BHSU makes strategic changes and addresses revenue shortfall

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, February 17, 2015/Categories: 2015

Black Hills State University is strategically making changes to meet the ever-evolving higher educational needs. The proactive plans include an emphasis on recruitment and marketing while also addressing a revenue shortfall.

You may have noticed more Black Hills State University marketing initiatives in recent months.  These are all part of the University&rsquos emphasis on recruiting.

"I&rsquom asking the campus to work together with a renewed focus on recruitment, retention and marketing," President Tom Jackson, Jr., who began his tenure in July, said. "BHSU is an exceptional university that has a powerful, positive impact not only on our students and alumni but also for the entire state and region. As the only comprehensive public higher education institution in the west river region of the state, we have a unique role."

He noted that through a number of recruitment and marketing initiatives, there has already been increased interest in the University. Changes include targeted recruiting of high school students, increased marketing, and stronger promotion of scholarships.

The plan is also addressing a revenue shortfall that is due to a decline in credit hours. Although the number of students attending BHSU has continued to increase, the number of credit hours has declined, reflecting a nationwide trend of students taking fewer credit hours per semester. The two primary factors contributing to the decline in credit hours are demographic changes with a long-term decline in the number of high school graduates in the state and region and an increase in the number of part-time students who take fewer credit hours each semester.

"Our first priority continues to be our students. The budget adjustments are designed to have minimal impact on students," BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., said. "Across the nation, higher education institutions are being challenged to shift the way we operate to meet budgetary limitations while continuing to provide exceptional educational experiences. By taking a proactive and strategic approach, BHSU is meeting that challenge."

Two low enrolled academic programs are being suspended: the engineering technology program and the master&rsquos degree in sustainability. University officials and faculty members have met with students, explained the change, and are working with them to ensure they have the opportunity to finish their degree programs.

"BHSU is positioning itself to continue to meet the higher educational needs of the state and region." Jackson said. "We are addressing changes proactively so we&rsquoll be ready for the next decade and beyond."

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