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Officials plan on attracting more students

University officials updated their goals for making UNM more attractive to potential and current students Tuesday during a Board of Regents Academic Affairs Committee meeting.

Eliseo Torres, vice president for student affairs, said his goal is to increase student enrollment at undergraduate, graduate and international levels. He outlined his plan to bring and keep in-state, out-of-state and international students through a series of strategies.

Torres said student services will work on in-state and out-of-state enrollment by promoting scholarships such as the Lottery to Success and Amigo Scholarships. The lottery scholarship pays the tuition of New Mexico high school graduates with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average after their first semester in college, and the Amigo Scholarship provides in-state tuition and a small stipend out-of-state students with strong academic records.

He said student Sservices has pinpointed the regional areas where students have been coming from to attend to UNM, focusing mostly on the Colorado, Arizona and Texas regions.

"We want to implement a more aggressive approach of awarding out-of-state Amigo Scholarships through expanded target areas," Torres said.

He said the International Amigo Scholarship awards are doing well with 80 percent of them in use. He added that the targeted areas international students mostly come from are Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Taiwan and Japan.

Torres said factors needed for increased enrollment are improving financial aid, increasing scholarships and pre-collegiate and freshman bridge programs and continuing enhancement of student support services.

He said other plans to attract students are programs such as a campus-wide dining program and offering credit courses in leadership.

Provost Brian Foster offered his goals for student recruitment and retention. He said he wants an increase of quality instruction, enhance the good community among students and improve student-support functions such as financial aid and student advisement.

Foster said national and internal searches for several UNM positions will also help the University achieve a higher level of success to attract students to it.

"We're up to our eyeballs in searches," he said.

Foster said the active searches under his supervision are an "enormous time-consuming enterprise," but will better the University in the long run. He said the ongoing national searches include the dean of arts and sciences, dean of engineering, dean of fine arts, director of the Harwood Museum and the Prince of Asturias endowed professorship.

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He said the University is searching internally for an interim director of international programs, associate provost for academic affairs, the dean of University College and the dean of graduate studies.

Foster added that when the dean of graduate studies is hired, he is expected to launch a major initative to rethink graduate recruitment.

During the same meeting, the committee approved an amendment to the Associated Students of UNM Law Book, which will extend the spring budget deadline by one week.

The amendment, which was approved during the fall ASUNM election, now needs final approval during the next full Regents meeting on Feb. 13 in Scholes Hall, Room 130.

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