Text of President McCormick's June 10, 2010 Response to the Senate Academic Standards, Regulations and Admissions Committee's March 2009 Report and Recommendations on Charge S-0605, on Admissions and Financial Aid Assessment:

I am writing in response to the Report and Recommendations on Charge S-0605, Admissions and Financial Aid Assessment, as adopted by the University Senate on March 27, 2009.  The members of the Admissions and Financial Aid Assessment Committee have my appreciation for their thoughtful report.
As the report asserts, a critical problem facing the university is the lack of a modern integrated student database system.  In the spring of 2008, under the leadership of Courtney McAnuff, Vice President for Enrollment Management, the university hosted system vendor overview presentations.  A project services vendor was hired to produce a project budget estimate.  The Office of Information Technology and Enrollment Management staff are continuing budget and system analysis.  Given the importance of this matter, it was included in my administration’s 2009-2010 Areas of Emphasis and Effort document with the directive that a long-term plan be prepared for implementation of a student information system for administrative computing.
I have made note of the Committee’s concerns regarding the challenges derived from the largely devolved administrative structure and its impact on University Undergraduate Admissions.  However, I do not accept the recommendation that a New Brunswick Admissions Office be established as a separate entity from the Office of University Undergraduate Admissions.  The Vice President for Enrollment Management, along with the Chancellors and Deans, provide direction for the Admissions Offices on all three campuses.  In 2008, the Vice President for Enrollment Management also formed a separate unit, Research and Enrollment Information Systems, in order to provide computing and data analysis support to the entire Enrollment Management area, including Newark and Camden.
It is more economically and logistically feasible that Vice President McAnuff continue to convene the Enrollment Council with representatives from key student service and academic areas from across the university.  This council provides a forum where best practices and challenges can be openly discussed.  A subcommittee of the Enrollment Council has recently been charged to examine the undergraduate application form and credential review processes for the coming year. 
In order to coordinate and enhance communications across the campuses, last fall the Administrative Council was charged with the responsibility of sharing all prospective, admitted, and enrolling student communications with the Vice President of Enrollment Management for his review and approval.  This policy will facilitate coordination of messaging across units and project a consistent and coherent image of Rutgers as one major research university.   The Communications and Marketing group within Undergraduate Admissions will take primary responsibility for the review and scheduling of recruitment and enrollment communications in collaboration with deans, directors, admissions personnel, and University Relations.
However, because the philosophical constructs that propel each campus as they pursue an entering class are decidedly different, and because there is a high degree of overlap within the applicant pool, I agree with the Senate report recommendation that there should be a dotted line reporting relationship between the Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management in Camden and the Admissions Director in Newark to the Vice President for Enrollment Management.  This arrangement will facilitate Vice President McAnuff’s efforts to develop a cohesive undergraduate enrollment management plan for the university and to ensure adherence to the University Senate’s policy on Undergraduate Admissions.
Regarding the recommendation that University Undergraduate Admissions make greater use of cutting-edge information technology, I believe significant progress toward this recommendation has been made recently.  A new website was launched in March 2009 with extensive video content, student blogs, and a social network: Go-Rutgers.  The Financial Aid website now includes Financial Aid TV providing video presentations of vital information to prospective and current students.  I expect upgrades in this area to continue as Vice President McAnuff and his staff explore appropriate use of podcasts, YouTube, and virtual tours. Current exhibits at the Visitor Center feature each regional campus.  As fund raising efforts continue, future interactive exhibits will include virtual tours of our campuses.  Members of the public can make reservations for in-person tours at any time online or at the Visitor Center front desk. 
With strategic deployment of existing resources we will continue to make progress in supporting the missions of both the University Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Offices.
Sincerely yours,

Richard L. McCormick
c:   Courtney McAnuff, Vice President for Enrollment Management
      Philip Furmanski, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
      Steve Diner, Chancellor-Newark Campus
      Wendell Pritchett, Chancellor-Camden Campus