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NIU releases the Strategic Enrollment Accountability Plan

March 21, 2019

The Strategic Enrollment Accountability Plan released this week is a crucial part of NIU’s efforts to achieve its goals for enrollment growth and stability over the next five years.

It complements the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan released in January. That document set goals, described strategies and defined objectives. The Accountability Plan gets even more specific by:

  • Defining tactics and activities that must be carried out to meet the goals.
  • Designating who is responsible for carrying out the tactics or activities.
  • Defining how progress toward the goal will be measured.
  • Setting deadlines for completion of each tactic and activity.

“To achieve our goals, we must all clearly understand what we are expected to do, the deadlines we have to meet and the metrics that will be used to measure success. This document spells out all of that,” said Sol Jensen, vice president for Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications. 

NIU President Lisa Freeman hailed the release of the Enrollment Accountability Plan as an important step in the process of increasing enrollment.

“I am very proud of our Enrollment Management Plan and this latest step will ensure that we effectively implement the strategies we have devised,” Freeman said. “It will help to keep our attention keenly focused on two of our most important issues: recruitment and retention of students.”

As the name of the document demonstrates, ensuring that each strategy and tactic is carried out is a key focus of the Accountability Plan. For each action or strategy, one individual — typically a member of the university’s academic and senior leadership team — is responsible to see it through to completion. They are expected to not only use all of the resources at their disposal, but to also seek out input and assistance from additional stakeholders across campus as needed. 

Placing accountability at the highest level demonstrates just how seriously NIU takes the task of increasing and stabilizing enrollment, Freeman said. However, she added, this is an issue that she hopes the entire university community will tackle. 

“While specific individuals are accountable, we encourage people across campus to step forward and offer ideas and assistance if they think they can contribute to the successful execution of a strategy or ideas that may help us meet our objectives. We all have a stake in this,” Freeman said.

Work is already underway on some of the tactics outlined in the document. In fact, many of the strategies have completion dates within the next semester or two. Those efforts are important as they will create the foundation for the longer-term success of the plan, and could lead to new strategies or changes in direction. 

“This is a living document,” Jensen said. “It gives us the opportunity to build upon successes and the flexibility to change course if an activity needs correction or improvement. This is why our assessments, and their frequency, are so critically important.”

Both the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan and the Strategic Enrollment Accountability Plan are available online. More information about NIU’s efforts to grow and stabilize enrollment can be found on the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan website.