President Mirta Martin gave her inaugural State of the Institution address on January 10 and set three goals before the gathered faculty and staff: increase enrollment; retention; and fundraising.
“To achieve our potential, we need to act expeditiously and strategically. The race we begin now is both a sprint to short terms goals, and a marathon toward a sustainable and impactful future. Fairmont State has the capability, the programs, the heart, and the desire to be what West Virginia needs us to be, and what our students and industry are counting on us to be.”
During several weeks of meetings with many constituent groups across campus, the local community, and the state, Martin heard a consistent message--we need to hear more about Fairmont State.
Addressing those gathered, Martin said, “Our university needs your help to tell our story; we need your help to show prospective Falcons and their families we are a caring, nurturing family. We need you to articulate what is magic and unique about this place. We need you to be less humble about our programs of distinction and about our people of excellence.”
Martin has set an enrollment goal for August 2018 of an 8% increase over 2016 numbers. Over the last six weeks new strategies have been implemented and success is being yielded.
Compared to this time last year:
• More inquiries are resulting in applications.
• Conversion rate up 9 percentage points.
• Total number of inquiries up 2%.
• Total number of applications up 30%.
• Total number of admitted students up 25%.
In short… Admissions are up across all groups.
• First-time admissions up 23%.
• Transfer admissions up 28%.
• Other admissions up 56%.
“We are on the cusp of an exciting new era for our state and for our region. I have faith Fairmont State University will lead the way forward. This university is awakening from a period of uncertainty. A shift in perspective fills the air with aspirations of what we can achieve. I can feel it. I can hear it in our conversations. It is a sense of renewed hope; of great daring for a better tomorrow. The success of this new vision depends totally on us and what we do starting today. We can be; we must be, the architects of our own future.”
As her speech concluded Martin powerfully encouraged faculty and staff. “It is time now to take flight and spread the word of an exciting new chapter for Fairmont State University. This is OUR time to soar…Onward and Upward! Let the Falcons soar!”
Faculty and staff concluded the morning feeling newly energized and empowered by Martin’s message. That encouragement and vision will lead them as the semester begins on Tuesday, January 16.