President Blake announces realignments, reassignments

Dear Faculty & Staff,

As we approach the final weeks of our first semester as a university, we are preparing to move forward on a number of initiatives in our Strategic Plan. Our success with those initiatives will hinge on adding new talent, as well as realigning our organization—and existing talent—to better match strengths to institutional needs.

The reality we face is that, while our new student recruitment notably increased this fall, a multi-year overall decline in enrollment has continued.  We must turn the tide in order to ensure that we have the resources to support our new university mission. The way to address our enrollment challenge is to remain focused not only on attracting students, but on retaining, progressing, and graduating them.

To that end, we will place renewed emphasis on strategic and effective recruitment, student success, data-driven decision-making, fiscal sustainability, and support for student populations that are likely to be game-changers here at Middle Georgia State. We will realign the functions currently in the division of Enrollment Management to better serve current and prospective students as follows:

  • To continue to improve student recruitment, the Office of Admissions will formally join forces with the Office of Marketing and Communications under a new Division of Marketing and Recruitment;
  • To ensure quality data, today we welcome Mr. Andy Clark as our new Vice Provost for Quality, whose team in Academic Affairs will include both Institutional Research and the Office of the Registrar;
  • To strengthen fiscal sustainability and operational efficiency, the Office of Financial Aid and Enrollment Call Center will be reassigned to the Division of Finance and Operations; and
  • To drive student success, we will provide dedicated resources for special populations under the leadership of the Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives.

These changes not only increase talent-traction alignment, but also save the institution approximately $200,000 per year. In support of these changes, I am pleased to announce the following appointments, effective January 1, 2016:

  • Cheryl Carty will serve as Chief Marketing Officer and Interim Vice President for Marketing & Recruitment, working with Academic Affairs and Schools on strategies for recruiting all new students;
  • Brenda Hogan will continue as Registrar, reporting to Dr. Mary Wearn, Assistant Provost for Academic Planning and Policy as part of Vice Provost Andy Clark’s team;
  • Dr. Sheri Rowland will serve as Assistant Provost for Student Success, working on new initiatives and special populations—including our University College, the Georgia Academy, and Move on When Ready—with Vice Provost Pam Bedwell; and
  • Dee Lindsey will serve as our new Executive Director for Veterans’ and Military Education, also reporting to the Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives.

We are fortunate to have a team here at Middle Georgia State that walks the talk on our value of adaptability. Please join me in thanking Dr. Rowland for positioning recruitment to a heightened level of new student enrollment, and for her willingness to now help drive student success. My thanks also to Dr. Bedwell for heading the leadership to improve retention and progression.  And my thanks to Dr. Carnley who has provided the leadership and mentoring to enable Cheryl to assume now broader responsibilities and has prepared our Advancement staff for new levels of philanthropic activity.

I look forward to beginning my third year with all of you in January, ready to meet our challenges and make the most of the opportunities before us, including the delivery of graduate programs. Together, we will educate and graduate inspired, lifelong learners whose scholarship and careers enhance the region through professional leadership, innovative partnerships and community engagement.  Please thank our staff here who will be assuming critical leadership roles in the New Year, aligned to support a robust enrollment strategy for our students at Middle Georgia State University.