October 24, 2009 8:34:00 PM
I have been amused by the constant criticism that MUW''s enrollment issues are the result of poor marketing and inept admissions personnel.
The funny thing about it is that I have heard those comments for my 18-year tenure at The W, which has included three presidents, numerous enrollment VPs and admissions directors, and scores of recruiters. It has become apparent to me that the "effective" marketing/recruiting strategies that seem to be so clear and easily implemented to those outside, and some inside the university, either don''t exist or cannot be effectively implemented at The W.
Many say we have simply not hired the appropriate personnel in the right positions. Others suggest that a series of terminations will result in soaring enrollment and a return to the W''s glory days. I don''t think personnel and leadership are the issues.
I am in full support of changing MUW''s name to Reneau University. I have no illusions of a name change being the magic bullet that will result in the University''s immediate success. What I do believe is that a change in name will provide the opportunity for it. A name change could breathe new life into the institution and create an atmosphere of excitement and unity on campus and in the community that will allow the university to prosper in the future.
It has been my experience, however, that most of the time when tough decisions have to be made; it is not a matter of simply making the right decision. It is usually a matter of making the decision right. Reneau University will be successful only if its critical constituency groups make it happen.
I would like this letter to serve as notification to area legislators of my support for moving forward with the name change. I want to encourage all my fellow faculty and staff members at MUW to make your views known to our legislators soon, regardless of your position. We have been relatively silent on the issue, and I think it''s time to speak out. It is important that our representatives know how those of us who are directly associated with the University on a day-to-day basis feel about this important decision.
Bean is a MUW professor.