When the University recorded its largest enrollment in more than two decades this
past fall, it wasn’t by accident: an aggressive new recruiting tool and a nationally
known recruiting specialist are now part of the University’s strategy to increase
the number and quality of students on campus.
In late fall, the U of M filled its newly created vice provost of Enrollment Services
position with Betty Huff, who left a similar position at the University of California,
Santa Barbara, to lead the University’s vigorous new recruitment, admissions and financial
Huff brings sparkling credentials to the table: she is president of the American Association
of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the national organization
for admissions and recruitment officers.
“That is a huge position and it means she brings added credentials and contacts to
the table for us,” said Linda Bonnin, associate vice president of Communications,
Public Relations and Marketing at the U of M.
Huff said of the U of M’s increased recruiting efforts, “It is no longer about just
going out to the college fair night and setting up the table with the brochures —
we still do that and it is certainly a piece of it. Now, students are out there on
the Internet exploring institutions all over the world. They want small pieces of
information and they want it pretty matter of fact. And it is really a much larger
portfolio you want to put out there to students on what is available to them when
they get here.”
Huff’s hiring comes just months after the U of M entered into a four-year contract
with Hobsons EMT. Hobsons is an industry leader in providing enrollment technology
solutions to colleges and universities across the globe. The product allows the U
of M to reach prospective students using the latest technology.
“Our commitment to Hobsons is already beginning to pay off,” said Bonnin, who spearheaded
the original audit of recruitment processes that resulted in the decision to contract
with Hobsons. “We are not only able to communicate with students more often and more
effectively, but we are also able to track the actions prospective students take as
a result of our communications with them. It’s a powerful system that gives us an
edge in this increasingly competitive environment. We are less than one year into
the contract and we know the dividends will continue to increase over the next several
years, both with student recruitment as well as student retention.”
Enrollment at the University this past fall was 21,424, an increase of more than 1,200
students from a year ago. This is the biggest increase in 10 years and the largest
enrollment at the U of M since 1986. Freshman enrollment also continues to increase.