How Does This Figure in Our Strategic Plans?

Our institution is basically a California school (~82% UG, ~83% G). Four other states send us a over 9 undergrads but all the rest are single digits. By contrast Berkeley and UCLA have over 20% out of state.

On the one hand, that suggests that we are more of a California state school (or less of a national school) than are some state institutions. On the other hand, it’s good for our bottom line if California students’ places at UCs are taken by out of state students.

But now that will change.

According to the UC Newsroom: “The University of California will significantly boost enrollment of California freshman and transfer students next year.

The UC Board of Regents today (Nov. 19) approved a budget plan to enroll an additional 10,000 California undergraduates over the next three years, including 5,000 freshman and transfer students in 2016-17. 

Under the plan, all nine UC campuses that educate undergraduates will enroll more California students.

Insofar as our business model includes picking up qualified students who do not get into Berkeley but want to study in the Bay Area, this good news for California’s students might be disconcerting news for us.  Five thousand students over 10 campuses might mean only 500 at UCB and only half of them women. But say 1 in 20 of them would have considered Mills: that’s maybe a quarter million in net revenue.

There might be a glimmer of a bright side: the plan also includes adding up to 600 more graduate students to the system – if we can be a producer of same, options for our alumnae increase. It’s a safe guess this won’t compete with our graduate programs since most of ours are probably not in the high undergraduate demand column.

The absence of things like this (that is, external policy changes that can have outsized impact on what we are doing – the “free” community college initiative, for example) on our radar screen suggest (confirm) a dangerously parochial perspective and do not bode well for future success.

Do Faculty Matter? Effects of Faculty Participation in University Decisions

This paper models the effects of faculty participation in university decision making.  Its findings suggest that by affecting academic quality, faculty participation provides a net benefit to the institution compared to scenarios in which faculty are excluded from decision making.   

The model’s assumptions about institutional quality and how enrollment depends on it strike me as too simple even if a good starting point and I’m not enough of a modeler to assess the quality of the model, but it is nice to see the question framed formally.  The benefits of clear thinking may outweigh shortcomings. It might be more of a conversation starter than exhortations based on things like representation or the right of participation.