Enhancing the Living & Learning Environment
UNCSA will be a supportive, nurturing, and inclusive creative community where students can become their best selves and do their best work.
First-Year Objectives & Suggested Strategies
Assess current and future facilities and environmental needs of the campus and the Stevens Center in support of UNCSA’s programming and mission.
- Complete a study of plans for curricular and program development, future enrollment, and needs of students, faculty, and staff in order to inform the Campus Master Plan process.
- Include ample and open dialogue with internal and external stakeholders to gather input into the plan.
- Write RFP, solicit bids, select designer.
2015 – Fall Update
Develop a Campus Master Plan
- Hire a consultant, conduct study and finalize campus master plan by December 2016.
- Formed Steering Team.
- Drafted scope of work for review.
- Initial information gathering internal and with potential consultants.
- Mapping out process for hiring the consultant and creating the budget/funding for the project.
- Update on project at all-school Town Hall meeting, January 20, 2016.
- Funding the plan.
- Defining a comprehensive scope while focusing on what is achievable.
- Defining the scope.
- Relationship with Stevens Center plan?
- Ensuring wide range of constituencies engaged.
- Look at spreading costs over FY16 and FY17.
- Utilize strengths and experience of consultants to overcome challenges.
- Consultants to have experience engaging both internal and external groups.
2016 – Spring Update
Over the course of FY16 steady progress was made toward initiating our campus master planning project. A full campus master plan has not been completed since 2000.
A small group met during the year to research plan contents and architects to ensure we had the most current information to use in developing the scope for the effort and a realistic budget for completing the project. By the end of the school year, the draft project scope was completed and the necessary funding developed. The project was submitted for the required UNC BOG approval in June and was approved by the UNC BOG on July 29, 2016.
The project scope includes requirements for campus community involvement and the engagement of our neighbors in the project. The selected design firm is tasked with facilitating this involvement on and off campus. Now that we have BOG approval and the necessary funding, we anticipate soliciting for requests for qualifications in August. The firms that respond will be reviewed by a small designer selection committee, including the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Facilities, our University architect and one or 2 others. The plan is to bring the selected firm before the UNCSA BOT in September for approval. Once we have an approved designer and a contract in place, a campus master plan committee will be established. This committee will include representatives from across the campus. The individuals on the committee, working with the selected firm, will be instrumental in engaging the campus in the planning process. Look for more detailed information in the early fall.
2017 – Update
Developed specifications, raised and secured funding, and completed the RFQ process for both our campus and Stevens Center master plans in 2016. That led to the selection of the renowned firm Robert A. M. Stern Architects to execute both plans in consultation with external and internal stakeholders. An exhaustive analysis of existing conditions began early this year, including campus infrastructure; all performance venues; classroom, rehearsal, and support spaces; staff and faculty offices; interior and exterior public spaces.
Final short- and long-term recommendations, conceptual design and renovation schemes, and detailed cost estimates for the Stevens Center will be presented in late summer 2017, and a final campus masterplan will be completed by early fall. It’s mission critical to transform the Stevens Center into a first-rate, competitive facility to serve our students, academic programs, external arts partners that use the facility, and our patrons.
Retained Robert A. M. Stern Architects to lead an in-depth dormitory study to develop schematic designs, site plans, phased construction strategies, and cost estimates to replace UNCSA’s substandard student housing, as a part of the campus masterplan. Final concepts and recommendations expected early fall.
Enhance enrollment management to improve yield, retention, and graduation rates.
- Evaluate recommendations of the enrollment consultant, considering time and money constraints.
- Implement appropriate recommendations.
2015 – Fall Update
Enrollment Management and Scholarships
- Audit of admission processes
- Establishment of response times
- Review of staffing – particularly admission liaison and school recruiting
- Launch of mStoner web site
- Development of print publications
- Establishment of campus tour route and script
- Evaluate leadership and staffing structure
- Analysis of financial aid resources – emphasis on the School of Music
- Analysis of inquiry database to determine yield rates, recruitment strategies, inquiry process, ACT, SAT, NRCCUA search
- Address leadership and staffing structure
- Develop/propose campus tour guide program
- Develop brand identity as value proposition
- Develop campaign for financial aid and scholarships
- Audit of admission processes (in process, materials have been collected and process is being outlined for review)
- Establishment of response times (in process related to audit of admission process)
- Review of staffing – particularly admission liaison and school recruiting (will begin after process is reviewed)
- Launch of mStoner web site (done)
- Development of print publications (currently evaluating RFP materials for marketing/communications firm)
- Establishment of campus tour route and script (currently in development)
- Evaluate leadership and staffing structure (will begin after process is reviewed)
- Analysis of financial aid resources – emphasis on the School of Music (Consultant will be on-campus meeting with Music/Financial Aid to review and provide recommendations of School of Music’s financial aid awards strategy)
- Analysis of inquiry database to determine yield rates, recruitment strategies, inquiry process, ACT, SAT, NRCCUA search (will begin after process is reviewed)
- Address leadership and staffing structure (will begin after process is reviewed)
- Develop/propose campus tour guide program (currently being considered/alternatives that address student availability)
- Develop brand identity as value proposition (incorporated into marketing/communications RFP)
- Develop campaign for financial aid and scholarships (not yet started)
- Some of the findings will/might require funding. Having fiscal resources available is critical and seems limited this budgeting cycle.
- Timing is an obstacle. Multiple strategic planning initiatives (along with our normal time drains) have made time a premium for work/meetings.
- Addressing fiscal needs in creative ways, looking at alternative (existing) funding sources and collaborating with other initiatives on-campus to “double dip” to address needs and efficiently use funding sources.
- Time issue: Sketching out remaining time of the semester and locking in work time in team members’ schedules.
2016 – Spring Update
A number of the outlined goals were accomplished in FY16 connected with the Enhance Enrollment Management initiative. The most visible accomplishment was the launch of the new UNCSA.edu website. Working with mStoner, a nationally recognized web strategy/development firm, our newly created Digital Media department put the finishing touches on the brand new website and launched the site in December 2015.
At the same time as the website work was going on, a consultant was brought on-campus to begin the audit of the Admissions office looking at staffing, the application process, the campus tour, and Admission’s relationship with the art schools. A similar process was conducted with a consultant focusing on scholarship/merit awards, specially looking at the School of Music. The results of those audits have been incorporated into the on-going work of an internal working group that began meeting in November 2015. The working group has begun the process of compiling all the communication content that is directed toward prospective students and their parents up to, and including Orientation. A trial approach to scholarship/merit awards was conducted in the School of Music, to much success, and will continue and possible extended to other Schools where appropriate.
The results of the work conducted over FY16 has resulted in two new outcomes. The first was the creation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) position within the Digital Media Department. This individual will work closely with Admissions, Alumni, and Advancement in the crafting and targeting of communication to prospective students and other University stakeholders. The University also contracted with Paskill, Stapleton, and Lord (PSL), a comprehensive higher education enrollment marketing firm, to create new recruitment materials for the University but also work with the University to create a revised communication flow tailored to our unique applicant pool.
As the CRM position comes on-line and the work of PSL concludes in early Fall, the continued review of the structure of Admissions as well as the communication plan review and execution will continue to be implemented.
2017 – Update
Enrollment Management and Scholarships
Leader: Ward Caldwell
In a recruitment year that has culminated once again in breaking year-over-year application numbers (2196 applications in recruitment year 2017), the Enhance Enrollment Management initiative has continued to move forward on a number of goals.
The new www.uncsa.edu website continues to be a strong force in providing information to prospective students and other influencers and funneling those prospects into the campus visit and applications processes.
Based on the audit of the Admissions office, staffing changes have begun to be put into place. The position of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Manager was created and hired within the Digital Media Department. In collaboration with Enrollment Management staff, the CRM Manager has created the foundational work for the prospective and new student communication plans. Specifically:
- Completion of introductory prospective communication plan—This will undergo continuing improvement with refreshed content and the introduction of new printed collateral with PSL guidance
- Introduction of Evergreen Monthly News digest—the goal is to keep UNCSA in prospects’/applicants’ inboxes, and showcase the best UNCSA news from the previous month.
- Tour/event follow-ups and thank yous—we are now verifying tour/event attendance and following up with an appropriate thank you and participant survey.
- Missing documents (application) communication plan—this continuous email communication is delivered to an applicant until their supporting documents are complete. The email is dynamically populated with the exact documents that are missing for each applicant (i.e., transcript, test score, reference letter, etc.). This relieves a significant administrative burden for the counselors.
- Residency Determination—in response to GA’s introduction of the residency confirmation number process with RDS, we now have an ongoing communication plan that reminds applicants to complete the required RDS step for in-state applicants. This plan is similar in execution to the Missing Documents communication plan, and we have already verified its functionality. This has an immediate impact on Admissions and Financial Aid.
An additional Admissions Counselor position has also been added to the staff roster to relieve the Director from representing an individual art school and providing extra bandwidth to address the UNC/UNCSA Strategic Planning initiative of recruiting and graduating more students from rural areas of North Carolina. This position will come on board in fall of 2017.
The School of Music completed its second year in a revised approach to scholarship/merit awards. The new approached has proven to be successful in getting top prospects to commit to the University. A more thorough review is slated for fall 2017 to determine if the approach can be applied to the other Arts Schools.
July 2017 will also see the introduction of the new marketing collaterals researched and designed by Paskill, Stapleton, and Lord (PSL), a comprehensive higher education enrollment marketing firm. These new recruitment materials for the University will be the foundation of a revised communication flow tailored to our unique applicant pool for the 2018 recruitment cycle.
Internal working groups continued to meet during the 2016-2017 academic year to discuss workflow, software, organizational structure and communication, and prioritization of work to accomplish initiative goals.
Maximize the effectiveness of scholarship awards.
- Develop proactive guidelines for the use of scholarship funds in each art school.
2015 – Fall Update
Build Advancement Capacity
- To hire a Director of Development and 2 Major Gift Officers.
- Three strong finalists for Director of Development have been interviewed and we anticipate making an offer to a candidate by the end of the month with a mid-March start date or sooner.
- Finding time to keep the search process moving forward in an accelerated manner.
- In process to hire a search firm to provide a new service which provides a vetted candidate pool for the currently established major gifts officer search committee to interview per UNCSA processes. Saves time and expands recruitment efforts.
2016 – Spring Update
Chief Advancement Officer Ed Lewis hired Senior Director of Development Dr. Meredith Carlone. The search process is underway for three Major Gift Officer positions, as well as the Manager of Donor Relations and Communications and Business Manager. The Manager of Alumni Relations position will be posted in late summer/early fall.
The Advancement team developed and implemented a Proposal Management Report to begin tracking and projecting major gift income. To build greater capacity within our donor database, the team developed, built and tested within Raisers Edge a metrics report for front line fundraisers to gage the effectiveness of the major gifts program. Working with the Foundation, donors have received for the first time a cumulative calendar year giving letter and personalized e-receipts for all gifts which serves as their official gift acknowledgement.
With these greater efficiencies in place, Advancement exceeded its fundraising goals for FY16 and working with the Chancellor, secured one of UNCSA’s largest gifts from an individual donor. This gift will serve as the lead gift in the quiet phase of UNCSA’s upcoming comprehensive campaign.
To begin preparation for the comprehensive campaign, an early June staff retreat was held for Advancement, Foundation, Marketing and Communications and Digital Media teams to address campaign readiness. Building upon that retreat, staff from Advancement, Marketing and Communications and Digital Media also attended the three-day Bridge to Integrated Fundraising and Marketing Conference in Washington, DC to develop greater coordination and effectiveness across these teams.
Focus for fall FY17 will include finalizing a Board of Trustee approved naming policy for the School, and the start of the feasibility study for the campaign.
2017 – Update
Build Advancement Capacity
Leader: Ed Lewis
Vice Chancellor for Advancement Ed Lewis hired a Senior Major Gift Officer, a Major Gift Officer, Manager of Donor Relations and Communications, and the Manager of Alumni Relations.
Advancement exceeded all of its goals in an incredibly strong year of fundraising by securing over $15.6 million dollars in gifts and pledges for the School as of the end of April. This includes acquiring a transformative $10 million gift, the largest by an individual in the School’s history. This gift will serve as the lead gift to the campaign.
The campaign Feasibility Study was completed and presented to the UNCSA Foundation Board and the Board of Trustees Advancement Committee in April 2017. The results were overwhelmingly positive and supported the School’s current working campaign goal. Advancement is in the process of implementing the recommendations of the Study. In addition, Advancement is collaborating with Marketing and Communications to secure a vendor to create and develop campaign materials.
UNCSA was recognized again for creative excellence on the web with a prestigious W3 award for Best in Show for the General Website Categories-School/University category. We consider storytelling on our website a critical tool to build support in the lead-up to the public phase of our campaign.
Secured funding to support institutional branding and marketing over the course of UNCSA’s comprehensive campaign, heighten our national profile, and help expand our base of support.
- Address health and wellness for students, faculty, and staff.
- Build the case for support.
- Perform campaign feasibility study.