surrounded the issues of the value of a college degree and its affordability. In the coming months, we will address our pricing models and the best use of our institutional aid dollars in order to make a Loyola education more affordable. It is imperative that we come together as a University community to develop effective solutions to these issues. I assure you Loyola will overcome this challenge and will continue to provide our students with a great academic experience in the Jesuit tradition.

With prayers and best wishes,


 

 Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D.
President
 9 July 2013