- Associated Press - Monday, June 16, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Driven by a new state funding plan, the University of Iowa is preparing a marketing blitz in the hopes of enticing more residents to enroll at the Iowa City campus.

The effort to enroll more Iowans follows the Board of Regents’ adoption earlier this month of a funding plan that ties funding to in-state enrollment and other performance goals. The change could hurt UI because it has more out-of-state students than Iowa State University or the University of Northern Iowa.

“We plan to strongly expand our efforts to communicate with more people and to do it more effectively,” Joe Brennan, the UI’s vice president for strategic communication, told the Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/1lrKXGl ). “We have every intention of rising to the challenge and growing our enrollment.”

Much of the effort will involve increased university advertising, but admissions officials also will join in the effort by contacting Iowa high school students much earlier. They could contact some students in their freshman or sophomore years.

The university said it won’t lower admission standards to increase enrollment.

UI President Sally Mason has been pushing hard for the change.

“I’ve been talking to people across the university, and my message is that we must focus on growing the enrollment,” Mason said. “We’ve faced challenges before, and I know we’ll accomplish this if we all work together.”

Under the new policy, 60 percent of funding will be based on in-state enrollment. The remainder will be divvied up between progress obtaining degrees, access to low-income and minority students, sponsored research, graduate and professional students and other metrics selected by the regents.

If the UI made no changes, it could lose up to $12.9 million annually in state funding.

University officials plan to increase efforts to reach out to the news media, will buy more advertising and will build its use of social media. Brennan said the UI has a $1 million market budget.

“President Mason has made it clear that we have to be bolder and more aggressive in our marketing efforts,” he said. “We plan to do just that.”

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

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