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YSU’s Dunn outlines plans

Published: Wed, August 14, 2013 @ 7:18 p.m.

Social media must be integrated into marketing to students

YSU’s Dunn outlines plans


Youngstown State University President Randy Dunn will focus on three strategic directions — enrollment, engagement and excellence — during his term.

“We have to build enrollment,” Dunn told members of the Youngstown Rotary at their Wednesday meeting at the YMCA. “We have the capacity to be in the 15,000-plus range.”

Dunn, who began his term as YSU’s eighth president July 15, was the club’s featured speaker.

YSU has seen enrollment slip the last two years, a couple of years after near-record numbers. Fall 2012 enrollment slipped 5 percent to 13,813, compared with fall 2011’s 14,540.

The number of students enrolled also fell the previous year from 15,194 in fall 2010 to 14,540 in fall 2011. It must look at the range from which it draws students and implement social media in marketing.

Years ago, prospective college students would get brochures in the mail touting campus virtues, but today’s students aren’t interested in that.

“They want to get some information on their smart phone and have a texting relationship with the recruiter,” Dunn said.

The new initiatives to increase enrollment must be given time to gain traction and if they don’t, then discussions will have to occur about rightsizing the university, he said.

As far as engagement, Dunn said the community and the region are tightly linked with YSU and vice versa.

“We need to look at what we can do to elevate that,” he said.

More also can be done to emphasize the excellence occurring on campus in research, faculty talent and stories of both traditional and non-traditional students.

“By doing that we can raise our reputational profile,” Dunn said.

An Illinois native, Dunn came to YSU after nearly 10 years as president of Murray State University in Murray, Ky. Before that, he worked as state schools superintendent.


1Jgb20(4 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Social media has little to do with what college you choose. That's a gimmick if I've ever heard one.

Enrollment, in my opinion, shouldn't be a goal in and of itself. Enrollment is a result of many factors, some are controllable while others aren't. If you focus on quality and affordability than enrollment takes care of itself.

YSU should look to be a bang-for-your-buck university. Focus on providing quality programs at a reasonable price. Figure out what programs work and invest in those, see what programs don't provide the level of quality students expect and cut them out over time. It's better to do a few things well than a breadth of things poorly.

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2republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

gdog statements are indicative of a stupid, low level thinking individual. EGCC is only community college fluff stuff and is not of a higher quality education like a four year college. And, gdog's insistence of blaming everything wrong in the world on Gov. Kasich shows some real anger that needs to be addressed before he flips out.

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