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In his September 13 welcome back address to the campus community, President Hurwitz opened his talk by saying that his vision for the University and the promise it holds for future generations of students is tied to one dominating factor-enrollment. “We need to begin by recognizing that enrollment numbers are our key future concern,” he said.

The “fundamental belief in Gallaudet,” said Hurwitz, is that students thrive from a liberal arts education conducted in a bilingual environment, and the belief “that what we do matters. …. That is our primary reason for wanting students to enroll.” Additionally, increased enrollment is a benefit, he explained, because it produces needed revenue so important to ensure the future Gallaudet envisions.

To reinforce his emphasis on making enrollment a top priority, Hurwitz sent a campus email following his address announcing the creation of an Enrollment Management Council, chaired by interim Chief Enrollment Officer Charity Reedy Hines, that will develop a University-wide enrollment plan.

The Gallaudet University Marketing (GUM) Committee will be charged with tactical implementation of the Enrollment Management Council’s directives. Dan Wallace, who has led GUM with distinction since its inception, will transition his leadership role of GUM to Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations Catherine “Cat” Murphy.

“Seeing that enrollment continues to increase “must remain a central goal … for all of us,” said Hurwitz. The top goal of Gallaudet’s Strategic Plan, he said, is to significantly increase enrollment by 2015. “Achieving this may be difficult,” said Hurwitz, but it is a challenge that must been accepted. “Enrollment must become the focus of our future,” he emphasized.

Hurwitz said that the topic will be a major area of action for the President’s Cabinet and the University Council, and he called upon the rest of the campus community–organizations such as the University Faculty Senate, Staff Council, Student Body Government, and Graduate Student Association, as well as all individuals–to make enrollment and retention “the highest of priorities.”

The president’s address closed as it began with a video produced by Gallaudet Technology Services’ Video Services that showcased new students, describing their reasons–and their hopes for the future–for joining the Gallaudet community.

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