Practical Strategies for Partnering with Faculty in Student Recruitment

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W. Kent Barnds offers seven strategies for involving faculty in student recruitment in ways that are meaningful and effective. Here's how to do it right.


by W. Kent Barnds (Augustana College)

Admissions teams often ask: “How do we effectively involve faculty members in student recruitment?”

This question has even more urgency now, given enrollment pressures throughout higher education. It only makes sense to look to the faculty; they remain the most credible messengers on a college campus.

In fact, in Academic Impressions' 2013 survey on enrollment declines, 47% of the 190 institutions participating in the survey missed their enrollment targets last year--many by a significant percentage.

Years ago I heard Robin Mamlet, who at the time was the dean of admissions at Stanford University, remind a room full of admissions officers that “we work for the faculty.” I’ve been guided by this idea and recognize admissions officers are an extension of the faculty, rather than vice versa. Involving faculty in recruitment activities should be guided by this premise.

Admittedly, I don’t always get things right. But, based on more than 20 years of experimenting and listening, I’d like to suggest:

  • 7 keys to encouraging faculty to become (and stay) involved and
  • 4 strategies for leveraging faculty expertise to improve student recruitment.

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