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Recruiting, retention topics of Council meeting

Members of the University Council heard reports about recruiting and retention efforts during a Friday meeting.

In introducing the topics, President Lois B. DeFleur noted that students who consider coming to Binghamton are also applying to top schools such as New York University, Cornell University and the University of Michigan.

“The environment is extremely competitive,” she said. Sandra Starke, vice provost for enrollment management, shared some statistics that illustrate the caliber of student choosing to come to Binghamton.

She noted that the average SAT scores of freshmen are rising, from 1208 in 2000 to 1264 this year. About 25 percent now have a score of 1340 or higher and more than 90 percent have taken an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate class, making them top students with many options.

Starke said Binghamton considers private colleges and universities in New York its prime competitors for these students. She shared copies of the Universitys new viewbook, which begins with the question: “Can I get more out of a public university than an Ivy League school?”

She said Binghamton emphasizes its diversity; culture of achievement, leadership and exploration; and global citizenship when talking to prospective students.

“They mentor one another, they support one another,” Starke said of Binghamton students. “Theyre competing against an ideal.” Nancy Stamp, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, said recruiting is also going well at the graduate level, with a 1 percent increase in applications. One-third of graduate applicants are international, she added, a number that has held steady even as the national trend has been an overall decline in applications from other countries.

David Hagerbaumer, director of campus life; and Kimberly Kroll, assistant director of campus life, then spoke about the Universitys efforts to retain students, including the particulars of freshmen and transfer orientation programs.

“Campus life is about connections,” Hagerbaumer said. His view is that orientation really begins the first time a student picks up the viewbook or sets foot on campus and lasts through the end of freshman year.

“We need to establish very powerful partnerships across the University,” he said. “Every one of us plays a role.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08