U of I Professors Criticize Enrollment Management Plan

January 13, 2012

University of Illinois Michael Hogan's controversial enrollment management plan came in for criticism in a memorandum sent to the Board of Trustees Thursday by 123 professors holding chair appointments on the Urbana campus.

The letter was written by Professor Edward Kolodzief, director of the U of I Center for Global Studies. He argues that treating the University of Illinois as a single entity for enrollment purposes creates an "artificial whole" that is less than the sum of the school's three individual campuses. Kolodzief raises concerns that such "rebranding" of the U of I will create new administrative layers. At the same time he says it could weaken the capacity of each campus to match resources to student needs. Kolodzief says a centralized enrollment process will add new layers of administration, which won't have the knowledge and experience that current admissions staff at each campus have developed.

"It is a continuing process of people expert in Admissions to have a marriage between the diversity of the student body that we bring here ... and the faculty capabilities that we have", Kolodzief said in an interview with Illinois Public Media. "And you can't command that."

Kolodzief also raised concerns that a centralized enrollment management system will impair the university's fund-raising efforts. And he says it would drive away top faculty talent.

"Eventually, we all die, don't we?" says Kolodzief. "And other people have to replace us. And this university will survive, I would like to believe, even at a point now if which we have some challenges. But on the other hand, it might not survive as well as it might, if we, in effect, begin losing the core leadership --- intellectual and academic --- of our core faculty."

The 123 Urbana faculty members who signed the letter include novelist Richard Powers, pianist and conductor Ian Hobson and Nobel Physics Laureate Anthony Leggett.

PDF Text of Memorandum: Hoganfinalshortercopy.pdf

Story source: WILL